Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s hard to miss the buzz around High-Intensity Interval Training. It’s a fantastic way to burn lots of calories in a short amount of time to get a great workout. But why does it work? And what is the most effective 30 minute HIIT workout?
HIIT works under the principle of stressing large muscle groups for specific intervals to achieve both an aerobic and anaerobic stimulus. By using most of your body with little rest, you maximize the work and energy used during a shorter amount of time. Therefore, the best HIIT workout would include lots of large muscle groups, continuous high-intensity work, and the ability to transition from one muscle group to the next without stopping.
Full-body exercises such as thrusters, burpees, kettlebell swings are excellent staples for a successful HIIT workout. That way, you use more muscles in less time for maximum effort and calorie expenditure. However, be sure to utilize upper, lower, and core-specific exercises as well. For example, pushups, bent over rows, walking lunges, and Russian twists can be cycled through so your arms rest while your legs work, and vice versa.
The real key to an effective 30 min HIIT workout, though is the work-to-rest ratio. You should be working at least as long as you’re resting, and sometimes twice or three times longer. What does this mean in real time? If you’ve got a series of 30-second intervals, you can rest for 10-30 seconds in between as transition time. That way your heart rate doesn’t come down as you transition to the next exercise.
Finally – what you’re all here for. What’s the best way to burn the most calories in the least amount of time? Try stringing a series of exercises back-to-back before you take any breaks.
Again, this can be achieved by alternating upper, lower, total, and core exercises so that one rests while the other works. The easiest way to achieve this is to use the same piece of equipment throughout the session – whether that’s dumbbells, kettlebells, a barbell or just your own body weight. Cycle through 30 seconds of maximum effort work on the first exercise, quickly switch to the next and continue through all exercises before resting. Then, rest between 90-120 seconds based on your fitness level and how many rounds you want to complete in 30 mins.
Below is an example of the most effective 30 minute HIIT workout:
- Warm Up – 5 minutes
- Complete the following circuit for 4 rounds with 90 seconds rest in between each round.
- 30 seconds: DB Thrusters
- 30 seconds: Bent Over Row
- 30 seconds: Walking DB Lunges
- 30 seconds: DB Bicep curl to OH Press
- 30 seconds: DB Russian Twists
- 30 seconds: Man Makers
- Cool-Down – 5 minutes