5 Fun HIIT Workouts to Get You Through the Week

The 10-Minute Workout

HIIT is a training technique which involves intense bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by varied periods of low-intensity active rest, or complete rest. HIIT can be a great option for staying in shape when time is an issue, as you can get an amazing fat-burning workout in 20 minutes or less. The true benefits of HIIT come from its effects post-workout. HIIT has been shown to elevate the metabolism for hours after your workout, essentially turning you into a fat-burning machine if done correctly and with adequate intensity.

When developing HIIT programs, the relationship of both the work and recovery interval is extremely important. You must consider the duration, intensity, and frequency of both the work and recovery intervals. The intensity during the work period should be greater than 80% of estimated max heart rate (the higher the better—it should feel like you’re exercising “hard” to “very hard.” A good rule of thumb is to not be able to carry out a conversation while executing the work intervals. Your maximum heart rate can be roughly estimated by subtracting your age from 220. For example if you are 30, your maximum heart rate is around 190 (220 minus 30). The intensity of the recovery period should be less than 50% of your estimated max heart (rest or active recovery—prepares you for executing the next working interval).

The length of HIIT programs can range from 30 mins. all the way down to 4 mins. (commonly known as Tabata-style interval training). You must consider the ratio of work to rest. Remember the key is to work as hard as possible for your level of fitness during the working phase and recover as best as possible before the next working set so you don’t tire yourself out too quickly before reaching your time goal. If you do not allow yourself to recover and decide to take shorter rests periods you could be limiting the effectiveness of this training method (EPOC—explained in detail below).

A few variations can work, including: rest ratios of 1 minute on, 3 minutes off, 1 minute on 2 minutes off, 1 minute on, 1 minute off, and so on. It all depends on how long and how intense the desired session is.

While HIIT workouts may be very short, they are more exhaustive than steady-state exercise. Therefore, a longer recovery period is often needed before starting your next session. If you are fatigued and not fully recovered you will find yourself not working as hard in the session.

These workouts can be tweaked to fit the beginner all the way to an advanced HIIT athlete, and can be done in one week for a fun and unique cardio blast. So get off the treadmill and get moving. Or just try one at a time to mix your cardio and training styles up. Our bodies, after all, can adapt to our training programs quite rapidly and require constant different stimuli to grow and change. 

Try these five great HIIT workouts to keep you motivated and shredded throughout the week. 

Man Doing Elevated Feet Pushups Off Bench

Day 1. Bodyweight blast

This is a great option for those who need a great workout with limited to no equipment such as a hotel gym, for those who really want to get that heart rate up and work on bodyweight/functional strength.

–> Perform circuit two times.
–> Rest as little as possible.

30 Bodyweight squats
10 Elevated pushups (feet on a bench)
30 Lunges (total, not per side)
10 Inverted rows (lying on the ground underneath a fixed bar)
30 Side-to-side hops (total)
10 Inverted rows 
30 Close-grip pushups (either on knees or standard)
10 Underhand inverted rows 
30 Jumping jacks
10 Burpees
30 Diagonal lunges (total, not per side)

Either rest for 1-2 minutes or jog in place for 1-2 minutes (repeat).

Star Jumps

Day 2. Jump To It 

For maximum metabolic enhancement, this HIIT workout can be great for those looking to “tone” the body as well as lean out their body for summer.

Star jumps: Similar to a jumping jack, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and sit back on your heels (like a squat). Jump vertically as high as you can and extend your hands so both legs and hands are raised to form a “star.” When descending land softly on ground with knees slightly bent.
Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Burpees: Begin in a standing position with feet shoulder-width apart, squat down and kick your feet out so you end up in a plank position. Shoot your legs back to their starting position then jump straight up. Repeat.
Do 15 reps to complete one set.
*For increased difficulty add a pushup after the plank.

Jumping jacks and high knees: This is an alternating move. First do five jumping jacks then move into five high knees.
For high knees: Bring your right knee to your chest and then alternate to your left knee (this is one rep).
Repeat combo move five times.

Mountain climbers: Start in a pushup position. Make sure to keep your back flat and bring your right knee to your chest. Return to the starting position then bring your left knee to your chest. Return to starting position. This is one rep. 
Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Squat jumps: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a standard squat and then engage your core and jump up explosively. When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Control your movements and try to land as quietly as possible. 
Do 4 sets of 12 reps.

Man Performing Situps in Street

Day 3. The full-body challenger

This will be a tougher HIIT session but your body will thank you for it.

Do the following exercises at 100% of your effort level and take a 30 sec. break after each set.

Perform one full circuit.

50 situps
50 situps
40 jump squats
40 jump squats
30 pushups
30 pushups
20 jumping lunges
20 jumping lunges
10 triceps dips
10 triceps dips
30 seconds of burpees

Men Squat Jump Box Jump

Day 4. The 20-minute shredder

Another intense fat-torching workout that gets big-time results. Perform full circuit twice. 

Jumping jacks: 50 seconds ~ 10 seconds rest

Burpees: 50 seconds ~ 10 seconds rest

Pushups: 50 seconds ~ 10 seconds rest

Side planks: 50 seconds (each side) ~ 10 seconds rest

Mountain climbers: 50 seconds ~ 10 seconds rest

High knees: 50 seconds ~ 10 seconds rest

Squat jumps: 50 seconds ~ 10 seconds rest (Rest in the bottom of the squat position at the 50 second mark)

Jump lunges: 50 seconds Alternating in place ~ 10 seconds rest

Rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat full circuit. 

Renegade Row Pushups

Day 5. The Dumbbell dominator

HIIT training? Love it. Weightlifting? Love it even more. HIIT training “with” weights? Maybe the best workout of all time.

The premise behind this one is simple. I’ve got seven dumbbell exercises listed. For 30 seconds, you’re going to go as hard at them as you safely can with proper form. Really try to push yourself 110%. Then you’re going to take a 30-second active rest of jogging in place before jumping into your second set of that same lift. You’re going to perform this 30-on-30-off four times and then move on to the next exercise. I’ve tried to select exercises that should require about the same amount of weight so you don’t have to worry if you’ve only got one set of dumbbells.

Clean & press: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off; 4 sets

Deadlift: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off; 4 sets

Renegade rows: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off; 4 sets

Overhead squats: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off; 4 sets

Lunges with dumbbell curls (alternating): 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off; 4 sets

Arnold press: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off; 4 sets

Goblet squats: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off; 4 sets

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