Before we just right in, be warned, some of these HIIT circuits aren’t for beginners or the fainthearted.
While you can attempt to do walkthroughs with an empty bar or stop between sets if needs be, I would recommend establishing a greater level of endurance through kinder activities such as uphill walking, the elliptical, or the spin bike for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Some of these circuits I created to challenge myself — like with most of my gym creations, through trial and error — and yielded great results in assisting fat loss in conjunction with low intensity cardio and a caloric deficit, speed, and endurance — all of which are beneficial to most lifters.
Lung-Busting HIIT Finishers
You may not like me very much after attempting a few of these.
But be sure that you’re not using too much weight for these exercises, especially if you’re already gassed from your workout. Try picking a lightish weight — no more than 30-40% of your 1 rep max.
My Homemade lower body finisher:
I would do this after my squat or deadlift training to improve my endurance and speed when attempting to drop a bit of weight.
3 rounds of:
-12 kettlebell swings
-12 goblet squats
-12 alternating jumping lunges
-12 jump squats
-12 ab wheel roll outs
-20 seconds side plank per side
This one is fairly tiring.
All in all, it would take around 10-15 minutes to complete. If I hadn’t done it in a while, I’d take 10-15 second breaks between exercises. Soon, you welcome the core exercises as rest periods!
My homemade barbell complex:
3 rounds of (without stopping):
-6 hang power snatch
-6 hang power clean
-6 push press
-6 jump squats
-6 barbell row
-6 Romanian Deadlifts
-repeat after resting 1-2 minutes
pick very light weight, 1/2 a plate a side or empty bar (1/2-1 plate is enough and I once front squatted 500lb)
It’s 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off.
Repeat for 4 minutes — try not to puke or fall over.
Aesthetic upper body HIIT:
This one was a favorite on an arm/upper body day to finish me off and elevate my heart rate a little.
In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve done this and might do it my next arm day now that I mention it.
It’s a very straightforward routine…
Do as many rounds of:
-tricep press downs
-bicep cable curls
-dumbbell side lateral raises
for 10 reps, as possible. If you manage 5 rounds and continue to hit 10 reps on each set, you’re doing amazing.
My strongman shoulder finisher:
Although this feels more like a full workout rather than a finisher, you can choose to do it as both.
I’d normally do my strict lateral raises and presses first before switching over to this brutal “finisher” starting with:
-6 hang powersnatch
-45-seconds overhead snatch-grip barbell carries
-rest 2 minutes
for 3 sets
-10 reps Bradford press (one overhead press, one behind-the-neck press)
-10 reps wide-grip upright row
-10 reps wide-grip upright bent-over barbell row (focusing on the rear deltoids)
-rest 2-3 minutes
for 3 sets
Incline sprint on the treadmill:
This is a simple classic I’d choose for my lower body days if I was too gassed for my homemade circuit…
Warm up for 3-5 mins by walking briskly on an incline
then sprint for 8-10 15-second bursts with 30-45 second walks
Finish with a gradual 3-5 minute cool down, slowly lowering incline.
You can use the elliptical, stationary bike, or even a nearby hill to carry out this form of high intensity interval training.
My homemade MMA circuit:
Battle ropes 30 seconds
Renegade rows 10 reps
Bear crawls 20 seconds
Plank 30 seconds
Rest 1 minute
Repeat for as many rounds as possible
This is one I recently recommended a friend who has recently decided to take on MMA, where I take some exercises from a circuit I made up for my rugby training.
I know HIIT training has gained a bit of a bad rap as many fitness grifters try to gimmickize HIIT with slogans promising prolonged fat loss hours — if not, days — after your workout.
They are a great way to jolt your system and change things up.
Endurance is something that shouldn’t be overlooked when training.
Anyway, you can hate me later.
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