8 Popular HIIT Workouts: Tabata, EMOM & More

Written by Type A Training

June 27, 2024

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has transformed the way people approach fitness. With its mix of short, intense bursts of activity followed by brief rest periods, HIIT is designed to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

Whether you’re looking to burn fat, build muscle, or boost endurance, HIIT offers a solution that fits busy schedules and yields incredible results.

A gym setting with various equipment, timers, and people in motion, representing different types of HIIT workouts

Among the many HIIT variations, you’ll find workouts like Tabata, EMOM, and AMRAP that bring their own unique twist to the high-intensity approach. These methods work by challenging different aspects of your fitness, ensuring that your workout routine remains engaging and benefits multiple areas of health.

Discovering the right type of HIIT workout can be game-changing for maintaining motivation and achieving fitness goals.

From seasoned athletes to fitness novices, HIIT can be tailored to meet all levels of experience.

As you explore these 8 popular types of HIIT workouts, you’ll gain insights into how to effectively incorporate them into your routine.

This not only helps in diversifying your workout but also in achieving a balanced approach to fitness.

Key Takeaways

  • HIIT maximizes workout efficiency by blending short bursts of activity with rest.
  • Different HIIT types like Tabata and EMOM target varied fitness goals.
  • HIIT can be tailored to fit beginners and advanced fitness enthusiasts.

Understanding HIIT and Its Benefits

A group of people are engaged in various high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, such as Tabata and EMOM, in a gym setting with equipment and timers

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an effective workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and short recovery periods. These workouts are known for burning calories and improving cardiovascular health rapidly.

Principles of High-Intensity Interval Training

HIIT is structured around brief, high-energy exercise intervals followed by rest or low-intensity periods. Each high-intensity phase can range from 20 to 90 seconds, depending on your fitness level.

Typical exercises include sprints, jumping jacks, or kettlebell swings.

Rest periods are crucial. They let your body recover just enough to push hard in the next interval.

This cycle of intense effort and recovery maximizes cardiovascular and metabolic benefits. It’s designed to keep your heart rate elevated throughout the session, boosting fat-burning.

Health Benefits of HIIT

HIIT workouts provide numerous health benefits.

First, they significantly improve cardiovascular fitness, helping lower your blood pressure.

The intense nature of these workouts also increases your metabolism, leading to more calories burned even after exercise, known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

For those looking to lose weight, HIIT is excellent for fat-burning. Because of the rapid intervals, your body continues to burn calories efficiently.

Furthermore, research shows HIIT can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels, important for managing diabetes.

By incorporating HIIT into your routine, you enhance not just physical fitness but overall health.

It’s a versatile workout accessible with or without equipment, fitting into even the busiest schedules while offering substantial benefits.

Essential HIIT Equipment

A variety of HIIT equipment arranged neatly, including dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, jump ropes, and a timer

When engaging in HIIT workouts, having the right equipment can enhance your experience. Whether you’re using your own bodyweight or adding resistance with various tools, it’s important to know what you need for effective sessions.

Bodyweight Exercises

Bodyweight exercises are a central component of HIIT workouts. They require no equipment, making them accessible and versatile.

Common moves include push-ups, burpees, squats, and planks.

Push-ups and squats target multiple muscle groups, increasing strength and endurance.

Burpees are excellent for cardio, combining a squat, push-up, and jump.

Planks enhance core stability, crucial for overall fitness.

To increase intensity, consider incorporating jumping jacks or mountain climbers. These moves elevate heart rates and burn calories effectively, fitting well into any HIIT routine.

Resistance Training Tools

Adding resistance to your HIIT workouts can boost strength and muscle tone.

Resistance bands are excellent for this. They are portable, affordable, and provide varying levels of resistance. Use them for exercises like banded squats, chest presses, or rows.

Dumbbells and kettlebells are other valuable tools.

Dumbbells allow for weighted exercises such as bicep curls or shoulder presses.

Kettlebells can be used for swings or goblet squats, combining strength and cardio benefits.

A jump rope is another vital tool. It’s great for warming up or incorporating quick bouts of intense cardio.

Jumping rope improves coordination and cardiovascular health, making it an excellent addition to HIIT sessions.

HIIT for Different Fitness Levels


image credit: https://shine365.marshfieldclinic.org/bone-joint/hiit-workout/

When choosing a HIIT workout, it’s important to match the exercises to your fitness level. This ensures you stay safe while maximizing your workout’s effectiveness.

Beginner-Friendly HIIT Workouts

Bodyweight exercises are great for beginners. They are easy to modify and don’t require any equipment.

Examples include jumping jacks, high knees, and mountain climbers. These movements help you develop basic strength and endurance without overwhelming you.

Tabata is a popular beginner HIIT style.

Involves 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times. Exercises could include squats, lunges, and push-ups.

The short intervals and limited exercise range make it easier for beginners to build up their abilities.

Low-impact HIIT is another good option.

Activities like walking in place or using an elliptical machine can help you start slowly while still getting a great workout.

These exercises allow you to learn proper form and begin building your fitness foundation.

Advanced HIIT Challenges

Advanced HIIT involves more complex and intense exercises.

Strength training elements can be added to increase difficulty.

Dumbbell exercises, such as clean and press or weighted burpees, challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system.

EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) workouts push advanced users.

You complete a set number of reps within a minute, then rest for the remainder of the minute. Examples include kettlebell swings or pull-ups.

This method keeps your heart rate high and improves muscular endurance.

Complex bodyweight exercises can also be used, such as skater hops, froggers, or plyometric push-ups.

These moves require more balance, coordination, and strength, taking your fitness to the next level.

Advanced HIIT workouts are about pushing limits and constantly evolving your abilities.

Key Types of HIIT Workouts

HIIT Training Workout Examples STACK


image credit: https://www.stack.com/a/your-complete-hiit-training-guide/

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are effective for burning fat and building endurance. Three popular types include Tabata, EMOM, and AMRAP. Each has unique structures and benefits.

1. Tabata

Tabata involves 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. Each round lasts only four minutes. This type of workout increases both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

Tabata is known for its high intensity. You can incorporate various exercises such as sprints, burpees, and squats.

The quick transitions keep your heart rate elevated and improve cardiovascular health.

Because of the short rest periods, Tabata workouts are very demanding. However, they are also highly effective for those short on time but wanting maximum results.

2. EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute)

In EMOM workouts, you complete a set amount of work at the start of each minute. Any time left in the minute is your rest period.

For example, you might do 15 burpees every minute for 10 minutes.

The goal is to finish the work as quickly as possible.

EMOM helps build consistency, endurance, and recovery ability.

Exercises like squats and sprints can be used in these workouts to keep the intensity high.

It’s crucial to choose reps and exercises that match your fitness level to avoid burnout.

The format ensures that you maintain a high pace without compromising form.

3. AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible)

In an AMRAP workout, you aim to complete as many rounds of a given set of exercises as you can within a fixed time.

For instance, you might perform 10 squats, 10 burpees, and 10 sprints repeatedly for 15 minutes.

AMRAP workouts test your stamina and mental toughness.

By pushing yourself to do more rounds each time, you can measure progress over time.

These workouts can be scaled by adjusting the exercises or duration.

They are highly customizable and can be tailored to different fitness goals and levels.

Cardiovascular-Focused HIIT

A person is doing a high-intensity interval training workout focused on cardiovascular health. The workout includes various types such as Tabata and EMOM

Cardiovascular-focused HIIT helps improve your heart health and endurance through high-intensity exercises like running and swimming. These workouts boost your heart rate and burn calories efficiently.

4. Running and Sprinting Sessions

Running and sprinting are excellent for raising your heart rate quickly.

You can mix periods of sprinting with jogging or walking to create a high-intensity workout.

For example, you could sprint for 30 seconds, then jog for 1 minute, repeating this cycle for 20 minutes.

This type of workout improves speed and cardiovascular endurance.

It’s also easy to adjust the intensity to fit your fitness level.

Using a high-effort sprint followed by a recovery period helps burn calories and strengthen your heart.

5. Swimming Sprints

Swimming sprints are a low-impact yet intense cardiovascular workout.

These involve swimming at maximum effort for a short period, followed by a rest or slow swim.

For instance, swim hard for 25 meters, then rest for 30 seconds, and repeat.

Swimming engages multiple muscle groups and improves cardiovascular fitness.

It’s also a good option if you have joint issues, as water reduces impact stress.

This workout is effective for building endurance and keeping your heart rate elevated, making it a versatile addition to any HIIT regimen.

Strength and Resistance HIIT

A group of people performing various high-intensity interval training exercises, including Tabata and EMOM, in a gym setting with equipment and motivational signage

Strength and Resistance HIIT combines quick bursts of high-intensity exercise with periods of rest, focusing on building muscle and endurance. This type includes workouts both with weights and using just your body weight.

6. Lifting and Weights

Incorporating weights into HIIT workouts can effectively increase strength and muscle mass.

Using tools like dumbbells, kettlebells, or barbells, you can perform exercises that target various muscle groups.

For instance, squats with dumbbells work on your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

Another popular exercise is the kettlebell swing, which primarily targets the hips and lower back while also strengthening the core.

Performing a set number of reps quickly every minute, then resting for the remainder, is a common method known as EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute).

This structure helps build both muscular endurance and strength efficiently.

Exercise Muscle Groups Targeted
Squat with Dumbbells Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes
Kettlebell Swings Hips, Lower Back, Core
Deadlifts Back, Legs, Glutes
Shoulder Press Shoulders, Triceps

7. Bodyweight Strength Routines

You don’t always need equipment to build strength. Bodyweight exercises can be just as effective.

Moves like push-ups and planks are staples in bodyweight HIIT routines.

Push-ups primarily target the chest, shoulders, and triceps, while planks engage the core, shoulders, and quads.

Burpees are another excellent full-body exercise. They combine a squat, push-up, and jump, working on your cardio and full body strength.

To perform AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) bodyweight routines, you’d execute as many reps of these exercises in a set time, pushing your body to its limits.

Exercise Muscle Groups Targeted
Push-ups Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
Planks Core, Shoulders, Quads
Burpees Full Body, Cardio
Lunges Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings

Flexibility and Mobility in HIIT

A high-intensity interval training (HIIT) scene with various equipment and open space for dynamic movements. Timer and workout stations show variety in exercises

Incorporating flexibility and mobility exercises into your HIIT routines can enhance your range of motion, reduce stiffness, and improve overall performance.

8. Yoga-Integrated HIIT

Combining yoga with HIIT routines helps improve flexibility and mobility. Yoga poses can be used as warm-up or cool-down exercises.

Sun Salutations are great for warming up. They stretch the entire body, preparing muscles for high-intensity activity.

Warrior Poses build strength and stability in your legs, improving coordination.

Adding yoga can help you maintain muscle mass while enhancing flexibility.

Integrating yoga into HIIT routines leads to more balanced workouts.

Dynamic Stretching Techniques

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body through a full range of motion. This technique is essential for improving flexibility and mobility.

Leg Swings target your hamstrings and hip flexors, enhancing coordination and agility.

Arm Circles are excellent for warming up your upper body and increasing shoulder mobility.

Lunge Twists combine stretching with movement, engaging your core and leg muscles.

Incorporating dynamic stretches into your HIIT routine can prevent injuries and improve your overall performance.

Monitoring Your Progress

A timer displays intervals for various HIIT workouts, including Tabata and EMOM, with equipment such as kettlebells and jump ropes nearby

Monitoring your progress is crucial to ensure that your HIIT workouts are effective.

Keeping track of your personal records (PRs) and performance metrics helps you push your limits and achieve your fitness goals.

Setting and Achieving PR Goals

Setting PR goals lets you measure your progress over time.

Start by establishing a baseline for key exercises, such as the fastest time to complete a set number of reps or the heaviest weight lifted.

Record your initial performance. Every few weeks, test yourself again and note any improvements.

Make your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

For example, aim to increase the number of push-ups you can do in a minute by five in the next month.

To stay motivated, celebrate small victories. Achieving PR goals provides a sense of accomplishment and keeps you engaged in your training routine.

Tracking HIIT Performance

Tracking your HIIT performance involves keeping an eye on various metrics.

Use an app or journal to log details like workout duration, intensity, and intervals. Record the types of exercises performed, reps, sets, and rest periods.

One method is to utilize an EMOM timer, which stands for “Every Minute On the Minute.” This helps you maintain a consistent pace throughout your workout.

Another useful tool is a heart rate monitor to ensure you are working at the right intensity levels.

Consistency in tracking allows you to notice patterns and make necessary adjustments to your training. Over time, this helps in optimizing your workouts to meet your fitness goals effectively.

Post-HIIT Recovery Techniques


After a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session, your body needs proper recovery to rebuild and prepare for the next workout.

Incorporating effective recovery techniques ensures you remain strong, resilient, and ready for your next challenge.

Cooling Down, Foam Rolling, and Stretching

Cooling down gradually helps lower your heart rate and reduces dizziness.

Start with light movements like walking for a few minutes. Follow this up with 10-15 minutes of gentle stretching to maintain flexibility and prevent muscle stiffness.

Foam rolling breaks up knots and adhesions in your muscles. This process improves blood flow and reduces muscle soreness.

Focus on areas where you feel tight or restricted, moving slowly and applying gentle pressure.

Get Sufficient Sleep

Sleep is crucial for muscle repair and recovery.

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. During sleep, your body releases growth hormones that help repair damaged tissues.

Ensuring adequate rest supports your overall fitness and helps you recover efficiently from HIIT sessions.

Active Recovery

Active recovery involves light activities such as walking, swimming, or gentle yoga.

These low-impact exercises increase blood flow to your muscles, helping to reduce soreness and stiffness.

Incorporating active recovery into your routine ensures that your muscles receive the necessary nutrients and oxygen for healing.

Nutrition and Hydration

Proper nutrition aids in muscle recovery.

After your workout, consume a balanced meal with protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to replenish your energy stores.

Protein assists in muscle repair, while carbs refuel glycogen stores.

Staying hydrated before, during, and after your workouts is essential.

Drink water or a sports drink containing electrolytes to replace fluids lost through sweat.

Proper hydration helps reduce muscle cramps and facilitates faster recovery.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to your body’s signals.

If you experience persistent pain or extreme fatigue, it might indicate the need for more rest.

Adjust your workout schedule to prevent overuse injuries.

Don’t hesitate to adjust your routine and seek advice from fitness professionals when necessary.

Building a Sustainable HIIT Routine


1. Define Your “Why”

Think about why you want to do HIIT. Whether it’s to improve your fitness, lose weight, or feel better, understanding your reasons will help keep you motivated.

2. Set Achievable Goals

Create specific, measurable goals.

For example, aim to complete three HIIT sessions per week for a month. Setting realistic goals helps in tracking progress and staying motivated.

3. Keep it Fun

Choose exercises you enjoy.

If you don’t like running, try cycling or dancing. Mixing in fun activities will keep you looking forward to your workouts.

4. Vary Your Workouts

Mix up your HIIT exercises.

Incorporate different routines like bodyweight exercises and dumbbell workouts to keep things fresh.

Variety prevents boredom and keeps your muscles challenged.

Exercise Type Example
Bodyweight Exercises Skater hops, curtsy lunges
Dumbbell Exercises Walking lunge, glute bridge
Kettlebell Exercises Kettlebell swings

5. Include Rest Days

Give your body time to recover.

Schedule rest days to avoid burnout and injuries. Recovery is crucial for long-term consistency.

6. Track Your Progress

Use a journal or app to record your workouts and progress. Tracking helps you see improvements and stay motivated.

7. Seek Support

Find a community or a workout buddy.

Having someone to share the journey with can keep you accountable and motivated.

Essential Equipment for Tabata Workouts

Not much equipment is needed for a Tabata workout, but having the right tools can significantly enhance your routine. Here are some basic items to consider:

  • Tabata Timer: A dedicated Tabata timer helps you keep track of the 20-second work and 10-second rest intervals, ensuring you stay on pace.
  • Smart Watch: A smartwatch can monitor your heart rate, track calories burned, and provide interval timing to keep you on schedule.
  • HIIT Timer Apps: Numerous apps are available that offer customizable interval timers specifically designed for HIIT and Tabata workouts.

Tabata Timers

06/28/2024 06:17 am GMT

Smart Watches

03/25/2024 02:59 am GMT

5 Best HIIT Timer Apps

1. Interval Timer – HIIT Timer:


2. Seconds Interval Timer:


3. Tabata Pro:


4. Tabata Timer for HIIT


5. Tabata Stopwatch Pro:


Frequently Asked Questions

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) offers a variety of methods to enhance fitness by focusing on different structures and targeted results. Here are some common questions answered to help you make the most of your HIIT workouts.

What constitutes an effective HIIT workout plan for burning fat?

A good HIIT workout plan for fat loss involves short, intense bursts of activity followed by short rest periods.

You can structure your sessions to include exercises like sprints, jump squats, and burpees. Combining strength and cardio in these bursts maximizes calorie burn and fat loss.

Can you provide an overview of the best practices for HIIT workouts on a treadmill?

When doing HIIT on a treadmill, alternate between sprinting and walking or light jogging.

A common approach is to sprint for 30 seconds and walk for 1 minute. Ensure you warm up and cool down properly to prevent injury. Adjust the incline to increase intensity without increasing speed.

What are the key differences between traditional HIIT workouts and Tabata sessions?

Traditional HIIT workouts vary in duration and intensity, usually involving intervals from 15 seconds to several minutes. They mix different exercises.

On the other hand, Tabata is a specific type of HIIT consisting of eight 20-second rounds of maximum effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, totaling 4 minutes. This makes Tabata more intense and time-efficient.

How can males optimize their fitness routine using HIIT for maximum results?

To optimize your fitness routine, incorporate HIIT workouts that build muscle and improve cardiovascular health.

Focus on compound movements like squats, push-ups, and kettlebell swings. Tailor the workout intensity and duration to your fitness level, aiming to gradually increase as your stamina improves.

What does the 30 20 10 HIIT workout structure entail, and how does it benefit practitioners?

The 30 20 10 method involves running at a light pace for 30 seconds, a moderate pace for 20 seconds, and a sprint for 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle for several rounds.

This structure benefits practitioners by improving endurance and speed while being less taxing on the body compared to longer sprint intervals.

In what ways does an EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) approach to HIIT vary from other methods?

EMOM involves performing a specific number of reps within a minute. Then, the remaining time within that minute is rest.

This approach helps in maintaining a consistent work rate and can be tailored to include various exercises. EMOM is different from other HIIT methods in its strict time structure and focus on consistent effort.

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