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Last Updated on December 16, 2020

10 Best HIIT Workout Exercises to Burn Calories Fast

10 Best HIIT Workout Exercises to Burn Calories Fast

High Intensity Interval Training, or as its street name better known as HIIT has been all the craze as of late. You might have heard your co-worker talking about doing HIIT with their trainer and saying how it has changed their life. Well so, what is HIIT? Let me answer that for you.

HIIT is a form of “cardio” training, the bouts are done in intervals, with high intensity during the active bouts and either active recovery or a stationary recovery during the rest bouts. When performing a HIIT interval, we would usually be aiming to achieve a max heart rate of 80% — (220-your age)x0.8. The work to rest ratio for a HIIT interval should be about to a 1:2 or 1:3, what does this look like? Well in a 1:2 work to rest ratio, we would be doing our high intensity portion for 30 seconds and have a complete minute (60 seconds) of rest.

What Are the Best HIIT Exercises?

Now that we know what HIIT is, and how to program it, you may be asking yourself, “What are the best modes of HIIT?”. Well is there a really best mode for HIIT for you? The answer is yes!

First, we have to see what we are looking to get out of it, and how long have we been training and, what we have been doing:

For someone who has been training, for a good amount of time and has running frequently might consider either sprints on the treadmill or outdoor/indoor track if it’s available.

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For a novice trainee, a good option might be to do something very low impact as they wont have the ligament and tendon strength to tolerate a lot of the impact that running/sprinting has.

This being said, a personal favourite exercise for HIIT for those just starting looking to get their conditioning up is Mountain Climbers, truly an oldie but goodie. Usually, a long lost exercise may be good to take off the shelf and put into work. Being a relatively low impact exercise, it also engages the full body, and firing up that core due to its hand plank positioning. The exercise is also a relatively very safe exercise especially when done on a matt, as the worst that can happen is you land on the matt. Also, the exercise is very scalable so as you get better you can easily increase the intensity.

How Many Times Should I Be Doing HIIT?

Once you have decided what type of HIIT to do, you have to come to a decision as to how many times to incorporate HIIT into your training week. This may vary heavily based on your training experience and current conditioning. For an intermediate trainee, this may be up to as many as 4 times per week in conjunction with a proper strength training regimen. When looking at a novice trainee, this may be about 1-2 times per week.

Although these are just general suggestions, some things that you should take into account when deciding what is right for you is what your goal is — is it just increasing your conditioning or, are you looking to burn a hefty amount of calories to help put you into a larger calorie deficit?

Obviously, if you’re looking to burn more calories, frequency will be very important. What that number may be will vary heavily on what your recovering ability is from workout to workout. What shouldn’t happen is after completing your HIIT portion of the session/workout, it shouldn’t trail into your next scheduled training session and impact your performance in that workout. That’s how you know you should tone it back and then increase according, with intensity and frequency until you find that sweet spot where you are able to get a good amount of volume while still killing the other portion of your workouts.

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Why Is HIIT Good for Losing Weight?

HIIT is good for losing weight due to its time efficiency. When performing these high intensity intervals, it causes your heart rate and rate of breathing (respiration rate) to increase dramatically, like literally fly through the roof.

This is good for you because it causes your body to burn a lot more calories minute for minute when compared to standard resistance training/strength training. Especially when you are cut for time and trying to make the most of that hour that you are able to set a side, this will be your secret weapon for increasing your energy expenditure and really aiding in helping you in shedding off those last extra pounds and bringing you to your end goal.

What Burns the Most Calories in 30 Minutes?

Ideally in this situation, we would be able to get you doing a movement that engages your full body. When able to run with efficiency and intensity, this would be our best fat burner. Getting those sprints on the tracks (or treadmill alternatively), in the sun and really getting that heart rate up there would be killer!

If you’re just starting, we are going to get you onto those matts and firing up those knees getting those mountain climbers on. Same thing, same concept really getting that heart rate up and getting that sweat on! Either or will be equally as effective especially when starting work your way into it and melt that fat off!

10 Best HIIT Workout Combinations to Burn Calories Fast

Combo #1

  1. High Knees (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest) x 5 sets
  2. Plank Jacks (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest) x 5 sets
  3. Burpees ( 30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest) x 4 sets

Combo #2

  1. Side Plank Walks (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest)x 5 sets
  2. Jumping Lunges (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest)x 5 sets
  3. Mountain Climbers (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest)x 5 sets

Combo #3

  1. Jump Squats (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest)x 5 sets
  2. Plank Jacks (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest) x 5 sets
  3. High Knees (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest) x 5 sets

Combo #4

  1. Side Lunges (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest)x 5 sets
  2. Saw Plank (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest) x 5 sets
  3. Butt Kick (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest) x 5 sets

Combo #5

  1. Side plank walks (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest) x 5 sets
  2. Burpees (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest)x 5 sets
  3. High Knees (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest)

Combo #6

4 sets of:

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  1. Jumping Jacks 20 seconds work
  2. Mountain Climbers 20 seconds work
  3. 60 Seconds rest

Plus 4 sets of:

  1. Side Plank Walks 20 seconds work
  2. Saw Plank 20 seconds work
  3. Burpees 20 Seconds work
  4. 90 seconds rest

Combo #7

4 sets of:

  1. Dumbbell Squats 30 seconds work
  2. Side Squats 30 seconds work
  3. 60 seconds rest

Plus 4 sets of:

  1. High Knees 30 seconds work
  2. Butt Kick 30 seconds work
  3. Burpees 20 seconds work
  4. 90 seconds rest

Combo #8

4 sets of:

  1. Jumping Lunges 20 seconds work
  2. Mountain Climbers 20 seconds work
  3. 60 seconds rest

Plus 4 sets of:

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  1. Jumping Jacks 30 seconds work
  2. Side Squats 30 seconds work
  3. High knees 20 seconds work
  4. 90 seconds rest

Combo #9

4 sets of:

  1. Squat Jumps 20 seconds work
  2. Jumping Jacks 20 seconds work
  3. 60 seconds rest

Plus 4 sets of:

  1. Mountain Climbers 20 seconds work
  2. Side Plank Walks 20 seconds work
  3. Saw Plank 20 seconds work
  4. 90 seconds rest

Combo #10

4 sets of:

  1. Jumping Jacks 30 seconds work
  2. A2. High Knees 20 seconds work
  3. A3. Butt Kick 20 seconds work
  4. 60 Seconds rest

Plus 4 sets of:

  1. Burpees 30 seconds work
  2. Mountain climbers 30 seconds work
  3. 90 seconds rest x 4 sets

Bottom Line

And there you go, 10 combinations of HIIT exercises that you can start trying to burn calories fast and stay fit.

If you want to learn more about burning calories and losing weight, take a look at these articles:

Featured photo credit: Sergio Pedemonte via unsplash.com

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Sergio Pedemonte

CEO and Certified Personal Trainer of Your House Fitness

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Last Updated on December 28, 2020

How to Build Muscle Fast: 5 Fitness and Nutrition Hacks

How to Build Muscle Fast: 5 Fitness and Nutrition Hacks

Building muscle isn’t rocket science. All it takes is repeatedly doing the things that are proven in the lab and gym to work. This article provides 5 great ways to build muscle fast.

None of them requires you to spend lots of money on fancy fitness equipment or nutritional supplements. All you have to be willing to do is make a few adjustments to your diet, workout, and supplement routines. Put forth the effort, and you’ll be able to gain 5-10 lbs. of muscle in a month or two.

1. Eat Enough Protein Every Day

Contrary to what advertisements for protein powders say, you don’t need to eat and drink hundreds of grams daily to build muscle. The truth is, eating this amount won’t help you build muscle faster. It can actually be stored as fat.

All you really need is enough to meet your body’s daily needs and then a little more to stimulate muscle gain. This works out to about .8 grams per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 150 lbs., you need to eat about 120 grams of protein daily.

Don’t stress too much over exactly how many grams of protein are in everything you eat. Use the eyeball method instead. 

This is done by looking at the protein on your plate and picturing an amount that’s the size of the palm of your hand. This amount contains about 28 grams of protein[1]. Do this every time you eat, and you’ll easily be able to make sure you eat enough.

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What does 25 grams of protein look like?

    You also need to know which foods are protein rich. They include: beef, eggs, poultry, pork, and seafood. Drink a protein shake if you’re having trouble eating enough of these foods. The best type of shake for building muscle is one that uses whey and casein proteins as its primary sources.

    Research shows these are the best protein powders for building muscle. One study also shows that drinking a shake that contains casein protein before bed can actually turn on the muscle building process[2].

    2. Do “Big” Lifts

    Forget exercises like curls, shoulder presses, and flyes and training individual body parts (chest, back, biceps, etc.) if building muscle is your goal. Instead, perform strength training exercises that train several muscle groups at once. Scientific studies show that exercises that do this are better for building muscle than the aforementioned isolation movements[3].

    Exercises you should do often include: dips, deadlifts, farmers walks, kettlebell swings, military presses, and pull ups. These are the movements that will really stimulate your body to build muscle fast.

    This video below will teach you how to perform my favorite muscle building exercise: farmer’s walks.

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    3. Train Hard Often

    You don’t have to work out every day for hours at a time to build muscle fast. What you need to do is train using the exercises I mentioned above often enough to stimulate muscle growth. Lifting weights 3 to 4 times a week is plenty. Give yourself a day’s rest after every 1-2 workouts.

    Your workouts only need to have 4-6 of these exercises. Choose an exercise for every major muscle group at each workout, and you’re set. This includes your legs (squats, deadlifts, lunges), chest/shoulders/triceps (bench press, dips, military press, push ups), and back (bent over rows, pull ups).

    I like to include a total body exercise every workout, too. I find that they are the best exercises for building muscle fast. This includes exercises like kettlebell swings, kettlebell throws, and farmer’s walks.

    Perform 3-5 sets of each exercise for 6-10 reps. Use a weight that makes it difficult to do the last rep of each set but not so hard that you cannot do it without using good form. Increase the weight you use when you can do every rep of each set.

    4. Rest and Recover Between Your Workouts

    Working out breaks down your muscles and eats into your ability to recover. You build muscle when you aren’t exercising. Therefore, proper rest and recovery can speed the muscle building process.

    The best way is to get enough sleep. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night will enable you to train harder and longer, and build muscle faster. If you can’t get this much sleep daily, take a 45 minute nap during the day to make up the difference.

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    Another way to recover faster and build muscle fast is to back off a little bit with regard to the number of sets and reps you do at each workout every once in awhile. Studies show that reducing the workout volume (sets and reps) by about 50% every 8-12 weeks can help you make progress significantly faster[4].

    This means that instead of doing 12 total sets at a workout, you’ll only do 6 using the same weight. Do this for a week, and then go back to your normal routine.

    Cutting back every once in a while will help you stay mentally fresh, too. This, in turn, gives you more energy to put into your future workouts.

    5. Take Nutritional Supplements That Are Proven To Work

    Once you have the four other tips in place, you can consider taking nutritional supplements to help you build muscle fast. The key thing is to use products that work. Through my research, I have found that there are three that work best: branched-chain amino acids, creatine monohydrate, and fish oil.

    The first supplement, branched-chain amino acids, are shown in several research studies to give you energy during your workout, decrease muscle soreness, and “turn on” the muscle-building process within your body. I find that they help me increase my energy and decrease post-workout soreness. You should take about .05 grams per pound of body weight before and after working out for the best results.

    Next is my favorite, creatine monohydrate. If you’re only going to take one supplement to build muscle, this is the one. This is because there are dozens, if not hundreds, of scientific studies that show it safely helps you build muscle and get stronger[5].

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    If you decide to give it a try, make sure you buy a product that is tested and guaranteed to include nothing but creatine monohydrate to ensure its purity. When you take creatine, follow what’s referred to as the loading phase, which is taking 10-20 grams a day for 5-7 days for the best results.

    Research shows this is the best way to get as creatine into your cells as quickly as possible. You can then back off to 5 grams a day to keep getting benefits[6].

    Last but not least is fish oil. In addition to being good for the health of your brain and heart, it can also help you build muscle fast. In one study, subjects taking 2 grams of fish oil daily for 6 weeks added a couple pounds of muscle[7].

    They lost body fat, too, and all without changing their diet or exercising at all. When shopping for a fish oil supplement, make sure you buy a concentrated source that’s tested to be free of impurities and pesticides.

    The Bottom Line

    Getting fit and building muscle doesn’t happen overnight, but with some simple changes to your diet and exercise routine, you can still build muscle fast when you build from a place of motivation and persistence.

    Whether you’re working out at home or at the gym, apply the above tips and watch your muscles grow week after week.

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    Featured photo credit: Anastase Maragos via unsplash.com

    Reference

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