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17 HIIT Workouts at Home or the Gym (Beginner to Advanced)

If you’re looking for new inspiration for your High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts, look no further. This has you covered with a wide range of different ideas and options to help take your HIIT workouts game up a notch.

I’ve been a personal trainer for around 20 years.

I’ve used HIIT workouts in each one of those. I’ve written eBooks on the subject and program them every week. I’ll be sharing ideas and tips in this article that will help you get more from HIIT and boost your results.

There’s a huge variety of workouts in this article. Here are some HIIT workouts that this list is suited to:

  • For beginners or advanced athletes
  • For women or men
  • Working out at home
  • Without equipment or with weights
  • HIIT workouts you can do at the gym
  • Workouts for seniors
  • For weight loss and building muscle
  • And more!

So whether or not you’ve got lots of time, no time, some equipment, no equipment or want some cardio inspiration, I’ve got you covered…

I’ve ordered the list from beginner to advanced so you can find one that works for you. 

Although no HIIT should be “easy”! 

Your aim is to train at ‘high intensity’ aka raise your heart rate and sweat!

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benefits of HIIT workout

4 HIIT workouts for beginners without equipment (or little equipment) 

Here’s a list of HIIT workouts that you can do right now without any equipment. There are a couple of things that you may need to find (such as a place to do pull-ups or a hill… or stairs!).

But they are all pretty simple for most people to do.

You can use these in your training to mix things up, or pick workouts from this list at random and use them and your training plan.

Remember research suggests that HIIT burns 25% more calories than other forms of cardio too!

1. Sprint suicides

Sprint suicides

There’s a reason why these have been used by sports coaches since the dawn of time… they’re brutal and they’re very effective too! They combine sprints of different lengths, they require direction change and they can be done at different speeds, just like sports.

Designate a start point with one cone and position three more cones in a straight line. You can adjust the distances between the cones to make the workout easier or harder. 

As a suggestion, set the first cone 10 yards from the start line, the second cone 20 yards away from the start line, and the third cone 30 yards from it.

Sprint to the first cone and back to the start line, then to the second and back to the start line, and finally to the third. 

Rest 60 seconds between rounds. 

Repeat for as many rounds as you can!

Equipment required: 30 yards of straight-line space and 4 cones

2. Bodyweight HIIT workout

Bodyweight HIIT workout

I like this kind of workout because it can be done anywhere – whether you’re in your apartment, a hotel room, the park, or wherever. You don’t need any equipment, just a little bit of space and a willingness to put the work in!

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, one after the other. At the end of the circuit, rest for 2 minutes and repeat.

  • Push-ups
  • Dorsal raises
  • Shoulder push-ups
  • Plyometric lunges
  • Plank

Do as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes.

Equipment required: Your body!

3. Dune/ Hill Sprints

Dune or hill sprint

These are KILLER! They’re so simple yet so effective. You need a steep sand dune or hill, ideally around 50 meters/60 yard long.

The workout itself is super simple. You sprint up to the top of the hill as fast as you can, then walk back down. If you are running up a sand dune it’ll be tougher, because your feet sink into the sand.

Depending on the length/angle of the dune or hill, shoot for 10-20 sprints.

Equipment required: A hill, dune, or stairs!

4. 3-2-1s

3-2-1 HIIT workout

This is another workout I developed in lockdown, where I didn’t have access to a huge amount of training equipment, so had to use the basics. Not having my usual array of tools, I had to get strategic, so I drew inspiration from HIIT.

In this HIIT workout you need a pull up bar and 40 yards of straight line space. The workout is this simple…

  • 3 Air squats
  • 2 Pull-ups
  • 1 Push up
  • 40-yard sprint with a walk back

…Repeat x 50

It’s an interval workout because the walk back from the sprint is a rest period. It used to take me around 1 hour, but it’s a full-body workout and taxes your muscles and cardio system. Of course, you can make it shorter by doing fewer rounds (maybe 20 or 30 instead of 50).

You could also play around with the exercises, giving you additional workout variety. You could also make the sprint a hill sprint if you wanted to take the workout up a notch!

Equipment required: A pull up bar and 40 yards of straight-line space

If you want more ideas on beginner exercises, be sure to check out our beginner bodyweight workout program.

If you’re no longer a beginner, we’ve got an in-depth advanced bodyweight workout plan for you to check out.

10 HIIT workouts at the gym for intermediates (requires equipment)

Note- when I say these are workouts for when you’re at the gym, it could easily be your home gym!

None of these require a lot of equipment and you may already have this at home. 

If not, find one that suits you and the equipment you have. Or you can check out our thorough gym equipment guides to find the best equipment for you to buy so you have it in a few days’ time.

Dozens of hours of research and testing go into every equipment round-up we do. And we have our own strict criteria for picking equipment.

5. Treadmill Valleys

So far in this list, I haven’t mentioned treadmills – not because I don’t think they’re good. It’s more because I tend to use sprints in my coaching. For the treadmill lovers out there though, here’s a ‘valleys’ setup I used in my own training for a half marathon many moons ago!

Work in 2-minute intervals, starting at a walking pace and increasing the speed by 0.5mph every 2 minutes.

Continue until you can’t maintain the pace for the full 2 minutes. At that point, set the speed back to the walking pace and repeat the process.

Equipment required: A treadmill

A person working out on a treadmill valley

6. The Air Bike 30-20-10

This is a really simple yet super effective workout plan. All you need is an Air Bike (or frankly, any exercise bike) and perform this pattern…

  • 30 seconds at a slow recovery pace
  • 20 seconds at a fast pace
  • 10 seconds at a flat-out pace

Continue this pattern for as many rounds as you like. I’d suggest a minimum of 15 rounds and a maximum of 45. Each round lasts 1 minute. I like to use this with my personal training clients because it’s so simple, yet so effective.

Equipment required: AirBike/Bike Erg/Spin Bike

7. Prowler Relays

Prowler Relays

This is a great HIIT workout for when there are three of you training together. You position two people at one end of a track (I’d suggest a MINIMUM of 15 yards) and one at the other. Weight the prowler (the one in this video is a ‘Super Duty’ one that weighs 90kg without additional weight) and push it from one end to the other.

Start from the end with 2 people. Once you reach the end with one person, they push it back. 

Take it in turns for as many rounds as you can. The interval element comes from the rest period you have whilst you’re not pushing the prowler. 

Equipment required: A prowler sled and a minimum of 15 yards straight-line space

8. Drag sled sprints

Sprints are a fantastic interval training tool because they’re so simple, yet so effective. In this workout, you just need a 25-yard length and a drag sled. Weight it (in this video I have 15kg), then sprint in a straight line. 

Turn and sprint back.

Rest after every 50-yard sprint.

Equipment required: A drag sled, 50 yards of straight-line space

9. Burpee into tire flips

You’ll need a heavy tire and a minimum of 40 yards of straight-line space to make this workout effective. Simply flip the heavy tire, perform a burpee and repeat for the 40 (or more) yards.

At the end of the length, rest for 2 minutes and repeat. Go for as many lengths as you can manage in 20 minutes.

Equipment required: A tire and 40 yards of straight-line space

10. HIIT Rowing Machine Workout

The rowing machine lends itself perfectly to HIIT because you can program the intervals and rests perfectly. Here’s a workout I use with my personal training clients as a pure cardio play. It’s too long to use as anything other than cardio. It’ll take around 30 minutes, give or take a few…

  • 1000m Row as fast as possible (AFAP)
  • 3 minutes rest
  • 750m Row (AFAP)
  • 2 minutes 30 seconds rest
  • 500m Row (AFAP)
  • 1-minute rest
  • 250m Row (AFAP)
  • 1-minute rest
  • 500m Row (AFAP)
  • 2 minutes rest
  • 750m Row (AFAP)
  • 3 minutes rest
  • 1000m Row (AFAP)

Equipment required: A rowing machine

Rowing machine workout example

11. Kettlebell swings to push-ups HIIT workout

Kettlebell swings to push ups

The best workouts are the simplest and they don’t get much more simple than this. It’s a perfect finisher at the end of a session, or if you increase the reps you can make it a whole workout if you don’t have much space or equipment.

Perform 10 kettlebell swings superseded by 10 push-ups. Then perform 9 swings and 9 push-ups. 8 swings, 8 push-ups… all the way down to 1 of each. You can then cycle them back up…

2 swings, 2 push-ups. 3 swings, 3 push-ups. 4 swings, 4 push-ups, etc.

Equipment required: A heavy kettlebell

Read all about push up benefits here.

12. Bike HIIT sprints

This is another super simple workout using any kind of exercise bike. It’s best suited to an air bike, bike erg, or a spin bike because you’ll need the rev counter on the bike to do it properly.

Start with a 3 minute warm-up at a gentle pace. Once you’ve done that, alternate sprints with recoveries. Aim for a minimum of 60 RPM on the recoveries, with your sprints maxing out as fast as you can.

You can be creative with the sprint and recovery split, but I suggest a 15-second sprint followed by a 45-second recovery. If you want to make it harder, make the sprint longer and the recovery shorter. Do the opposite if you want to make it easier. 

Equipment required: AirBike/Bike Erg/Spin Bike

Bike HIIT sprints example

13. Ski Erg 100s

The ski erg is a perfect machine for high-intensity bursts because unlike a lot of cardio equipment it’s mostly upper body. Following the time-honored tradition, this is a workout to keep as simple as possible.

You set the ski erg to 100m intervals and blast them as fast as you can. You then rest and repeat as many times as you like.

You adjust the difficulty by increasing the number of intervals and changing the rest periods. If you want to make the workout more difficult add extra intervals and reduce the length of the rest periods.

Equipment required: A ski erg

15. Jump rope HIIT workout

The jump rope is a really under-utilized piece of gym equipment. It’s so simple, yet so effective. In the workout in this video, the instructor mixes jump rope techniques with bodyweight exercises. It’s a good way to mix up both types of training, amplifying the results of them both!

Equipment required: A jump rope

3 HIIT workouts with weights (or more advanced)

These workouts are more advanced than the previous ones because some of the movements do require good technique. 

I would not recommend trying to snatch your bodyweight if you’ve never done one before! 

I do make the weight I’d recommend clear below btw…

15. Dumbbell snatches into sprints

I love the dumbbell snatch as an exercise. It’s unilateral, meaning there’s no strong-side bias. It’s also a great whole-body exercise so provides a big challenge to your fitness. When you combine it with a sprint, you’ve got an amazing high-intensity workout that doesn’t need much equipment. 

I used this exact workout to build up a sweat when we were in lockdown! All you need is a heavy dumbbell (I used a 22.5KG/50LB) and 50 yards of straight-line space. 

The workout goes like this…

  • 20 alternating dumbbell power snatches
  • Sprint 50 yards and walk back
  • 18 alternating dumbbell power snatches
  • Sprint 50 yards and walk back
  • 16 alternating dumbbell power snatches
  • Sprint 50 yards and walk back

All the way down to 2.

You have to go with even numbers so you don’t end up doing extra reps on one side!

Equipment required: Dumbbells and 50 yards of straight-line space

SMRFT Nüobell 80LB Adjustable Dumbbells

SMRFT Nüobell 80LB Classic
Read our best adjustable dumbbell guide here

These are the dumbbells we recommend for ‘most people’.

We have spent over 50 hours of research and compared over 100 dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells make sense for most home gyms as they save space.

The Nüobell dumbbells go all the way to 80lbs per hand. This means they are much more versatile than most 50lbs adjustable dumbbells. You can use these for heavy shrugs, squats and bench press etc.

The main reason they are the top pick is because of their shape. They actually feel like real dumbbells and are not awkward to lift like some others.

16. Barbell Tabata workout

For the avoidance of doubt, this isn’t a pure Tabata in the sense that it’s one exercise for 4 minutes and that’s the whole workout.

Instead, we’re following a Tabata protocol of 4 minutes of an exercise consisting of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. We’ll do this with a series of 5 exercises…

  • Thrusters
  • Cleans
  • Squats
  • Shoulder presses
  • Deadlifts

Perform each for 4 minutes, following a 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest pattern. Stick with the one exercise for all 4 minutes – don’t mix them up.

At the end of the 4 minutes, rest for 2 minutes and move on to the next exercise on the list. 

Pro tip: Use a MUCH lighter weight than you normally would. It’ll add up quickly and you won’t be able to complete a whole 4 minutes if you don’t!
Equipment required: A barbell and bumper plates

Barbell Tabata workout

17. DT – a CrossFit Hero WOD

I like to mix up exercise and think that weight training has a place in HIIT. One pure weight training high-intensity interval workout is ‘DT’. The protocol is as follows…

5 rounds for time of:

  • Deadlifts, 12 reps
  • Hang power cleans, 9 reps
  • Push jerks, 6 reps

My suggestion if you’ve never done DT before is to pick a light weight and go from there. It’s very tough, but remember you get a rest after each round. This kind of weight training will get you seriously JACKED!

Equipment required: A CrossFit barbell (that can be dropped) and bumper plates

Other important info about HIIT workouts

While we devoted a separate article on the benefits of HIIT, let’s sum up some important info here as well…

Using HIIT as your baseline, you’re open to creative workout programming. 

Here are just 17 of the potential options, but in reality, you could go on forever.

The important thing is to get creative. Use it to push your fitness in different directions, not only seeing it as a cardio workout. In this article, I’ve tried to show you how you can incorporate weight training into your HIIT.

If you have a home gym, design workouts to use ALL of your equipment. Mix in cardio AND strength elements. Use your outdoor space. Use your body weight, and buy items you don’t own (jump ropes for example). 

If you would like to build your own home gym check out our ultimate guide. It really doesn’t have to be as expensive (or take up as much space) as you might think!

The world is your playground with HIIT. As I showed you with the dune workout, take advantage of the outdoors. Find a hill or flight of stairs and sprint up it. Walk back down… then sprint back up it. 

There’s no need to make these workouts complicated, just work hard and work fast!

HIIT workouts: The bottom line

HIIT workouts can be used to help you with almost any fitness goal.

Don’t think of them as cardio only – use them to build muscle, burn fat, and improve your strength and endurance.

In this article, you have 17 examples of effective HIIT workouts. Why not throw one or two of these into your training per week for the rest of the year? You’ll give yourself new challenges and push your fitness to new levels.

HIIT workouts can reinvigorate your exercise regime and force you to think creatively. Take these workouts and start dropping them into your training today. 

Your fitness will thank you…

Check out our popular beginner weight lifting routine if you want to find a safe and effective way to start lifting weights. If you no longer consider yourself a beginner, check out our more advanced weight lifting workout.

Want to Improve Your Own Home Gym?

Check out our guide on how to build a home gym for any budget.

Our team of fitness experts has spent thousands of hours testing and researching equipment. It’s all compiled in one place with the essential items your gym needs to see results.

Photo of author
Hi! My name is Steve Hoyles. I’m a personal trainer, gym owner and fitness copywriter. Since graduating with my Sports Science degree in 2004 I’ve worked in the fitness industry, helping thousands of people reach their health and fitness goals. My writing has been read by millions of people in over 200 countries.

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