Reboot your HIIT workout with this mix of machine sprintervals and dumbbell sculptors to get the best of both burns

By Carly Graf
Randi Berez

Approaching HIIT as a cardio machine workout and a speedy weight circuit will truly kick your metabolism into high gear. (HIIT workouts alone have serious benefits.) That's the formula at Speedplay, a popular new HIIT cardio studio in Los Angeles that alternates intervals on treadmills and rowing machines with total-body strength moves using dumbbells.

This mix provides the perfect balance between going full speed ahead (as you do on the treadmill and rower) and getting in the type of moves that will carve more calorie-incinerating muscle, according to Speedplay co-founder and trainer Xavier Quimbo. "Every day you primarily move forward and up and down," Quimbo says. "But a Speedplay workout is multidirectional, so your body never knows whats's coming and you avoid overworking specific muscles. In other words, you'll hit multiple muscle groups and will be able to go harder during each interval, whether it's sprinting or doing reps.

For your next gym trip, try this 30-minute Speedplay session from Quimbo: Each round kicks off with a cardio burst use either a treadmill or a rower-followed by five strength moves that target your muscles head to toe. As you tackle each segment, your mission is to push it. "The burn and firm comes faster when you challenge yourself through all-out efforts," Quimbo says. Stick to the routine, and just as Speedplay's name implies, the body-changing results will happen fast.

You'll Need: A treadmill or a rower and a set of 8-15 pound dumbbells

How It Works: Complete the warm-up, then start with the cardio interval (on either a treadmill or rower). Then do the next 5 strength moves for 1 minute each, performing as many reps as possible per set. That's 1 round. Rest for 1 minute, then repeat. Do 3 rounds.


Do 30 seconds each of jumping jacks, high knees, and butt kicks. Repeat. Then hold a forearm plank for 1 minute.

Cardio Interval

500-meter row: Row until you reach 500 meters. Maintain a split time (the amount of time it takes you to row 500 meters) of 2:30 to 3 minutes.

Progressive treadmill run: Start by doing an easy jog (4 to 6 mph) for 1 minute. Increase your speed by 1 to 1.5 mph for 1 minute. Sprint (7 mph or faster) for the final minute. (Just make sure you're not making these crucial treadmill mistakes.)

Strength Interval

1. Moving Pike

Start on the floor facing away from treadmill or rower in plank position with palms on the floor about 1 foot in front of machine and feet on treadmill belt or the rower seat. Keeping legs straight, pull feet in toward hands, lifting hips high, so your body forms an upside-down V. Keep heels lifted as you push feet back to start. Do 1 push-up. Repeat for 1 minute. (This total-body rowing workout will show you how to master this move on a rower.)

2. Lateral Lunge Tap

Stand with feet hip- width apart, holding a weight in each hand with arms by sides to start. Shift hips back, bending right knee 90 degrees as you extend left leg straight out to the side. Hold lateral lunge as you tap left foot on the floor at a controlled tempo for 30 seconds. Return to start. Switch sides; repeat. (Want to add more lower-body burn? Add these leg exercises for a killer workout.)

3. T Rotation

Start on floor in plank, arms extended with a weight in each hand. Shift weight to left side, and rotate into a left-side plank, extending right arm up, so body forms a T. Hold for 3 counts. Return to start position. Switch sides; repeat. Continue alternating sides for 1 minute.

4. Tempo Squat

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width and hold a weight in each hand with elbows bent by sides and palms facing each other in front of chest. Take 2 counts to lower into a squat (hip crease should be below parallel at bottom). Take 2 counts to return to start. That's 1 rep. Do 5 reps. Then take 1 count to lower and 1 to raise. Do 5 reps. Finally, lower in 5 counts, and come to stand in 1 count. Repeat for 1 minute.

5. Curl and Press

Stand with feet together, knees soft, holding a weight in each hand with arms by sides. Bend elbows to curl weights to chest with palms facing up, then rotate palms forward as you press weights overhead. Reverse movement to return to start. Repeat for 1 minute.

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