Performing your best late in the game can be the difference between winning and losing. It might be in the bottom of the ninth, the fourth quarter, the final seconds of the game, or even overtime. No matter when, you need to be able to dig deep and finish strong. These HIIT workouts will test you physically and mentally, helping you perform your best late in the game.
1. Density Training for Fat Loss (Tip of the Hat to John Romaniello)
Density training is extremely popular in the strength and conditioning world, and for good reason. It works. Density training focuses on cramming as many sets and reps and as much weight as possible into a specific period of time. This particular style is one of my favorites for end-of-game performance.
It starts off looking like a simple strength circuit. But instead of performing it for a specified number of reps, you perform each exercise for 30-second sets. During those 30 seconds, you pound out as many reps as you can of each exercise. Complete the circuit twice, count your reps and make notes in your training log for each exercise in both rounds.
Counting your reps is crucial because the goal is to pack even more training density into the same circuit during the second round. How? Simply add weight (when possible) and do more reps in the same amount of time (30 seconds). It might seem like a tall order, but this is what digging deep is all about. That second round is the time for you to flex your muscles and mind, dig deep and exceed your own expectations. Rest 90-120 seconds between rounds.
Circuit (sample rep counts).
Remember, do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds:
||Round 2 (more weight):
|1A. Goblet Squat
1B. Push Press
1D. Bent-Over Row
1E. Ab wWheel
|2A. Goblet Squat
2B. Push Press
2D. Bent-Over Row
2E. Ab Wheel
- Choose your weights wisely. You don’t want to go too heavy during round one. Time, not fatigue, should be the limiting factor during the first round. You should still have a couple of reps left in the tank when the 30 seconds end.
- Density training for fat loss could be an entire workout or used as a finisher. As a workout, perform 2-3 different circuits. As a finisher, perform one.
- This circuit is not the be-all-and-end-all of density circuits. Feel free to create your own density circuit using 4-6 exercises that hit different muscle groups.
2. Sprints. An Oldie but a Goodie
When it comes to conditioning, I love nothing more than sprinting. It can be a quick conditioning workout or a brutal finisher at the end of your workout. Sprints take grit, but they train you to better use the energy systems that are crucial for peak performance—the ATP-PC and anaerobic glycolysis energy substrates.
These are my favorite sprints:
If you have access to battling ropes, you’re in luck. They’re an incredible piece of equipment. Do “sprint” intervals and you’ll take your performance to the next level.
30/30 intervals (30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest) are killer. Go for 6-10 rounds. Alternating up and down waves is my go-to movement.
Sprinting uphill actually helps keep your hamstrings healthy by decreasing the likelihood of injury during overstride. Find a hill, sprint up that hill, walk or jog back down, rinse, and repeat. It’s that simple.
You shouldn’t need to sprint longer than 20-40 yards. More important than distance is intensity; sprint only as far as you can with maximal effort. Find your sweet spot—it’s a little different for everyone. Go for 8-10 rounds.
It’s time to take your late-game performance to the next level with these HIIT workouts. Time for you to be a winner.