So you’re pretty keen on doing some HIIT workouts but not 100% sure where to start? There are a number of existing fitness programs that are based around HIIT pricipals (see CrossFit and GRITT), but not everything needs to be done in a gym. The following three workouts will give you a good idea of where to start, where to progress and where you can go with High Intensity Interval Training!

  1. Beginners Level HIIT Circuit (30 seconds on/off)

    • Choose 4 basic body weight movements (i.e. squats, push-ups, situps, burpees, rows, leg raises etc)
    • Set up an interval timer (there are thousands of good apps for all smart phones) for 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest.
    • Alternate between your 4 exercises every 30 seconds, resting 30 second in between. Once you have done a full loop (i.e. every exercise done) take 1 minutes rest.
    • Repeat 3-5 times in total (depending on your fitness levels/how you feel)
    • This is good for all beginners as it requires no equipment, no high skill level and you can push as hard as you want during the work periods. The next one will introduce some more advanced movements and a stricter rest period.
  2. Intermediate Level HIIT Circuit (Every Minute on the Minute)
    • Choose 2 movements that are explosive and taxing on your heart rate (eg. rowing, sprints, burpees, box jumps, skipping)
    • Set a rep /distance for each exercise that is achievable within 30 seconds while you’re fresh (This will depend on your experience or fitness level)
      • A good example is a 10 calorie row and 15 burpees (for a good level of fitness)
    • Set a stop watch to count up to 10 minutes (could be up to 20 if you want a challenge)
    • Every minute complete the set amount of reps for an exercise- then rest the remainder of the minute. When the next minute starts, complete the reps for the other exercise. Continue alternating between the exercises until the time is up.
    • This is a good one as your rest period is determined by how fast you work through your exercises. As you get tired it takes you longer to get the reps done, which means you get less rest each minute. Not for the faint hearted- but can be scaled for all fitness levels!
  3. Advanced Level HIIT Circuit (introducing weights and complex movements)
    • The above 2 workouts are good examples of templates for HIIT workouts. They are very customisable and easy to set up. To move to the next level however, we want to introduce strength components to our circuits. This could be any form of weights, be it dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells etc, and will get your working even harder to get you to the next level.
    • It’s important however, that when we start to include these methods, we are 100% confident with our technique and strength levels. It’s easy to get carried away when you work with time limits, which can lead to a drop in technique – potentially leading to injury – which we don’t want! So make sure you’re competent with the movements before you add them into your HIIT workouts!