HIIT Workouts That Actually Deliver Results

Updated on December 4, 2018
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Laura has been an online writer for over eight years. Her articles often focus on issues of diet and nutrition.

To Begin High Intensity Interval Training...

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT for short) is one of the best ways to burn fat in a short amount of time. It involves periods of exercise in which your heart rate should be 150 bpm or above, followed by a short period or rest, and then intense exercise again.

I recommend you begin your high intensity interval training with option 1, which is slightly easier than option 2. As you progress with your stamina you can move on to option 2 to challenge yourself.

Because it is important to challenge all your major muscle groups during a HIIT workout, I created two options to help you achieve this and ensure the right muscle groups are working together to burn fat.

I encourage you to incorporate HIIT into any exercise routine as it has been shown that HIIT encourages and stimulates fat burn up to 48 hours post exercising "afterburn" by triggering oxygen consumption.

Whatever goal you may have HIIT will help you achieve it, when used in combination with a caloric deficit and proper diet, this is a powerful technique for any athlete that is looking to increase cardiovascular health, endurance, and burn fat.

HIIT classes are a great way to keep yourself accountable.
HIIT classes are a great way to keep yourself accountable.

HIIT Option 1

You will need to complete 4 sets of this circuit with 10-15 seconds of rest in between each exercise, and 3 minutes of rest between sets.

  • Jumping rope for 1 minute
  • Mountain climbers for 30 seconds
  • Ab crunches for 1 minute
  • Forward lunges for 1 minute (alternate legs each time)
  • Pushups for 30 seconds
  • High knees for 30 seconds

The circuit should take about 6 minutes for each set. You will be doing about 24 minutes of HIIT total.

And Now, Challenge Yourself...

This next circuit will be performed in the same way as the first, but is slightly longer in overall time that you spend doing HIIT which will make it more challenging.

HIIT Option 2

You will need to complete 4 sets of the following HIIT circuit, with 10-15 seconds of rest in between exercises, and 3 minutes of rest at the end of each set.

  • Jumping jacks for 1 minute
  • Reverse crunches for 1 minute
  • Squat jumps for 30 seconds
  • Plank for 60 seconds
  • Burpees for 30 seconds
  • Side plank dips, 30 seconds each side.

This HIIT circuit will take about 7 minutes to complete. You will be doing a total of 28 minutes of HIIT training with in this routine.

Dumbells or body weights are a great way to challenge yourself in HIIT workouts
Dumbells or body weights are a great way to challenge yourself in HIIT workouts

How To Progress and Challenge Yourself

There are a number of ways to take HIIT to the next level as you get stronger and become more fit. You should try to implement these tools and techniques as you progress to keep challenging yourself.

  • Increase the time you do each exercise by 10 seconds
  • Decrease your rest time by 2-5 seconds between exercises
  • Decrease rest time between sets by 30 seconds
  • Add body weights (for example, ankle weights, or dumbells.)
  • Add an extra exercise to the end of each set. You have many options but it is a good idea to add something that is your problem area. For example, if you have weak arms and want to improve, add a set of pushups for 30 seconds at the end of each set.

You Can See a HIIT Circuit That Incorporates Weights Here

Make it extra effective: I recommend...

To take your workout to the next level, I recommend a few pieces of basic equipment that I have used, which really challenged me to put in that extra effort. The results are worth it.


Dumbells

Day 1 Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbell Shaped Heads to Prevent Rolling and Injury - Ergonomic Hand Weights for Exercise, Therapy, Building Muscle, Strength and Weight Training - 35 lb Single
Day 1 Fitness Rubber Hex Dumbbell Shaped Heads to Prevent Rolling and Injury - Ergonomic Hand Weights for Exercise, Therapy, Building Muscle, Strength and Weight Training - 35 lb Single

A basic dumbbell. I recommend getting two 5 lb dumbells, or one 10 lb dumbbell to start with. A basic investment that goes a long way.

 

Resistance band

AmazonBasics Resistance and Pull Up Band (Resistance 30-60 LBs), 3/4"
AmazonBasics Resistance and Pull Up Band (Resistance 30-60 LBs), 3/4"

The number tells you the amount of resistance the band will give you. I generally recommend starting with one in the middle if you are comfortable exercising. The lighter ones sometimes tend to feel like nothing, which is not what you want.

 

Importance of a Caloric Deficit

Remember that, to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit overall. If you just do high intensity interval training without maintaining a caloric deficit, you will not see impressive results unless doing the HIIT circuit workouts actually helps PUT you in a caloric deficit.

To maintain a caloric deficit you need to calculate your TDEE, total daily energy expenditure, which you can find calculators online everywhere. Once you establish your TDEE, substract 200-500 calories and make sure your daily caloric intake does not exceed that number. This will ensure you are in a caloric deficit.

These two changes, caloric deficit and HIIT workouts will ensure you maintain your weight loss.

Portion control and a caloric deficit are important tools to seeing results.
Portion control and a caloric deficit are important tools to seeing results.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Laura Writes

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