HIIT Workouts



In addition to taking lots of great classes through ClassPass, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the gym. I’ve done my share of lifting heavy via NROLFW and CrossFit, but nothing has gotten me the results I like to see like HIIT training.

Back when I was vying for the top spot of Force Factor’s 2013 Body Transformation Challenge, I did roughly 4 HIIT workouts a week, in addition to heavy squats and deadlifts. After the challenge, I went back to mostly distance running and heavy lifting… and my weight went back up.

It finally occurred to me after trying out a Nike Training Club class at 24Hour Fitness that I needed to get some HIIT back into my training routine. Since that lightbulb went off, at least 2 of my workouts each week are some kind of lifting/HIIT hybrid. HIIT is great because you can get a TON done in a short amount of time. That way, you have the option of fitting in a quick workout when you can, OR using it to supplement what would normally be a rather stagnant, low HR lifting session. I mean, I’m super envious and in awe of people who can commit to a two-a-day workout… but let’s be real; ain’t nobody got time for that!

I’ve been using 3 interval variations, depending on my mood. They all have their pros/cons, but they all leave you sweaty and working in the right HR zones to burn fat and build endurance without sacrificing lean muscle gains.

Here are three sample workouts that I’ve done in the past couple weeks. Each can be completed in 20 minutes or less:

High Intensity – Transitional Recovery
4 exercises – 1 minute each with 15 second transition break between each exercise – complete 3 rounds

  • Burpees with Bosu
  • Mountain Climbers with Bosu
  • Kettle Bell Swings
  • Box Jumps

High Intensity – Active Recovery
4 high intensity exercises, 2-4 low intensity exercises – 1 minute HIIT, 30 second low intensity – complete 3 rounds

  • Burpees
  • Woodchop (right)
  • Switch Lunges
  • Woodchop (left)
  • Box Jump
  • Push-Up with Dumbell Row (right)
  • Squat Jack
  • Push-Up with Dumbell Row (left)

High Intensity – Full Recovery
4 high intensity exercises – 1 minute each with 1 minute rest after each round – complete 3 rounds

  • Burpees with Bosu
  • Mountain Climbers with Bosu
  • Speed Skaters on Bosu
  • Knee Tucks

You’ll notice I do a lot of burpees… they’re kind of the perfect exercise and I do them anytime I do HIIT because it targets the whole body. I would encourage you to do the same, even if you hate them. Perhaps, ESPECIALLY if you hate them. I’m actually loathing mountain climbers at the moment; not sure why but they KILL me when I include them in my circuit. I’d rather do more burpees.

You’ll also notice I work a lot of the same muscle groups over and over again; properly fatiguing the muscle will get you the most gains – provided you give yourself the proper rest afterwards (a good night’s sleep and at least one day before working that muscle group again).

Besides the time factor, another great thing about HIIT is that you can pretty much do it anywhere. It’s easy to do with completely bodyweight based moves so you can “take it with you” when you travel and fit in a quick sweat sesh in a hotel room, or even a nearby park.

Like I said, this kind of training is just what I’ve found works for ME. I am in no way discounting NROLFW, CrossFit, or whatever strength training you like to do. Find what works and stick with it!


*Note: While I am an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer, I am NOT a medical professional. Consult a doctor before beginning any exercise regime, especially high intensity routines.


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