March 2017

3 HIIT Workouts. 3 Levels. Maximum Burn.

Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute Expert Adam Friedman shares the best interval training practices for any level.

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Visit any Gold’s Gym across the world and you’ll see a people going all out in their workouts.  For instance, you will see people doing a series of aerobic exercises like running followed by a short recovery time. There’s a reason these folks have chosen to work out this way. High Intensity Interval Training, better known as HIIT, works wonders and doesn’t take a long time. “It’s what’s going to give the biggest bang for your buck,” Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute Adam Friedman says. In a half an hour or less, you can crush up to 500 calories, build muscle and improve your maximal oxygen uptake (widely accepted as the single best measure of cardiovascular fitness) by combining a mix of total intensity and proper rest periods.

We asked Friedman, a trainer whose clients include Olympic gold medalists in women’s basketball and Paralympics skiing as well as pros in the NBA, WNBA, NFL, NHL, MLB and more, for three HIIT workouts: one for beginners, one for intermediates and one for the most advanced HIITers out there. Pick one and try it out. You’ll like the results.

12-minute Beginner Workout

Friedman suggests a bike workout for beginners because it’s simple to alter speed and effort level. This specific workout helps build muscle endurance so that the body can handle lactic acid better.

On a stationary bike:
• Sprint for 20 seconds with a perceived effort level of 9 or 10 (on a 1-10 scale)
• Recover for 10 seconds with a perceived effort level of 2 or 3
• Repeat 8 times, then to a full 2-minute rest with a perceived effort level of 1
• Repeat the entire sequence again

30-minute Intermediate Workout

For intermediates, Friedman says to head to the treadmill for a sprint exercise that will help increase mitochondria, the power plants of the body.

On a treadmill:
• Sprint full out for 30 seconds with a perceived effort level of 9 or 10 (on a 1-10 scale) on a zero incline. This will be a flat sprint.
• Rest for 4 minutes perceived effort level of 3 or 4
• Repeat the entire sequence 6 times

32-minute Expert Workout

This one is a 5-step circuit. Think of it as an all-out 4-minute effort, followed by a 4-minute period of rest and recovery. This workout will dramatically improve your VO2 max. (The higher your VO2 max, the more oxygen your body can consume, which it turns into energy.)

Set 1:
10 Kettle Bell Swings - Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Grab the kettle bell with both hands. Swing it between your legs, then swing it up and out until it’s at shoulder height. Swing back down between your legs, then back up again.

Rest for 10-seconds

Set 2:
10 Box Jumps - Start with a 12-inch box. (Experienced jumpers can use a 24-inch box.) Stand in front of the box with your feet shoulder width apart. Drop your hips slightly, then explode upward, landing on top of the box. Jump down to the floor, making sure that your knees don’t buckle in and that your back stays straight.

Rest for 10-seconds

Set 3:
10 Clean and Press - Stand with your knees shoulder-width apart. Bend down with a flat back and grab the straight bar with no weight in front of your feet. Lift the bar straight up while exploding up and rotating your shoulders around and under the bar so it’s resting on your shoulders. Pause, then press the bar upwards until your arms are straight up.

Rest for 10-seconds

Set 4:
Jump Rope (10 count)

Rest for 10-seconds

Set 5:
10 Split Lunge Jumps - Start with one knee forward, bent at a 90-degree angle and the other leg back with the knee just above the ground. Jump up, switching leg positions. Land, steady yourself, then repeat.

Rest for 10-seconds

Repeat the entire circuit for a total of 4 minutes. Rest for 4 minutes, then repeat entire sequence 4 times in total.

How'd you do? Share your HIIT results using the hashtag #myGOLDSFOCUS or by clicking here.