HIIT Workouts For Men: Get Shredded!

Holly Smith

By: Holly Smith, M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

HIIT workouts for men

Are you ready to burn some serious calories, build muscle, and get shredded? Even a shorter workout can be high in fat burning and strength building.

The key is to really up the intensity.

HIIT workouts can help you build muscle and get in the best shape of your life.

Get started with these high octane HIIT workouts for men today!

Increase Your Intensity With HIIT

Any workout is going to burn calories, however the higher the intensity of the workout, the more calories you will continue to burn, even after the workout has ended.

This is called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).

So if you are short on time, the key is to really up the intensity. This ensures that even a shorter workout will be high in fat burning and strength building.

Research has even shown the fitness benefits of intense intervals of activity.

A study out of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism showed that two minutes of sprint intervals produced similar post exercise oxygen consumption compared to 30 minutes of continuous running at a lower intensity.

This makes HIIT an excellent option for those that are short on time but still want to get in a killer workout.

Build Muscle With HIIT

High intensity interval training is a great cardio option to burn calories in a short amount of time.

But it’s not just a cardiovascular benefit you will be getting.

HIIT involves doing intervals of an exercise at the hardest effort you can sustain for a given period of time.

You can do pretty much any exercise you choose during these intervals.

This gives you the opportunity to train multiple muscle groups so that you will build lean muscle while you simultaneously burn fat.

Research has even shown that HIIT is effective at increasing muscle size over a three week period of time.

And while you don’t want to rely solely on interval workouts to build muscle, this shows that on days when you can’t get to the gym to lift weights, HIIT is still an excellent alternative.

Get Started With These HIIT Workouts For Men

It can be hard to figure out where to begin with HIIT workouts.

The big thing to remember is to try to perform the interval exercises at the maximum effort you can maintain for the intervals.

This ensures that you reap all of the benefits of interval training.

You can design your own high-intensity interval workouts with just about any exercise.

To get started, here are some awesome examples of HIIT workouts that will improve your fitness and get you ripped in the process.

Power HIIT Workout For Men

Make sure you have a towel and water available for this short, but intense HIIT workout.

High intensity interval training has been shown to produce similar calorie burning compared to longer bouts of lower intensity endurance exercise. This is despite being much shorter in duration.

This makes HIIT workouts a great option if you are short on time but still want to get an intense and effective workout.

This HIIT workout emphasizes power moves that will have your heart pumping and will also target all of your major muscle groups.

Since this is a high-intensity workout, you don’t want to jump in cold.

Warm-up with some light cardio for 3-5 minutes. This could be easy jogging, jump rope, or jumping jacks. Really anything to get the heart and muscles warmed up.

Set 1

  • Burpees with push-up for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds
  • Tuck jumps for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds
  • Mountain climbers for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds
  • Spiderman push-ups for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds

Repeat the circuit three times. Rest for one minute. Then move on to Set 2.
Set 2

  • Alternating jump lunges for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds
  • Side to side push-ups for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds
  • Jump squats for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds
  • Tricep dips for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds

Repeat the circuit three times. Then cool down for 5-10 minutes

20 Minute Treadmill HIIT Workout

You can use a treadmill to get an amazing HIIT workout. You can also do this outside if you don’t have access to a treadmill.

The pace that you choose will be dependent on your current level of fitness.

A simple rule of thumb is to use the rate of perceived exertion to gauge the intensity level as follows:

RPE Level

  • 1: Very light, sitting around watching TV
  • 2-3: Light activity: can maintain for several hours. Can breathe and talk without any difficulty
  • 4-6: Moderate Activity: Breathing a little more heavily. Can have short conversations
  • 7-8: Vigorous Activity: Becoming uncomfortable, can speak a few words at a time
  • 9: Very Hard Activity: Can barely breathe, difficult to even speak one word
  • 10: Max Effort: Feels almost impossible to maintain for more than a few seconds. Completely out of breath

0:00-5:00: Start walking or jogging at an easy pace, around an RPE of 3-4. Increase the incline to 1-2% so that by the end of the first five minutes you are at an RPE of 6.

5:00-7:00: Increase your speed while maintaining the incline so that you are at about an RPE of 7

7:00-9:00: Now, increase the incline another 1-2% while maintaining the same speed, working at an RPE 8

9:00-12:00: Reduce your speed, but maintain the incline, working at an RPE 7

12:00-15:00: After that short break, Increase your speed again and, if you can, increase the incline. This will be the hardest part of the workout. Try to work up to an RPE 9 by the end of this 3-minute interval.

15:00-20:00: Time to cool down! Gradually reduce your speed and incline. Finish at an RPE 3-4.

This is a pure cardio high-intensity interval workout. Even though 20 minutes may not seem like a lot, when you push yourself during these HIIT intervals you will see amazing fitness benefits.

Rowing Machine Interval Workout

If you have access to a rowing machine, this is another great way to get in a high-intensity interval workout.

Rowing machine exercises are an excellent way to fit in a cardio workout while also getting an awesome upper and lower body strength-building workout.

Start with a 5 minute warm-up at an easy pace with an RPE of about 3-4.

For the intervals, you can try a few different options.

Workout 1: Row at an RPE of 8-9 for 40 seconds, then follow with 20 seconds of easy rowing at an RPE of 4-5. Repeat this 10-15 times.

Workout 2: Row at an RPE of 6-7 for 4 minutes, then slow down to an RPE of 3-4 for 2 minutes. Repeat this 3-4 times.

Cool Down: Row for 5 minutes at a leisurely pace.

Dumbbell HIIT Workout

If you have access to a pair of dumbbells these can be used to get a killer HIIT muscle-building workout from just about anywhere.

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, then move to the next. Rest for one minute, then repeat three times.

  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep kickbacks
  • Shoulder press
  • Lawnmower rows
  • Squats

Resistance workouts with weights have been found to help reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, even at less than an hour total for the week.

So adding weights into your interval workouts can give you even more bang for your buck.

HIIT workouts are a great way to get your heart rate up and build muscle in a short period of time.

Be sure to pick a weight that you can continue lifting for the thirty second interval while still maintaining proper form.

Improve Your Fitness and Get Shredded With HIIT Workouts For Men!

Try incorporating some of these HIIT workouts into your weekly schedule.

And if you are looking for more ideas for workouts, you can check out some of the programs offered by the Fit Father Project.

Not only will you find an assortment of new exercises and workout ideas, but you will also receive nutrition guidance and motivation to stay committed to your health and fitness.

As a busy dad, life can get hectic.

But just because you are completely swamped doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on being active.

High-intensity interval workouts are an efficient way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, lose weight, and get a shredded physique.

Holly Smith

Holly Smith M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Holly is board-certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly is a keen runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast. She has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, Olympic distance triathlons, half marathons, and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.


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