HIIT workout


For an efficient workout at home you may think you need an array of equipment to get a decent workout in, but that is not the case. All you need is a timer, 15-20 minutes, the comfort of your own home and a hard work ethic. 

So what is HIIT? 

HIIT is short for High Intensity Interval Training, and it can be introduced in all manners of exercises and workouts. While this exercise routine will give you ideas on a bodyweight comprised HIIT workout, HIIT can also be executed while running, rowing, cycling, weight training and much more. Just as long as the fundamentals are hit. The fundamentals to a HIIT workout are combining high intensity intervals with low intensity rest periods. It is worth noting that some ways are less dangerous than others. For example, throwing down all your efforts on an exercise bike is far less dangerous than doing heavy barbell squats. 

Realistically you won’t want to be performing HIIT workouts on consecutive days as it will put strain on your muscles and joints. Recovery is key in all sports and progression. From a productive HIIT session, the following day or two you may find yourself with the oh so satisfying case of the DOMS (we love to hate them but we hate to love them)


While ‘hard work’, short rests’ is the essence of HIIT, there are a few variables that can change the nature of your HIIT workout quite drastically.

Variables of HIIT

The obvious 2 variables are your work and rest periods. Working (performing the exercise) for 20 seconds and resting for 40 seconds apposed to working for 40 seconds and resting for 20 will change the workout immensely. Shorter work periods are generally better for working on explosive power where as longer work periods are better for endurance.

The intensity of your work periods can also differ. Although you need to be pushing hard, you also need to be able to sustain that level of effort consistently through the working period. Therefore just ‘going all out’ is not the be all and end all. A great way to calculate this is to do a test run. Test your effort level and time it, adjust time or effort level to generate consistent workout periods. Knowing your target heart rate or using the RPE scale (rate of perceived exertion) into your workouts can give you a greater understanding & higher level of control.

One more variable to consider is the style of rest you do – Will you stop completely? or will you engage in an active rest? Such as a slow peddle on a bike or on the spot jogging. These will be dependable on your fitness level and goals. The latter of the 2 options will help keep the muscles warm, while flushing out metabolic waste in the from of lactic acid.


Give yourself the best chance of an optimal & effective workout

A big key factor to ensuring you have an optimal workout and perform to the best of your ability is the Gym Wear you use. You want to ensure you are in an outfit that makes you feel comfortable. You shouldn’t have any restrictions when performing exercises, whether it be at home or bodybuilding at the gym. Otherwise the execution and outcome of your workout will not be living up to its full potential.

You want to be wearing gym apparel or depending on your preference bodybuilding clothing that allows you the freedom to move around with no restrictions. There is nothing worse than taking on a gruelling workout just to have the clothes you are wearing bog you down and make it that much more uncomfortable. For example, trying to perform jumping squats in thick, stiff joggers is just a recipe for disaster (and chafe) Comfortability and range of movement is paramount for ensuring a safe and effective workout. 

So lets get into it…

Beginners workout
Beginners workout

Beginners workout

If you are fairly new to exercising & working out, then I would suggest starting off with the beginners workout routine. Perform this 2-3 times a week for around 4 – 6 weeks to ensure your body and cardiovascular system adapts to the workout and efforts. You can then move on and increase your volume and effort levels to suit your progression.

Exercise 1

Box Press-ups – These are like normal press-ups but you have you knees on the ground throughout the movement. Ensure back is straight with your head in alignment.

Perform this exercise for 20 seconds followed by a rest period of 40 seconds and then on to exercise 3.

Exercise 2

Bodyweight squats – Keep your chest ups, neutral back position and face forward. Place feet around shoulder width apart.

Perform this exercise for 20 seconds with. a 40 second rest period to follow.

Exercise 3

Jumping Jack or Star jumps as she of you may know it. Keep your chest up and back straight ensuring correct posture throughout.

Perform this exercise at a ‘hard effort level’ for 20 seconds. Rest for 40 seconds and move onto exercise 2.

Exercise 4

Crunches/sit-ups – Perform this exercise for 20 seconds with a 40 second rest period to follow.

That is 1 round of the workout which should amount to 4 minutes in total. Repeat these 4 exercises 3 times to create a total workout time of 12 minutes. This will get your heart rate up, get you breaking a sweat, burn some almighty calories and most importantly increase your cardiovascular system which is ultimately your health and well being.

Beginners workout
Beginners workout


Exercise 1:

  • Jumping Squats – Really drive up through the squat with maximum power (make sure your head is clear of the ceiling)
    30 seconds on > 45 seconds rest.

Exercise 2:

  • Mountain Climbers – Correct form throughout with a solid core base.
    30 seconds on > 45 second rest.

Exercise 3

  • Burpees – I can’t stress enough the importance of strict form.
    30 seconds on > 45 seconds rest to follow.

Exercise 4

  • Press-Ups – Maintain correct form throughout.
    30 seconds on > 45 seconds rest to follow.

Exercise 5

  • Sit-Ups / Crunches
    30 seconds on > 45 seconds rest to follow.

You can repeat this 5 exercise routine as many rounds as you feel fit. I suggest trying to complete 2 rounds to get start and see how you get on. Like anything, progress takes time so don’t be disheartened if you are not up-to to it straight away. Once you can go 2 rounds, due to the size of each round, try adding just one exercise at a time after that. Adding a whole 5 exercise round will most probably be too much of a leap. Keep pushing yourself to create adaptions and progression. After just 3-4 weeks you will notice the difference in your strength & fitness there is no doubt. 

The key take homes are: 




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