Pyramid HIIT Workout - Fun with Numbers Workout


Calorie burn:

333 to 518





Equipment Needed:

Dumbbell, No Equipment

Workout type:

Cardiovascular, HIIT, Toning

Body focus:


Workout Details

Though we like using a Tabata style High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) structure for many of our interval workouts (20 seconds on 10 seconds off) it is always a good idea to switch it up on a regular basis to challenge your body in different ways.

This Pyramid HIIT workout does just that by taking the idea of a timed set that is typically used in intervals and blending it with a pyramid workout structure commonly used with a repetition based strength routine.

A typical Pyramid workout structure looks like this; using an odd number of sets (5-11 or more per exercise) you start with a small number of repetitions then add repetitions every set until the middle set, then work your way back down until you end with the same number of repetitions you started with.

For example a 5 set pyramid might look something like this:

Set 1: 6 Repetitions
Set 2: 10 Repetitions
Set 3: 14 Repetitions
Set 4: 10 Repetitions
Set 5: 6 Repetitions

With this routine we have taken that idea and turned it into a HIIT workout by using the same structure but with timed intervals instead of repetitions. So the structure for each exercise of this routine will be this:

15 Seconds Active
15 Seconds Rest
30 Seconds Active
15 Seconds Rest
45 Seconds Active
15 Seconds Rest
30 Seconds Active
15 Seconds Rest
15 Seconds Active
10 Seconds Rest/Set up for next exercise

By the time you are done you will have completed a total of 2 minutes and 15 seconds of each exercise but using varying lengths of effort. By using this structure and breaking up your effort into manageable sections and only taking minimal rest periods you can effectively do more work and burn more calories than is possible by simply completing the exercise once through without stopping.

The key is not completely exhausting yourself as this slows your ability to burn calories because you are too tired to continue performing the motion to its fullest extent. This concept is why any HIIT program (especially this one) is better at burning calories than a traditional set and repetition based workout program.

Workout Structure
This routine consists of a warm up followed by two groups of three exercises (6 total) then a short cool down. The following is a quick rundown of the exercises we will be using and what muscle groups they target.

Group One

• High Knees: This simple exercise is fantastic for getting your heart rate up fast. To get the most out of it be sure to quickly transition one foot to the other while driving the knees up as high as you can.

• Toe Touch Crunch: This abdominal exercise is great for effectively targeting the upper and lower abs as well as forcing the hip flexors and quadriceps (front of thigh) to work, increasing your over all calorie burn.

• Burpee Push Up: If you have ever done a Burpee you know this is an effective total body exercise that leaves you panting in no time. By adding in a push up you increase your intensity by using even more large muscle groups, drastically increasing your overall calorie burn.

Group Two

• Squat and Pass: This exercise couples a traditional squat with a shoulder exercise to not only increase the overall effort of the squat, also to change the leverage of the motion to work your legs just a bit differently than a squat alone.

• Back Bow: This Pilates exercise targets almost every muscle group through the back of the body, from the rhomboids and deltoids on the shoulders and upper back all the way down through the lower back to the butt and hamstrings. It may look like a simple motion but is killer for back strength and a great calorie burner.

• Mt. Climbers: This exercise is right up there with burpees as far as difficulty and calorie burn goes. This is a killer for the core, hip flexors, and quadriceps and also gets a good burn in the shoulders. To get the most from this exercise be sure to keep your feet moving as quickly as possible and once you burnout don’t stop, just switch to moving one foot at a time rather than simultaneously.

Calories burned
We estimate that this cardio & abdominal routine burns between 9 and 14 calories a minute. The exact expenditure will depend on your weight, gender, muscle mass and many other variables.



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