The 5 Best HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Combos

The benefits of exercising with intensity are plentiful – unmatched improvements in insulin sensitivity and body composition, mind-blowing reductions in triglyceride and blood glucose levels, considerable increases in aerobic performance measures (that are equivalent to steady-state cardio in < 1/10th the time) – and as we discussed in 1% Fitness, there are several ways you can tackle this:


For simplicity sake, we classify HIIT exercise as dynamic movements performed for longer durations, and SIT (or Sprint-Interval Training) exercise as shorter all-out athletic efforts. With SIT centered on sprint, agility, or strongman training, and being reserved for the more advanced, or those that have built-up a solid base working through the 9 Phases from the book.

You’ll also notice from the chart that you have the option of executing a 2-min Upper/Lower HIIT or a 2-min Total-Body HIIT. With Option 1 having you execute 2 exercises back-to-back (ex: 30 work, 30 work, 60 rest) or more spaced out (ex: 30w, 30r, 30w, 30r), and Option 2 having you select 1 uber-challenging total-body movement followed by significant rest.


Generally speaking, 3-4 sets of a 2-min HIIT combo (option 1), followed by 3-4 sets of a 2-min HIIT single (option 2), produces a pretty solid workout. Although, there’s nothing wrong with doing back-to-back singles and upping the set range to 5 & 5 (like I do sometimes with burpees while travelling) or back-to-back combos for a total of 4 exercises.

When it comes to HIIT combos, exercise selection can be a thing of beauty, or a devastating mistake (that’s quickly recognized). And as expected, I have done my fair share of both; so it only seems appropriate for me to share some of my favorites (in no particular order).

1. Squat to Step-Up + DB Plank Pass

2. Speed Skater + Side Plank Twists (opt Push-Up)

3. Deadlift & Press + Crossover Crunches (or V-Ups)

4. Jump (or Drop) Lunge + Straight-Leg Walkouts (opt Push-Up)

5. Kettlebell Swing + Tricep Get-Up

Honorable mention goes to Med Ball Slams, which are fantastic for the core, always get the heart rate going, and seem to be the perfect stress-reliever.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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