Sort your TABATA from your EMOM with MF’s guide to five of the most effective types of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.

Training at high intensity is based on a simple principle: push your body hard enough – even if only for 10 seconds – and it will keep burning calories long after your workout has finished. But where do you start? Below, we’ve rounded up 5 of the most effective types of HIIT workouts to help you get your high intensity interval training fix. Grab your best exercise mat and get ready to feel the burn.

5 types of HIIT workouts

The HIIT List: 5 Types Of High-Intensity Interval Training Men's Fitness UK


Just 4 minutes is all you need to blast your body into action and melt fat, fast.

Traditional TABATA HIIT workouts consist of just two exercises: perform the first continuously at maximum intensity for 20 seconds, take a 10-second break, then go all-out on the second exercise for 20 seconds. Keep going until the 4 minutes are up.

Example TABATA HIIT circuit:

1a. Jump Squats
1b. Burpees


Short for ‘every minute on the minute’, this type of HIIT is a protocol that keeps the intensity high and rest low to challenge your powers of recovery and force your body to adapt.

Most EMOM workouts consist of one exercise performed for a specific number of reps at the start of every minute, with the remainder of the minute your allotted rest time. So, the quicker you go, the more rest you get.

Example EMOM HIIT exercises:

Wide-Grip Pull-Ups
Reps: 5
Sets: 10

Reps: 10
Sets: 10

Kettlebell Swings
Reps: 12
Sets: 12

Reps: 3
Sets: 10

The HIIT List: 5 Types Of High-Intensity Interval Training Men's Fitness UK


No snakes here, just a steep climb and fast descent.

Each workout consists of two exercises. Perform 1 rep of the first exercise, followed immediately by 1 rep of the second exercise, then rest for 45 seconds. Perform 2 reps of each exercise, then 3, then 4 and so on, all the up to 10 reps – resting for 40 seconds between each pair.

Once you’ve completed 10 of each, work your way back down the ladder.

Example ladders HIIT circuit:

1a. Pull-Ups
1b. Press-Ups

2a. Chin-Ups
2b. Diamond Press-Ups

3a. Kettlebell Swings
3b. Box Jumps 


Ironically simple, complexes involve picking up a bit of kit and not letting go of it again until the workout is finished. They test your grip strength and willpower, and fire up your metabolism.

An example workout would consist of five exercises. Complete the prescribed number of reps for each exercise in order without resting, then rest for 90 seconds, and repeat the whole thing four times.

Example complexes HIIT circuit:

1a. Deadlift (10 reps)
1b. Bent-Over Row (10 reps)
1c. Power Clean (10 reps)
1d. Push Press (10 reps)
1e. Back Squat (10 reps)

The HIIT List: 5 Types Of High-Intensity Interval Training Men's Fitness UK


‘As many rounds as possible’ simply means completing as many reps or rounds as you can in the allotted time.

Say you had a circuit of six exercises, you could set a timer for 20 minutes and complete as many rounds of that circuit as you can.

AMRAP training is an effective way to monitor your fitness, because you can easily test yourself against previous efforts.

Example AMRAP HIIT circuit:

1a. Press-Ups (10 reps)
1b. Jump Squats (10 reps)
1c. Mountain Climbers (10 reps)
1d. Jumping Lunges (10 reps)
1e. V Sit-Ups (10 reps)
1f. Burpees (10 reps)

Head over to our sister page, Women’s Fitness UK, to find out more about HIIT workouts