How to Get Fit Fast for Busy Men

Getting in a decent workout is difficult. After a day at work or just doing what we have to do at home, heading out for a run or lifting weights always seem to get put on the back burner.

But what if you can boost your fitness and strength without spending hours at the gym? For a simple way to get fit fast and lose the beer belly, we have ten ideal HIIT exercises to help you get ripped and smash your personal best in less than half an hour at home.

If you’re game to give it everything you’ve got for a fraction of your day, these exercises are for you.

Man doing push-ups

 

HIIT exercises

 

We’ve divided these into cardio and strength training, so you can make your own workout routine to suit you. To get fit fast, we suggest getting a decent gym mat and doing 20-30 minute sessions, four times a week — either doing all cardio one day and all strength the next, or mixing them together. Just make sure you have at least one day’s rest in between workouts and do a 5-10 minute warmup and cooldown before and after each new session.

 

You should also check with your doctor before you start and don’t overdo it, as it’ll only impact on your ability to carry on your new fitness regime.

 

Cardio

 

Athletes have been doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for years. And with huge changes in a small period of time, why wouldn’t they? Intense cardio workouts incinerate fat, increase your metabolism and boost your overall fitness skills and stamina levels. Here are our top cardio exercises to help you get fit fast.

 

Skipping

 

Ban any association with schoolyards and kids from your mind. Skip ropes are one of the best ways to build fitness, strength and agility. You blast your leg muscles, engage your core, improve your balance, and work your arm muscles with every jump and rotation, making skipping a simple way to get fit fast.

 

Skipping HIIT

 

  • Make sure your have plenty of space above and around you, and stand on a firm surface holding your skipping rope (we suggest getting plastic ropes, as they’re easy to handle and cut the air better for a quicker rotation).
  • When you’re ready, skip as fast as you can for 30 seconds. No stopping or slowing.  
  • Once time’s up, do a slow jog for 30 seconds to rest before going again.
  • It’s crucial that you give it your all with each 30 seconds and you can even switch it up by doing regular and high-knee jumps to work your core more and burn extra calories.

 

Like we said, this is your get fit fast routine, so do as many intervals as you can without burning yourself out.

 

Skipping

 

Burpee

 

The famous burpee was created by American physiologist, Royal H. Burpee, during the 1930s. Today, there are many burpee variations that fitness experts have come up with, but we reckon the original does it best. Done right, a burpee is a fat-burning machine and one of the few true whole-body exercises there are — working every muscle group in your body, boosting your endurance, and delivering amazing cardiovascular benefits.

 

Burpee HIIT

 

  • Stand on your gym mat and get ready to go.
  • Jump straight up with your hands in the air, then drop down into a squat position with your hands slightly in front of you, touching the ground.
  • From here, quickly extend your feet right back in one swift movement so that you form a push-up stance.
  • Then, you want to pull your knees right in, forming the same squat position again, before jumping up (hands in the air) and landing back on your mat for one full burpee.

 

We’ve pulled this move apart to make sure you smash it first time around, but remember to go as fast as you can for the real HIIT effect. Doing ten burpees per interval and three or four intervals per workout should be enough to get the calorie fires raging. But, make sure you give yourself at least a 45-60 second rest between every ten.

Mountain climber

A HIIT exercise regime would be lost without a mountain climber session. During mountain climbers, your muscles are really working to balance, shift and control your body. Here’s how you put them to work:

  • Deltoids stabalise your upper arms.
  • Triceps keep your arms in line.
  • Abs and back maintain your core.
  • Leg muscles and hips work to keep your legs moving back and forth.

 

Mountain climber HIIT:

  • Start with your hands on the ground and legs behind you in a push-up position.
  • Your back needs to be straight, your feet hip-width apart, and your hands directly under your shoulders.
  • To start, draw your right knee to your chest using your ab muscles and don’t let your foot touch the floor.
  • Then, push your leg back out to reform the starting push-up position.
  • Repeat with your left leg, picking up speed and going as fast as you can, as soon as you can.

 

Speed is key if you want to make the most of the cardio gains you get from HIIT mountain climbers. 30 seconds of fast and furious mountain climbers followed by a 30-45 second rest and repeated at least three/four times is a safe bet to get fit quick and lose the beer belly.

On-the-spot sprint

We’re not talking doing a 30-minute jog with your headphones in around the park. HIIT on-the-spot sprinting is exactly what it says on the tin: you stay where you are and reap all the benefits of an intense run. If you’re looking to get fit fast, sprinting sheds calories while toning your quads, glutes and hamstrings.

 

On-the-spot sprint HIIT:

Not much to it. Get in place and get ready to pump your legs like you’re running as fast you can without moving from your spot.
Engage your core and get your knees as high as you can to really work your abs and make your legs burns.

High-intensity sprinting boosts your metabolism and forces it to keep burning fat even after you’ve finished your routine. We suggest starting this HIIT session with a 60-second on-the-spot jog to warm up your legs, followed by 30-second intervals of intense sprinting motion, five or six times over with a 30 second rest in between.

Star jumps

Also called jumping jacks, these are essential if you want to lose the beer belly. You probably remember doing these at school. Well, nothing has changed. Intense star jumping is a great way to raise your heart and metabolic rate, improve stamina, boost flexibility, and work your deltoids, calves and abs.

 

Star jumps HIIT:

Begin with your feet together and arms at your side.
Jump your feet outwards. At the same time, raise your arms out from you sides to up over your head in an arc formation.
Bring your legs back together and return your arms to your sides in unison.
Repeat as quickly as you can.

Star jumps are simple but effective. To really work your core, bend your knees before each jump and aim for a 30-on/30-rest format, repeated around five times.

Strength and toning

What we think’s a good idea, is alternating a decent cardio workout with some intense strengthening exercises. Resistance training is proven to enhance your resting energy expenditure, which means they help your body burn calories when you’re doing nothing.

Although these aren’t as intense speed-wise, they are in every other sense of the word. These muscle-building techniques are all about working key muscles groups to strengthen, tone and get you ripped fast, so they’re definitely worth the pain if you’re serious about losing the beer belly.

Bicycle crunch

The bicycle crunch is much better than your standard crunch for strengthening your abs, obliques and thighs.

 

Bicycle crunch technique:

Lie on your gym mat, stretching your legs out straight with your arms stretched at your side.
Put your hands behind your head and lift your legs so that you’re holding them in a straight line a few inches off the floor.
Raise your right leg and bend your knee so that your thigh is at a 90° angle to the ground and your calf is parallel to it.
Once you have this position, lift your head and shoulders off the mat and touch your raised right knee to your left elbow by pulling your knee towards your head and your upper torso towards your knee (slightly twisting your upper body).
Then, reform and do the same motion with your left leg/right elbow.

Your abs should tense to crunch your body forward and your movement should mirror pedalling a bike — just make sure not the rest either leg on the ground during each interval. These are really tough, but try and do 10-20 reps a few times over with a 60-second rest between.

Plank

Never has something that looks so simple been such a killer to do. But trust us, planks are one of the best HIIT exercises and a top way to get fit fast with zero movement. Maintaining the plank position conditions your core, while working your glutes, hamstrings and obliques. If you’re looking for the best way to get a six-pack, the plank’s ability to burn both your rectus abdominus (six-pack abs) and transverse abdominus (the innermost muscles of the abdomen) makes it ideal.

 

Plank technique:

Begin by getting into the push-up position.
Lower down and bend your elbows, so that you’re resting your weight on your forearms and your elbows are in line with your shoulders.
Pull your hips up so that your body is in a straight line and hold the position.

Your abs and midsection should be tense at all times — if you’re doing it properly for long enough, your whole core should be burning. Do this for 60 seconds, or as long as you can stand, and take a rest before repeating.

Spiderman push-up

We all know push-ups are good for working out your chest and arms. But you might not have heard of the spiderman push-up which takes this to a whole other level. The spiderman push-up is used by fitness fanatics and experts all over the world, and it’s ideal for making your pecs, core, deltoids, and triceps work hard.

 

Spiderman push-up technique:

Get into a standard push-up position with your hands flat on the floor, wider than your shoulders.
At the lowest point when you lower down to the floor as if doing a standard push-up, bring your right knee to touch your right elbow.
Push up and back to your original position while extending your leg back down.

The beauty of spiderman push-ups is that you get a push-up and a crunch in one, so do as many of these as you can with each session. The motion of taking your foot off the floor and towards your elbow forces that side of your body and its abdominal muscles to work. Plus, it adds pressure to your arms and chest which means more gain for your workout.

Tuck jump

Although they’re ideal for muscle toning, tuck jumps work well as a cardio workout, too. Once you’ve done a few, you’ll see why. Tuck jumps are intense and dynamic, requiring stamina and power to reap the benefits, which include incredible calorie burning and enhanced agility alongside strengthening of the abs, calves and thighs.

 

Tuck jump technique:

Your starting position should be: feet shoulder-width apart and hands by your side with your back straight and abs contracted.
Lower down into a squat position.
Force your hips back and lean forward while keeping your back as straight as you can.
With power, use your arms, feet and legs to help you jump into the air and bring your knees as close to your chest as possible.

Make sure to land as softly as you can, then repeat as quickly as possible. Around 10-15 tuck jumps per interval with a minute’s rest between should be enough to get your muscles screaming.

Jumping lunges

Another one to get fit fast and pump up your heart rate is jumping lunges — like normal lunges, but with more energy and reward. This move tones your whole lower body, while the explosive jump between each lunge boosts the cardiovascular benefit and intensifies the strengthening of your quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings. Even better, you hone your balance and core strength purely through keeping yourself stable between moves.

 

Jumping lunge technique:

Stand straight with your feet slightly apart.
Lunge forward until your back knee nearly reaches the ground while keeping your back straight.
At this point, leap into the air while bringing your back foot forward and front foot backwards. Basically, switching the positions of your legs.
You should land in a lunge position again — on the opposite leg — ready to repeat.

These are going to burn, so start by doing intervals of ten with a 60-second rest between to make sure you don’t get tired and lose form. Once you’re a pro, hold a dumbbell in each hand to add weight and make it harder for yourself.

 

Man stretching

Remember, these are just pieces in the jigsaw puzzle for you to put together however you want. You can do bursts of each exercise and squeeze all ten into a 20/30 minute session, or spend longer on a select few until you reach full-time. As long as you keep the intensity and stick to the interval format, you’ll get the results you want.

All these HIIT exercises are perfect for losing the beer belly and getting fit fast. Chop and change which ones you tackle with each workout to keep it interesting, but make sure to check with a medical professional beforehand.

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