Get Intense: HIIT the Highway!

by Jennifer Renfroe on Jul 21, 2016

High-intensity interval training is still enjoying a wave of popularity, thanks to its ability to stimulate results in less time than other formats. Help attendees stay focused, engaged, and motivated to meet their fitness goals as you mix it up a little with HIIT the Highway. This class features dedicated 40-second work efforts followed by 20-second recoveries. One unique aspect of HIIT the Highway is that it uses athletic drills that relate to running and power, for a nice combination that truly exhausts energy reserves.

The “open-road” blocks focus on running-based movements. These drills alternate with “power trip” blocks that incorporate plyometric exercises. Perform each drill twice, allowing participants to learn the drill in the first round and then push to their maximum capacity during the second round. This class is easy to coach and cue, and simple to understand, while still being challenging for the participant. Get ready to blast through barriers, cover ground and push speed limits in your next class!

Class Details: HIIT the Highway

Time: 60 minutes

Format: high-intensity cardio and plyometrics

Goal/Emphasis: to challenge anaerobic capacity and train for sports conditioning

Equipment needed: interval timer or stopwatch

Music: high-energy music with a driving beat—tunes that make you want to run! 140–145 beats per minute

Injury Prevention Tips

  • HIIT isn’t for everyone. Make sure participants know they should push themselves to their own personal edge and can pace themselves as needed.
  • Be sure participants are spaced far enough apart to perform the different movements. If drills require extra space, do them as a group so that everyone moves uniformly.
  • Since this class requires no equipment, carefully check the studio floor to ensure it is completely free of equipment and there are no obstacles in the room.
  • Provide cues for all level options to ensure that everyone feels successful. Give low-impact options for all plyometric drills.

Warm-Up (5–8 minutes)

Keep the warm-up exercises simple and athletic. The goal is to get participants ready to run and jump, so you want to make sure joints and muscles are prepared.

  • Start with basic squats and arm circles.
  • Jog forward, and then backpedal to start point.
  • Do 3-count lateral shuffle right, 3-count lateral shuffle left.
  • Do small track-kicks, 4x on each side.
  • Perform lateral lunges, alternating R and L.
  • Repeat above as needed to properly warm up the class.

Work Phase (40–45 minutes)

Each open-road block includes three drills (utilizing the 40/20 split), with a total time of 6 minutes. Each power-trip block is composed of two drills (utilizing the 40/20 split), with a total time of 4 minutes. Include 1 minute of rest after each power block before you begin the next round.

Open Road, Block One

  • Do quick run forward to lateral shuffle back; hop back to start position. Repeat.
  • Do fast feet moving forward 6x, pivot, and run back to start position. Repeat.
  • Alternate R and L long lateral shuffles with floor-touches. Repeat.

Power Trip, Block One

  • Do three plyometric squat hops moving forward and three plyometric squat hops moving backward. Repeat.
  • Do three jumping jacks to one flying jack or power jack. Repeat.

Open Road, Block Two

  • Do track-kicks moving up 4x, pivot, and run back to start. Repeat.
  • Sprint forward, touch floor, backpedal with high knees to start. Repeat.
  • Perform “M-shaped” drill: Run-run up, backpedal at diagonal, run forward at diagonal, backpedal straight out. Repeat.

Power Trip, Block Two

  • Do burpees to 8-count, then wide fast-foot run. Repeat.
  • Do two lateral step-touches to one flying jack. Repeat.

To read blocks three and four and the cool-down, please see “Sample Class: HIIT The Highway ” in the online IDEA Library or in the April 2016 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7

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About the Author

Jennifer Renfroe

Jennifer Renfroe IDEA Author/Presenter

Jennifer has over twenty years of experience in the fitness industry. She has instructed, trained, and developed a wide variety of group fitness programming. With a strong passion for group fitness, she has held a number of positions in management, program development, and training in the fitness industry. As a continuing education provider for both ACE and AFAA, she has traveled throughout the United States and internationally presenting workshops and training fitness professionals. Jennifer has worked for Crunch for over twelve years and was most recently a Regional Director of Group Fitness before joining the franchise team as the Group Fitness Training Manager.