Best 5 HIIT Exercises For Men
Whether you want to lose fat, improve athletic performance or gain muscle, you can always rely on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to nail it right. Whilst you might need to adapt your HIIT workout to achieve your personal fitness goals, you are guaranteed results in the end.
More About HIIT
HIIT means selecting a number of exercises and performing them without taking breaks. In other words, you perform a short burst of intense exercise then switch to low-intensity reps during recovery periods. You can, for example, opt for cycling and include it in your HIIT workout with 30 seconds of fast-paced cycling followed by a few minutes cycling at a slower controlled pace.
In most cases, a HIIT workout has a defined duration – it means you have to perform these workouts for a set time, which is usually between 10 and 30 minutes. Despite skeptics declaring it’s too short a time to be beneficial, experts disagree, saying HIIT workouts are, in fact, twice as effective as moderate-intensity exercise performed for a longer duration.
Why Opt For HIIT Workouts
There are a number of benefits associated with high-intensity interval training, and here are a few very good reasons why you might want to give it a shot.
- HIIT Helps Burn Mega Calories: Not only does HIIT help burn loads of calories, but it helps you do it in the shortest amount of time. Studies have confirmed that HIIT helps you burn up to 30% more calories compared to other forms of exercise.
- HIIT Keeps Your Metabolic Rate Higher: A big reason to opt for HIIT workouts is that they keep your metabolic rate higher for a longer time. It stays on the higher side for hours after you have finished your workout. Some researchers have found that HIIT has the potential to increase your metabolism after exercise more than weight training and jogging. Moreover, your body uses fat to fuel your HIIT workouts instead of relying on carbs.
- HIIT Supports Weight Loss: HIIT is one of the best options for anyone interested in losing fat. In fact, some studies show you can lose up to 4.4 pounds in 12 weeks by performing HIIT three times a week for 20 minutes a session. Interestingly, you lose this excess body fat without any dietary changes.
- HIIT Improves Oxygen Consumption: In other words, HIIT helps improve your muscles’ ability to utilize oxygen, which in turn improves endurance and stamina. Some studies have shown that HIIT workouts performed four days a week for no more than 20 weeks help improve oxygen consumption by 9% in just five weeks.
- HIIT reduces heart rate and lowers blood pressure at the same time. So many studies have already confirmed that HIIT can help obese and overweight individuals lower blood pressure and heart rate. There is even evidence to suggest that HIIT may prove more effective at reducing blood pressure when compared to moderate-intensity exercise.
It all boils down to one thing. If you want to lose weight, you need to have interval training as part of your workout routine. By going for intense periods of work followed by short recovery sessions, you will end up burning fat more effectively than any other movement. It helps because these circuits stimulate IGF-1, a growth hormone, along with muscle-building hormones for lean muscle. Gaining lean muscle will translate into an improved metabolic rate that will help burn fat and to keep it off too.
While you can gain so much from HIIT workouts, it is important to pick your workouts carefully. It is a good idea to pick two exercises and perform them back to back before you use a recovery session. Ideally, your goal should be to choose movements that are difficult to perform and test your strength. The more they challenge your body, the higher the benefits. Just keep in mind that though, it is okay to give yourself some time to catch your breath. Although you should not take longer than needed or let your body recover fully before you hit the next set.
Here are some interesting and effective high intensity interval training workouts for men to lose weight, gain lean muscle and enjoy a better overall health.
HIIT Workout 1
This workout will certainly make you push your body hard and stretch the limits. It consists of four rounds with 1-minute rest between them which makes it challenging and effective. Here’s how to proceed:
- Round 1: For the first round, you should start with burpees, then move to mountain climbers, and finally onto jumping jacks. Go for three circuits during the first round. First, you do 10 reps of each exercise, then go for 15 reps and finally 20 reps per exercise in the third circuit. Finish the third circuit with 3 minutes of jump rope and don’t rest between these circuits. You can rest for a minute before hitting the second round.
- Round 2: Perform three circuits of walking lunges with a kettlebell, lunge jumps, push ups and walk-outs. During the first circuit, perform each exercise for at least 45 seconds. You can take a 15-second rest between each exercise and circuit. Finish the round with 3 minutes of jump rope. You can take another break for a minute.
- Round 3: This round should have three circuits. Perform each exercise for 45 seconds with no more than 15-second break in between them. You can include four exercises in this round. For example, TRX pull ups, traveling kettlebell squats, TRX jack knives and box jumps. Again, finish with 3 minutes of jump rope followed by a minute of rest.
- Round 4: Once again, there will be three circuits in this round with dips, traveling side lunges, plank to pushup, and speed skaters for 45 seconds each. It is okay to take a 15-second break in between each exercise.
HIIT Workout 2
There will be 10 exercises in this workout and each exercise has to be performed for 20 seconds. You can take a break of 10 seconds between each exercise. The exercises include jump rope, plyo pushup, burpees, bodyweight rows, medicine ball chest pass, squat to overhead throw with the medicine ball, planks, jumping lunges, treadmill sprints, and renegade rows. It is important to perform all these exercises in a row and then take a 2-minute rest before repeating the same circuit. Go for three such rounds.
HIIT Workout 3
You may be thinking that you need to combine several exercises to get the benefits associated with HIIT workouts, but this is not actually the case. You can get good results even when you use sprinting as the only exercise. For this workout, you need to sprint for one minute followed by a 90-second rest period. You have to do five rounds but need to increase the intensity by increasing the incline. For instance, you can sprint for a minute at 3% incline and rest 90 seconds. Next, sprint for a minute at 6% incline. Then, increase it to a 9% incline and finally a 12% incline. Repeat the circuit 3-5 times.
HIIT Workout 4
If you think you’re not physically in a position to start with sprinting, you can still get results by switching to jogging instead. For this workout, jog for five minutes at a slow pace first to warm up. Then, increase the intensity and hit 85% of your peak heart rate. Then, lower the intensity and switch to a brisk walk until your heart rate is 65% of your peak heart rate. Finish with a 5-minute jog to cool down. Be sure to perform 4-6 rounds of these intervals. It is a good idea to get a good heart rate monitor to perform this exercise and know your peak and resting heart rate.
HIIT Workout 5
If you’re looking for a way to burn fat quickly, you might want to consider this HIIT workout that uses dumbbells only. The idea is to lift as much weight as you can and push your limits. This is a workout that keeps giving as it helps you continue to burn weight even after you have completed your workout.
You will be performing six exercises. Each exercise is performed for 20 seconds followed by a short recovery period of 10 seconds. Complete eight rounds then take a couple of minutes to rest.
The exercises for this workout are interesting. You need to start with a dumbbell goblet squat. It works amazingly well for anyone interested in an exercise considered a big hitter in the fat loss world. It increases growth hormone production to trigger increased testosterone levels and thereby promotes muscle growth at the same time. Next up, is single arm dumbbell row, a great exercise to work on your back, another large muscle that will help you burn lots of calories in the shortest time possible.
The next exercise in this workout is the one arm dumbbell swing, which is an effective way to target glutes and hamstrings. You need muscle control and momentum to control the movement making it a great exercise to include in any HIIT workout. Other than these, included are dumbbell lunges, incline dumbbell press and renegade row to get a nice burn.
Follow The Right Diet With A Right HIIT Workout
To get the most out of your HIIT workouts, you need to combine it with a balanced diet. Your diet plays a huge role in helping you achieve your fitness goal. You can use HIIT workouts to lose fat, gain muscle or simply improve aerobic endurance. However, you get good results only when you take in a diet designed to achieve those goals. For instance:
- Fat Loss: Along with your HIIT workouts, you should be taking at least 500 calories a day to help you lose weight effectively. 40% of your total calorie intake should come from high protein and 20% consist of low carbs. The final 40% of your total caloric intake should be high fat.
- Muscle Gain: In case you’re following an HIIT workout to help you gain muscle mass, you need to ensure you’re taking enough calories to fuel your workouts. Ideally, you should be eating anywhere between 500 and 1000 calories a day. Ensure that at least 30% of those calories come from high protein with 45% from high carbs. As you’re trying to gain lean muscle, only 15-25% of your total calories should consist of low-moderate fat.
- Improved Aerobic Performance: You can use HIIT workouts to improve anaerobic and aerobic endurance – you can use the same to maintain body weight. If that is your goal, you need to ensure that 35% of your total calories come from high protein and 40% from moderate carbs. You need to limit your fat intake to around 25% of your total calorie intake.
No one can deny it takes serious effort to get fit and regular exercise with a healthy balanced diet to stay that way. Including HIIT in your health and fitness regime means faster results from your bursts of energy and recovery. With tangible progress and constant self challenge for added motivation, in a matter of weeks, your fitness goals could become a reality. Rather than saying you’re done at that point, stick with HIIT but raise the bar higher and carry on in short bursts to stay fit.