4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

High Intensity Interval Training maximizes the body's calorie-burning efficiency in less time than traditional training methods.

If you're tired of doing several rounds of steady state cardio for 30, 45 or even 60 minutes at a time, it's time you learn about HIIT.

High Intensity Interval Training is a training system that can maximize your body's calorie-burning efficiency in less time working out. You start at a moderate pace for anywhere from two to four minutes followed by a brief round of maximum effort that can last from 30 seconds to a minute. You repeat this pattern several times, and your body burns calories not only while you're training, but also for several minutes after you finish and are recovering.

HIIT can also be effective for athletes who want to stay in competitive shape while building muscle in the off-season. Try these programs for yourself. The result can be a more effective fitness program and less time committed to training. When you perform these fitness programs, always start with a warm-up and  finish with a cool-down.

Check out the video player above to learn how to master a 7-Minute High Intensity Dynamic Warm-Up.

15-Minute Basic Elliptical HIIT

  • Three minutes of moderate effort. You should be working but able to carry a conversation.
  • One minute of max effort. The only thing on your mind should be pushing as hard as you can.
  • Three minutes of moderate effort.
  • One minute of max effort.
  • Three minutes of moderate effort.
  • One minute of max effort.
  • Three minutes of moderate effort and cool down.

As your endurance improves, you can add another max-effort minute followed by another period of moderate effort. Don't do this for longer than 30 minutes.

20 Minutes/10 Rounds of Boxing HIIT

  • Use a heavy bag with wraps and gloves.
  • Warm up with jabs for one minute followed by one minute of all-out effort moving and striking the bag with a variety of jabs, crosses and low punches.
  • Repeat this pattern for 10 total rounds. Finish with a cool-down period.

If you're familiar with kickboxing techniques, add kicks for variety and a more effective total-body workout.

Take it to the Track

Begin with a warm-up lap walking or jogging, depending on your individual level of fitness. Once you get to a straight stretch of the track, go into an all-out sprint. As you approach a turn, resume your moderate pace until you come to the other straight stretch, then sprint again. Repeat this pattern until you complete four laps. Finish with a cool-down lap before leaving.

Tabata Training

Tabata is a style of training that involves performing bodyweight movements for 20 seconds followed by a 10-second rest and repeating this pattern eight times for a total of four minutes.

Start with one movement for four minutes. As your level of fitness improves, add another challenging bodyweight movement for another four minutes. Don't do more than five movements for 20 minutes total.

  • Frog Jumps: Get into a squat position and jump with your knees tucked. Repeat for as many reps as you can do in 20 seconds.
  • 20 seconds of jumping followed by 10 seconds rest. Repeat until you've done this for four minutes.
  • Additional exercises you can do include Burpees, Mountain Climbers, Jumping Jacks, and Bodyweight Lunges.
  • You can also follow this protocol on a piece of cardio equipment like an exercise bike, elliptical, or stairmaster.