20-Minute HIIT Pyramid Workout Challenge

Nov 7, 2016 //

High-intensity interval training, better known as HIIT, is all about intense repetitions that can skyrocket your metabolic rate.

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Grab a mat and a set of weights that fit your fitness level (three to five pounds is recommended for beginners) and give these 20-minute, HIIT pyramid workout challenges a go.

How It Works

The idea behind HIIT is, of course, interval training – 20 seconds of intense exercise, 10 seconds of rest. A typical HIIT Pyramid workout begins with a small number of repetitions, builds, and then declines to the number of repetitions you started with. An odd number of sets is used: 5 to 11 or more per exercise. Your pyramid may look something like this:

  • Set 1: 7 Repetitions
  • Set 2: 9 Repetitions
  • Set 3: 11 Repetitions
  • Set 4: 9 Repetitions
  • Set 5: 7 Repetitions

The above repetitions can be calculated to create a 20-minute HIIT Pyramid workout challenge.  When you use this formula and break up your workout into intervals with scheduled rests, you can exert more energy (sweat more) and burn more calories vs. a simple exercise routine. Statistically, you are burning about 10 to 14 calories per minute, depending upon your intensity, body type, etc.

  • 5 Seconds Relax and Breathe/Prepare to begin
  • 20 Seconds Active
  • 15 Seconds Rest
  • 25 Seconds Active
  • 15 Seconds Rest
  • 45 Seconds Active
  • 15 Seconds Rest
  • 25 Seconds Active
  • 15 Seconds Rest
  • 20 Seconds Active
  • 5 Seconds Rest/Prepare of next  exercise

A good rule to remember is not to exhaust yourself so that your ability to burn calories is diminished. You have to have the energy to complete the entire 20 minutes. It is important to take rests between repetitions.

The Workout

Any basic exercise can challenge and help you to meet your fitness goal. The key is intensity paired with rest. A basic warm up and stretch is recommended before any exercise regime, especially one of this intensity. Choose the exercises that you enjoy and that challenge you so that you will stick to your workout. Incorporate these exercises into your HIIT Pyramid for a dynamic workout.

An example 300-repetition workout (30 seconds of each exercise):

  • 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 30 Basic Pull-Ups
  • 30 Planks
  • 30 sec Jumping Rope
  • 30 sec Intense/Inclined Treadmill
  • 30 Back Extensions
  • 30 Leg Lifts
  • 30 Toe Touch Crunch
  • 30 Squats
  • 30 Jumping Jacks

With the HIIT pyramid workout challenge you’ll have no time to be bored with exercise. During high intensity movements, shoot for 90 per cent of your maximum heart rate. Stay focused and exercise with intention. HIIT training workouts should include a rest day. For example, begin on Sunday, skip Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This allows muscle groups time to recover.

You can modify your HIIT circuit to suit your fitness level. Consult with a fitness trainer to find where you are and how a HIIT workout can benefit you. Never overexert or strain muscles. Stay within your fitness level and gradually increase workout intensity.