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Want to get shredded for summer? Make the most of your workout and see results faster with high-intensity interval training. HIIT workouts are one of the most popular fitness trends of the 21st century, and it’s easy to see why. The ultra-challenging mix of cardio and strength training burns calories, melts fat, and improves performance, no matter what kind of exercises you incorporate into the routine.
Test your endurance end get swole with the following HIIT circuits for men. Most require little to no equipment so you can easily complete a few circuits at home without going to the gym.
1. 4X4 Interval Training
The 4X4 interval training method offers a four-step “box” approach to HIIT workouts. Complete the following steps in order one to three times to get your blood pumping and your heart rate up.
- Warm up for 10 minutes at moderate intensity.
- Engage in high-intensity exercise for one to four minutes at 85% to 95% of your maximum heart rate.
- Take an active, three-minute break to promote recovery and lower your pulse to 60% of your max heart rate.
- Cool down for five minutes.
You’ll notice the high-intensity interval in step number two. Before you begin, determine how long you want to maintain your max heart rate based on the exercise you plan to complete. For instance, you might be able to do burpees for two minutes, but only sprint for one. Start small and work your way up to longer intervals.
2. Tabata Protocol
If you’ve already tried 4X4 training and are ready to up your game, try the tabata protocol. In this kind of HIIT workout routine, the rest periods are shorter than the training intervals, which targets the aerobic and anaerobic systems simultaneously.
- Complete a 20-second high intensity exercise.
- Take a 10-second rest.
- Repeat eight times for a total of four minutes of HIIT.
Ultimately, tabata training offers more performance benefits in less time. Try a different exercise during each 20-second interval or try completing four sets of burpees, sprints or another high-intensity exercise to make the most of your workout.
3. Jump Rope Intervals
Jump rope interval training is another effective HIIT workout that’s sure to get your heart pumping and improve cardiovascular health. A favorite for boxers and combat fighters, this workout is about as intense as it gets, especially if you follow the 4X4 rule and complete four rounds.
- Perform 45 reps of mountain climbers.
- Perform 20 to 30 push-ups.
- Hold a plank position for one minute.
- Jump rope for one minute.
- Rest one minute.
You should complete each interval with as much effort and speed as possible. Swap out exercises to keep your edge and target different muscle groups. For instance, you might hold a front plank the first time around, then try side and reverse plank positions the last three rounds. Regardless of what other exercises you choose, keep the jump rope interval a mainstay and consider buying a weighted rope to minimize ankle slaps and subsequent frustration.
4. Burpee Interval Workout
If you want to blast fat fast and don’t mind feeling a little winded after a workout, try a burpee HIIT routine. This intense, cardio-focused workout is absolutely killer because it targets every muscle in your body.
- Complete as many pull-ups as you can for 30 seconds.
- Perform 60 jumping jacks.
- Do 20 burpees.
- Rest one minute.
Complete the above circuit four times and feel free to incorporate tricep dips or muscle-ups in addition to pull-ups. You might also challenge yourself with jailbird jumping jacks, which require you to keep your hands behind your head while you jump and squat.
5. Battle Ropes
Battle ropes offer more opportunities for a full-body workout, especially if you incorporate them into a HIIT circuit. Put the rope around a stable, immovable object like a railing or concrete pillar before you begin. Then, complete the circuit below.
- Perform double-arm rope slams for 30 seconds.
- Rest 15 seconds.
- Perform alternating-arm rope slams for 30 seconds.
- Rest one minute.
Repeat 10 times to really feel the burn and try different exercises each time. For example, you could swap out double-arm slams for a squat and shoulder press movement every other round. Alternating wide circles, jumping jacks and alternating jump waves are just as effective — and exhausting. Use both hands to grip the ropes while you complete each interval.
Prioritizing Consistency Over Intensity
It’s hard to commit to an intense workout routine if you aren’t used to regular exercise. So, if you’re recommitting to fitness in the new year, prioritize consistency over intensity to start. Focus on form and quality of movement rather than how many burpees or pull-ups you can blast out during intervals. Speed comes with practice, so stick with your HIIT routine and you’re sure to see results.