Modern Man Advice

HIIT: HitIt Like A Pro

You don’t need to spend 1.5 hrs at the gym to have an effective workout. This is such a misconception and simply a bad habit that urged us to write about HIIT. Let’s be honest here for a quick second, we as men have seen that guy. He spends 10 minutes on the phone or trying to pick up girls and about 1 minute actually working out. And don’t even get us started on trying to pick up girls at the gym, it so not the place to do so. Please don’t be that guy.

So why HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)? The answer is quite simple: It is extremely effective. Both physically and time-wise. There is, of course, the science behind it but the bottom line is that there are only a few hours a day we can afford. Our time is, and absolutely should be, extremely valuable. We understand that HIIT can be overly hyped to the point that it has become just one of those gym trends we tend to ignore. Our advice: Don’t ignore HIIT. HIIT hit a steady peak around 2017 but it is very much still a trend we recommend nowadays.

In this article, we will discuss what it is, the science behind it, its benefits, best HIIT routines, etc.

Let’s hitit!

What Is HIIT?

High-Intensity Interval Training, or “HIIT” for short, is a training approach in which you maximize your exercise effort to increase your metabolism. AND boost it even AFTER your workout ends. As the name suggests, what this entails is going hard as possible doing a task for a set time and only resting for a short time and repeating this. We like the 2:1 ratio, which we’ll discuss shortly but, of course, tailor this to your needs and capacity.

HIIT is not attached to specific sets or workout routine which is often the misconception. As mentioned before it is rather a training approach which means it can be used with a wide range of routines or sets. This is probably what makes it so appealing, at least for us. Although we all have preferences as to what we enjoy doing and want to improve in our bodies, some routines are more efficient than others. We will go over that shortly.

The Science Behind It

What High-Intensity Interval Training does your body is scientific in nature. Our bodies are sort of like machines after all. And it is in our nature to understand how things work. How HIIT works is quite straight forward, it increases the body’s need for oxygen during the maximum effort and, therefore, creates an oxygen deficit. This causes your body to demand more oxygen during the recovery time, therefore, increasing metabolism rate.

This results in a prolonged state of recovery and effectively increasing metabolism hours after the workout is complete. Scientifically, this is referred to as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or “EPOC” for short (because we all love acronyms, right?). This is the main reason why HIIT will help burn more fat and calories than aerobic and steady-state routines. It is also the main reason why men often fail to see results in the gym. Men, and women alike, often fail or oversee how metabolism is our ally in both fat consumption and brake down.

Benefits of HIIT

The benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training are quite wide and proven. Our most appreciated benefit is time management as mentioned below but, naturally, most of us value the visually noticeable benefit: Fat loss. And, don’t get us wrong, we love to be able to effectively lose fat. But we believe in the power of time management as there are many aspects of our lives we tend to overlook and need to focus on. Fitness is important but there is a balance between the physical and the mental wellness aspect of men we believe is important.

Therefore, we ask you the following question: What are the main two reasons you go to the gym? The first reason will predictable and obvious: Get in better shape (whether that means building muscle, cardio, fat loss, etc or all of the above). But the second reason will be key in determining your approach to how you use HIIT. Ideally, you want that second reason to be somewhere along the lines of “I want to be more time and energy effective during my workouts”. If that is the case, High-Intensity Interval Training is FOR YOU!

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One of the benefits we love the most is a simple observation. We see guys spending 60-70% doing non-exercise activities during a 1.5 hrs workout. You? My friend.. will be spending 20-40 mins and walking away with an effective and awesome workout session.

Last but not least, it requires NO equipment and you can hitit ANYWHERE. No gym membership required and you know what that means (ching ching).

Best HIIT Routines

Let us start this section with a simple statement: We believe in the 2:1 or 3:1 ratio when it comes to HIIT (if you time your exercise). This means, for example, doing Burpees in a HIIT fashion for 20 seconds and only resting 10 seconds. Or for 30 seconds and only resting 10. You get the point. In High-Intensity Interval Training you want to make sure you are at least doubling the time of maximum effort vs rest. If you are completing reps, for example, 40 push-ups, then simply time how long it takes you to complete that set and rest half of that time.

**DISCLAIMER** (so you don’t pass our because you felt greedy):

It is VERY tough in the beginning. Pushing yourself to the maximum for double the time that you rest is NOT easy. So we recommend starting with maybe 20 seconds of any exercise with a HIIT approach with a 10 seconds rest if you are a newbie. Then build up intensity and time over time. If you are not a newbie then 30/10 should be fine. We know you are smart and can gauge your effort and workout, do what feels right for you.

Having said that, here are our best HIIT Routines:

The Beginner Routine:

[3 Sets – 20-second work for each exercise – 10-second rest in between]

Jumping Jacks: Start by standing upright with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Jump your feet to each side while raising your arms.

High Plank Mountain Climber: Start in plank position and while in a plank position bend your legs one at a time as if you wanted to touch your chest with your knees.

hiit

Push-ups: Start in a plank position. Hands straight on the ground directly under your shoulders and legs about hip-width apart. Keeping a straight plank position, bend your elbows and lower your entire body until your face almost reaches the ground. Return to start position and repeat.
Sumo squats: Position your feet a little more than hip-width apart and point your toes out at a 45-degree angle. Keeping your weight in your heels, back flat and chest upright, lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Engage your glutes and quads and push back to the start positi

hiit

Repeat.

The Intermediate Routine:

[3 Sets – 20-second work for each exercise – 10-second rest in between]

Jumping Jacks: See above. (We like to start with Jumping Jacks as it’s a great way to get the whole body warm and activated)

Squats: Start by standing upright with your feet hip-width apart and your arms straight in front of you (like a zombie). Maintaining your arms straight in front of you and your back at 90 degrees, pretend there is a chair behind you and try to lower your body as if you were sitting down but only reach until your buttocks are at the same level as your knees. A quick tip: For extra assistance, use a bench for reference and support.

High Plank Mountain Climber: See above.

Bicycle Kicks: Start by laying down facing up. With one of your legs fully extended, and the other bent towards you, slightly arch your torso as until you can see in front of you. Then place both of your arms behind your head for support and a little abs intensity. Now alternate this position between the two legs, one extended and the other bent in a continuous move. As if you were pedaling an imaginary bicycle. For extra added intensity, you can try to have your elbows touch your knees. When the right knee comes towards you, your left elbow moves towards that knee and vice-versa.

Push-ups: See above

Burpees: This is similar to a squat with extra add ons like push-ups and jumps. Start standing upright. Place your hands on the ground and jump your legs backward until they are fully extended until you reach in an extended arm plank position or a push-up position. Quickly jump your legs towards you and underneath your torso. Stand up quickly and jump as high as you can with hands raised up to the ceiling. Immediately repeat this process when you land the jump.

Repeat.

The Advanced (Savage) Routine:

[4 Sets – 30-second work for each exercise – 10-second rest in between]

Burpees: See above

High Plank Mountain Climber: See above.

Push-ups: See above

Bicycle Kicks: See above

Squats: See above *Add a high jump every time you come up from the squat*

Tricep Dips: Using the bench used in the previous exercise (squats), get onto all fours facing the ceiling, knees bent 90 degrees over your toes, hands on the ground under your shoulders, torso 90 degrees upright. Keeping your elbows tucked in, bend them to lower your butt as close to the ground as you can get. Push back up. Repeat.

20-second push-ups: See above

Repeat.

We have added a Youtube video below for each of the exercises mentioned in this article for your convenience and reference:

Jumping Jacks
High Plank Mountain Climber
Push-ups
Sumo squats
Bicycle Kicks
Burpees
Squats
Tricep Dips

Note: These are all exercises that require no equipment and are focused on body weight training. You can add weight as desired and appropriate.

Stay Focused And Consistent

The key to results is discipline and consistency. At the core of it is simply a mindset change and education. The knowledge, education, and research are out there. Research is key to finding good, valuable, and reliable information. For every workout routine, there is a diet, meaning there is a lot of fluff and buzz out there. There is an overwhelming amount of information at the tip on your fingers so our best advice is to research and model success.

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Having made that statement, let’s go back to the key to see results. And please keep in mind that “results” is a subjective concept. Just the same way we recommend making HIIT your own, results are relative to an individual’s goals and lifestyle. However, the fact remains the same: Staying focused and consistent will facilitate whatever goal/s and vision you have in your mind. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen. It’s that simple.

We do realize that it is easier said than done, which is why we made a point to highlight that at the core is a mindset change. Ultimately, it is completely UP TO YOU.

Bonus Tip

You can have your own variations/routine depending on what YOU enjoy the most. A few ideas are sprinting if you like running, swim sprints if you like swimming, bike sprints if you are into biking. Or even using sports drills, like Basketball or Football drills. The idea is to go HARD for an extended time and SHORT rest in between.

Make it fun, make it your own!

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