Done your fair share of HIIT workouts but keen to try a full HIIT plan? You’ve come to the right place. Standing for ‘high-intensity interval training‘, HIIT is commonly hailed as the MVP of exercise when it comes to getting bang for your buck.
If you’re not familiar, let’s recap: HIIT workouts intersperse short bursts of effort with brief rest periods to keep your heart rate high for a really effective workout. For starters, you burn calories – a lot of them. One study found it burned 25% to 30% more than other forms of exercises within the same timeframe. And you keep on burning them after the fact, too.
‘This is because your body has to work harder to recover than it would after a lower-intensity session,’ explains Gauri Chopra, PT, online coach and founder of London Rooftop Gym.
The efficiency of training this way – plus the fact it’ll help you build and strengthen fitness – is exactly why we asked Chopra to design an exclusive to WH 28-day HIIT plan to help you get stronger, burn fat and sculpt lean muscle.
WH’s 4-Week Home HIIT Plan
Over the next four weeks, you’ll do three 20-minute sessions with Chopra every week (lower body; upper body; cardio and core – scroll on for the videos). This plan is great for beginners and experienced exercisers alike as Chopra will coach you on how to dial the intensity up or down.
But don’t be lulled into thinking you’re in it for three workouts a week and three workouts only: Chopra has designed a full HIIT plan with advice on what to do on your ‘off’ days, including active recovery options to help alleviate post-workout aches and pains, and yoga or stretch sessions to build flexibility. ‘You can expect to feel fitter, develop a stronger core, be more flexible and have better mobility,’ she says. Jeez, what more could you ask for?
Your full HIIT plan schedule
1. Lower Body
You’ll perform two circuits of the following exercises, working for 40 seconds with 20 seconds of rest straight after. After one round you’ll take a 60-second rest and repeat the entire thing once more to complete the workout.
- Prisoner squats
- Reverse lunge on the left leg
- Reverse lunge on the right leg
- Hip thrust on the left leg
- Hip thrust on the right leg
- Jump squats
2. Upper Body
This workout is structured in the exact same way as the others: you’ll perform each exercise for 40 seconds with a 20-second rest straight afterwards. Once you’ve cycled through all the exercises, you’ll take a 60-second rest and repeat the whole thing through one more time.
- Hand-release press-ups
- Renegade rows
- Side-lying push-ups on the right side
- Side-lying push-ups on the left side
- Walkouts with shoulder taps
3. Cardio + Core
Precisely the same as the first two workouts, you’ll do each of the exercises below for 40 seconds with a 20-second rest immediately after. Once you’ve sweated through one circuit you’ll rest for 60 seconds (gulp some water, we’re sure!) and then jump straight back in for the second and final round.
- Squat with alternating knee-to-elbow
- Nose-to-knee mountain climbers
- Bicycle crunches
- Side plank on the left side
- Side plank on the right side
- Plank jack with squat thrust
How can I track my progress?
Measure improvements in your fitness and strength with the three challenges below. Do them all at the beginning of each week and keep a record of your time or reps to see how much you’re progressing.
Will I need any equipment for the HIIT plan?
You won’t need any equipment for this four-week HIIT plan – perhaps a yoga mat to protect your knees or wrists – but no free weights. Every exercise is designed to get you working hard using just your body weight.
Lions Non-Slip Yoga Mat
Eco Friendly Yoga Mat
Sweaty Betty Eco Yoga Mat
Lululemon Reversible Yoga Mat 3mm
Can the challenge be adjusted to different fitness level?
Absolutely. If you’re an experienced sweater (workout fiend not American knitwear) then play around with adding weights or amping up your recovery periods by jogging on the spot or doing slow high knees.
If you’re newer to working out then work as hard as you can for your fitness levels. If that means slowing the pace down or taking short breaks as and when you need them, then make that decision. The fact you’re on your mat trying your best is all we ask.
Can I do the workouts if I’m pregnant or just had a baby?
This programme was not specifically designed to be a pre- or post-natal exercise plan and as such, we’d suggest finding a routine more specifically designed to support your body, whichever stage you’re in. As with all pregnancy-related exercise – check with your doctor, midwife or healthcare professional before embarking on anything. Safe sweating is always the goal.
Join our WH Get Fit Done community and share your progress
During the challenge join our private WH Get Fit Done Facebook group. Here you’ll find a safe space to share your workout journey; handy tips and the chance to connect with others doing the challenge too!
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Morgan Fargo Morgan is WH’s digital fitness writer with a penchant for brutal HIIT classes and thick post-workout smoothies. Kirsti Buick Kirsti is Women’s Health’s Junior Fitness Editor, a personal trainer and WH’s resident tech junkie.
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