My HIIT Workouts - Sprints, Cardio, + Circuits

I had a reader request that I do a post on my go-to HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts! I used to do these a TON and really enjoyed them, but then put these on the back burner for awhile when I decided to up my traditional strength-training game. If traditional weightlifting is more your thing, be sure to check out this post on my weight room routine.

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The thing about HIIT workouts is that you really get more bang for your buck -- they're using shorter, more intense, and more challenging than a regular workout. Plus, the best part is that it keeps your body burning calories throughout the day even after you're done with your workout! 

There are three types of HIIT workouts that I do / have done in the past:

Sprints
These are SO effective! Seriously, if you're looking for fast results and you want a short workout, this is the one for you. For these, I would set the treadmill speed at 11-12mph, do an all-out sprint for 30 seconds, and then jump onto the sides of the treadmill (so I was straddling the belt) and rest for 30 seconds. I would then repeat this for 16 rounds total -- this is definitely one that you'll want to build up to -- start with 6-8 rounds and work your way up. 

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Circuits
I purchased two workout plans from Kayla Itsines (I believe her programs have now moved to an app rather than a PDF download) and I really enjoyed it! The workouts started to get a little repetitive towards the end of the second workout plan, but overall, this program really helped me to tone up overall and gave me definition in my abs! All of these workouts are little circuits using dumbells, a jump rope, BOSU ball, and a bench. The best part? All of them are only 28 minutes! 

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Cardio
I also like to make up little HIIT workouts using different cardio machines -- switching between a challenging mode and then an easy one (similar to how I do my treadmill sprints above), makes it easy to use a new machine to switch things up. I love doing intervals on the elliptical, bike, or stairstepper. Another great workout is to hit your local highschool track to run the bleachers, do sprints around the track, and complete lunges, jumps, and calf raises on the steps! 

Favorite type of HIIT workout?
Any other types of posts you'd like to me cover? (Doesn't have to be fitness related)

 

My Strength Training Workouts - Weight Room

I recently posted a shoutout for blog post ideas on IG stories (PS if we aren't IG friends, we should be!) and I had a few requests come in for workout-related posts! 

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If you've been reading for awhile, you'll probably remember that I've been really active since high school (dance, long-distance running, etc.) and then started prepping for a fitness competition in my late 20s, which was all fun and games...until it wasn't anymore. I've worked with trainers, coaches, and nutritionists, and feel like I have a pretty good grasp on what I need to do and what I need to eat to stay healthy, strong, and fit.

Also, it's worth noting that the most important key to hitting your fitness goals is NUTRITION and that you can't out-train a bad diet. I'll do a post in the future on fitness-related nutrition -- let me know in the comments if there's anything specific you'd like me to cover.

My body type leans more towards that of an ectomorph, meaning it takes a lot of effort for me to put on muscle. Lots of protein, heavy weights, and most importantly -- consistency. Gone are the days of working out 7 days a week with some of those being two-a-days; these days I like to strength train three days per week, go for a walk outside whenever it's nice out, and do some cardio 1-2 times per week. 

I typically split my strength training up by muscle groups, so each day is a different combo of muscles. I love doing this because it allows me to work out every other day without being too sore since I'm using different muscles.

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Below is a typical routine of mine -- I switch things up every couple months or so to keep my body guessing, and if the weights start feeling too easy, I tack on another 5-10 pounds. I usually do three sets of eight reps for each exercise (unless specified otherwise below) because I'd rather lift HEAVY than do 12 reps with a lighter load. When I was a workout maniac, I used to split leg day into two days but now I just smash them all together into one because I want to stick to three workouts per week.

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These workouts are for a weight room at a gym (free weights + the machines) -- I'll do another post on dumbbell / circuit style workouts that are more HIIT style.

SHOULDERS + CHEST + TRICEPS (aka my favorite muscles to train!)
Overhead press
Shrugs
Chest fly
Tricep Dips
Lateral delt raises
Reverse fly
Skull crushers
Bench press
I also do a ton of random exercises on the cable machines for shoulders -- some I've made up, others are legit. :)

BACK + BICEPS + ABS
Lat pull-downs (wide grip and then close grip)
Back rows
Dumbell / EZ bar curls
Back extensions
Pull-ups + chin-ups
Pendlay rows
V-sits (3 sets of 30 reps)
Reverse crunches
Oblique bends on the back extension bench

LEGS (glutes + quads + hamstrings + calves)*
Traditional squats (I like to do these on the Smith machine)
Sumo squats
Weighted walking lunges
Quad extensions
Weighted calf raises (3 sets of 30 reps)
Hamstring curls
Glute kickbacks
Seated leg press

*Most people do deadlifts as part of their leg workouts, but they never feel good to me -- I've met with trainers multiple times to check form, and I'm just not a fan so I prefer to train my hamstrings using other exercises.

Videos / diagrams of these exercises can be found simply by googling the name, but let me know if you have any questions! Bodybuilding.com is usually my go-to resource for new exercises or videos! 

What types of workouts do you like to do?
Any nutrition questions / topics you'd like me to cover?