Short on time? On days when we can’t make it to the gym, or are traveling away from the gym, an efficient workout with minimal setup is exactly what you need. If you’re busy, coming up with one can be a pain, so take advantage of these five HIIT workouts with zero equipment. Share and save for later.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and, as indicated, is a short, intense, training session. Cross-fit is an excellent example of HIIT style training, although not all HIIT is cross-fit. HIIT is extremely flexible in its range of exercises, and can be done anywhere, with or without equipment.
Key Benefits of HIIT Workouts:
- EPOC: Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption. When you train at this level of intensity, you deprive your body of oxygen to the point that it is replenishing itself for hours after your workout. This is not an after effect of steady state cardio. EPOC is the reason that, even though the duration of the workout may be shorter, more overall fat and calories are burned as a result.
- Efficiency: You can torch a couple hundred calories in as little as 15-20 minutes, because you’re really pushing your body to go all out. This can have you trained, showered and out the door in less than an hour.
- Equipment Flexibility: You can get the same quality of workout in with no equipment as you can with state of the art equipment. What it comes down to is the amount of effort you are willing to put in.
Key Terms You Should Know:
- AMRAP- As Many Round As Possible. This means that within a designated time period, you are completing the series of exercises as many times as you can.
- EMOM- Every Minute On The Minute. This means that at the top of every minute you complete a certain number of reps of an exercise, and you have the rest of the minute to rest.
- RFT- Rounds For Time. This is where you are completing as many round of one exercise within a time period as possible. Similar to an AMRAP, but typically with only one movement.
- Tabata- Not an acronym. 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeated.
- 2-count: That means each side, or each leg, or each arm. For example, if I say “10 Jumping Lunges, 2-count” that means ten on each side, or twenty total.
Additional Instructions on HIIT Workouts:
- If you’re not sure what something is, Google it. I only put super common exercises in the below.
- Don’t keep doing an exercise if it hurts.
- If you need a substitution, try Googling “Substitution for…”, or reach out to me via the social media links at the bottom of the page
- Do not, at any time, put your hands behind your head and yank on your neck to complete any type of crunch or sit-up exercise.
Lower Body Plyos
10 Reps Each Exercise
-Box Toe Taps, 2-count (Use any object if you do not have a box)
Core AMRAP Circuit
20 Minute AMRAP:
10 Reps Each Exercise
-Mountain Climbers, 2-count
-Russian Twists, 2-count
-V Ups (If you can’t do a full V-Up, come up as far as you can, bringing your knees towards your elbows)
-Alternating Plank Hip Dips
Full Body EMOM, Two Ways
10 Tuck Jumps
10 High Knees, 2-count
10 sec max push-up
10 sec max dips
Burpee EMOM Ladder
At the top of every minute, do a set of burpees, adding one more burpee each round until you can not do one more within a minute.
Start with burpees. When you hit failure. Work your way back down, one at a time, to five burpees.
Full Body Tabata
20sec work/10sec rest
Complete four rounds of each exercise before moving on.
Rest 30 second between exercises.
-Alternating forward lunges
-Up and Down Planks
-Alternating Pistol Squats (use a box/chair/step if you need to)
-Alternating Curtsy Lunges
-Supermans (I know, we got all the superheroes in this one. Except Thor.)
How often should I do HIIT?
I would say no more than 2-3 times per week if you are doing other training as well. Personally, I incorporate a balanced amount of HIIT, lifting and steady state cardio into my 7-10 day split, so that I’m training optimally for strength, power and endurance.
If you find that you are getting burned out earlier in the week than usual, scale back. And always, if something feels off, don’t risk an injury.
Will doing HIIT workouts make me lose weight faster?
As explained above, HIIT training causes your body to burn more calories at rest throughout the day because of EPOC. However, weight loss still comes down to calories in vs. calories out. If you are eating more than you are burning, no you will not lose weight.
However, make note of this, HIIT cardio vs steady state cardio will improve the total amount of fat lost while preserving lean muscle mass.
Can I take pre-workout before doing HIIT workouts?
You should absolutely not take any type of pre-workout that contains nitric oxide (NO). This compound is often taken before a weight training session because it raises your heart rate and increases blood flow to your muscles.
I do, however, take EAAs (essential amino acids) with caffeine for energy. The formula I use contains all nine amino acids that my body can not produce itself, but that are essential for building and preserving lean muscle mass.
They also contain electrolytes for hydration- I’m obsessed. I’ve linked them here.
How high should I keep my heart rate?
Because HIIT is designed to be short and intense, you heart rate should stay between 75-100% while training. If you feel faint or dizzy, stop working.
What is some easy equipment I can get to do more workouts at home?
What should I eat after a HIIT workout?
HIIT is very taxing on your body- just like weight lifting, it is essential to replenish your muscles immediately after if you want to create metabolism-boosting lean muscle mass.
You want your refuel source to be immediately available to your body; there should not be a long digestive process. Post workout nutrition is by far the most important aspect of your nutrient intake for seeing progress.
The reason I use 1stPhorm’s post workout stack is two fold: the Phormula-1 protein blend is hydrolyzed, which means that it is partially digested and ready for your muscles to use immediately. Their Ignition blend is the simplest form of carbohydrate, and creates an insulin response 6x stronger than other forms of sugar.
What this means is that it causes the product to bypass liver storage and flood your muscles immediately. This replaces your depleted glycogen stores, and allows the protein to be used only for rebuilding, instead of being digested (wasted) for energy.
No other product on the market does this.
*Ad: 1stPhorm does not run sales or promotions, because their products are high enough quality that there is constant demand. However, you can get free shipping by ordering through the links above, or at 1stphorm.com/halfpint .
Thank you for contributing to my donut fund- and the ability to do fun things like product giveaways.
Be sure to check out the wide range of non-running cardio options I discuss in this post, if running is not your thing, you’re nursing a running related injury, or you just need something new.
If you try any of these out, or plan to, leave a comment below! And please, do your girl a solid and hit share so that more people can suffer the joy of burpees.