top of page

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Variations

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

I absolutely love HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts because they are a super fun way to burn calories, boost metabolism and create endorphins. I have recently started calling our HIIT class “Cirque It” as a fun spin on circuit training in our acrobatic studio, but the class is not just for acrobats. In fact, the women that sign up month after month have been coming to the studio just for this class. They love it because it empowers them to be stronger, healthier and more capable than ever before.

Given the current state of affairs with the coronavirus, we have implemented some changes to our circuit formats. In addition to sanitizing our equipment like crazy, we have discontinued circuits where we are rotating stations throughout the workout. Everyone now has their own equipment and the circuit consists of circuiting the muscles groups instead of circling around the room. We have also been restricting class size, so the classes are hard to get into because they sell out nearly every month.

If you want to get into a group class but haven’t been able to get a spot in the regularly scheduled 6:45 am Tues/Thurs timeslot, just give us a shout! We can make a timeslot just for you if you have a friend or two to pair up with. We are here to help you however you need, and know that the small group classes are a phenomenal way to be held accountable to sticking to your workouts.

For those of you whose risk tolerance isn’t allowing you to attend even small group classes, this article is for you, as well as for other fitness instructors looking to spice up their workouts. I’m here to encourage you to give HIIT a try. If you aren’t a total newbie to HIIT, maybe you will at least find some new HIIT variations out of my favorites:


Tabata is a specific format of HIIT where you do 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of recovery, in intervals of eight. A traditional Tabata is intended for only one round, four minutes total at your all-out max intensity. This particular style of HIIT has been studied exhaustively and found to increase endurance and VO2 max (maximum oxygen uptake).

EMOM – Every Minute On the Minute

40 seconds of work, 20 second recovery. I love to use EMOMs by supersetting four exercises together (an upper body exercise, a lower body exercise, a strength builder for the core, and a cardio exercise). I will repeat a superset three times before moving onto the next superset.


For ladders, I choose two exercises that can be done together, such as bicep curls and shoulder press, then “ladder” them as follows:

Do six shoulder press, then six bicep curls. Then do five shoulder press, then five bicep curls. Then do four shoulder press, then four bicep curls. Work your way down to one of each. Take a short recovery before moving onto the next exercises, which could be dumbbell reverse rows to tricep kickbacks. The reason I start with six and work my way down (instead of one and work my way up) is because it really gives you time to figure out the proper form each exercise when doing six at a time.

The Fifteen

This is a format of my own invention which includes 60 seconds of work followed by 15 second of recovery. Each minute starts with 15 of an exercise, then we finish out the minute with cardio. The next minute, we do 15 of another exercise, then finish minute with the same cardio. We superset those two exercises for three times before moving onto next round.

For Example:

· 15 Bicep Curls, finish minute with Jumping Jacks

· Super set with 15 squat, finish minute with Jumping Jack

· Repeat sets three times, then move on

Just a reminder that we are here to help you find your best self and highest potential however you need, even if that means working out from home for now. Remember, great challenges can lead to incredible breakthroughs. Hit us up if you have questions, and take care. XOXO, Mindy

Authored by Mindy Cochran. Mindy is the founder of Kalispell’s Levitation Nation Aerial Studio, where the catch phrase “fitness is fun” is embodied alongside a culture of movement & women empowerment. Mindy is also a columnist for "Montana Woman Magazine." Her column "The Real Levitation Experience" shares expertise for elevating health & wellness that she has acquired through her certifications as a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and life coach. For more about Mindy, please visit:

bottom of page