One of the best things about high-intensity interval training is that you can design your workout to target virtually any goal, whether it’s general weight loss, improved endurance, fat reduction, or strength-building.
In order to maximize EPOC and calorie burn, most HIIT workouts will incorporate a variety of compound movements (i.e. those that require multiple muscle groups). These typically include squats, overhead presses, bench presses, deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, and planks. Less oxygen-hungry but still important for overall fitness, you may also see “accessory” movements like bicep curls, sit-ups, calf raises, and deltoid flys.
Regardless of the exact cocktail of lifts and movements, you’ll perform every HIIT workout in a pretty standard way based on a near-universal premise. For a specified amount of time, you’ll perform an exercise with enough intensity to raise your heart rate to about 80% of its maximum pace. Following this period of high exertion, you’ll rest for another specified duration, typically equal to or slightly shorter than the amount of time you spent “working.”
This process repeats itself however many times or sets the workout calls for. In most cases, you can get an excellent HIIT workout accomplished in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. If you don’t feel fatigued by then and feel compelled to workout longer than that, you’re not working hard enough! Up the intensity, shorten the rest periods, and breathe, breathe, breathe.