What's the Best Way to Get Your Heart Rate Up?

High Intensity Interval Training gets your heart rate up and boosts your metabolism. What are some exercises that you can use to get the best results from HIIT? Read on to find out.

Ben Greenfield
1-minute read

I’ve written before about the calorie-burning and metabolism-boosting benefits of High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT – but the fact is that most of the studies on HIIT have used a stationary bicycle to jack up the participants' heart rates.

But what if you don’t have a bike, you don’t like to bike, or you’re just bored of the bike? Is doing HIIT with other types of protocols, such as body weight exercises, equally effective?

See also: How to Get Into Bicycling


A recent study entitled “Comparison of responses to two high-intensity intermittent exercise protocols” looked into just that, specifically investigating whether doing burpees instead of bike riding would yield the same HIIT results. This study used a protocol of 4 repeated bouts of 30-second "all-out" efforts on either a bicycle or performing burpees. Each bout was interspersed with 4-minute active recovery periods.

It turns out that compared to cycling, a body weight calisthenic exercise like the burpee gets the same beneficial cardiovascular and metabolism-boosting benefits as HIIT– without you having to hunt down a bike!

Of course, if you don’t like burpees and you still want an alternative to pedaling, you could also try jumping jacks, lunge jumps, rapid-fire push-ups, or any other body weight exercise that gets your heart rate up fast.

Do you have more questions about the best way to get your heart rate up? Head over to Facebook.com/GetFitGuy and ask your questions or join the conversation there!

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.