HIIT Games for Small Group Training

February 23, 2018

We hope you’re HIITing your workouts hard this month! February is all about high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Last week, we broke down how to organize HIIT ratios. Now, let’s play some games with them!

These games have been designed with small groups of 6-10 exercisers in mind, but you can adjust the games depending on how many people participate.


“How Long Can You HIIT” Game

This game requires some knowledge of HIIT ratios. Trainers – this is a great game to teach your clients about HIIT! The trainer/instructor will select the exercises, duration of the game and a work-to-recovery ratio for the entire group (i.e. 1-to-3, 1-to-2, 1-to-1, 2-to-1, 3-to-1).

Exercisers can work as partners or in groups of 3 or 4. Each pair or small group will select their own variation of the predetermined work-to-recovery ratio based on their preference.

For example, the entire group will do HIIT for a total of 5 minutes using a 1-to-2 work-to-recovery ratio. It’s up to the partners/small groups to decide which HIIT time ratio they want to use:

15 seconds work: 30 seconds recovery
20 seconds work: 40 seconds recovery
30 seconds work: 60 seconds recovery
45 seconds work: 90 seconds recovery

Some exercisers might prefer longer work and recovery intervals so they can do fewer sets. Others might like shorter work intervals, with more total sets in the allotted time frame.

All exercisers should aim for the YELLOW and RED zones on the work phase and GREEN or BLUE on the recovery phase, but the zones they hit will depend on the durations they selected.

After, have exercisers share what they liked or didn’t like about their interval durations. Next time, instruct them to select different durations!


“Duck Duck Goose HIIT” Game

In this game, the instructor will select the work-to-rest ratio, durations, and 5 heart-pumping exercises. We suggest displaying these exercises either on a white board or by using Myzone’s functional class creator. The instructor will also select one or two recovery exercises – even stretches will work.

All exercisers will complete the exercises together, but here’s where it gets fun. During the recovery period, one exerciser at a time will select the next exercise for the group to perform. The goal is to hit the YELLOW or RED zones during the work phase and the GREEN or BLUE zone during the recovery phase.

We like this game because it offers a level of variety and surprise. It also builds camaraderie among exercisers as they essentially build their own workout.


“Pyramid Percentage” Game

This game varies the percentage of estimated maximum heart rate (MHR) that is achieved during each work phase of interval training.

The instructor will select the work-to-rest ratios and durations, as well as the exercises to be performed. We’ve found that this game works best on cardio equipment like treadmills or stationary bikes.

The goal is for the exercisers’ percentage of estimated MHR to resemble a pyramid throughout the workout – for both the work and recovery phases.

Here’s an example:

Work-to-recovery ratio: 1-to-1
60 seconds work, 60 seconds recovery

Set 1:
Work to 80% estimated MHR
Aim to recover to 70% estimated MHR

Set 2:
Work to 85% estimated MHR
Aim to recover to 74% estimated MHR

Set 3: (top of the pyramid!)
Work to 90% estimated MHR
Aim to recover to 78% estimated MHR

Set 4:
Work to 85% estimated MHR
Aim to recover to 74% estimated MHR

Set 5:
Work to 80% estimated MHR
Aim to recover to 70% estimated MHR

The workout summary graph of this workout should look like a pyramid for both the work and recovery intervals. Up the stakes of this game by offering a prize to whichever exerciser can hit every goal for every work and recovery interval! And remember, you can change the durations and goal percentages to meet your group’s needs!


Keep Moving Forward!

We hope you enjoy these! Remember to use the hashtags #myzonemoves and #effortrewarded when you post to social media so we can cheer you on! And don’t forget to add your workout pics to your Myzone Activity Calendar!

For more tips on how to use the Myzone® heart rate monitor and App, follow us during Fitness Fridays on Facebook Live (subscribe on Myzone’s Facebook Page) – 8 am PT, 11 am ET, and check out our Myzone® Moves Podcast on iTunes or Google Play.


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