Everyone is always shouting about how great HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) really is. This is a form of exercise that is said to burn much more muscle than any other form of cardio, it’s supposed to increase the efficiency of our mitochondria such that we have more energy throughout the day, and it saves time letting you do all this in a much shorter session than you’d use for other forms of exercise. All that makes it pretty appealing!
But what we’re not always being told is how to actually use this HIIT for working out. The closest we have is ‘tabata’ but that’s only one protocol. Surely there’s something else that bodybuilders can use to get the benefits of HIIT at home?
As it happens, there is. Here’s just one example of an awesome HIIT workout for your lower body that you can do from home.
So there are three rounds and you’re going to perform each of the exercises like a circuit, so you’re going straight from one to the other.
What you’re going to do do though, is to alternate between relative speed and then relative calm on each move. So you’re alternating between high exertion and active recovery.
The exercises we’re going to use for this are:
- Jump Squats
- Jumping Lunges
- Box Jumps
- Jump Rope
As you’ve hopefully noticed, each of these exercises is going to work effectively the same muscles and these are big, multi-joint exercises focussing on the legs. This makes it really nice and brutal for the muscles involved as they’re really not getting a break. At the same time, the fact that these are such compound movements and you’re using them in a HIIT manner, means you’re really going to benefit from afterburn all throughout the day. You’re not only dropping all your blood sugar, you’re also flooding your body with testosterone and growth hormone for a real response.
Remember: go fast and try and ‘beat your high score’ on the jump squats and the box jumps, and use the lunges and the jump rope to more gradually recover in between those intense rounds. This means you don’t need to put a rest period in there and you’re getting far more training out of the same amount of time – that’s fast and efficient training.
You can use this routine by choosing any amount of time to spend at each station. 30 seconds to a minute is a good starting point. If you’re feeling really tough, you can do one minute of speed training and thirty seconds of recovery. If you need to work up to that, then start the other way around.
The recommendation is that you do just four rounds, meaning you should be able to complete the entire session in about 6-16 minutes. You can go harder and longer though if you want to – just adapt it to suit your level as you improve in fitness and strength.