Is a HIIT 30 seconds sprint the ideal timing for a high-intensity interval training workout? A HIIT workout can vary from 10 seconds sprints to sets of 4 minutes long. These can adapt your body in different ways, but for this article we are going to focus on the 30 second HIIT interval and the top workouts to get these done.
The HIIT 30 seconds Workout Recipe
- 30 seconds intervals of maximum effort
- Recovery Intervals from 15 seconds to 4 minutes
- Limit the whole exercise to a maximum of twenty minutes
- Only 3 times per week
HIIT 30 Seconds Sprints
30 Second sprint interval training changes your body. Sprinting is a full body, all out anaerobic workout. It’s easy to push your body into the right training zone for HIIT quickly, and 30 seconds HIIT is the perfect timing for each sprint.
Sprinting completely transforms your body. Look at professional sprinters. How much fat are they carrying? Literally, none. They have some of the best physiques and body composition on the planet.
Here is what you do.
Sprints are best done outside, so find yourself a track or an empty field that you can run around. Use a HIIT 30 seconds interval MP3 because you really will not be paying attention to anything else in a few seconds. When the interval timer starts, sprint as hard as you can. This is all out effort for 30 seconds. What this means is maximum effort. Deep, forceful breathing with your max heart rate near its limit. The sprint should be uncomfortable. If you can talk without having to stop for deep breathes every word or two, you aren’t there.
When you hit 30 seconds, slow to a jog or even a walk and get your breath back. You want your heart rate to recover back down to something close to normal exercise.
How long should your recovery period be for? Well, that depends on your fitness level, but here is what you need to keep in mind. The whole point of the workout is the 30 seconds sprint interval. The intensity that you can put into this sprint matters, and this makes the recovery so important. You want to go all out in your next interval. Rests can vary from 4 minutes to 30 seconds. A good idea would be to start at around 90 seconds and see how you go.
|8 sets||30 secs||90 secs|
What changes would you expect to see? In a meta analysis of sprint HIIT training, they found that the body fat loss from 30 seconds of HIIT was 91.8% more effective than moderate intensity and 40.7% more effective than 2 minute HIIT.
HIIT Spin Bike
While sprints are the gold standard, 30 seconds HIIT on a spin bike might be the best interval training exercise. The spin bike gives you the ability to control your effort and intensity with precision, as well as setting up a proper burn for some of the biggest energy storing muscles in your body.
In a recent study, athletes on a spin bike got considerably fitter with the 30 seconds HIIT workout. The study showed that 30 seconds short bursts, with 15 second rests, produce considerably bigger performance gains against 5-minute interval. (You might notice that this workout follows the Tabata workout protocol of 2:1 work to rest ratio. It is twice as long as a normal Tabata workout though.)
Here’s is how to do it
Once you are comfortable and warmed up on a stationary bike, setup your HIIT training mp3 with 30 second sprints. Once the set starts, turn up the resistance to a point where you can still pedal, but its effort to turn those pedals around.
Too little resistance will mean you just spin your legs around without ever making to an anaerobic zone and too heavy means you can’t actually get into a smooth sprint where you can go all out.
In my personal experience doing 30 second HIIT sprints on a spin bike, I would aim at a resistance where I could go all out and by the time we hit 10 seconds into the interval, my thighs would burn and be begging me to stop. I would then just hang on and push as hard as I could until the end of the interval. I would set it up so that by the end of the interval, I had nothing left to give.
Once the 30 second interval ended, I would turn the resistance right down to nothing and take a drink while I just turned my legs over and tried to recover. As with all the intervals, the recovery is all about getting your body into shape to give it your all again, and will depend on your personal fitness level. This isn’t a cardio aerobic exercise session, there is a huge difference in your activity between sprinting and recovery.
HIIT 30 seconds Bodyweight Workout
Bodyweight HIIT workouts with 30 second sets let you give yourself a complete body workout in minimal time. You also have time to let your muscles recover more, while keeping your heart rate high. You can do this by alternating between upper body and lower body HIIT exercises.
By doing this, you allow your workout to target all of your major muscle groups. This will maximise your post exercise afterburn. Your body will need to restock these muscles with glycogen before your next workout.
Here is how you build your workout
Pick four to five bodyweight exercises that target the muscle you want to be working. When choosing these, make sure these HIIT exercises contain two things.
First, are they going to challenge you metabolically? You want to get your body moving, your heart rate up and challenge your fitness. You need to make sure that each intense exercise will get you pumping.
Second, are you targeting muscle groups with lots of energy to burn? Your glutes, quads, back and chest muscles hold the key to really ramping up your metabolism, make sure each workout targets these.
If you want ideas for your HIIT Bodyweight workout, you can check out this page and try a few of the exercises there.
Once you have your workout setup, you are warmed up and you are ready, start your interval workout timer. Do the first exercise for 30 seconds as hard as you can. Really give it your all. Use a 30 second interval timer to keep you focused for the entire set.
When you hit your rest period, take a drink, catch your breath and prepare yourself for the next high intensity exercise.
Once again, your breaks will be as long as it takes for you to recover. This can be for a minute or two, down to 15 seconds.
HIIT Dumbbell workout
Ok, I’m sure you are getting the idea, so in the spirit of interval training, lets go a little faster!
HIIT Stairs workout
HIIT Stairs combines the benefits of sprinting with resistance, of pulling your body up stairs. For this one you will need the right location. The best is a stadium where you have access to many rows of stairs because as you get better, each HIIT 30 seconds set will get you higher up the stairs.
|8 sets||30 secs||90 secs|
(You can always do this HIIT workout on a Stairmaster, but it won’t be as beneficial as going up real stairs.)
HIIT Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell Swings give you an all body workout. I first came across this simple but hugely effective HIIT workout from Tim Ferris in his book, the four-hour body.
Grab yourself a kettlebell that challenging but not too heavy. Look at about 12lbs to 15lbs for a lady, 25lbs to 35lbs for a man. Swing it for 30 seconds, then rest…and repeat.
|8 sets||30 secs||15 secs|
Here is how to do the kettlebell swing with good form.
If you are looking for another Tabata style kettlebell workout, take a look at this routine here.
HIIT Battle Ropes
Another fantastic Gym High-Intensity interval training workout is to use battle ropes. Health benefits include using your whole body, improving your balance and increasing that anaerobic and aerobic capacity (all of these HIIT 30 seconds workouts will improve your V02 Max)
Here are how to do the battle rope moves.
Well, that is seven workout your can do with 30 seconds intervals, but there are hundreds more to do. HIIT 30 seconds intervals are the bread and butter of High-intensity interval training and you could stick on them for the rest of your workouts.
Take a few of these workouts for a spin, see how you fair and let me know in the comments below.