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HIIT workouts for weight loss are intense bursts of exercise that rapidly raise the heart rate for a short period of time. This boosts your metabolism and helps your body burn more fat...fast. Check out the HIIT workout ideas from the morning Boot Camp I attended. We split our time between running and HIIT workouts for weight loss.
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HIIT Training Boot Camp
It had been on my mind for a while. The fact that I need to get back into better physical condition. I had read about HIIT training and knew it was a good way to burn fat without putting hours in at the gym.
My wife actually got me started on HIIT training.
She signed up for a workout class called a Bootcamp at our local community center. At the time she signed up for the class I thought it sounded like a good idea for getting into shape.
What I didn’t understand was why my wife, who hates running, would ever sign up for a running boot camp. Well, after about 6 weeks she was done, too much running.
She thought I should check it out. Because I like to run.
Now you have to understand I haven't had any real workouts except lifting weights or pounding a body bag. That sort of exercise.
So I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I signed up and was thinking the whole time, this seems like a piece of cake.
Mind you this program starts at 5:30 am. That alone deters many people from joining the boot camp.
But if you’re like most of us, we work, have kids to get to school, and busy lives. This is really the best time, really the only time, that fits into my busy schedule.
The boot camp was a 4-day program that focused on running and HIIT workouts for weight loss. It ran Monday through Thursday over a 6-week session.
The instructor was a petite woman that we all called Ma’am. Her size was deceiving because we found over time she could exercise like a machine.
As part of the program, she assigned everyone a boot camp name. Something that was unique and easy to remember. Mine was Ringer since I like to play horseshoes.
For this intense type of exercise program, make sure your workout gear and clothes are ready. The gear I recommend for boot camp is a water bottle, yoga mat, running shoes, reflective gear, leggings or shorts, workout shirts, and earbuds.
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The First Week of Bootcamp
Monday - Running Day.
We did various types of stretching for about 15 minutes at the start of the class. For a good, all body stretch routine, check out my post on Stretching Exercise to Keep You Flexible.
After we stretched we went outside and did a drill called the caterpillar. This was a drill to help everyone remember your name. So whoever is in the rear runs at a full sprint to the front of the line yelling their Bootcamp name (get the picture?), while the group is running at a slow jog. After about 5 miles we were done for the first day. So far, this boot camp didn’t seem to be a big deal.
Mind you, this is a one hour class. Now again at the beginning of class, you are mainly doing stretching which was not a big deal.
Then we were in a gym with a big basketball court and Ma'am was an exercise machine. So she wanted to find out where each person’s fitness level was, how many sit-ups can you do in 2 minutes. Just to see just where you are.
Needless to say, I did pretty well, I thought. I came in at about 55 sit-ups. I thought it was good, huh?
After that, the real HIIT workouts began. We were doing crazy stomach exercises I have never heard of, 100 repetitions at a time.
- Crunches were about the easiest, you have someone stand in front of you, you put your legs up and they throw them down on each side, 100 times.
- Leg lifts, hold at 6 inches for 30 seconds, raise to 45 degrees for 30 seconds, and then lower the legs back down to 6 inches, all the up, back down to 6 inches, then to 45, then all the up, 100 times.
- The next is where you lie on your back put your hand under your butt, with legs straight up. Then push up your legs 50 times. I have to be honest I couldn't get it done.
After that, she would tack on 8 more types of stomach exercises. But I put out the effort, after all, I was paying for it.
Oh in between the 100 reps we did shuttles across the court to break up the stomach reps.
Of course, we would rest in between sets to normalize our heart rates, but then we were right back at it.
Wednesday - Arm Day.
Talk about push-ups. I can see why people in the military are in such phenomenal shape.
Of course, we did our normal stretching which was the easiest part of the class. We started with timed pushups for 2 minutes. I thought I did well, at 62. What I learned is doing push-ups as fast as you can, made the rest of the hour that much harder.
Everything from handstand pushups up against a wall for balance. We measured how many we could do in 1 minute. For me, that was about 5.
In between, we ran wind sprints back and forth as fast as you can, twice back to the wall until you reach 50. Then you do Hindu push-ups. If you don’t what Hindu pushup is, here's a video by AnyUp that shows you how you do them. 20 per set.
Running again between sets.
Next is wide pushups.
Then running in full sprint. By the time you leave and hit the shower, you have a hard time washing your hair your arms are so tight.
But remember you're paying for the boot camp and you're really not in the military so take it easy on yourself.
Thursday - HIIT Workout Mix
Thursday is a mix of all the exercises. But the First Thursday you go to the ¼ mile track get timed for the 1 mile. I think I ran the very first time like 12 minutes it was hard and I was plenty sore.
After that first week I was literally crawling around the house, I was so sore, because I was so out of shape. Exercising like everyone else that was in shape and then it hit me. The best thing about doing a boot camp is that you're with a group of people who want the same things you want and that is getting yourself back into great condition.
Although it is difficult at first because we have let ourselves go. We really haven’t done any exercise or maybe you're not so out of shape and just need to be around others, that will push you and at the same time support you.
These camps are a fantastic way to get yourself motivated, just don’t get too gung-ho about it. Especially if you are completely out of condition, go at your own pace, until you feel like you, can do more.
Do the exercises but not the whole routine. You don’t want to quit before the magic happens. What a lesson to learn.
At the end of the 6-week boot camp, I increased my pushups to 95, my sit-ups to 105, and I ran the 1 mile just about 9:45 minutes. What a feeling of accomplishment! So I signed up for another 6-weeks.
Boot camps are a great way to get into physical condition and of course, you can join a group and do it with others. Or to save time you can do some of your own circuits.
Benefits of HIIT Workouts
- Benefits of the HIIT workout include a fast-paced workout for busy people, that can be done at home on your time.
- It doesn’t require a gym membership or specialized equipment. Although you can add hand weights, a kettle ball, or jump rope for extra benefit as you build up your endurance.
- Generally, HIIT workouts are 15 to not more than 30 minutes. So they are quick intense bursts of exercise. After a session your body needs recovery time, so limit sessions to 3 per week.
- HIIT workouts for weight loss burn more calories in a shorter amount of time and help your body burn more fat for energy. 1, 2, 3 Studies shows that 15 minutes of HIIT workouts keep your metabolism high for up to 24 hours post-workout. 3, 4
- Incorporating HIIT workouts for weight loss into your exercise can help manage blood sugar levels, 7, 8 lower blood pressure 6 and strengthen your heart. 5
- Lastly, HIIT is an exercise routine that you can do at your own pace and build on as you can take on more exercise.
Risks of HIIT Workouts
With the rise in popularity of HIIT workouts, one concern is the potential risk of injury for a beginner. Going from couch potato to a full-blown 30-minute intense workout may set you up for injury.
According to an article by Shape Magazine, the primary areas you should watch are:
- Going from couch potato to full-blown HIIT workouts for weight loss, without a ramp-up period for your body to acclimate to full-blown exercise. So consider adding simple HIIT workouts into your exercise and work up to more intense sessions.
- Lack of knowledge on how to incorporate HIIT into workouts. Even some HIIT instructors may not adequate training to prevent setting up the risk of injury. Again, simple HIIT exercises such as jumping rope or running stairs or speed walking or running are all good workouts to add heart raising activity to your exercise.
- Exercising when tired or using improper positioning or form in your HIIT workouts. Because HIIT focuses on intensity, speed, and a high number of repetitions in a short period of time, it's important to use proper form. Also, being tired is a set-up for injury.
Do HIIT Right
When adding HIIT workouts for weight loss take the time to practice good form for the exercise. Think about the knee position and protecting your back. Lastly, make sure and incorporate stretch to your workouts to make sure you have full mobility when attacking HIIT sessions.
- Having supportive athletic shoes is also important. There is a lot of jumping and running with HIIT workouts. Don't skimp on cross-trainers or running shoes.
- Lastly, remember to add in periods of rest and recovery to bring your heart rate back into a normal range. It's very important. And, don't plan on continuing HIIT workouts for more than 30 minutes max.
If you are new to HIIT workouts, consider adding simple HIIT workouts to your exercise before taking on more intense sessions of HIIT. Check out my post on Simple HIIT Workouts Burn Fat in 15 Minutes.
HIIT Workouts at Home
I'll explain the process, you pick the exercises. I’ll give examples and you can commit to getting it done. This is an incredible way to workout with amazing results.
Start this routine with 3 minutes of warm-up. Find some stairs to walk up and down to warm your legs, walk, or march in place.
Once you are warmed up, stretch for 10 minutes. Do stretches for the major muscle groups you plan to work out.
Quick HIIT Workout for Weight Loss Plan
|Torso twists |
Are you getting the picture? Here's more if You Can Do It!
|Jump Rope||90 sec|
|Leg Lunges||90 sec|
|Arm Circles||90 sec|
Customize Your HIIT Workout for Weight Loss
If you don't like the routine above, customize one by adding in one or two of the variations below.
Push-ups: Standard, handstand, wide grip, close grip, knuckle, Hindu, one-leg, clap, dead stop, incline, decline, stagger, tricep/military, Spiderman,
Sit-ups: traditional, bicycle crunches, reverse crunches, Russian twist, torso twist, raised leg crunches, abdominal floor crunches, plank, lying superman,
MISC: lunges, crab walk, jumping jacks, bodybuilders, jumpies, squat thrust, running in place, jumping rope, butt kicks. windmills. arm circles. straight arm claps
Always include stretching in your workouts. Add stretches from my post Stretching Exercise to Keep You Flexible.
HIIT Workout With Weight Training
For more full-blown results, try a more advanced HIIT workout weight loss, by incorporating a weekly mix of weight lifting with HIIT workouts.
A session of weight lifting is 60 minutes and a HIIT workout being 25 minutes maximum. Four of the 7 days each week workout with weights, where you focus on the upper body, including chest, arms, and shoulders and breaking it up with leg work. The other alternate 3 days, just do a HIIT workout.
One important tip to remember is to eat prior to doing the HIIT workout. It is very hard to give it your all when you have no fuel in your system.
Eating a pre-workout meal is critical. This is one of the biggest mistakes people tend to make when trying to lose pounds.
Take care of yourself and think about the energy you’ll need when doing the exercises. Not only will you burn the calories during Hiit workouts by doing the intense workouts it will help your body go into the body repair cycle quicker and it keeps your metabolism high throughout your day.
That means in 24 hours after the Hiit you will be burning more fat.
HIIT for Belly Fat Weight Loss
If your goal is to remove belly fat, 3 try these types of exercises:
- Burpee. Use all your muscles.
- Mountain Climber. Think of the mountain climber as a moving plank.
- Kettlebell Swing. You’ll need a partner for this one.
- Medicine Ball Slam.
- Dumbbell Overhead Lunge.
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