Three HIIT Workouts in Less Than 10 Minutes

High Intensity Interval Training is the buzz phrase for top notch workout in the fitness industry and has been for many years now. Also referred to as “HIIT” the benefits are certainly worth the temporary discomfort that HIIT brings. Some of the benefits include:

1) Improved Athletic Performance. You essentially train all energy sources through a vigorous heart rate increase and drop within a small time frame. These surges and drops in heart rate in such a small time places a tremendous metabolic demand on the cardio-respiratory systems, thereby creating an oxygen debt, requiring the body to repay that debt hours after the workout. The actual energy utilized during the workout between the different energy zones (both aerobic and anaerobically) forces the body to acclimate to become more fuel efficient over time, thereby improving one’s endurance and aerobic capacity.

2) You Become a Fat Burning Machine. Most athletes who train at very high intensities have excellent body composition values. The reason why is because of the whole first bullet-point. And of course, other than great genes, a lot of these athletes who are in it for the long haul also focus on optimal nutrition. See bullet #4.

3) HIIT Workouts Save You Time. The three workouts below are based on the Tabata method which is 4 minutes in total. However, if you have 10 minutes, then do 2 sets of the programs below. This will increase your post metabolic burn or EPOC (Excess Post- Exercise Oxygen Consumption). Your total calories burned in a HIIT program is quite impressive compared to most other workouts.

4) Improve your Hormonal Production. When you elevate your heart rate above 90% of your maximum heart rate and then drop it down about 15-20 beats per minute, and then bring it back through various intervals, you stimulate the production of growth hormone and testosterone. These two hormones stimulate lipolysis or fat breakdown for energy by increasing the LPL or lipoprotein lipase in the body that is typically shunted as a direct result of the increase in cortisol initially. When cortisol is high, the body goes into fat storage mode. When growth hormone and testosterone are present, cortisol drops, thereby allowing those LPL values to rise, breaking down triglycerides and encouraging fatty acids to be oxidized for energy vs. stored as fat.

5) Improved Blood Glucose Levels. Whether you are diabetic or not, having elevated blood sugar levels that aren’t properly utilized throughout the day, can lead to unnecessary systemic inflammation and organ dysfunction. In simple terms, you want your body to circulate just enough glucose to energize your muscles and brain. If you are sitting at a desk most of the day, then your sugar needs are quite limited. Many people think that carbs assist in thinking, but the opposite is true. When blood sugar rises due to a high carb meal, the insulin response creates such a sub-optimal physiological state to where you store fat, you lose energy, your mental acuity suffers and sugar molecules after a while start to bind to different proteins throughout the body. This ultimately leads to poor sugar absorption and more cellular damage as you get older, which ultimately ages your body quickly through processes such as glycation.

The list goes on as to why HIIT is so great. The following 3 workouts are short and to the point. You don’t have time? You have NO excuse now. In 4 minutes, you have 3 great options below. If you want to get about 10 minutes in, including a warm up for about 3-5 minutes, do these activities and get ready to work hard in a short time. Do NOT overdo it and always consult a doctor before starting a new program. Have fun!

1) Jump Rope Intervals:


TIME IN: 20 seconds

TIME OUT: 10 seconds

Total TIME: 4 minutes


Jump softly. Keep your arms close to your side body to avoid shoulder and elbow stress. Keep your chin parallel to the ground. Breathe.

2) Bosu Ball Foot Taps and Mountain Climbers:


TIME IN: 20 seconds

TIME OUT: 10 seconds

Total TIME: 4 minutes


ALTERNATE: between 2 exercises

Foot Taps: Tap softly onto the Bosu ball or platform, but quickly. Pump your arms. Keep your abdominal wall engaged the entire set.

Mountain Climbers: stack your shoulders over your wrists. Keep your abdomen engaged. Keep your hips and chest in one plane and avoid the hips from driving up. Draw your knee towards your chest by hollowing out your stomach. Avoid tapping your foot to the ground as you drive it into your chest. Keep your abdomen engaged to where you feel the drive from your core muscles the entire set.

3) Hill Sprints:


Total TIME: 4 minutes

Count: How many Sprints in allotted time

TIME OUT: 10 seconds+ as needed

Be sure to warm up. Choose a hill that is challenging but doable. Set a goal for how many sprints up the entire hill you will achieve in a 4-minute time period. Rest 1-2 minutes. Repeat in 4 minute blocks, as time allows for you.

Photo and Video Credits: Dr Alan