The superpowers of HIIT workouts never get old. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to reach your fitness goals fast, like really fast. It’s the trend that just won’t die because it’s backed by science. By incorporating bursts of all-out effort followed by short rest periods, your body gets put into overdrive, and your mind stays active, beating boredom and making your workouts fly by. The benefits of HIIT are the real deal, and worth touching on before we dive into the best HIIT workouts. So let’s break it down.
5 Benefits of HIIT
#1 Burn More Calories in Less Time With The Afterburn Effect
Alternating between bursts of all-out effort and short rest periods creates what fitness experts call “the afterburn effect.” Interval training creates EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or oxygen debt. So after your workout is over, your body requires additional energy (aka calories) to restore your oxygen to normal levels, remove lactic acid, repair muscles, and restore ATP (an energy molecule).
The result? Burning more calories than normal for up to 36 hours after you’ve finished your workout. Sounds like cheating, but it’s not.
#2 Sculpt Muscle With Your Own Body Weight
Many HIIT workouts rely on plyometrics, or jumping exercises, to get your heart rate up. This combination of power and speed creates muscular strength gains. Because of plyometrics’ explosive nature, they activate more muscles, so you don’t have to use as much resistance, if any, to build muscle.
Pro Tip: keep pushing yourself to jump higher and get in more reps in less time to optimize strength gains and calorie burn, so long as you don’t feel muscular or joint pain.
#3 Improve Your Aerobic Capacity With Interval Training
Think long, steady-state cardio is the only way to a healthy heart? Think again! Even though the interval training that gives HIIT its name relies on the anaerobic zone (or without oxygen), a study found that after eight weeks of HIIT workouts, participants had a higher aerobic (with oxygen) capacity. This means you can perform shorter interval workouts and be able to do steady-state cardio longer because of it.
#4 Lose Fat, Not Muscle
Long sessions of steady-state cardio, like jogging, walking, or biking, can actually put your body in a catabolic state. After a certain amount of cardio, your body runs out of glycogen stores (carbohydrates) and starts using your muscle for energy. So instead of getting that coveted toned look you’re craving, you’re burning through your hard-earned muscle. HIIT avoids these pesky side effects.
#5 You Can Work up a Sweat Anywhere
HIIT requires little to no equipment, usually just a pair of dumbbells and a mat at most, so you can do it literally anywhere. Nice day in the park, perfect HIIT spot. Don’t want to leave your house? HIIT is where it’s at. And because you can burn more calories and build more muscle in less time, it’s convenient too!
4 Quick & Effective HIIT Workouts
If you’re like most HIIT enthusiasts, you love the thrill of pushing your body to the limits and the post-workout euphoria that comes after knowing you absolutely dominated your workout. Our trainers know exactly how to push your body safely so you can reach your fitness goals. And, when you’re really craving a good butt-kicking, we have exactly what you need.
We’ve put together a roundup of four FitOn HIIT workouts that will get your heart pounding, and the calories burning. Plus, these are four workouts that are bound to give you all the post-workout feels that keep you coming back for more.
#1 Total Body Conditioning with Danielle Pascente
This 34-minute calorie torcher targets all of your major muscle groups for a workout that won’t quit. Trainer Danielle mixes plyometrics (jumping exercises) with strength training exercises to sculpt your muscles while getting your heart rate sky-high, so you burn calories not only during your workout but for hours after your workout is done.
#2 HIIT Remix with Breann Mitchell
With four circuits of two strength and two cardio moves, this total body workout will definitely leave your muscles burning and heart rate up. Compound exercises like Renegade Rows, Squat to Overhead Press, and Lateral Lunge to Upright Row sculpt your body from head-to-toe in less time, and the cardio exercises give you that extra calorie burn you need to see results you haven’t before.
#3 Cardio Chisel Camp with Jeanette Jenkins
Work up a sweat, torch calories, and burn fat in just 25-minutes with this killer workout. Exercises like Rows to Fly and Lunge to Twist paired with High Knees and Front Kick to Touch the Ground are the perfect strength-cardio whammies to reveal those sexy, sculpted muscles you’re working so hard for.
#4 HIIT & Hold with Vytas
When you want something a little more avant-garde, look no further than this Yoga-HIIT hybrid workout. This isn’t your typical Yoga class — you’ll max out during the high-intensity cardio blasts and then get your muscles shaking with isometric hold poses. No joke. This is a fat-blasting, booty kicking HIIT workout that will make you drip with sweat and sore in all the right places.
HIIT it and Quit it
Whether you’re a busy bee or want results without spending hours working out, HIIT workouts are the most convenient and quick way to shed fat and sculpt lean muscle. So just in case you haven’t had enough of the puns (we can’t get enough), it’s time to grab a mat, HIIT play, and start reaching your fitness goals.