HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is by far, one of my favourite fat burning workouts out there.   HIIT is proven to be 50% more efficient than an average cardio session in keeping weight gain at bay when the holiday season comes and highly effective in maintaining weight gain off throughout the year.

As mentioned in my previous blog, research has shown that the average person can consume up to 3,000 calories during the Christmas Day feast alone!  Not to mention the binge drinking and eating leading up to the big day. As it is, keeping weight gain off throughout the year is hard enough for everyone, not to mention during holiday season and festivities!

HIIT is an essential part of your workout regime anytime of the year as it has been shown to speed up your metabolism, and in turn assists you in burning more calories throughout the day (we call this the fat burning zone), which eventually helps you keep the weight gain off throughout the year.

Technically, in order to keep the weight gain off, you need to be burning more calories than you consume.  So realistically, if you are consuming anywhere close to 3,000 calories, you need an intense program that will burn calories instantly, and blast fat!

HIIT, although very challenging, can be a lot of fun. What is great about HIIT is that you do not need a lot of time to smash out a session.  Because you are 100% switched on through the workout, working at 100% intensity 90% of the workout, all you need is anywhere between 20 minutes to 45 minutes for this workout to be effective. 

HIIT is all about pushing your mind and body to the limit.  The rest periods are short, but so too are the cardio bursts, so give it all you have got, push through, and you will see and feel the results almost instantly.

Below are two of my favourite HIIT workouts for you to try, followed by five work-to-rest variations for you to play with, combining your own exercises:

  • HIIT workout 1 – Tabata training (20 seconds on / 10 seconds rest = 4-minute intervals / 8 rounds of exercise) REST for 30 seconds between Tabata combos. Time: 20 minutes
    • Combo 1: Air (Jump) squats (20 secs /10 second rest) / Alternating lunges (20 secs / 10 second rest).  Repeat 8 times until 4 minutes are up.  Repeat 8 times until 4 minutes are up. REST for 30 seconds before starting next combo
    • Combo 2: Press-ups (20 secs /10 second rest) / Tricep Dips (20 secs / 10 second rest).  Repeat 8 times until 4 minutes are up. REST for 30 seconds before starting next combo
    • Combo 3: Wall Squat (20 secs /10 second rest) / Weighted sumo squats (20 secs / 10 second rest). Repeat 8 times until 4 minutes are up. REST for 30 seconds before starting next combo
    • Combo 4: Shoulder press with dumbbells (20 secs / 10-second rest) / Bent over rows with dumbbells  (20 secs / 10-second rest). Repeat 8 times until 4 minutes are up. REST for 30 seconds before starting next combo
    • Combo 5: Ab crunches (20 secs /10 second rest) / Bicycle crunches (20 secs /10 second rest) Repeat 8 times until 4 minutes are up. REST for 30 seconds before starting next combo
  • HIIT workout 2 – two-minute Intervals w/ two exercises per interval (30 secs exercise 1 / 30 seconds exercise 2 / REPEAT ex 1 / REPEAT ex 2). NO rest between 30 seconds.  ONLY REST for 10 secs when 2 min interval is complete,  before moving on to the next combo.  Time: 20 minutes
    • Combo 1: Squat into bicep curls w/ dumbbells (30 secs) / Lateral raise w/ dumbbells (30 secs) – REPEAT both exercises again 30 secs/30 secs. REST 10 secs before  starting next combo
    • Combo 2: Jumping jacks (30 secs) / Mountain climbers (30 secs) – REPEAT both exercises again 30 secs/30 secs. REST 10 secs before  starting next combo
    • Combo 3: Reverse lunge with front kick – right leg (30 secs) / Reverse lunge with front kick – left leg (30 secs) – REPEAT both exercises again 30 secs/30 secs. REST 10 secs before  starting next combo
    • Combo 4: Windmill Press-ups (30 secs)  / Reverse ab crunches (30 secs) – REPEAT both exercises again 30 secs/30 secs. REST 10 secs before  starting next combo
    • Combo 5: sumo squats into upward row w/ dumbbells (30 secs) / Standing front raise w/ dumbbells (30 secs) – REPEAT both exercises again 30 secs/30 secs. REST 10 secs before  starting next combo
    • Combo 6: Air (jump) squats (30 secs)  / Toe taps (30 secs) – REPEAT both exercises again 30 secs/30 secs. REST 10 secs before  starting next combo
    • Combo 7: Press-ups (30 secs) / Tricep extensions or dips (30 secs) – REPEAT both exercises again 30 secs/30 secs. REST 10 secs before  starting next combo
    • Combo 8: Squats into calf raises w/ dumbbells (30 secs) / Walking Lunges w/ dumbbells (30 secs) – REPEAT both exercises again 30 secs/30 secs. REST 10 secs before  starting next combo
    • Combo 9: Medicine Ball slam downs (30 secs)  / Ab Russian twists with medicine ball  (30 secs) – REPEAT both exercises again 30 secs/30 secs. REST 10 secs before  starting next combo
    • Combo 10: Burpees (30 secs) / Mountain climbers (30 secs) – REPEAT both exercises again 30 secs/30 secs. REST 10 secs before  starting next combo

Now that you have an idea of what HIIT is about, get creative using any combo’s you like (a tip is alternating upper body with lower body), trying the five variations of work-rest ratios set out below; starting from the top and gradually moving to the most advanced variation at the end:

  • 15 secs HIIT / 30 secs rest or low intensity (repeat 10 times) Time: 15mins
  • 30 secs HIIT / 15 secs rest / finish with 30 secs cardio blast (repeat 10 times) Time: 18-20mins
  • 30 secs HIIT/30 secs low intensity/finish with 30 secs cardio blast (repeat 15 times) Time: 18mins
  • 30 secs HIIT/ 15 secs low intensity (Repeat 25 times) Time: 18-20mins
  • 30 secs HIIT / 15 secs rest (Repeat 30 times) Time: 25mins

There you have it, the perfect HIIT workouts to get rid of weight gained during festivities and help you keep the weight gain off throughout the year.  So no more excuses, let’s HIIT it!

Andreia x

Start the year right. Start your fitness journey to a healthier, leaner YOU.  

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