HIIT Workouts For Men [Fat Burning and Muscle Building After 40]

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

HIIT Workouts For Men

Ready to burn calories, build muscle, and get shredded? HIIT workouts for men will help you achieve those goals and much more!

Even a shorter workout can be high in fat-burning and strength-building. The key is to really up the intensity.

As we age, maintaining our fitness and overall health becomes increasingly important. The demands of work, family, and other responsibilities often leave little time for lengthy gym sessions. This is where HIIT workouts for men come in!

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of cardiovascular exercise that alternates between short bursts of intense activity and brief periods of rest or lower-intensity activity. These workouts can be customized to suit individual fitness levels and goals, making them accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

Muscle loss is a natural part of aging, but with HIIT workouts for men, you can combat the notorious decline in muscle mass and maintain strength. Do you have joint issues? HIIT can be customized to minimize the strain on your joints while providing an effective workout.

Aging also brings a decrease in testosterone production, but HIIT can give this hormone a healthy boost. Slowing metabolism is another common issue for men over 40, and HIIT is the ultimate metabolism booster!

HIIT is not just a physical game-changer; it's also a mental health warrior. The release of endorphins during HIIT can diminish stress, anxiety, and depression. Achieve a stronger body and a healthier mind — all-in-one workout with HIIT workouts for men!

This bodyweight HIIT workout can be done in 6 minutes at home without ANY equipment!

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).

A study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism showed that two minutes of sprint intervals produced similar EPOC compared to 30 minutes of continuous running at a lower intensity. This makes HIIT an excellent option for those short on time but still want to get in a killer workout.

Learn more about what HIIT actually is, how it differs from steady-state cardio, and what HIIT workouts are best for different types of exercise.

Build Muscle With HIIT

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

Tabata training is a HIIT workout that lasts only 4 minutes. Here's the backstory and the research behind Tabata.

HIIT Workouts For Men To Add To Your Routine

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! It emphasizes power moves that will have your heart pumping, and it targets all of your major muscle groups.

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-ups for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds
  • Tuck jumps for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds
  • Mountain climbers for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds
  • Spiderman push-ups for 20 seconds, rest for 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.

This 10-minute home workout (no equipment needed) will kick your butt!

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 be maintained 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.

20-Minute Treadmill HIIT Workout

  • 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.

This metabolic resistance training workout plan will help you lose fat and burn calories!

Rowing Machine Interval Workout

If you have access to a rowing machine, this is another great way to get in a HIIT 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.

Once complete, cool down by rowing 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 to 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 30-second interval while still maintaining proper form.

Looking for more dumbbell workout ideas? You can do this full-body workout in less than 30 minutes!

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

Writer, The Fit Father 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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*Please know that weight loss results and health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on HIIT workouts for men.

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

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