3 HIIT Workouts to Take Outside

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High-intensity interval training is such a great way to improve your conditioning levels, as well as help change your body composition. It’s also a great way to switch it up from running on the treadmill, or stepping on the stairmaster at the same speed, for a long period of time (steady-state cardio). However, sometimes you can get stuck in a rut with your cardio training, or need a short, but effective cardio workout. The opportunities with HIIT are endless, allowing you to rev up the intensity with different speeds and muscle movement patterns.  

When you become a Jessie’s Girl, my training programs guide you through on how to calculate your individual max heart rate and the specific guidelines I want you to follow during your HIIT sessions. They are intense, fast and very efficient workouts, where you will go all out until you hit your max target heart rate zone (80-85 percent). Then followed by a rest period, where you will allow your heart rate to return back to your resting target heart rate zone (60 to 65 percent). These HIIT workouts can usually last for 20-25 minutes.

To calculate your max heart rate, subtract your age from 226. For example, mine would be 226 – 36 = 190.

To calculate your max target heart rate zone (80-85%), multiply your max heart rate (ex: 190) by 80%.

To calculate your resting target heart rate zone (60-65%), multiply your max heart rate (ex: 190) by 60%.

Take Your HIIT Outside

If you’re getting bored doing HIIT inside, let’s switch things up a bit and take your HIIT sessions OUTSIDE!

Here are a few of my favorite outdoor HIIT sessions:

1. Lower body HIIT


Grab your resistance bands, a bench or a step, and an open area outside. Start by doing a dynamic warm-up, focusing primarily on your legs. Lunges, banded lateral walks, air squats and high knees are a great idea to get your lower body warmed up and ready to go. You want to sure your muscles are fully activated and warmed up because this workout is going to be tough.

For this lower body HIIT workout, you will do:

For the banded air squats, place the band just above your knees, making sure you push your knees outward during the exercise. You don’t want your knees to cave in. You should be feeling the burn in your glutes!

The Bulgarian split squat is a single leg exercise that target your glutes, hamstrings and quads. Keep your weight in the heel of your front (working) leg and perform 20 reps on each side. For more of a challenge and to get your heart rate through the roof, try Bulgarian jump squats.

For alternating jump lunges, begin in a lunge position. Lunge down into your first lunge, and as you are coming up out of your lunge, jump up and switch legs. Continue this for 20 reps per leg.

Toe taps on the bench or a step are to be performed like you are performing a high knee run in place. With the bench or step in front of you, begin standing shoulder width apart. Every time you lift a knee up, tap the bench with your toe. Alternate toe taps by jumping your opposite foot up to the bench after every tap.

Always be sure to monitor your heart rate and try to stick with the ranges that you calculated. If you are finding that you aren’t quite reaching your 85 percent of your max heart rate, you can always add more reps!

In this workout, you are focusing on:

  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Core

2. Upper body HIIT


All you need for this workout is an empty space and a step or a bench. Let’s get this HIIT started!  

For this workout, you will do:

While you’re performing this workout, I really want you to focus on your breathing and push through as best you can. After your burpees, your heart rate will be pumping, so focus on your breath here. Push through each exercise, rest and repeat 4-5 times!

In this workout, you are focusing on:

  • Triceps
  • Deltoids
  • Chest
  • Core

3. Burpee squat leaps – Total body


In this exercise, you’ll want to make sure you have enough room to perform your leaps. Preferably at a park, or a large and open backyard. Start with some dynamic stretching to warm your body up and get it ready for your workout. I like to start with some walking lunges, air squats, jump squats and a few pushups to get my blood pumping. You’ll want your body warm for this intense HIIT session!

Let’s get started:

  • Start in a squat position
  • Leap forward with both legs moving together and land back down into squat position
  • Perform one burpee
  • As you jump up from your burpee, leap forward into squat position and repeat
  • Check out this example here 

Perform the burpee squat leaps as many times as you can, until your heart rate reaches 80 percent of your max heart rate. Rest until your heart rate returns back down to 60 to 65 percent. Repeat for 20 minutes

In this workout, you will be focusing on these muscle groups:

  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Core

Try it out!

When you feel like your HIIT routine could use a little change up, don’t be afraid to try one of these awesome outdoor HIIT workouts. They are great for targeting all of the different muscle groups, and for getting your heart rate up to build muscle and burn fat.

Don’t forget to post your workouts videos and pictures to Instagram using #JessiesWorkouts so I can see all of your badass workouts in action!

From muscle building and bikini body workouts to home and prenatal workouts, I give you everything you need to get in killer shape and love yourself while you’re doing it. Along with the awesome workouts, I  guide you through calculating macros specifically for your body and your goals. For more information on all six of my Jessie’s Girls Training Programs, click on the link below!



2020-01-28T13:53:06-08:00Jessie’s Blog, Training|2 Comments


  1. Molly November 8, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Great post! Definitely need to spend more time on upper-body HIIT.

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