HIIT Playlist

Rolling into another year, I’ll be focusing on playlists for a variety of workout modalities throughout 2020. As the gym is packed in January, this month we’re going with high-energy music required for a high-intensity interval training workout. That means house music with rhythms of 120 beats per minute or higher, which I find appropriate to both keep classes moving and for when I’m working out on my own.

Over the last year, I’ve dedicated my gym time to strength training—deadlifts, trap bar, bench press, shoulder press, squats and rows—as well as a lot of mobility work via gymnastic warm-ups, yoga and resistance bands.

That said, my cardio has been lacking. The two ways I’ve countered that is on the bike, rowing and HIIT. Two of my favorite protocols: double kettlebell overhead press from a squat, drop back down to a squat, burpee, repeat, for sets of six to 10 (depending on weight of the bells) and one pull-up, one burpee, three sets of 10. Both of those certainly get my heart rate soaring.

Strength training takes a lot out of you, so I’m always looking for HIIT exercises to quickly get my heart rate up but also offer mobility training. For example, I like to include Animal Flow activations and GymnasticBodies movements between sets to ensure that I’m not only targeting major muscle groups.

While I often aim for a number of repetitions in my own workouts, I use a clock when teaching HIIT protocols in my kettlebell and ViPR classes. The Tabata format is a great example of a HIIT workout: 20 seconds on, 10-second break, eight rounds. You can push the time a bit longer (there is no specific HIIT workout), but going above 30 seconds at high intensity results in suboptimal workouts for most students. I always let the class know what’s expected so each member can judge for themselves how hard to push. There’s a huge difference between going all-out for 20 seconds or 40 seconds. Mental preparation is key in high-intensity work.

HIIT is a wonderful protocol for advanced movement practitioners and newbies alike (provided the latter doesn’t push it too hard). The workouts have been shown to improve athletic capacity and conditioning as well as reduce fat mass. A 2015 meta-analysis discovered that HIIT training led to greater improvements in VO2 max (maximum oxygen uptake) than traditional endurance training in adults age 18 to 45. It has also been shown to significantly lower insulin resistance, leading to increased weight loss. When compared to board and computer games in children, HIIT scores higher in cognitive control and working memory capacity.

While I make these playlists for the 24Life community, I also selfishly program songs that work in my earbuds, as well as in my classes. All these songs have been rigorously tested.

As with all my playlists for 24Life, you also can enjoy this one around the house, though it will likely induce bodily movements like dancing. But as you soar into a new decade, this will certainly raise the energy in your HIIT workouts.

Spotify Embed: 24Life: HIIT Playlist (January 2019)

Photo credit: gradyreese, Getty Images