11 HIIT Workouts by One of the Fittest Men Alive

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While you’ve been struggling to not gain the COVID-19 pounds, Hunter McIntyre has been quietly having a breakout year. The 31-year-old Malibu resident first made 2020 waves when he broke the world record for CrossFit’s legendary “Murph” workout over Memorial Day, led the field through the multi-day Spartan Games, and spoke with The Manual hours after competing in the Hyrox World Championships of Fitness in Hamburg, Germany. (While his results are still under embargo, let’s just say he did well.) But beyond his accomplishments, more impressive is his self-programmed training, which he’s begun to offer to others through his Hunter’s Academy of Strength, or HAOS for short (as in, Hunter McIntyre is built like a brick shit-HAOS). These high-intensity interval training sessions, or HIIT, are incredibly effective for building muscle, burning fat, and increasing your fitness —but only if they’re done correctly.

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“People just put s— up on the white board and then they do it, rather than having intention behind it,” McIntyre says. “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 that’s at your next pick-up basketball game or, in his case, the first comp of the new year, February’s Dallas Hyrox. He also recommends 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 selected some of his favorite (read: most painful) workouts from his “30 Hardest Workouts” Guide, which is available on his HAOS site. So don your favorite workout gear, prepare yourself for the gun show, and if you’re lucky, your 2021 fitness goals will be as successful as McIntyre’s own.

“Chipper Challenge”

Photo: Jesse Väänänen / Red Bull Content Pool

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 push-ups
  5. 60 GHD sit-ups
  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 body weight

“Plate Endurance”

Craig Kolesky / Red Bull Content Pool

They say abs are made in the kitchen. These are not those kind 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 (225/165, suggested)
  3. Minute 3: Five front squats (225/165, suggested)

“Core War”

Philip Platzer / Red Bull Content Pool

Pray for peace after this high-rep beast of a workout. Each time you break, McIntyre suggests executing 15 box jumps.

  1. 100 GDH sit-ups
  2. 100 back-extensions
  3. 100 toes-to-bar

“WOD”

Photo: Tomislav Moze / Red Bull Content Pool

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

“Chipper”

Dominic Berchtold / Red Bull Content Pool

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-pull-ups with bar touch
  4. Rest 30 seconds
  5. 15-calorie bike
  6. Rest 30 seconds
  7. 15 burpee-to-pull-ups with bar touch
  8. Rest 30 seconds
  9. 10-calorie bike
  10. Rest 30 seconds
  11. 10 burpee-to-pull-ups with bar touch

“Tris and Thighs”

Marjan Radovic / Red Bull Content Pool

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 it’s not hard enough.

  1. One-mile run
  2. 10-minute Every-Minute-on-the-Minute of:
    1. 20 push-ups
    2. 20 squats
  3. One-mile run

“Moguls”

Marjan Radovic / Red Bull Content Pool

Not a fan of snow sports? At least you’ll be in shape for it.

  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

“WOD 15/12/9”

Ali Bharmal / Red Bull Content Pool

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 body building workout: slowly, 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)

“Don’t Quit”

Markus Berger / Red Bull Content Pool

Any workout that encourages you to not quit before it’s even started should give 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 sit-ups

“Lungs and Buns”

Marjan Radovic / Red Bull Content Pool

Your lungs. Your buns. Your lungs and buns are on fire, but you don’t need no 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)

“WOD-Favorite Fitness Test”

Photo: Tomislav Moze / Red Bull Content Pool

A true opposites-attract with this disparate workout that 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

“Balls and Bikes”

Brian Ching See Wing / Red Bull Content Pool

Even ol’ Lance 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

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