Between classes, meetings, and homework, it’s difficult to find time to get to the gym, especially as finals are approaching. But with HIIT workouts, you get some serious bang for your buck: an intense workout that burns 200 to 300 calories, and it only takes about 15 minutes. Crazy, right? I assure you, it does the trick. I’ve been doing HIIT workouts for about two months now and have seen the results: my stamina is better, my muscles have grown visibly, and I’m not as run down by the end of the day.
A HIIT workout involves going all-out on an exercise for 30 to 50 seconds, resting for 10 to 30 seconds, and then moving on to the next exercise. There are usually four to six exercises per cycle. You then repeat the cycle three to five times, with about a minute of rest in between.
The key is to go as hard as possible during each exercise, since they only last about 30 seconds. The rest in between each move lets you catch your breath, but your heart rate stays high as you move on to the next exercise, therefore your body burns fat more quickly than if you were steadily exercising for a longer period of time. It may sound complicated at first, but after your first class or workout, you’ll get the hang of it quickly.
The first time I tried HIIT was at a fitness class at my university’s gym. Starting out with a class is wise because it sets the bar as to how hard you should be working. When practicing HIIT on your own, it’s easy to let yourself slack off or get extra time between each exercise, so make sure to push yourself throughout the workout.
HIIT workouts can become monotonous if you always do the same exercises, and your body will soon adapt, meaning you won’t be working as hard or burning as many calories. This is why it’s important to switch it up. Below are a few HIIT workouts that will keep things interesting and work various parts of the body. Feel free to switch up the times when you get bored – you can try doing one move for 30 seconds and then resting for 10 seconds, then moving on to the next exercise. Or, you can do one move for 50 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and then move on to the next exercise.
The Booty Call
- Squats with 10-pound weight (or kettlebell)
- Single leg hip lifts (do one leg for 15 seconds, then switch to the other leg)
- Plank with side step
- Squat jumps
- Backward lunge into kick (one leg for 15 seconds, then switch to the other leg for 15 seconds)
- Toe touches
- Mountain climbers
- Russian twists with 10-pound weight
- Renegade rows
- Side lunge with twist with 10-pound weight
2. Split squat
3. Side kick
4. Jump squat
Check in each week for more HIIT workouts!