Three Excellent HIIT Power Training Drills

High intensity interval training (HIIT) may be performed within a variety of modalities.  This type of training is explosive.  It looks and feels like you have been “shot out of a canon”!  The exertion intervals are often shorter in duration; therefore, the shorter the duration of the exertion, the higher the intensity of the drill.  This week the focus will be upon intensive movement patterns which are all body weight bearing, so get prepared to suck wind!  Follow the simple program as described and if you do not have access to a step, slam ball and a BOSU, all of the drills may be performed without equipment from the floor as well.  As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.


Perform a 5-10-minute warm-up of general body movement patterns.  In fact, it is suggested that you “rehearse the movement patterns” without the explosive power to prepare the body for that specific movement pattern.  Your performance will be enhanced as you will be familiar with the movement pattern and then, when it is time for the power, you will not waste any time in a learning curve!

Once you have warmed-up to an RPE (ratings of perceived exertion) of approximately 1-2 (i.e. very light to light exertion) perform each of the drills, in sequence. Each of the three power drills are designed to be performed as follows:   5 rounds of 30 seconds HIIT, followed by 30 seconds of active recovery.  It should take you the full 30 seconds to recover from each exertion interval.  If you are recovered prior to the end of the 30-second active recovery interval, chances are that you are not exerting heavily enough.  Conversely, if you are failing to recover within the active recovery interval, then you may be pushing a little too aggressively.  In either case, make the appropriate adjustments to ensure the best intensity for your body.  The fitter you become, the quicker you will recover!

You may perform the entire series 1-3 times through, two-three times/week on non-consecutive days.

Unilateral power knees off step platform

Begin with your left foot in the center of the step. Driving through the left heel, jump vertically off of the step as high as you are able to and drive the right knee up and towards your chest, return to beginning position and repeat for 30 seconds before switching to your right leg. Be sure to land softly, toe ball heel but do not pause at the top or bottom of the movement.

 Shuffle ball slam – slam ball (4-16lb.)

Make certain it is a slam ball and not a medicine ball as medicine balls bounce!  Create an area of space that will enable you to shuffle 4x to the R/L safely.  Holding the ball, shuffle 4x R and then slam the ball from overhead to the floor and then go down and pick it up.  Repeat L. 

 Power Squats – BOSU

Begin with both feet on top of the BOSU.  Lower to one side of the BOSU into a squat position keeping the opposite foot on top of the BOSU, then push up explosively and switch to the other side.  One foot is always on the BOSU, land into a squat toe/ball/heel and think of “getting some air” as you switch sides.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby, Colorado.  She  may be reached at her website at and her email at

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