6 Extreme Types of HIIT Workouts
Everyone knows the benefits of high intensity interval training, but did you know that there are many different ways to do it? Use these 6 types of HIIT workouts to take your conditioning to the next level.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is all the rage these days for good reason. Athletes have been using HIIT for decades to make rapid increases in power and conditioning for years. This simple training method utilizes short, intense bursts of motion followed by short recovery or rest periods. While this sounds simple enough, studies show that HIIT can have a massive impact on your training results and athletic performance, even if you’re not a professional athlete.
The Benefits of HIIT Workouts
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the benefits of HIIT Workouts include the following:
- Improved aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- Improved blood pressure
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Improved insulin sensitivity (which helps the exercising muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to make energy)
- Improved cholesterol profiles
- Reduced abdominal fat and bodyweight while maintaining muscle mass
Why Silver Wolves Love HIIT
Silver Wolves, middle-aged men who keep themselves in peak performance through a combination of exercise, diet, supplementation, and an active lifestyle, love HIIT. HIIT provides everything that a Silver Wolf looks for in training, including:
Enhanced Performance: Silver Wolves train for more than just looks. They want to feel better and perform better. HIIT workouts can rapidly increase your conditioning, endurance, and workout capacity.
Quick & Efficient Workouts: Silver Wolves don’t have time to mess around. They want the most bang for their buck, and they want it NOW. HIIT workouts don’t need to stretch forever because they require you to expend the maximum amount of energy in the shortest possible time. Better yet, you will keep burning calories for hours after you finish working out, making them even more efficient.
Entertaining & Satisfying Training Sessions: Silver Wolves train for decades (their entire lives in fact), and that means avoiding boredom when it comes to exercise. HIIT workouts require you to expend as much energy as necessary and can be done in a variety of formats using hundreds of different exercises. This means that you can choose for thousands of workouts, and each one can kick your butt. Nothing feels better than knowing that you gave your best.
Which Exercises Should I Use for HIIT Workouts?
High intensity training requires that you work at 90% of your capacity for each set. This means that you’ll need to keep moving quickly even as your body gets more and more tired. For this reason, it is best to choose exercise that can be done with intensity, even as your coordination starts weakening due to fatigue. If you’re just getting started, stick to Calisthenic Exercises before moving on to weighted variations. Here are some of our top picks for calisthenic and kettlebell exercises:
There are many, many more to choose from, these are just our favorites. Check out our full Exercise Guide for more ideas.
6 Ways to HIIT It
Remember, HIIT means HIGH INTENSITY. Each of these HIIT workouts require that you put out about 90% of your capacity with each set. If you are used to simply “getting through” your workout, these set schemes won’t deliver the results that the studies promised! If you are unsure of whether or not you’re trying as hard as you should be trying, get a trainer. A good personal trainer will be able to gauge your capacity simply by watching you train. Learn how to push your limits, then start reaping the benefits of each HIIT workout.
The Classic: Tabata Protocol
Most people who exercise often have heard of the Tabata Protocol. This is the original “4-Minute Workout” that was invented by Japanese speed skating coach Izumi Tabata. While it has been massively over-simplified (the original workout required 3 sets of 4-minute intervals with precise output requirements for each) by most trainers and fitness enthusiasts, it is still an excellent form of HIIT. Here’s how it works:
|Workout Period:||4 minutes|
|Work Period:||20 seconds|
|Rest Period:||10 seconds|
Jon Hinds’ 15/15
Jon Hinds, owner of Monkey Bar Gym, is an amazing trainer and coach that epitomizes what it means to be a healthy and powerful middle-aged man. His protocol, created through years of training and martial arts practice, is simple and brutal. Here’s how it works:
|Workout Period:||10, 20, or 40 minutes|
|Rounds:||20, 40, or 80|
|Work Period:||15 seconds|
|Rest Period:||15 seconds|
Every Minute on the Minute
This is a popular HIIT workout in Crossfit. It’s pretty simple but can provide amazing results, especially since there is no room for slowing down to make the workout easier. Just set a timer for 8 to 10 minutes, choose an exercise, and select a number of reps. Your goal is to complete the reps before each minute is up. Your rest will be the time remaining in the minute. The faster you go, the more rest you get! Just remember that the faster you go, the more rest YOU’LL NEED. Here’s how it works:
|Workout Period:||8 to 10 minutes|
|Rounds:||10 to 20|
|Work Period:||60 seconds|
|Rest Period:||Remainder of 60 seconds after the rep number is reached|
Hill Sprint No Rest Interval
The term “active rest” is just another way of saying, “you don’t get to rest.” That is exactly what this HIIT workout provides. Just find a hill, pace out 25 to 50 meters, sprint up, and walk back. Here’s how it works:
|Workout Period:||As Much Time As It Takes|
|Rounds:||10 to 20|
|Work Period:||As fast as you can|
|Rest Period:||The walk back down to the start|
Intervals w/Isometric Hold Rest Periods
This is another variation that utilizes active rest. Instead of resting completely, you will perform an isometric hold in between work sets. The hold could be a Plank, Wall Sit, or even a Handstand. Just make sure you are contracting a muscle group in between your high intensity work periods. Here’s how it works:
|Workout Period:||8 minutes|
|Rounds:||As many as possible|
|Work Period:||30 seconds|
|Rest Period:||Isometric hold for 30 seconds|
Superset HIIT Workout 15/15/30
You’ll be using a single exercise for most of these HIIT workouts, but not this one! This type requires that you select two different, full body exercises that can be done rapidly. You’ll switch off between them with no rest in between. Do 15 seconds of the first exercise, 15 seconds of the second exercise, then rest for 30 seconds.
|Workout Period:||10 minutes|
|Rounds:||As many as possible|
|Work Period:||15 seconds Exercise #1/15 seconds Exercise #2|
|Rest Period:||30 seconds|