To cardio or not to cardio?

That is the age-old question around the water cooler at your commercial gym. Unless you’re someone who loves running on a treadmill for hours or willingly enters marathons for fun, you might have a hard time finding workouts that push your cardiovascular fitness—and don’t take all day to complete.

Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you have to grind out hours of steady state work to get your fat-burning sweat on. Why? Because of HIIT, better known as high-intensity interval training. Yes, it’s the trendiest catchphrase in the boutique fitness space, and these days, it’s overused far too often.

But when done right, HIIT is your saving cardio grace. A good HIIT workout can deliver a lot of what you want from traditional cardio — burning fat, elevating your heart rate, pushing you to sweat, and improving lung capacity — in a fraction of the time, making it especially useful for those of us who can’t spend all day in the gym.

To get all these benefits, though, HIIT has to be utilized correctly, and your intensity has to be high. That’s what you’re going to learn here, and you’ll also walk away with a handful of HIIT workouts for every situation, too.

HIIT 101

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HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, which refers to the short bursts of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods that make up the protocol. HIIT is quick and anything but boring, as its exacting work-to-rest ratios make it arguably the most time-efficient way to exercise and burn calories. You can use the HIIT protocol to build your entire workout, or apply it to just a few sets to create super-charged finishers.

However you do it, what makes HIIT work is the intensity. You’re going hard, typically as hard as you can, for a short period of time, then resting for a length of time that’ll let you recover to go hard once again. Work-to-rest ratio is frequently brought in when discussing HIIT, and there are several accepted ratios you should consider.

  • To improve aerobic fitness: intervals would typically involve a work to rest ratio or 1:1 or 1:2 (i.e. work for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds).
  • To train anaerobically (sport-specific training for power and explosiveness): rest intervals are often longer to allow for a more maximal effort, often at least a 1:5 ratio (i.e. work for 15 seconds, rest for 75 seconds).

The Key to HIIT

The key to making HIIT work: The intensity. You can’t coast through your work periods when doing HIIT. The protocol is designed to give you chances to go hard, so you need to take advantage of those chances.

That means working hard, but it doesn’t mean going completely 100 percent with your intensity. If you’re completely new to exercise, don’t go truly all out all at once. Instead of 15 to 30-second intervals executed at near-100 percent intensity, intervals of one to three minutes at closer to 80 percent of maximum effort, followed by up to five minutes of lower intensity exercise, have also been shown effective for weight loss in sedentary populations.

In group fitness settings (and among far too many trainers) HIIT and “interval training” are often used interchangeably. Make no mistake: True HIIT requires you to be explosive and intense during your work period. Basic interval training, however, minus the high-intensity aspect, is what you see most on the group fitness scene: Work periods here are typically larger than rest periods.

The Primary Benefits of HIIT

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Fat Loss

One review looked at 13 different studies on 424 overweight and obese adults. It found that both HIIT and traditional moderate-intensity exercise can reduce weight and waist circumference.

Metabolic Rate Is Higher for Hours After

Some researchers have found that HIIT increases metabolism for hours after exercise even more than jogging and weight training. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC, informally called afterburn), a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity.

Overall Health

HIIT is not just a tool to use to lean out. It can improve your overall health, too. A summary of 50 different studies found that HIIT reduces blood sugar levels. Further research shows it can reduce resting heart rate and blood pressure in overweight and obese individuals.

Some Ways to HIIT

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So, wait, you’re still technically on that dreaded treadmill, right? Not necessarily. Here are 11 HIIT workouts that can keep you off the treadmill and on a far more fun path to major fat-burn.

The Basic Sprint Interval

Here’s your ideal HIIT treadmill workout — and it’s pretty simple too. Warm up with a quick 3-minute jog, then immediately boost the speed so you’re sprinting as fast as you can for 15 to 20 seconds. After that, walk, or jog at a very slow pace for one minute. Then it’s back to sprints.

Repeat this for 10 rounds and you’ll get 15 minutes of good sweat. This works on a treadmill, but it can easily work on a track or football field, too.

The Bodyweight Tabata Circuit

Forget running entirely and get comfortable with bodyweight exercises, using the dreaded Tabata protocol. Here, you’ll choose a bodyweight move and do it for 20 seconds. Then you’ll rest 10 seconds.

During your 20 seconds of work, make sure to go hard, then rest. Do a maximum of 8 sets.

Yes, that means you’ll be done in exactly four minutes, but that’s half the fun of a tabata. When done correctly, if you’re going hard enough, you’re wiped out after that four minutes, because the electrically fast work intervals are broken up by a mere 10 seconds of rest.

You can do tabata circuits with almost any bodyweight moves you want to use. Try integrating moves like burpees, squats, and mountain climbers. Not sure how to perfectly do a burpee? Check out the video below.

The Bike Sprint

Have a stationary bike? Then blow up your quads and hamstrings with this sneaky HIIT workout. Pedal as hard and fast as you possibly can for 30 seconds, focusing on turning your legs over at a fast pace. Make sure you have some resistance on the bike, too; don’t set it to the lowest resistance.

After that, pedal slowly for one minute at an easy pace. Repeat this for 10-20 rounds, depending on how much time you have.

The Battle Ropes Blitz

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Don’t make it complicated. Just moving battle ropes at a fast and aggressive pace will ramp up your heart rate. So grab a pair of battle ropes and start doing slams or waves; work for 30 seconds. Rest for about a minute. Repeat for 10 rounds.

The Hill Sprint Series

There’s running — and then there are hill sprints. Sprinting on an incline is a brilliant way to train, preventing you from overstriding and also decreasing the impact on your joints. You’ll be far less prone to a hamstring tweak on a hill sprint than you would be on a flat surface.

This one programs itself, too, and doesn’t force you to constantly stare at the clock. Find a hill and sprint up for 20-30 seconds. Then walk back down to your starting point; this serves as your recovery period. Repeat for 10 rounds.

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The Sled Push Slam

The sled helps you improve your anaerobic conditioning, letting you battle through sprints that are over quickly. Those sprints are also super-intense, though, because you’re pushing a heavy sled, driving harder than you might if you were just running with bodyweight.

To do this sled push workout, load 70 to 85 percent of your max pushing capacity o the sled; you want to make sure you’re working hard. Now push it explosively, as hard and fast as you can, until you can barely move it. If you choose the right weight, this will be over in seconds — but you’ll still feel pretty fatigued. Rest for 3 minutes; repeat for 4 or 5 rounds.

The Rowing Ab Blast

This one will leave your glutes and abs on fire (and leave you out of breath too), and it relies on the popular EMOM format. That means “every minute, on the minute,” you’ll have to do a certain brand of work.

Set a rower for 2,000 meters. Row for exactly one minute. At 1:00, get off the rower. Do 5 hollow rocks then immediately get back on the rower and keep rowing. At 2:00, get off and do 6 hollow rocks, then start rowing again. Continue doing this, getting off the rower and doing hollow rocks at the start of each minute, until you’ve rowed all 2,000 meters. This may seem very close to work capacity training, but as the rounds wear on, you’ll be given more and more opportunity to be explosive, as the work periods of rowing increasingly shrink as you battle through the hollow rocks.

The Partner Rower Crusher

Find a partner and get ready to hit this underrated 8-minute rowing assault. Start on the rower, and start with the number 15. You have 30 seconds to row for that many calories.

At 30 seconds, if you’ve completed the calories, both you and your partner get to rest. If you haven’t, your partner does squat reps for every calorie you didn’t complete. So if you only hit 13 cals, your partner does 2 squats. If you hit 5 cals, your partner does 15 squats.

You partner has to finish in 30 seconds, though, because then they hop on the rower for a 30-second rowing interval, with the same rules. Except this time, add two cals to the workload. That means your partner has to do 17 cals (and if they fall short, you have to make up the difference in squats).

Keep going for 8 minutes, adding 2 cals to the workload every minute.

The 100s Crush

Grab a cardio machine, such as a treadmill, rower, or Ski-Erg and set it for a 100-meter sprint (or, if you’re on a Versaclimber, a 100-foot race to the top). Blast through that distance as fast as possible, then rest until your heart rate drops below 120 beats per minute.

Repeat for 10 rounds. This one’s better with a partner, too, because then you find yourself racing to each distance, and you may push a bit harder.

The Total Body Beatdown

Set a timer for 12 minutes, and get ready to rock your whole body. This is another EMOM circuit. So you’ll have one minute to do each move, then you’ll rest until the start of the next minute. The faster you finish your reps, the more time you get to rest. Don’t get sloppy with your technique, though; continue to do good quality reps, even though you do want to move fast.

Minute 1: 15 air squats

Minute 2: 15 burpees

Minute 3: 10 lying Superman holds

Repeat 4 times.

The Ski-Erg Shred

This one is built to fry your whole body, but it’ll attack your abs and back more than anything. It’s Tabata-style, too, so you’re going to get a lot of good work into just six minutes. Grab a Ski Erg’s handles and working, going for 20 seconds as hard as you can, focusing on being explosive. Rest for 10 seconds.

Now kneel on the Ski-Erg (grab a pad for your knees if you want). Go hard for 20 seconds again. You won’t be able to use your legs as much, so you’ll need to focus on driving with your core and lats. Rest for 10 seconds.

Now kneel on one knee. Go hard for 20 seconds again; this time, your base will be narrower so you’ll need to focus more on not tipping from side to side. Rest 10 seconds.

Kneel on the opposite knee and go hard; rest 10 seconds. Repeat for 3 rounds and enjoy the burn.

Mitch Calvert, CPT Mitch Calvert, CPT, is a body transformation coach for men, having helped more than 350 guys transform across the globe. Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. Ebenzer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men’s Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience.

This HIIT Workout Burns Fat and Builds Muscle Like Crazy

Shake up your go-to HIIT workout with this energizing circuit and you’ll not only burn tons of calories but also take your firming—and fitness—up a level. Because your muscles get worked every which way as you go low, jump high, run fast, lift weights, and change directions—all in the same session—you reap incredible sculpting and afterburn benefits, say Kirk Dewaele and Brandon Cullen, the cofounders of MADabolic Inc., a studio in Charlotte, North Carolina, known for its HIIT workouts that emphasize variety. Their fresh approach rolls primal movements (squatting, jumping, crawling), power, strength, cardio, and rotation into every class.

Incorporating strength in your HIIT workout like this torches calories on the spot and improves your muscle function enormously by stimulating muscle growth and development. New research in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that the technique helped exercisers subsequently lift more weight (up to 39 percent heavier) and do more reps (nearly triple the weighted squats), while those who stuck with standard cardio intervals didn’t experience any such gains. (Check out these other healthy HIIT benefits too. )

Each interval in this MADabolic routine (a 30-minute taste of the class) is meant to bring you to the point where your muscles feel as if they’re just about out of juice. Working at this intensity is worth it—for the spike in your metabolism that continues postworkout and for the boost it gives your exercise capacity, Dewaele explains. “That means you’ll be able to sustain an increased pace or intensity for longer,” he says. Over time, that will translate to your getting stronger and faster and leaner.

Don’t feel like going to the gym? With these free fat burning workout videos, you don’t even need a gym membership – or even any equipment, for that matter.
The best workouts are always going to be those that consist of moves that engage multiple large muscle groups. You can easily take a simple, conventional toning move and turn it into something more efficient that gives you the most bang for your buck for every moment that you spend on your workout. While it takes a lot of different kinds of training to reach well rounded fitness (strength training, cardio, stretching, etc) total body strength training and HIIT (high intensity interval training) are best for burning off body fat quickly. Apply this concept to the exercises that make up your routines and they become dynamic, fat burning workouts. Here are the best examples of workout videos that put this principle to work.

Best Fat Burning Workout Videos

HIIT – High intensity interval training workouts use short bursts of very intense activity to bump up your metabolism, burn fat, and even build lean muscle to some extent – many of these require no equipment at all. Examples:

  • 45 Minute HIIT Cardio and Abs Workout – Insane At Home Fat Burner – Interval Cardio Training and Core
  • Brutal HIIT Ladder Workout Round 2 – Advanced Workout to Push Your Limits
  • Butt and Abs Tabata Workout – Fat Blasting Cardio Interval Workout

Total Body Strength Training – Lift heavily enough to challenge yourself and you will raise your metabolism around the clock, making it easier to stay lean. Examples:

  • Kelli’s Superset Total Body Strength Workout: Calorie Torching, Muscle Building, Fat Burning Workout
  • Non-Stop Endurance Kettlebell Workout – 33 Minute Total Body Kettlebell Routine
  • Total Body Boot Camp Workout for Lean Muscles – Work for What You Want

HIIT and Strength Training Combined – HIIT and strength combinations to make for quick fitness gains and very sore muscles (in the best way possible). Examples:

  • 35 Minute Total Body Toning Strength and HIIT Cardio Workout – You vs You
  • Build a Booty Workout – 27 Minute Butt and Thigh Workout for a Round Lifted Butt & Great Legs
  • Upper Body Superset Workout with Fat Burning Cardio Intervals – Arm, Chest, Back & Shoulder Workout

Fitness Blender 1000 Calorie Workout Videos – A Fitness Blender Signature workout video; brutal workout videos that burn 1000 calories – for advanced exercisers only. Examples:

  • 1000 Calorie Workout Video – Fitness Blender’s 84 Minute HIIT Cardio, Strength, & Abs
  • 1000 Calorie Workout Video: 94 Minute Insane Bodyweight Workout Challenge – Attempt at Your Own Risk
  • 1000 Calorie Workout Video: HIIT, Strength Training, Abs and Obliques Workout to Burn 1000 Calories

For example, consider the bicep curl. It is an extremely effective basic strength training or toning movement, however, 3 sets of them is not exactly going to crank up your calorie burning furnace or cancel out that cheeseburger and microbrew you had for dinner last night. Instead of isolating just the bicep, you could combine the move with a lunge to significantly boost the caloric burn, and simultaneously tone your lower body. Here are some of the best bodyweight-only exercises that use multiple muscle groups:

Top 10 Best Fat Burning Exercises
1 Burpees – This at home cardio move tones your core, upper body and legs all at once- it’s a triple threat exercise that everyone tends to dread for good reason; they are hard! But they also work.
2 Jumping Lunges – Lunges are a fantastic thigh toning exercise; add in the momentum required to jump up in between lunges and the move turns into an incredible calorie burner.
3 Jackknife Crunches – Jackknife Crunches are an advanced abdominal move that engage both the upper and lower abs for maximal toning in the least amount of time. They are especially beneficial because lower abs can be hard to target without equipment.
4 Lunges with Reverse Leg Raise – This tones the glutes, thighs, obliques, and lower back, all while building coordination and balance.
5 Jumping Squats – Do this exercise for a minute or two straight and you wont have any doubts about how challenging it is. This plyometric is also great for building explosive speed.
6 Push Ups – Push ups are a total body exercise that are easily modified and can be made to be very challenging, even for the most avid exerciser. If a regular push up feels too easy for you, try the Single Leg Push Up.
7 Side Planks with Leg Raises – While this most specifically targets the outer thighs, obliques, and deltoids, it requires the strength and coordination of the entire body to hold up the base Pilates side plank.

8 Lateral Jumps – Tone your core, glutes, and thighs with this one simple Pilates move. Because all of the large muscle groups involved, you burn a high number of calories while you are toning.

9 Mountain Climbers – Mountain Climbers can feel like a punishment, but they truly are one of the best overall toning and fat burning moves out there that don’t require a bit of equipment.

10 Jumping Jacks – This simple at home cardio essential is an excellent way to get your heart rate up quickly. Add it in between strength training sets to keep your caloric burn high.
Think we left your favorite at home exercise off the list? Tell us!

Burn Fat Like Crazy With 3 Unconventional Cardio Styles!

If you’re tired of slugging it out on cardio machines with minimal results, it’s time to re-evaluate your fat-loss formula. Forget what you think you know about steady-state cardio and fat-loss training programs. Implement alternative exercises that produce powerful results.

The new wave of cardio exercise is upon us. There’s no reason to get bogged down on traditional gym equipment. Instead, try out bodyweight routines, plyometrics, and CrossFit-inspired rounds for time. These alternatives cut through calories like a broadsword through butter, challenge your balance, improve your agility, and develop functional strength.

1. Bodyweight Movements

Bodyweight conditioning routines are great because they provide just enough resistance to avoid interfering with your lifting program. You can easily incorporate bodyweight workouts on off days from your lifting regimen.

When blasting through bodyweight exercises, you want to complete a circuit of movements with a high rep count for each exercise before moving to the next exercise. Aim for 20-30 reps of each exercise, and rest for 90-120 seconds after each circuit. Repeat each circuit 3-5 times. Maintain good form throughout the exercises to prevent injury.

Bodyweight Blaster 1 Circuit 3-5 rounds, 2 minutes rest between rounds 3 sets, 20-30 reps+ 1 more exercises

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2. Rounds For Time

“Rounds for time” protocols are popular among the CrossFit crowd. They increase your work capacity and boost your muscular endurance. Timing each workout also makes it easy to monitor your progress and ensure improvement.

Select 2-3 exercises that you can perform back-to-back, and complete the designated reps for each exercise. That counts as one round. Repeat the process for your total allotted number of rounds, with as little rest as possible, and check your time. Your mission is to hit the entire workout as fast as possible and to beat your personal best.

Round and Round workout 1 1 Circuit 3 rounds 3 sets, 30 reps + 1 more exercises

  • Instructional Videos
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Round and Round workout 2 1 Circuit As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes 1 set, 10 reps + 1 more exercises

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3. Plyometrics

Plyometrics training increases force generation and fast-twitch muscle fiber activation, just like a session of all-out sprints. Due to a phenomenon called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), plyos also produce a strong calorie burn for hours after a workout. They’re also great for athletes because of their exceptional carryover to most repeated-sprint sports.

Perform 10-20 reps of one exercise, take a short rest, and move directly into the next exercise. When you complete the entire series, take 1-2 minutes off before the second and third time through. Make sure to warm up properly to lower the risk of muscle pulls and sprains.

Plyo Power workout 1 Circuit 3-4 rounds 3 sets, 20 reps + 1 more exercises

The Ultimate HIIT Workout for Maximum Strength Gains

High intensity interval training (HIIT) isn’t just for weight loss, buddy. This form of training, when properly utilized, can increase strength capacity and endurance.

In short, HIIT alternates bursts of intense anaerobic exercise (think sprinting, jumping and heavy weight lifting) with less-intense recovery periods. Those anaerobic bursts call for movement output to be near a 90% intensity, while the recovery period hovers around a 50% intensity. A HIIT workout can run anywhere from 4 to 30 minutes.

While those heavy lifting bursts rely on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) stores in the muscle, that recovery period is going to call for some serious cardio capability, as oxygen uptake is needed to replenish ATP for the next burst. So let’s look at the cardio component of HIIT first.

If you’re the type of guy who thinks cardio endurance has no place in strength training; well, you may want to get yourself into burpee position, take a deep breath, and think again. Research has shown that movements which increase maximal oxygen consumption, like those burpees you should be sprawling through, in turn increase strength capacity and endurance.

Two men running on treadmill doing HIIT workout |

Here’s how it works: When you’re hitting it hard with the reps and sets, not to mention load, your muscles are burning through ATP and ultimately oxygen, crucial energy sources. Researchers at Eastern Kentucky University found that up to 80% of the oxygen held by hemoglobin surging through the blood vessels is released to replenish muscle fibers during exercise. Now once that reserve of oxygen in the hemoglobin starts to run low, you know what’s going to happen, those muscles you’ve been pumping are going to fatigue, halting intended strength gains.

So essentially, if you were able to draw more oxygen into the cardiovascular system, the more oxygen you’d be able to channel through the capillary blood vessels and to the muscle. Simple enough. But how exactly can you increase the oxygen uptake? Ah, now this is where HIIT comes in for you strength trainers.

Keep in mind, those blood vessels you’re relying on to transport all of this oxygen need to be in good form — strong and free of any plaque buildup, which fortunately can be achieved with heart pumping cardio work. But being that a straight up cardio routine has the potential to sacrifice strength and muscle, a HIIT routine that incorporates heavy lifting that has you working near your max-rep range (that’s the most weight you can lift for one rep) for strength capacity followed by steady body weight reps or cardio for endurance is perfect.

A common formula involves a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods. So you’d be looking at 30 to 40 seconds of heavy overhead presses (maybe just 10 reps) alternated with 15 to 20 seconds of overhead medicine ball throws. When placed in a circuit aimed at full body, you might follow those throws up with an anaerobic movement such as by 30 to 40 seconds of loaded back squats alternated with 15 to 20 seconds of bodyweight squats.

The ultimate HIIT workout for strength gains

If you’ve got some strength goals you’ve been sleeping on, we’d suggest kicking off your next workout with our Ultimate HIIT Workout for Strength Gains. All you need is 12 minutes, a few weights, a medicine ball and some real commitment.

Time: 10 minutes

Equipment: Timer, Loaded Barbells, Dumbbells, Medicine Ball, Exercise Mat, Open Space

This will be a full body workout, enabling you to simultaneously strengthen the upper and lower body, while increasing cardio endurance.

Group of three people doing jumping jacks in the park on a beautiful day |

1-Minute Warm-Up

2 Rounds at a moderate pace, just enough to slightly elevate heart rate:

  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 25 side to side twists
  • 25 straight leg kicks
  • 25 side to side twists
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 25 oblique side stretches
  • 25 squats
  • 25 oblique side stretches
  • 30 multi directional lunges (10 forward, 10 side, 10 reverse)

8-Minute HIIT Circuit

Dumbbell chest press |

2 Rounds:

  • 30 – 40 Barbell Chest Press
  • 15 – 20 Bodyweight Push Ups
  • 15 – 20 High Knees
  • 30 – 40 Seconds Kettlebell Swings
  • 15 – 20 Seconds Bodyweight Reverse Lunge
  • 15 – 20 Russian Twists
  • 30 – 40 Barbell Overhead Press
  • 15 – 20 Medicine Ball Overhead Throws
  • 15 – 20 High Knees
  • 30 – 40 Goblet Squats
  • 15 – 20 Bodyweight Squats
  • 15 – 20 Russian Twists

1-Minute Cool Down

1 round of warm-up at a slow, almost stretching, pace

Ellen Thompson is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer at Blink Fitness in New York City, where she serves as head trainer at the Penn Plaza location. Ellen’s approach to training is that “anything is possible.” Endurance, strength, and stability/agility training are at the core of her fitness programming. She holds a master’s degree in New Media Publishing and Magazine Editing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

HIIT Training For Strength Athletes: Do It Without Losing Gains

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become a familiar workout style. HIIT uses repeated high-intensity exercise bouts interspersed with brief recovery periods to improve endurance and efficiently activate fast-twitch muscle fibers. But what if you’re a bodybuilder who avoids cardio because you’re afraid it will burn away all those hard-earned gains? Can HIIT work for you?

In a word, yes! In a 2017 study, men 25-70 years of age who performed 12 weeks of HIIT along with strength training experienced increases in VO2 max, insulin sensitivity, mitochondrial function, fat-free mass, and muscle strength. HIIT improved the oxidative capacity, or efficiency, of mitochondria regardless of age—as long as study participants did strength training and HIIT together. Participants who did strength training alone didn’t experience these benefits.

HIIT: Something for Everyone

If you’re a bodybuilder, HIIT can help you with quick fat loss for a more shredded look. If you compete as a strongman or woman, you can use HIIT to train your fast-twitch muscle fibers to excel at atlas stone carries, yoke walks, and log cleans. Powerlifters can use it to beef up their initial pull for the deadlift.

You can make these improvements by using a variety of exercises while doing short HIIT workouts in the middle of or after your weightlifting program. All you need is your body weight, some space, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, some simple equipment.

Squats, burpees, lunges, sit-ups, and push-ups—and the dozens of variations of each—are essential parts of a HIIT workout. You can also incorporate sandbags, kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells, and resistance bands.

A Typical HIIT Workout for Strength Trainers

A typical HIIT workout has 5-8 exercises performed for 30-60 seconds each, interspersed with 20-30 second rest periods. While bodyweight exercises are all you need to get an awesome interval workout, strength athletes may want to use weights in at least half the exercises in their HIIT workout. Lifters should also have 2-3 exercises that target the upper body during HIIT, which tends to go heavy on the legs.

To make that theory real, here’s a sample, two-part, timed HIIT workout for lifters. Four of the exercises target your arms, two work your abdominals, and six hit your entire body. Get the fat-burning and endurance improvements from complex movements like the burpees and swings, while still getting a good pump from the curls and dips.

Timed Workout Part 1 1 Circuit: Repeat 2 rounds Do each exercise for 40 seconds. Rest 30 seconds between exercises. Rest 90 seconds between rounds. 40 seconds+ 1 more exercises

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For a totally-awesome, leave-no-muscle-untorched day, fit one or two parts of this workout into your daily routine. With super-short rests between exercises, it shouldn’t take you much more than a half-hour to knock out all 12 exercises.

Making Your HIIT Fit

So, how exactly do you fit HIIT into your daily gym sessions? Say it’s chest day and you plan on starting with a barbell bench press before moving on to incline dumbbell presses, dumbbell flyes, and neutral-grip dumbbell bench presses. After the first four exercises, including the barbell bench press, do a 10-minute timed circuit of full-body exercises. You’ll improve your aerobic capacity and burn fat, all while making serious size gains.

Chest Day With HIIT 1 5 sets, 12, 10, 8, 5, 3 reps + 7 more exercises

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In the above workout, do two exercises as straight sets, followed by a superset. Then, hop right into a 10-minute workout, where the goal is to do as many rounds of possible of three exercises, resting as needed during those 10 minutes. Once you finish the AMRAP, there’s another superset, followed by two cable cross-over variations. It’s all about getting optimal muscle growth while keeping your heart rate and calorie burning high.

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Chances are unless you’ve heard all about how HIIT (high intensity interval training) is heads and shoulders above steady state cardio for burning fat. But did you know that HIIT can also be a valuable tool for building muscle and increasing power?

Jim Stoppani, Ph.D. has developed a series of HIIT workouts that are specifically geared towards building muscle, strength, and power. He calls it Power HIIT and it is comprised of explosive exercises that are done for short intervals with a matching rest interval. For example, 20 seconds of kettlebell swings, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Some of the explosive exercises in these workouts are power cleans, jump squats, snatchs, various kettlebell swings, power pushups, and medicine ball throws, among others.

Stoppani’s 5 power HIIT workouts are involve doing a series of different exercises that work the full body. He offers up 5 different HIIT workouts that get increasingly more difficult. Each workout program has you doing 5-10 different exercises, depending on which level you are at. They go from 10 minutes at Phase 1 to 20 minutes at Phase 5.

You can visit to view the entire article and get all 5 workouts. Dr Stoppani offers a lot of valuable advice on both HIIT in general, and his 5 workouts specifically.

Stoppani’s Phase 1 Power HIIT Workout

Work Interval
Jump-Rope or
Jumping Jacks (warm-up)
30 seconds
15 seconds
Jump Squat
20 seconds
20 seconds
Power Push-Up
Power Clean
Medicine-Ball Overhead Throw*
Band Standing Crunch**

Total time: 10 minutes (plus warm-up)
* If you don’t have a medicine ball, you can simply do band shoulder
press or even barbell or dumbbell push press.
** If you don’t have bands, do a medicine-ball crunch throw (throwing the medicine ball against a wall in front of you and catching it on its return) or even a regular crunch done explosively on the positive rep.

In order time this power HIIT workout, and the other four, a HIIT Timer would be ideal. Lucky for you, you have a Gymboss Interval Timer, which is the perfect HIIT TImer. If you have a Gymboss miniMAX timer you can program in this entire workout, including the 5 minute warm up, and save the program in your miniMAX for the future use!

Crazy fat burning workout

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