High-intensity interval training is hard. That’s the nature of it – go hard, keep the pace fast and work rate high, and it’ll all pay off. By doing HIIT workouts regularly, you’ll see an increase in muscular endurance, an improvement in stamina and acceleration in fat loss.
But doing the same thing day in, day out, can cause motivation to drop. Here are a few switches you can make in your HIIT session to keep things fresh – and results flowing.
1 Switch from repsto times
Rather than performing a specific number of reps of an exercise before moving onto the next, why not perform the exercise for an allocated amount of time, aiming to get as many reps as possible? This is a great way to track progress, too.
For example, if you set yourself 45 seconds to perform burpees, aim for as many as possible. If you managed 15 reps, then you could aim for 16 the next time. If you perform multiple sets in one workout, this is also a great way to ensure your work rate remains high from the first set to the very last set.
2 Switch from allocated body areasto PHA
There are many benefits to allocating certain days to training legs, upper body or however you choose to split your training. Your body gets a better chance to recover in time for the next time you train that same body part, and there tends to be more structure to your programming.
But if you’re looking for a new way to do HIIT, why not try peripheral heart action training? By performing a move that targets the lower body immediately followed by a move that targets the upper body (or vice versa), you force your heart to work harder to shuttle blood from one end of the body to the other. For example, try pairing up squat jumps with press-ups with no rest in between.
3 Switch from isolation exercisesto compound exercises
If you’re trying to keep intensity high in a session, compound exercises give you more bang for your buck. They work several muscle groups rather than just one at a time, engaging more muscles and requiring more energy. They also tend to be more functional exercises that can transition into real life movements – think squats, deadlifts and lunges.
4 Switch from abs exercisesto full-body exercises that heavily recruit the core
Sculpting your abs can work wonders for specific aesthetics goals, but if you’re trying to keep your heart rate up and maintain a high intensity in a session, it’s better to work the abs and core as part of another exercise that keeps more of the body working.
Lying on your back and performing crunches won’t get your heart rate up the same way as commando planks, burpees and jumping lunges – which all require core recruitment, too. It’s all about the moves that pack a punch.
5 Switch from bodyweight exercisesto weighted exercises
Bodyweight exercises can be super challenging and definitely have a place in HIIT workouts. But if you’ve been solely relying bodyweight training up until this point, introducing weights or other basic pieces of equipment like resistance bands could be just what your body needs.
You could perform your squats with a resistance band around your thighs (just above your knees) to challenge the glutes more, lunges holding a dumbbell in each hand or add renegade rows to your press-ups.