If your goal is to burn mad calories, then interval training should be a part of your exercise program.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is the ideal way to hammer out a quick workout while burning a lot of calories.
This method is fantastic for any trainee who wants to shed weight, especially those who have been exercising regularly—but still struggle to achieve any real results.
Today I’m going to share with you some my favorite interval workout routines.
But before we do that, let’s first define what HIIT is all about and take a quick look at some of the science behind its effectiveness for weight loss.
So, are you excited?
Then here we go.
High-intensity interval training, as the name suggests, consists of intervals of short periods of intense exercise, followed by recovery periods in a circuit or cycle.
During HIIT, you, basically, alternate intervals of all-out-effort performed at 90 to 99 percent of your maximum heart rate with a resting period.
The interval portions may include fast-paced bodyweight work or sprinting, whereas the recovery periods usually consist of either low-intensity exercise, such as jogging or walking at a slow pace, or complete rest.
This contrast drastically to the continuous steady-state cardio that most trainees perform at a moderate intensity for an hour or so.
The Effectiveness of HIIT for Weight Loss
Over the last few decades, plenty of published studies have proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the value of interval training for fat loss.
In fact, most of the experiments revealed that HITT to be more effective at shedding the pounds, maintaining (even improving) muscle mass, and increasing fitness than long periods of low to moderate intensity cardio training.
In other words, you can achieve more progress in a mere 20-minute interval training session than jogging on the treadmill for 45 to 60 minutes.
Two weeks of high-intensity interval training improves aerobic capacity as much as six to eight weeks of endurance training, according to research presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting.
Not only do intervals burn mad calories during the workout, but also increase metabolism for more than 24 hours afterward, research shows.
This means that you keep burning calories at a higher rate long after you have finished exercising.
Overweight subjects opting for HIIT style workouts for an 8-week period dropped more than two percent in body fat as compared to trainees who followed a moderate steady-state cardio routine on the treadmill, according to research out of the East Tennessee State University.
Another research out of Australia revealed that female subjects following a 20-minute interval routine, consisting of 8-second sprints followed by 12-second rest periods, shed about six times more body fat than the group who opted for a 40-minute steady-state cardio training at 60 percent of maximum heart rate.
I can go on and on about the research proving the effectiveness of HIIT for sliming down. But, by now, I believe that you’re getting the big picture.
And hopefully, I have sold you on HIIT.
The Best 5 HIIT Workouts For Weight Loss
Now let’s get practical.
To jumpstart your HIIT program, I’ve compiled a short, but very effective, list of my favorite interval workouts.
Some of the routines require nothing but your body weight, whereas others call for the use of equipment.
Pick one or two—or all of them—to add to your weekly training routine.
Just whatever you do, make sure to stay within your fitness level the entire time—that’s how you get fit (and slim) without getting hurt. The rest is just detail.
Also, make sure to include at least one day of recovery between workouts as these routines are super challenging.
Workout I – The Treadmill Shed
Equipment required: A treadmill.
Start the routine with a 5-minute jog to get your mind and body ready for the intense work ahead.
Then choose a treadmill speed that you can sustain for no more than 30 seconds. You can also add a 4 percent incline for more intensity.
Next, perform eight to ten intervals for 30 seconds, followed by 90 seconds of recovery.
Make sure you push yourself during the interval, shooting for at least 8 to 9 RPM on a scale of 1 to 10.
Then slow it down to bring your breathing and heart rate back to normal.
Last up, finish the session with a 5-minute slow jog cool-down. Then stretch your muscles.
And that’s it. Who said that sprints had to be complicated to be effective!
Workout II – The Body Weight Incinerator
Equipment needed: Your body.
As always, start your routine with a 5-minute slow to jog to warm up. Then perform another five minute of dynamic routine just like this one.
Next, perform 12 to 16 reps of the following exercises in the order shown for 30 minutes. Take 10 seconds of rest between each exercise.
- Jumping jacks
- Long lunges
Rest for one to two minutes, then repeat the circuit for four to five times.
Once you’re done, perform this stretching routine as cool-down.
Workout III – The Plyometric Feast
Equipment needed: Your body weight and some space.
Following a 10-minute dynamic warm-up, complete the following seventy moves in order with no rest in between.
- Squat jumps – 20 reps
- Plyo push-ups (on your knees if you have to)—8 reps
- Jumping lunges—10 reps on each side
- Burpees – 15 reps
- Lateral lunge jump – 15 reps
Take a one-minute break between each round. Shoot for eight to ten rounds.
Workout IV – The Full Body Workout
Equipment needed: Weights—dumbbells or barbells
After a thorough 15-minute warm-up, complete as many rounds as possible of this circuit in 30 to 40 minutes.
- Barbell Thrusters
- Mountain Climbers
- Barbell hang clean
- Plank with hip rotation
- Single arm dumbbell snatch
Finish off the routine with a 5-minute cool-down.
Workout V – The Tabata Fat Burner
Equipment Needed: Your body, a jump rope, a medicine ball, and a kettlebell
Jog in place for 5 minutes, then perform a set of dynamic moves, such as squats, lunges, inchworms, runners stretches, and a few ballistic moves to get your muscles fired up and ready to go.
Next, set a timer for 20 seconds, and perform as many reps as possible of the following exercises in the order shown.
- Jump Rope
- Medicine ball squat to overhead throw
- Russian Kettlebell swings
- Military push-ups
- Medicine ball chest pass
Rest for 10 seconds upon completing the circuit, then repeat the cycle for at least ten rounds.
And that’s it.