The Best HIIT Workout Routines
Leave The Basic Stuff For The Rest of Them
Even the most basic of HIIT workouts offer you results, flexibility and saved time (something all too important in today’s world).
If you’re here, you know the benefits of intensity
And you may think you just need a basic routine for men or women you can use everyday happily.
But just knowing the basic structure of a exercise plan and implementing it daily isn’t always enough.
What’s Wrong With That?
You could do a basic set (like the one we outline below) everyday – but you wouldn’t be getting the maximum benefit of the science behind this revolutionary training methodolgy.
And of course like any type of exercise, if you’re not consistently changing it up you will plateau and stop seeing results.
If you really want to make a drastic difference in your body you’re going to need something more structured.
Something that uses the principles but is dynamic and changes up over time. Something that is put together in the optimal way to get you maximum results in minimal time.
You need to use a regimen that’s designed for maximum impact for your body type.
Your Solution & Shortcut
There are certain programs that use these principles stacked with the latest in fitness science to provide the ultimate exercise solution that gets results fast.
These aren’t your traditional routines – these are super-stacked exercises combined with high intensity interval training principles to deliver a massive one-two punch to your body (the good kind…)
When you use these types workouts you exponentially multiply your results – often seeing massive results in as little as 2-4 weeks, rather than the usual 2-3 months.
Let me repeat that:
massive results in as little as 2-4 weeks, rather than the usual 2-3 months.
So What’s This Secret Weapon?
There are a lot of different options available on the market, but we’ve found the best ones for both men and women come from a company called Beachbody.
They’re the innovative and inventive company behind workouts like P90X – which you may have heard of.
Now, P90X isn’t a traditional program but it does take advantage of high-intensity principles.
There are a ton of programs though, for both men and women, that utilize the same basic ideology.
And some are much better than others.
Here’s our take on the best options for both women and men.
The Best HIIT Workout Plan For Men
Our Top Pick – INSANITY
Insanity is the ultimate high intensity workout.
Whether you’re a exercise veteran or an average gym goer Insanity will have you sweating, building muscle and shedding pounds like no other.
It was formulated by veteran personal trainer Shaun T and sold by Beachbody.
This is the stuff professional athletes use to get ripped, increase endurance/speed/stamina and transform their bodies into explosive machines.
And it is truly insane for the results it can get you.
Men normally get bored of their routines, or worse plateau, and are always look for something new to work out with and get the best results.
Well, Insanity is a 60 day program that will have you begging for mercy. And what do you know – the 60 days money back guarantee will let you try it out and see for yourself completely risk-free.
(Keep in mind, Insanity is perfectly suitable for women as well)
What’s So Great About Insanity
Insanity is a DVD-set that turns traditional training on it’s head. With normal interval training you’re doing short bursts of all-out activity mixed with longer periods of low-moderate activity.
With Insanity by Shaun T you’re doing the exact opposite – longer periods of intense activity with short breaks to catch your breath.
They call it “max interval training” and it keeps your body working at full throughout the entire time.
When we say “working at full” trust me we mean it – people have reported burning up to 1000 calories per hour using Insanity’s max interval training.
Over the course of 60 days Shaun T’s Insanity guarantees unprecedented results or your money back.
What’s In The Program?
The package includes a collection of 10 DVD’s that work out every single muscle of your body, a 60 day calendar to keep track of your progress, a Quick Start guide, an optimal Nutrition Plan and – of course – free online coaching and support – even from Shaun T. himself.
The workouts include Plyometrics, Upper Body Resistance , High Intensity Cardio (for maximum fat burn) and a recovery exercise routine (done at the end of every week).
Since these are divided into two 30-day cycles, the second part of the training material consists of maximum intensity routines building on the ones you do in the first month.
- Max Interval Circuit training,
- Max Interval Plyometrics,
- Max Cardio Conditioning
- Max Recovery
Check out our full Insanity review for all you need to know about the program. We go much more in-depth into what it’s all about.
And here’s a great video to check out all about Insanity:
The Best HIIT Workout Routine For Women
Our Top Pick – TurboFire
Even though many of the routines you can do out there are used by both men and women alike, the fast-paced TurboFire is adored especially by the women we’ve spoken to.
What’s So Great About TurboFire?
Chalene Johnson – the mastermind behind the program – made TurboFire the most promising weight loss routine for women by utilizing High Intensity Interval Training to the fullest.
This is done through fire drills.
These aren’t the more traditional routines – TurboFire drills are 1 minute of all-out exercise and short bursts of recovery.
These help burn fat up to 24 hours after your exercise ends.
For women who want to train at the maximum possible pace and achieve better results in less time, TurboFire is the way to go.
(Keep in mind, TurboFire is perfectly acceptable for use by men as well).
This is a 90-day cardio conditioning program which will shed fat 9x faster than traditional exercises.
And the music is GREAT – her own hand-picked remixes that will keep you going throughout the hardcore DVDs.
What’s In The Program?
The TurboFire cardio program comes with 5 DVDs that contain all the videos, a quick-start guide, class schedule and a couple of free gifts.
She has divided the routines into Low, Fire and Extreme Hits.
They are a combination of 12 fiery fat burning classes that will literally melt fat away and increase your endurance, stamina a speed far beyond where you are now.
We go into much more detail about everything TurboFire in our review. Be sure to check it out for all you need to know about the program and why it works.
Here’s a great video about the program:
Other Options For Men and Women
Intense, Yea.. But Not Insane
If you want to be a part of the club but aren’t looking to train like as hardcore as a professional athlete then we’d suggest Shaun T’s Focus T25 program.
It’s a series of 25-minute exercise routines that are built on the same principles of Insanity without it’s ultra-hardcore nature. But don’t worry you still get the ultra-hardcore style results with T25.
The program is 5 DVDs and includes everything you need to get started right on Day-1 – including modified versions of certain exercises.
Read more about what makes this program so great in our detailed Focus T25 review.
Here’s a great video to help show you what T25 is all about:
Don’t Have a Lot of Time?
If you want more out of the literally 10 minutes you have to work out each day then you should definitely go for the 10-minute Trainer by Tony Horton – the man behind P90X.
This is sure to give you the most out of the 10 minutes you have for your daily exercise.
It employs a patented principle of Super Stacking to work all your body parts including upper-body, lower-body and your core.
The package includes all the tools you need to get started and work like a pro with your own virtual trainer.
We go into more detail about the program in our extensive 10-Minute Trainer review.
Here’s a quick video on how the program works.
More About Awesomeness
Many times it will only take 10-20 minutes to complete a full cycle, yet it can be as effective (if not more effective) than normal cardiovascular routines.
If you’re looking to get in shape and also increase your speed, strength and stamina at the same time, do this stuff – many athletes do.
Try some of the stuff below see what all the hype is about.
A Basic Exercise Structure
So how is a basic routine structured?
You basically warm up, then alternate between 100% intensity and low-moderate intensity for the length of your particular exercise, and then cool down.
For simplicity sake let’s take the example of running.
To do it as an interval exercise you could try something like this:
- Start with a 5 minute warm-up at low-medium intensity
- Sprint for 30 seconds at your maximum intensity
- Walk or jog at low-medium intensity for 60 seconds
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 10 times in total
- Cool down for 5 minutes
That it. That’s your basic high intensity interval training workout structure.
You can apply this basic structure to any sort of exercise you want to do. It works best with cardio exercises but there are ways to even do it with strength/weight training.
You can also switch up the length of intervals you do – increase or decrease either the maximum or low-medium intensity intervals so they work best for you.
Remember to only do this if you’re in a good physical condition that allows for it.
If you feel light headed or dehydrated stop, sit down and regain control of yourself. Be safe so you’re not hurting yourself. (And always talk to a doctor before starting any new workout routine).
Working It Into Your Routine
If you are looking to integrate this great stuff into strength training you could do each of your exercises in different combinations of intense and moderate bursts, rather than traditional “sets.”
If you’re sprinting or running you can easily use the structure we laid out above and modify it based on your needs/ability.
Before you begin doing any kind of fitness activity you should always remember to warm up for it. Not doing so will result in excess strain and you could end up hurting yourself.
The main thing to remember when integrating this stuff into your routine or plan is to alternate between intense and moderate bursts of activity.
After your warm-up, when you are ready, start sprinting at a high pace or going all out with strength training reps. You need to continue sprinting at this pace for a set period of time (30-seconds, one minutes, etc).
Once time is up you lower your intensity and pace for another pre-determined interval.
Do not stop completely, instead reduce your speed to a comfortable jog if you’re sprinting, or jog in place if your lifting weights.
Repeat this and alternate between high and low intensity for at least 5-6 cycles.
This alternation is what this is all about. Of course, this is just a basic plan. If you want the most out of this stuff the basics won’t cut it.
Exercise Plans and Programs – Final Thoughts
High Intensity Interval Training can be done with or without gym equipment, but with some expert advice and a set of decent equipment you can achieve unbelievable results in little time each day.
You can use weights, jump rope, treadmills and even kettle bells. The possibilities are endless because this is an ideology. If you apply it to the stuff you already know, you’ll notice huge improvements.
If you start a new program based on these principles, you’ll see massive gains quickly.
But keep in mind – not every one is the same. And if you do any one routine too much, you’ll plateau and stop making gains.
Using a professional and structured fitness program will multiply your results and avoid plateau. It will get you the best possible body in the least amount of time.
They’re specifically designed to do this by constantly confusing your muscles and changing things up, all while remaining true to the fundamentals.
Getting Results and Staying Safe
So, at the end of the day both men and women do have a lot of options.
Although men and women may have different goals in what they want to achieve, the methods they go about achieving those goals can be similar.
There are different training videos and plans that are designed for these varied purposes. As long as you are going for ones that use these principles (like the ones we recommend) and you’ll get results quicker than otherwise.
The biggest thing is – taking action. You can learn any type of fitness program, but if you don’t actually get up and do the work, it won’t help you.
But when you do decide to take action, you have to stay safe.
Before you start any new workout regimen you should consult a doctor/physician and discuss your personal health with a professional.
Some of these workouts are very strenuous and you could end up hurting yourself badly.
This type of activity can also be risky because it tends to dehydrate the body (due to it’s ultra-high-intensity).
This is of course what causes maximum fat burn in the body, but also makes you sweat profusely. Thus, it is important to drink lots of water while working out.
More Than A Fat-Burning Fad
But that is not all that these have to offer.
High intensity training increases your stamina, speed and strength all at the same time.
This type of training makes you a stronger, more agile and faster person. It will make you a better athlete (even if you’re not an athlete) and even make you better in bed.
And when it comes to burning fat, studies have shown that high intensity programs promote fat burn in the body even after 24 hours of training.
All in all, this kinda stuff will just make you better. And they’re simple to do (we said simple, not easy…).
Men vs. Women – Final Thoughts
When you’re choosing an exercise program it’s important to remember different workout plans can be designed differently for men and women.
Sometimes men and women have completely different requirements and/or goals for their bodies.
That’s not to say each respective gender can’t do the same workouts. Like we mention above both TurboFire and Insanity are perfectly suitable for either men or women.
It really depends on your goals and requirements. But there’s no getting around the fact that if you’re a high-performance male athlete, TurboFire may not be intense enough for you. If you’re a woman looking to just tone her body, Insanity may be too intense.
But in all fairness, if you’re an overweight man that hasn’t done much activity Insanity will also be way too intense for you. But if you’re a high-perfomance female athlete, TurboFire may not be enough.
Again, it comes down to your goals and your requirements.
The Importance of Integrating Cardio
You can do this with resistance or strength training, but to get the maximum benefit you need to integrate cardio into your routine.
You can either do conventional cardio (which is still great for weight loss) or you can opt for the over-all benefits of this type of training.
But you need it as part of a full workout regime.
And that’s what makes the Beachbody programs so great – they integrate high intensity strength and resistance training with high intensity cardio for a potent mix that melts fat and build serious muscle in very little time.
It’s a great shortcut to the results you want.
What Is The Best Program Overall?
It’s hard to compare TurboFire to Insanity because – although both are based on intense intervals – they are intended for different people.
It’s like comparing apples to oranges.
TurboFire is one of the most effective workouts keeping the average person in mind.
Insanity is, of course, the most intense and is perfect for those who are already at a certain level of fitness.
But these two are both the best overall exercise programs for both kinds of people.
Pulling It All Together
High Intensity Interval Training is definitely the biggest phenomenon in the fitness world yet.
There are two very important reasons for its success as a fitness regime.
One is that it delivers what it promises, and that is results. The results are immense and you will be able to feel the difference very quickly.
The other reason is that it has been used by professional athletes for years.
This potent combination of factors has exploded its popularity in recent years. People are seeing the results and taking things to the next level.
Companies like Beachbody have capitalized on the benefits and mixed them with the latest in fitness science and research. And because of this, the programs they create work. Period.
Of course, working out is not only about making massive gains, but also maintaining the results you get.
The only way to make sure you retain what you have made is to eat well and sleep well in combination with the activity described on this page. All of the programs we’ve talked about have an accompanying diet plan that should be kept in mind at all times.
If you do this, you’ll be in the absolute best shape of your life.