Workout trends come and go but one still continues to stand out – and for good reason.
HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is the top way to burn fat, get in shape, and prevent you from getting bored. It works for many reasons, but primarily because it’s no longer a trend, fad, or even a passing thought. HIIT is a standardized series of intense bursts of exercise done at near 100% of your energy capacity. Recovery time is minimal and can even be made lower intensity active.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a HIIT workout is beneficial for improving both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, cardiovascular health, and for helping to keep your blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol within in a normal range. Other benefits, for women in particular, are that it helps reduce abdominal fat, amps up your metabolism, and it can be done practically anywhere. And as busy girls, we need workouts that work and ones that work when we need them to work!
HIIT Cardio-Based Workouts:
SPIN CLASS: Indoor spin classes typically boost energy by throwing in intense sprints of various lengths with an equal, lesser, or longer recovery time. Depending on the instructor’s class plan, interval times and intensities will fluctuate. But short bursts of cardio go a long way for cardiovascular health and calorie burn!
KICKBOXING OR BOXING: Short bursts of intense upper body, core, and leg speed make for a fantastic HIIT workout in the ring!
FARTLEK RUNNING: While the name might give you a giggle, Fartlek is actually a term referring to short bursts of sprinting done in a moderately standardized pattern. You can sprint to the next block, then walk or jog to the next block, sprint, walk, etc.
TABATA: Tabata can be done in a fitness class, or even at home. Typically one tabata is 4 minutes long and includes 20 seconds on of an exercise, like burpees or jump squats, and 10 seconds of rest time. Exercises are repeated 8 times total.
HIIT Strength-Based Workouts:
TABATA: Using the tabata format, swap up exercises from cardio-centered moves to something like push-ups or even holding a wall sit.
AMRAP (As many reps as possible): A nifty acronym to get your repetitions in! Pick a series of exercises and see how many repetitions you can get in of each exercise within 30 seconds or 1 minute, or more. It’s a great way to build endurance!
P90x LIVE: For the more advanced, P90X LIVE boosts HIIT by encouraging you to finish a series of intense moves that include resistance training, cardio, plyometrics, ab work, and strength training. Because of the variety and the rapid fire intensity, your heart rate goes up and down challenging your body in new ways to create that amazing HIIT metabolic effect.
TRX WORKOUTS: TRX, or suspension trainers, use your bodyweight to train. Because of this, no matter what you do, you build strength and use multiple muscle groups at once to achieve that strength.
3 Quick Whole Body HIIT Workouts: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced:
SQUATS: AMRAP for 30sec. followed by a 30sec. rest. Count the reps!
JUMPING JACKS: 30sec. on followed by a 30sec. rest. Repeat 4x
PUSH-UPS: AMRAP for 30sec. followed by a 30sec. rest. Count the reps!
MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS: 30sec. on followed by a 30sec. rest. Repeat 4x
SQUATS: AMRAP for 30sec. followed by a 30sec. rest. Can you beat your number from last time?
ALTERNATING LUNGES: 30sec. on followed by a 30sec. rest. Repeat 4x
PUSH-UPS: AMRAP for 30sec. followed by a 30sec. rest. More reps this time?
TABATA-STYLE CRUNCHES: 20sec. on, 10sec. off done 8x.
TREADMILL SPRINTS: 30sec. on, 30 sec. off. 5x
STEP UPS ONTO A BENCH: 1min. on, 30sec. off
WALKOUTS ONTO A PLANK: 1min. on, 30sec. off
TRICEPS DIPS: 1min. on, 30sec. off
FOREARM PLANK HOLD: 1min. on, 30sec. off
TREADMILL SPRINTS: 30sec. on, 30sec. off. 5x
STEP UPS ONTO A BENCH: 1min. on, 30sec. off while holding a light weight
WALKOUTS ONTO A PLANK: 1min. on, 30sec. off with a jump at the end
TRICEPS DIPS: 1min. on, 30sec. off with feet up on a step
FOREARM PLANK HOLD WITH HIP DIPS: 1min. on, 30sec. off
TABATA WITH REVERSE LUNGES WITH FREE WEIGHTS: 4min.
TABATA WITH JUMP ROPE: 4min.
½ MILE RUN
BICYCLE CRUNCHES: 1min.
TABATA WITH BURPEES INTO A PUSH UP: 4min.
TABATA WITH JUMP SQUATS FORWARD AND BACK: 4min.
½ MILE RUN
BICYCLE CRUNCHES: 1min.
If you’re trying to lose weight, aim for 2-4 HIIT workouts a week. If you want to get a jumpstart on improving your strength and cardiovascular training, aim for 1-3 per week. HIIT is a perfect way to increase your workout intensity, but at the same time it also allows you to go at your own level with the weights you’re ready for. Skip the boring cardio machines, and start doing workouts that will really make you move!