Great HIIT Workouts

HIIT workouts can be an awesome way to burn calories in just a few minutes – here’s how to do it.

What Is HIIT?

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. This style of training isn’t new – it’s been used in professional sport for decades – but it’s caught the attention of the fitness world. Everyone’s talking about HIIT. How many calories can you burn doing HIIT? What’s the best HIIT workout? Is HIIT suitable for everyone?

There are lots of ways to do a HIIT workout, but the basic guidelines are the same. You have to warm up, then combine periods of intense efforts followed by a rest period, before a cool down. The main rule is that you have to work hard during the intervals! Intense means intense, not just kinda hard. The intensity of a HIIT workout should be all-out, max effort. That’s how HIIT can burn so many calories and get you so fit even though the workouts are short.

Popular Methods Of HIIT

Once you understand that HIIT means intense intervals followed by a short recovery period, you can see how HIIT can be done with sprints (on a track, on the flat, or on a hill), on a static bike, using conditioning equipment, in a class setting, or even with free weights.

One of the benefits of HIIT is that you can make it specific to your sport. If you’re a runner, then you can use sprinting to gain the adaption benefits of the HIIT workout plus have more time on your feet. If you’re a bodybuilder, you might like to design a HIIT workout using free weights (like a barbell complex) so you get the fat-burning benefits plus work on retaining muscle.

Tabata is a popular HIIT workout method. This famous protocol is only 4 minutes long: the work period are 20 seconds, the rest periods are 10 seconds, with this repeated 8 times.

Bodyweight HIIT or Equipment?

You can do HIIT with your own bodyweight or with equipment. Bodyweight HIIT could include sprinting or a bodyweight circuit using plyometric exercises. An equipment-based HIIT workout could use kettlebells, slam balls, battle ropes, barbells, dumbbells, or even free weight machines. The key is that you can move from exercise to exercise with very short rest periods – and that you can work hard!

4 HIIT Sessions You Can Try

1. Hill reps: choose a steep hill around 100-150 meters long. Run up it, powering with your arms and legs. Walk or jog to the bottom and go again immediately. Aim for 8-12 reps.

2. Conditioning circuit: push a sled for 15 metres, do 10 reps of slam ball, and use battle ropes for 30 seconds. Have a 10 second break between each exercise, and a 30 second break after each circuit. Repeat 3-5 times.

3. Kettlebells swings: this is as simple as it gets but will have you working hard. Choose a heavy kettlebell and do two-handed swings for 20 seconds, take 10 seconds rest, and repeat 8 times.

4. Hop on a fan bike (Assault bike, Airdyne or similar) and give this a go (warm up first). Sprint at 8-10 intensity then spin out at around a 4 intensity using this ladder: 10 seconds sprint, 50 seconds rest, 20/40, 30/30, 40/20, 50/10, 40/20, 30/30, 20/40 and finally 10 seconds sprint, 50 seconds rest. Then cool down!

  • December 11, 2018
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