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Want Lean Muscle Growth with Fast Fat Loss? Try This HIIT Workout

High-Intensity Interval Training – also called HIIT – is a highly effective style of workout that encourages lean muscle growth while burning the body’s fat stores.

Interval training in the fresh air – such as in your local neighborhood park – is an enjoyable way to nudge a complacent metabolism off its plateau and back into the results zone. Of course, you can do HIIT indoors, too.

The printable list of exercises and the motivational video located lower within this article can help you get started.

The Strategy Behind High-Intensity Interval Training

Actual changes in body composition can be accomplished when you do a HIIT workout weekly. That means you can sculpt muscle tone into your body while shrinking fat tissue.

Redistributing body composition in this way helps you to feel better, become healthier, and improve your appearance:

  • A study published in the European Journal of Sport Science highlighted the benefits of high-intensity interval training on body composition, establishing that HIIT is effective in reducing total, abdominal, and visceral fat mass, making it a valuable approach for improving metabolic health.
  • Additional research has indicated that HIIT elicits higher enjoyment from the exerciser, while inducing adaptations greater than moderate-intensity continuous training, despite a lower total exercise volume.

In other words, with HIIT, you have more fun and more results in less time.

9 Higher-Intensity Intervals for a Indoor or Outdoor HIIT Workout

A HIIT workout is often done in a circuit – placing brief, strenuous exercises between less intense recovery periods.

The idea is to train your body within two distinct heart rate zones: anaerobic and aerobic.

woman stretching in park

Training in both anaerobic and aerobic heart rate zones can be highly beneficial for the body:

  • Anaerobic training, which involves high-intensity bursts of activity, can help build muscles, strengthen the heart, and improve fitness levels. 
  • On the other hand, aerobic training focuses on endurance and uses oxygen as the main energy source, aiding in building endurance and strengthening the heart and lungs. 

By incorporating both types of training, individuals can target different benefits such as muscle building, fat burning, improving cardiovascular health, and increasing efficiency during workouts. Cycling through these zones optimizes workouts and provides a well-rounded approach to fitness.

Below, nine consecutive outdoor exercises are completed at a higher intensity, followed by a lower-intensity light run.

Afterburn Effect: Keep Burning Fat, Even AFTER This HIIT Workout

This workout is appropriate for males and females – modify the workout to fit your unique fitness level and circumstances.

“Differentiating between strength and cardiovascular moves is critically important because they’re independent predictors. They can stack on top of each other. If you only do one of those modes, strength training, or endurance, you’re leaving a lot of health on the table. You really do need to have both of them. You need to be doing something that requires you to sustain energy output at a higher than resting rate.”

–Andy Galpin, PhD, Kinesiologist

During the anaerobic portion of the HIIT workout, your heart rate should reach 80% of its maximum.

A more straightforward way to know if you’ve arrived at this anaerobic zone is if it’s challenging to talk conversationally.

Working within your anaerobic heart zone will help you build endurance by raising the amount of oxygen your body can convert to energy.

During the final light jog at the end of the HIIT circuit, your heart rate has an opportunity to lower to the aerobic zone where:

HIIT outdoor park ideas
Dane Findley enjoys a high-intensity interval training workout outdoors at a park.

During the light jog, your body will have its chance to reorganize – to integrate what it learned from the previous exercises and recover a bit before the next round of anaerobic circuit begins.

HIIT circuit workouts can be effective for people over 50 who too often get into exercise ruts – having done their favorite, familiar workouts for so many years that their physiques have adapted and no longer offer the same rate of returns.

Printable HIIT Workout to Get Sculpted Faster [includes Video]

In the video are glimpses of me doing a 9-exercise circuit:

  • Each exercise is done for 40 seconds each followed by a 10-second break as you change to the next exercise.
  • 9 exercises = 1 circuit; each circuit is followed by a 1-minute light run and then a 2-minute complete rest.
  • Complete 3 circuits (or 4, for stronger athletes).
  • The entire workout takes under 45 minutes to complete.

Please consult your medical doctor before beginning a new HIIT exercise program or making significant lifestyle changes.

Indoor or Outdoor HIIT Exercises to Help Improve Your Body Shape

The circuit begins with an exercise designed to strengthen and firm your core – the corset of abdominal and back muscles that encase many of the body’s vital organs.

Refer to the video (lower within this article) to see how each movement appears in action.

1. HIIT Hanging Knee Raises

The challenge with this exercise is not to swing the body or use momentum.

Also, concentrate on initiating the movement from your lower abdominal plate (the area just below your belly button) instead of using just your quadricep muscles or hip flexors.

two mature adults over fifty and fit and firm
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2. Staggered Arm Torque Push Ups

Remember to alternate arm positioning so you condition your triceps and pectorals symmetrically.

3. HIIT Chin Ups

Most parks today have a pull-up bar or jungle gym available, but if not, a tree branch can work, too.

4. Rocky Balboa Walking Duck Squats

This movement will develop and lift your gluteals, but remember to stay low.

5. One-Legged HIIT Side Jumps

Challenge yourself to jump as wide as possible without compromising your ankle joint.

Dane Findley age 54 helps others achieve stellar wellness and a healthier physique.
Dane has a master’s in Depth Counseling and has spent decades as a professional fitness and Pilates trainer. Today, Dane is a Healthy Lifestyle Advocate who curates the popular Quality of Life Newsletter – a free weekly update for those who want to UP their joy levels.

6. Band Curls

Unlike free-weight curls, band curls offer maximum resistance at the point of peak contraction, plus you can still create negative resistance on the way down.

7. Alternating Low and High Rows

Suspension straps work great for this exercise. Developing the posterior chain of muscles improves posture and de-slouches the shoulders.

You notice many more “dowager humps” on people now that texting, driving, computing, and other passive activities are increasing. Training back muscles is the antidote.

8. One-Legged Hanging Lifts

Whatever juice you have left in your abdominal muscles will be squeezed out by this exercise!

9. HIIT Ball Toss with Modified Push-Up

Using a weighted ball will get your heart rate up. Bring a buddy to toss a ball with.

One-Minute Light Run

As you jog, keep your arms and neck relaxed but your core slightly activated. The pelvis should be centered, and try to land with a light front strike – instead of a heavy heel strike.

Remember, HIIT exercise is just one small part of improving your body. A more significant part is nutrition. When you get my free updates, you also get instant access to my bonus guide on how to sneak more vegetables into your daily diet.

Two-Minute Complete Rest

The trick to a good HIIT workout is to use a timer on your phone – to make sure two minutes don’t turn into five minutes. This is your chance to get a sip of water and psyche up for your next round.

mature couple running outdoors

H.I.I.T. Workout

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate-Level
Estimated Cost: Free

HIIT is high-intensity interval training. Try this HIIT workout to develop lean muscle, burn body fat, and to help make your heart and lungs healthier.


  • (minimal)


  • Resistance band, TRX straps, and weighted ball.


Do these exercises consecutively, for 40 seconds each (with a 10-second rest between each exercise).

Once you've completed the entire circuit, take a rest, before repeating the entire circuit from the beginning.

  1. Hanging Knee Raises
  2. Staggered Arm Torque Push Ups
  3. Chin Ups
  4. Rocky Balboa Walking Duck Squats
  5. One-Legged Side Jumps
  6. Band Curls
  7. Alternating Low and High Rows
  8. One-Legged Hanging Lifts
  9. Ball Toss with Modified Push-Up
  • end circuit with a one-minute light jog


Rest period after a completed circuit:

  • 4 minutes for beginners;
  • 3 minutes for intermediate-level athletes;
  • 2 minutes for advanced.

How many circuits to complete:

  • For beginners and intermediates, do the entire circuit 3 times through.
  • For advanced-level athletes, complete 4 circuits.

Use a timer on your phone, otherwise your rest periods will probably end up being too long.

Conclusion on Maximizing Fat Burn & Muscle Tone with Indoor / Outdoor Intervals

HIIT is a form of exercise that alternates short bursts of intense anaerobic activity with periods of less intense recovery.

This training method has gained immense popularity due to its remarkable ability to maximize calorie burn, improve cardiovascular health, and boost metabolism.

By pushing your body to its limits during the high-intensity intervals, HIIT triggers an afterburn effect, where your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate even after the workout is over!

Additionally, HIIT has been shown to increase VO2 max, which is a measure of aerobic fitness and endurance, making it an excellent choice for individuals seeking to enhance their overall health athletic performance.

Beyond the physical benefits, HIIT workouts are time-efficient, often lasting 30 minutes or less, making them an attractive option for those with busy schedules who want to maximize their fitness gains.

Before beginning, this or any workout, consider warming up with light movements designed to lengthen the spine and lubricate the joints.

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