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12 of Hunter McIntyre’s most recommended HIIT workouts

Sweat the pounds away with these grueling but effective workouts

Man doing pushups
Brent Doscher/Spartan Games

If you are passionate, you have likely heard of Hunter McIntyre. He won the Hyrox Championship of Fitness three times, and he trained aggressively for it in order to win. He said his training regimen consisted primarily of HIIT workouts that focus on increasing overall fitness, burning fat, and building muscle.

“People just put sh** up on the whiteboard, and then they do it, rather than having intention behind it,” McIntyre said hours after the Hyrox Championship of Fitness. “I build longer workouts so that I can understand pacing.”

Pacing is a discipline that pays dividends when you’re going for a max effort down the road, whether it be a casual basketball game with friends or a marathon. McIntyre recommended ditching suggested weights if those numbers don’t make sense: “It’s not going to make you a better athlete if you’re not a 405 deadlift athlete. I pick weights that I know that I can hold certain intensities and I can allow my body to adapt to.”

To teach that pacing, as well as to whip you into a better multi-sport athlete, McIntyre has selected some of his favorite (re: most painful) workouts from his “30 Hardest Workouts” Guide, which is available on his HAOS site, all of which will get you into shape. Sure, they might also make you cry a little, but no pain, no gain, right?

So what are you waiting for? Don your favorite home workout gear, and prepare yourself for the gun show. With effort and patience, your fitness goals for 2022 will bear fruit with these HIIT workouts.

Man working out in the gym
Jesse Väänänen/Red Bull Content Pool

Chipper Challenge

Chipping down one exercise at a time must inspire the name for this workout since its grueling nature certainly isn’t going to put you in a chipper mood.

  1. 100-calorie row
  2. 90 toes-to-bar
  3. 80 box step-overs (add a 50- or 35-pound dumbbell, suggested)
  4. 70 pushups
  5. 60 GHD situps
  6. 50 barbell overhead presses (135 or 95 pounds, suggested)
  7. 40 kettlebell swings (70 or 50 pounds, suggested)
  8. 30 strict chest-to-bar pull-ups
  9. 20 cleans at body weight
  10. 10 deadlifts, double your bodyweight
Man doing chest exercises
Craig Kolesky/Red Bull Content Pool

Plate Endurance

They say abs are made in the kitchen. These are not those kinds of plates. Repeat this series 10 times.

  1. Minute 1: Five reps, barbell bench press (225 or 165 pounds, suggested)
  2. Minute 2: Five power cleans (225 or 165 pounds, suggested)
  3. Minute 3: Five front squats (225 or 165 pounds, suggested)
Man doing core exercises
Philip Platzer/Red Bull Content Pool

Core War

Pray for peace after this high-rep beast of a workout. Each time you break, McIntyre suggests executing 15 box jumps because why not?

  1. 100 GDH situps
  2. 100 back extensions
  3. 100 toes-to-bar
Two people dong kettleball reps
Tomislav Moze/Red Bull Content Pool

WOD

This classic CrossFit-inspired slog will have you begging for the day after. McIntyre suggests sprinting during your prescribed row.

  1. 30 kettlebell clean and strict press (50 or 35 pounds)
  2. 1,000-meter row
  3. 30 strict chest-to-bar pull-ups
Petra Klingler and Giuliano Cameroni working out
Dominic Berchtold/Red Bull Content Pool

Chipper

Oh, you thought you were done with the first Chipper on this list? This Chipper strikes back with another descent into pain. Sprint each section and see how fast you can finish.

  1. 20-calorie bike
  2. Rest 30 seconds
  3. 20 burpee-to-pullups with bar touch
  4. Rest 30 seconds
  5. 15-calorie bike
  6. Rest 30 seconds
  7. 15 burpee-to-pullups with bar touch
  8. Rest 30 seconds
  9. 10-calorie bike
  10. Rest 30 seconds
  11. 10 burpee-to-pullups with bar touch
Man on a treadmill
Marjan Radovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Tris and Thighs

Time to burn out those big-boy muscles with this aerobic monster. Pray a lung doesn’t fall out, and use a weighted vest if, for some reason, it’s not hard enough already.

  1. 1-mile run
  2. 10-minute Every-Minute-on-the-Minute of:
    1. 20 pushups
    2. 20 squats
  3. 1-mile run
Men working out together
Marjan Radovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Moguls

Not a fan of snow sports? Well, at least you’ll be in shape for them.

  1. 1,000-meter ski
  2. 50 toe-to-bars
  3. 500-meter ski
  4. 30 barbell bench presses at body weight
  5. 250-meter ski
  6. 10 clean-and-jerks at body weight
Shoulder exercises
Ali Bharmal/Red Bull Content Pool

WOD 15/12/9

Many WODs have come before, but this one is the D-Day for the genre. Go through the first half at 15 reps of both exercises, then 12, then nine. This half should be performed as a bodybuilding workout: Slowly, while focusing on each contraction. After your midpoint rest, blast through the second half with the same rep count as the first half but with a tempo of a CrossFit workout.

  1. Deadlift (315 pounds suggested)
  2. Weighted dips (30 percent of your body weight)

Rest 5 minutes, and then:

  1. Front squat (225/165, suggested)
  2. Barbell row (225/165, suggested)
Exercising in the gym
Markus Berger/Red Bull Content Pool

Don’t Quit

Any workout that encourages you to not quit before it’s even started is likely to make you pause. Each time you break, execute five squat cleans at body weight.

  1. 100 back extensions
  2. 100 walking lunges (35 or 20 pounds, suggested)
  3. 100 GHD situps
Working out together
Marjan Radovic/Red Bull Content Pool

Lungs and Buns

Your lungs. Your buns. Your lungs and buns are on fire, but you don’t need water — let the mother burn. For five rounds, you’ll complete the following without stopping. Give yourself 90 seconds between rounds to cool the flames.

  1. 10-calorie row
  2. 15 thrusters (115 or 75 pounds, suggested)
  3. 20 reverse lunges (115 or 75 pounds, suggested)
Man doing bench presses
Tomislav Moze/Red Bull Content Pool

WOD-Favorite Fitness Test

This disparate workout and its “opposites attract” flair will get you so mixed up you won’t know whether you’re supposed to be pushing or pulling. Swipe right for five rounds.

  1. 10-rep bench press at body weight
  2. 500-meter row
On a bike in the gym
Brian Ching See Wing/Red Bull Content Pool

Balls and Bikes

Even ol’ Lance Armstrong would run into problems with this suffer-fest. Repeat for five rounds, or approximately one for every Livestrong bracelet you used to own.

  1. 30 wall balls (30 or 20 pounds, suggested)
  2. 30-calorie bike

How often should you do Hunter McIntyre’s HIIT workouts?

The answer to this depends on your current level of fitness. As you may have caught on, these workouts are very intense, so you do not want to risk injuring yourself and putting yourself out of the workout game for any period of time.

Try starting with two of these workouts a week, and be sure to warm up and cool down thoroughly to support your muscles. Over time, try to work up to three or four workouts per week. Remember to also eat a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods and get plenty of sleep!

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Christine VanDoren
Christine is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist with an undergraduate degree from Missouri State University. Her…
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