Ever find yourself too busy to make the gym after work? Don’t sweat it, bro! Here are 3 HIIT workouts you can crush in your lunch hour, no problem. Let’s do it…
- HIIT training – An introduction
- Benefits of HIIT
- 3 Lunchtime HIIT Workouts for Busy Bros
- Bottom to Top Barbell Blast – 15-20 mins
- Complete Conditioning Kettlebell Circuit – 20 mins
- Fight Ready in 15 – 15 mins
- Last Rep on Lunchtime HIIT Workouts for Busy Bros
HIIT training – An introduction
High-intensity interval training has taken the fit-world by storm. However, unlike the recent boom might suggest, it’s been around for over 100 years. But we’re not here to bore you with history lessons, bro.
HIIT is all about putting the work in for short periods before taking a rest. As the name suggests, these exercises are done at high intensities.
How hard you make it is ultimately up to you. A great way of tracking intensity is with a heart rate monitor or monitoring your RPE.
For HIIT to have the most effect, athletes should aim for +85% MHR or an RPE of 8/9 at constant effort. You should be able to maintain this intensity for the whole workout.
HIIT ain’t just a one trick fitness pony either. By changing up the time of your rest and intervals you can tailor your training results. For example, shorter intervals followed by a longer rest is awesome for power. Alternatively, longer intervals with shorter rests are better for endurance.
Benefits of HIIT
Here are just a few of the many benefits of HIIT:
- Incredible endurance – HIIT workouts help adapt the cellular structure of muscles
- Burns calories in a short time – research suggests that HIIT can burn 25-30% more calories than other forms of exercise like weight training, running, or cycling 
- Scorched fat – studies show that HIIT is great for reducing body fat without committing a lot of time to exercise 
- Increases VO2 max – HIIT training can improve how much oxygen your body can consume 
- Time efficient – because these workouts rely on short-bouts of intensity they’re super time efficient. Almost all HIIT sessions come in under 30 minutes
3 Lunchtime HIIT Workouts for Busy Bros
Now you’re up to speed, let’s initiate you into the HIIT squad. Here are three killer workouts to crush in your lunch hour. Hell, you’ll even have time to spare afterward too.
Bottom to Top Barbell Blast
Total time – 15-20 minutes
Work:Rest – 1:1
When you’re stuck for time you need a whole-body workout. That means targeting everything from the bottom to the top, in one single blast. Fortunately, we planned ahead already.
All you’re gonna need is an Olympic barbell loaded up with bumper plates. Aim for a weight you can smash reps out with continually for 30 seconds. Don’t worry if you feel like it’s not heavy enough – you’ll be grateful for not stacking the plates by round three.
How to do it:
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds straight. Keep the barbell moving constantly and maintain an intensity over 8 RPE.
Once you’ve hit the 30-second mark, drop the bar and rest for 30 seconds, before continuing onto the next exercise. Try to move around when resting to prevent blood pooling.
This specific workout calls for three or four rounds of action. So, if you’re a beginner, shoot for the three rounds and work your way up to four over time. One round equals a complete cycle of the entire exercise list.
Complete three to four rounds of:
- Power clean
- Front squat
- Push press
- Burpee over bar
One round = 5 minutes
Complete Conditioning Kettlebell Circuit
Total time – 20 minutes
Work:Rest – 2:1
To crush this circuit, you’re gonna grab one of the gyms most versatile tools – the kettlebell. You only need to grab on, which is easier to do during a busy lunch hour.
Using only a single kettlebell you’re gonna work your entire body. Just find enough space to allow you the freedom to swing it and the dinner break gainz will all be yours.
For this HIIT session, we’re changing up the ratio. You’ll be working for twice the amount of time as you rest, meaning it’ll be easy to maintain a high intensity. Bros familiar with interval training will recognize this 2:1 protocol as the Tabata ratio.
How to do it:
Nail each exercise for 20 seconds at above 85% intensity or 8/9 RPE. Then, rest for 10 seconds, before smashing it again.
Once you’ve run through each movement that’s one round in the bag. For this workout, you’re looking to complete eight rounds back to back with no un-prescribed breaks.
Because you’re only using one kettlebell it’s important to use alternate reps. Whenever you’ve hit the move with one arm, switch to the other as soon as possible.
Not only will this help keep the intensity high, but it’ll create an equal balance of work on the body. After all, it’s better to prevent muscular imbalances and injuries than try to fix them. Not to mention nobody wants an out-of-whack physique…
Complete eight rounds of:
- Pushup + deadlifts
One round = 2.5 mins
Fight Ready in 15
As you’ve already guessed this workout will have you fight ready in no time. Designed originally for elite level MMA athletes, this HIIT session will kick your *ss in the best way possible.
Fight Ready in 15 covers the entire span of a professional bout. However, if you’re feeling seriously tough, battle it out into the championship rounds. Go for 25 minutes in total just like a real MMA champ.
What’s awesome about this workout it that the 2:1 Tabata ratio perfectly mimics the pace of a contest. So, even if you’re not an MMA athlete, you can get a feel for a real fight!
All without taking a shot we might add. Even better.
Just grab a bag, medicine ball, and a set of battle ropes, then get ready for action. We’d also suggest a pair of boxing/MMA gloves for hitting the bag.
How to do it:
Go as hard as you can for 10 seconds before resting for 20. Keep your hands up between exercises and imagine an opponent moving around in front of you.
Also, when hitting the bag, land every punch with the first two knuckles. This is the hardest and most durable part of your fist, which is something fighters learn from day one.
Complete six to ten rounds of:
- Battle rope waves
- Medicine ball slams
One complete round = 2.5 mins
Let’s go, champ!
Last rep on Lunchtime HIIT Workouts for Busy Bros
As you can see, the possibilities of HIIT for your lunchtime workout are endless. It’s all about getting a ton of volume into a short space of time – without anybody noticing you’ve left the office.
If for some reason you can’t find the equipment for these workouts don’t sweat. The key takeaway from this entire article is the principal of intervals. Set the timer, go hard, and get the job done. Barbells and kettlebells are all an add-on.
With a little creativity and flare you can create a HIIT workout in minutes. Plus, you don’t need any fancy equipment to do it either, meaning HIIT can be done anywhere.
A stopwatch and your body are enough to create a killer circuit at a moments notice. Just keep your heart rate high, listen out for the clock, and push through the lactic acid ‘til the final whistle.
You’ve got this, bro! Let’s see if your colleagues noticed how jacked you’ve got since this morning…
- Falcone P, et al. Caloric Expenditure of Aerobic, Resistance, or Combined High-Intensity Interval Training Using a Hydraulic Resistance System in Healthy Men.J Strength Cond Res. 2015
- Mirghani S, et al. Shorter recovery time following high-intensity interval training induced higher body fat loss among overweight women. Sport Sci Health. 2018
- Batacan R, et al. Effects of high-intensity interval training on cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of intervention studies. Br J Sports Med. 2016
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