Health

The Men’s Health 30-Day HIIT Workout Challenge

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Building dedicated time for exercise into your daily routine can be difficult, but it might be even harder to make the most out of every single workout. If you spend an hour a day in the gym but never train hard enough to break a sweat, you might not be doing much for yourself in the long run. That’s one of the major benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts—if you’re doing them properly, you won’t need to spend so much time to get results.

This Men’s Health 30-Day HIIT Challenge was designed by fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., to maximize that most precious of resources and keep you moving even when your schedule is at its busiest.

The setup is simple. You’ll take on a 10-minute bodyweight workout every day for the next 30 days. Each workout can be used as a standalone session, insuring that, for at least a few minutes a day, you’re pushing your heart rate and moving your body explosively. Or, you can use these workouts as 10-minute conditioning finishers, adding a flurry of high-intensity movement to the end of any lifting session for some extra calorie burn.

Either way, you’ll battle through a daily session—but not every workout is designed to crush you. Your body needs to recover between truly high-intensity bouts of training; it’s not meant to be maxed out on a daily basis. With that in mind, you’ll have two days a week (Days 2 and 5) where you’ll aim to push your limits during your intervals. Three days a week (Days 3, 6, and 7), you’ll work through more traditional interval training, working for a time period, then resting for a time period. Yes, you can go hard in these workouts, but the intervals will be longer. By default, your intensity will be a little lower in these workouts, even though you’ll still feel like you’re pushing hard. On Days 1 and 4 of each week, you’ll work through an AMRAP-style sessions, completing as many rounds as possible of a circuit that keeps you moving but doesn’t crush your body.

Every few days, you’ll add new moves to your arsenal; by the end of the 30-day period, you’ll be comfortable with using all nine of the exercises below in a variety of high-intensity and cardiovascularly aggressive workouts.

To keep your workouts organized over the 30 days of the challenge, use these helpful shortcuts: Go to the HIIT Exercises to learn the moves, then proceed to the sections for Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5.

You’ll warm up for every single HIIT workout with 30 seconds each of planks, jumping jacks, and reverse lunges. Perform these sessions first thing in the morning, after other training, or even when you can steal a quick 10 minutes away from your workday.

The Men’s Health 30-Day HIIT Workout Challenge

Week 1

  • Day 1: AMRAP

Complete as many rounds as possible of the following circuit. Rest as needed between reps and sets.

15 Full-Release Pushups / 25 Plank Shoulder-Taps / 30 Touchdown Jacks

Complete all of the moves in order as fast as you can in each minute, then rest til the start of the next minute. Complete 10 rounds.

5 Full-Release Pushups / 10 Plank Shoulder-Taps / 10 Touchdown Jacks

  • Day 3: Interval Workout + 2-Minute Finisher

Do each move a minute, working for 40 seconds, then resting 20 seconds. Alternate back and forth for four rounds. After you’ve completed the fourth round, do as many touchdown jacks as possible in two minutes.

Minute 1: Full-Release Pushup

Minute 2: Plank Shoulder-Tap

  • Day 4: DOUBLE-AMRAP

Spend five minutes attacking Circuit 1 below, aiming to complete as many rounds as possible. Rest for one minute, holding a plank. Then take on Circuit 2, aiming to complete as many rounds as possible in four minutes.

Circuit 1: 20 Touchdown Jacks / 20 Mountain Climbers

Circuit 2: 10 Full-Release Pushups / 10 Plank Shoulder-Taps

  • DAY 5: EMOM + 1

Complete the entire circuit in each minute, working to move as quickly as possible. Rest as soon as you’re done, and then begin the next round at the start of the next minute. After each round, add one rep to your each exercise in the circuit. Do 10 rounds (or work until you can no longer complete all your work in each round).

5 Full-Release Pushups / 5 Touchdown Jacks / 10 Mountain Climbers

  • DAY 6: Buy-in to Intervals

Start with one full minute of mountain climbers. Then repeat the three exercises below in order, working for 40 seconds on, then resting for 20 seconds. Do three rounds.

Minute 1: Plank Shoulder-Taps

Minute 2: Mountain Climbers

Minute 3: Touchdown Jacks

  • Day 7: Light Intervals

Do two rounds of the below circuit. The first time through, do each move for 30 seconds, then rest 30 seconds. The second time through, do each move for 40 seconds, then rest 20 seconds. Finish with a one-minute wall-sit and a one-minute plank.

Minute 1: Touchdown Jacks

Minute 2: Full-Release Pushup

Minute 3: Plank Shoulder-Tap

Minute 4: Mountain Climber


Week 2

  • Day 1: AMRAP

Complete as many rounds as possible of the following circuit. Rest as needed between reps and sets.

15 Full-Release Pushups / 25 Plank Shoulder-Taps / 25 Touchdown Jacks / 10 Spiderman Pushups / 10 Mountain Climbers

  • Day 2: EMOM

Complete all of the moves in order as fast as you can in each minute, then rest til the start of the next minute. Complete 10 rounds.

Odd Minutes: 10 Full-Release Pushups, 5 Spiderman pushups

Even Minutes: 10 Plank Shoulder-Taps, 10 Mountain Climbers

  • Day 3: Interval Workout + 2-Minute Finisher

Do each move a minute, working for 40 seconds, then resting 20 seconds. Do two rounds. After you’ve completed the second round, do as many touchdown jacks as possible in two minutes.

Minute 1: Full-Release Pushup

Minute 2: Plank Shoulder-Tap

Minute 3: Paused Pushup

Minute 4: Mountain Climber

  • Day 4: DOUBLE-AMRAP

Spend five minutes attacking Circuit 1 below, aiming to complete as many rounds as possible. Rest for one minute, holding a plank. Then take on Circuit 2, aiming to complete as many rounds as possible in four minutes.

Circuit 1: 20 Touchdown Jacks / 20 Mountain Climbers / 10 Spiderman Pushups

Circuit 2: 10 Full-Release Pushups / 10 Plank Shoulder-Taps

  • DAY 5: EMOM + 1

Complete the entire circuit in each minute, working to move as quickly as possible. Rest as soon as you’re done, and then begin the next round at the start of the next minute. After each round, add one rep to your each exercise in the circuit. Do 10 rounds (or work until you can no longer complete all your work in each round).

5 Full-Release Pushups / 5 Plank Shoulder-Taps / 5 Touchdown Jacks / 5 Mountain Climbers

  • DAY 6: Buy-in to Intervals

Start with one full minute of mountain climbers. Then repeat the three exercises below in order, working for 40 seconds on, then resting for 20 seconds. Do three rounds.

Minute 1: Plank Shoulder-Taps / Minute 2: Touchdown Jack / Minute 3: Spiderman Pushups

  • Day 7: Light Intervals

Do two rounds of the below circuit. The first time through, do each move for 30 seconds, then rest 30 seconds. The second time through, do each move for 40 seconds, then rest 20 seconds.

Minute 1: Jump Lunge

Minute 2: Spiderman Pushups

Minute 3: Plank Shoulder-Tap

Minute 4: Mountain Climber

Minute 5: Touchdown Jack


Week 3

  • Day 1: AMRAP

Complete as many rounds as possible of the following circuit. Rest as needed between reps and sets.

10 Jump Lunges / 10 Full-Release Pushups / 10 Touchdown Jacks / 10 Mountain Climbers / 10 Plank Shoulder-Taps

  • Day 2: EMOM

Complete all of the moves in order as fast as you can in each minute, then rest til the start of the next minute. Complete 10 rounds.

6 Jump Lunges / 7 Full-Release Pushups / 8 Plank Shoulder-Taps / 9 Touchdown Jacks

  • Day 3: Interval Workout + 1-Minute Finisher

Do each move a minute, working for 40 seconds, then resting 20 seconds. Alternate back and forth for three rounds. After you’ve completed the third round, do as many touchdown jacks as possible in one minute.

Minute 1: Spiderman Pushup

Minute 2: Plank Shoulder-Tap

Minute 3: Mountain Climber

  • Day 4: DOUBLE-AMRAP

Spend five minutes attacking Circuit 1 below, aiming to complete as many rounds as possible. Rest for one minute, holding a plank. Then take on Circuit 2, aiming to complete as many rounds as possible in four minutes.

Circuit 1: 20 Touchdown Jacks / 20 Mountain Climbers / 10 Jump Lunges

Circuit 2: 10 Full-Release Pushups / 10 Plank Shoulder-Taps / 10 Spiderman Pushups

  • DAY 5: EMOM + 1

Complete the entire circuit in each minute, working to move as quickly as possible. Rest as soon as you’re done, and then begin the next round at the start of the next minute. After each round, add one rep to your each exercise in the circuit. Do 10 rounds (or work until you can no longer complete all your work in each round).

4 Full-Release Pushups / 4 Touchdown Jacks / 4 Mountain Climbers

  • DAY 6: Buy-in to Intervals

Start with one full minute of mountain climbers. Then repeat the three exercises below in order, working for 40 seconds on, then resting for 20 seconds. Do three rounds.

Minute 1: Jump Spiderman Lunge to Rotation

Minute 2: Full-Release Pushup

Minute 3: Touchdown Jacks

  • Day 7: Light Intervals

Do two rounds of the below circuit. The first time through, do each move for 30 seconds, then rest 30 seconds. The second time through, do each move for 40 seconds, then rest 20 seconds. Finish with a one-minute wall-sit and a one-minute plank.

Minute 1: Paused Pushup

Minute 2: Full-Release Pushup

Minute 3: Plank Shoulder-Tap

Minute 4: Mountain Climber


Week 4

  • Day 1: AMRAP

Complete as many rounds as possible of the following circuit. Rest as needed between reps and sets.

4 Jump Spiderman Lunges / 6 Jump Lunges / 8 Touchdown Jacks / 10 Full-Release Pushups / 12 Mountain Climbers

  • Day 2: EMOM

Complete all of the moves in order as fast as you can in each minute, then rest til the start of the next minute. Complete 10 rounds.

5 Touchdown Jacks / 5 Mountain Climbers / 6 Spiderman Pushups

  • Day 3: Interval Workout + 2-Minute Finisher

Do each move a minute, working for 40 seconds, then resting 20 seconds. Alternate back and forth for three rounds. After you’ve completed the third round, do as many touchdown jacks as possible in one minute.

Minute 1: Paused Pushup

Minute 2: Plank Shoulder-Tap

Minute 3: Jump Spiderman Lunge

  • Day 4: DOUBLE-AMRAP

Spend five minutes attacking Circuit 1 below, aiming to complete as many rounds as possible. Rest for one minute, holding a plank. Then take on Circuit 2, aiming to complete as many rounds as possible in four minutes.

Circuit 1: 20 Touchdown Jacks / 20 Mountain Climbers

Circuit 2: 10 Full-Release Pushups / 10 Plank Shoulder-Taps

  • DAY 5: EMOM + 1

Complete the entire circuit in each minute, working to move as quickly as possible. Rest as soon as you’re done, and then begin the next round at the start of the next minute. After each round, add one rep to your each exercise in the circuit. Do 10 rounds (or work until you can no longer complete all your work in each round).

4 Full-Release Pushups / 4 Touchdown Jacks / 4 Mountain Climbers

  • DAY 6: Buy-in to Intervals

Start with one full minute of mountain climbers. Then repeat the three exercises below in order, working for 40 seconds on, then resting for 20 seconds. Do three rounds.

Minute 1: Plank Shoulder-Taps

Minute 2: Mountain Climbers

Minute 3: Touchdown Jacks

  • Day 7: Light Intervals

Do two rounds of the below circuit. The first time through, do each move for 30 seconds, then rest 30 seconds. The second time through, do each move for 40 seconds, then rest 20 seconds. Finish with a one-minute wall-sit and a one-minute plank.

Minute 1: Touchdown Jacks

Minute 2: Full-Release Pushup

Minute 3: Plank Shoulder-Tap

Minute 4: Mountain Climber


Week 5

  • Day 1: EMOM +1

Complete the entire circuit in each minute, working to move as quickly as possible. Rest as soon as you’re done, and then begin the next round at the start of the next minute. After each round, add one rep to your each exercise in the circuit. Do 10 rounds (or work until you can no longer complete all your work in each round).

Odd Minutes: 5 Paused Pushups / 5 Mountain Climbers

Even Minutes: 5 Touchdown Jacks / 4 Jump Lunges

  • Day 2: The AMRAP Chipper

Complete all the work below, resting as needed. Aim to battle through at least two rounds.

50 Full-Release Pushups / 50 Mountain Climbers / 50 Touchdown Jacks / 50 Plank Shoulder-Taps

  • Day 3: The AMRAP + 1

Complete as many rounds as possible of the below circuit. Rest 30 seconds after each round. Add one rep to each exercise after each round.

5 Touchdown Jacks / 5 Paused Pushups / 5 Jump Spiderman Lunges / 5 Mountain Climbers


The HIIT Exercises

Upper Body Moves

Paused Pushup

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Full-Release Pushup

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Spiderman Pushup

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Lower Body/Conditioning Moves

Touchdown Jack

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Jump Lunge

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Mountain Climber

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Jump Spiderman Lunge to Rotation

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Core Moves

Plank Shoulder-Tap

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Bear Plank to Plank Shoulder-Tap

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