If you are looking for HIIT chest workouts that can help you train your chest in a time efficient manner, improve fitness, and help you build more muscle, then this is the article for you.
HIIT chest workouts are typically 3+ exercises done back-to-back, most of them targeting the chest, with short rest in between to help you get a lot of training volume in a small amount of time.
Below I’ll cover how to effectively set up a workout like this, and give you 5 sample workouts that you can do in less than 30-min.
HIIT Chest Workouts: Overview
HIIT, also known as high-intensity interval training, is a style of workout where you pair 3 or more exercises together in a grouping, and perform each on for a given amount of reps or time, with a small yet structured rest period between them.
An example may be doing three exercises back to back chest exercises, for 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest inbetween.
It is important to remember that HIIT workouts can be tailored to whatever the goal is (muscle building, weight loss, strength endurance, etc.).
4 Benefits of Doing HIIT Chest Workouts
Below are four benefits of doing HIIT workouts for the chest:
Benefit #1: They Can Be Great at Building Muscle
HIIT chest workouts can be a great way to build muscle, as they allow you to train in high volumes and high frequency.
Building muscle is a function of training on a regular basis, accumulating enough volume throughout the week, and working out hard enough (close to failure) to stimulate more muscle fibers.
- Related Article: Can HIIT Be Done With Weights?
Benefit #2: They Are Time Efficient
HIIT training is a very time efficient way to train, as it keeps you on a pre-programmed workout schedule that integrates work and rest ratios so that you do not lose time talking, texting, or resting too long or often.
HIIT chest workouts allow you to effectively deliver 8-12 hard work sets to the pecs in less than 30 minutes a workout.
- Related Article: How Long Does It Take For HIIT Results?
Benefit #3: They Can Push a Muscle to Failure Quicker
You need rest periods to be able to train each set with intensity, but most people at the gym are resting too often or sporadically.
HIIT chest workouts help you structure your workouts in a way that delivers enough rest to allow you to still train with interest and train the muscle to failure, without wasting extra time doing whatever people do in workouts to lose time (texting, talking, walking around, etc).
Benefit #4: They Can Increase Muscular Endurance
If you are someone looking to increase muscular endurance of the chest, HIIT chest workouts may be a great way to do so.
Some sports or individuals may rely on more upper body muscular endurance, such as boxers, fighters, swimmers, or anyone who finds their chest, shoulders, and arms fatigue out when doing day to day activities (yard work, manual labor jobs, etc).
- Related Article: 7 Best Chest Exercises You Can Do With A Resistance Band
4 Drawbacks of Doing HIIT Chest Workouts
Below are four drawbacks of doing HIIT chest workouts, as opposed to your more standard chest workouts that are not heavily structured with strict rest times or exercise pairings:
Drawback #1: They Are Not Ideal for Increasing Max Strength
When looking to increase max strength, having long rest periods are important.
The “intensity of a workout” when it comes to building strength is defined by the absolute load on the bar (how close it is to your max), rather than how hard you are pushing yourself from exercise to exercise or how much you are sweating or feeling the muscles burn.
If you are looking to break personal records on the bench press, for example, some people take upwards of 10-15-minutes in between sets before attempting their max weight.
- Related Article: Can You Build A Chest Without A Bench Press?
Drawback #2: They Are Hard to Do When Training with Heavier Loads
If you are training for max strength or are just using heavier loads, doing HIIT workouts can be a tricky process, especially when working out with free weights and by yourself.
Since you are moving quickly throughout the workout, and often training to failure, lifting with heavier loads can be problematic when failure does occur.
If your goal is to train to failure then you need to make sure you are training with loads that allow you to safely “fail”, which may mean working with a training partner, getting a spotter on heavier free weight movements, or choosing machines in case you do fail.
- Related Article: No Upper Chest? Try These 6 Exercises
Drawback #3: They May Result in Sloppy Form and Injury
When training to failure, which will happen during an effective HIIT chest workout, you tend to be careful to not allow your muscles failure to lead to breakdowns in your technique and form.
The ability to push a muscle to failure without compromising your form is key to stimulating more muscles, but also not getting injured.
- Related Article: How Many Chest Exercises Should You Do Per Workout?
Drawback #4: May Not Be the Best Way To Grow Your Chest If You’re An Advanced Lifter
It’s important to recognize that HIIT chest workouts are a great way to build muscle and train in a time efficient manner, but that doesn’t mean it is the best option for everyone.
As you progress, you will need to devote more time to increasing your strength, which over time will allow you to move heavier loads and increase the weight you are doing during both lower and higher rep sets.
HIIT chest workouts by design are done with little rest periods and are often done with lighter loads, which is not the best way to build strength.
If your short rest periods limit your ability to lift heavier, you may find your muscle-building progress will stall out unless you take some time to increase your strength.
If you need help developing a custom workout plan, look no further than the Fitbod app, which will help you choose the right exercises based on your goals and equipment. It will also help guide you every week in intensity selection and progressively overloading you to continually promote progress.
5 HIIT Chest Workouts That Can Be Done in Under 30 Minutes
Below are five different HIIT chest workouts that you can do to train the chest, but also increase your overall fitness and muscle development.
These workouts can be done in under 30 minutes, making them also great options for people who have limited time yet are looking for an effective chest workout.
The below workouts can be done for a given number of rounds. If you are a beginner, start with doing 4-6 rounds, and work your way to 6-8 rounds.
Note For Fitbod Users:
- All of the below exercises can be found in the Fitbod app, making it even more convenient and easier for you to learn the proper form through helpful video tutorials, track your workouts and progress, and adjust your workouts weekly to achieve optimal results.
- Note, these workouts may not appear in the app exactly how it is written below. The below workouts are structured below to show you potential workout ideas and to help you design a HIIT chest workout to better fit your goals, abilities, and the equipment you have access to.
Workout #1: HIIT Barbell Only Chest Workout
- Close-Grip Bench Press: Choose a weight that is near your 10 rep close-grip bench press max, and perform as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds before going into the next exercise.
- Barbell Bench Press: With the same weight that you used on the close-grip bench press, perform as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. After that 30 seconds, go directly into the next exercise with no rest period.
- Push Up: Perform as many push ups as you can without stopping in 30 seconds. Once you have finished, rest for 2 minutes before starting again. If you are with a partner, this is when your partner would do their HIIT chest workout round.
Workout #2: HIIT Dumbbell Only Chest Workout
- Dumbbell Fly: Perform as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, ideally between 10-15 reps, making sure to be slow and controlled, but use heavier loads. Rest 15 seconds before moving onto the next exercise.
- Dumbbell Bench Press: Perform as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, ideally between 10-15 reps, making sure to be slow and controlled, but use heavier loads. Rest 15 seconds before moving onto the next exercise.
- Incline Push Up: Perform as many incline push ups as possible in 1 minute. Rest a full 2 minutes until starting the next round.
Workout #3: HIIT Bodyweight Only Chest Workout
- Decline Push Up: Perform as many decline push ups as possible in 45 seconds, then rest 15 seconds before going onto the next exercise.
- Push Up: Perform as many push ups as possible in 45 seconds, then rest 15 seconds before going onto the next exercise.
- Push Up on Knees: Perform as many push ups as possible in 45 seconds, then rest 15 seconds before going onto the next exercise.
Workout #4: HIIT Advanced Chest Workout
- Barbell Incline Bench Press: Choose a weight that is close to your 10 rep max, and perform as many reps as you can get in 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, go directly into the next exercise.
- Loop Band Push Up: Perform as many push ups as you can in 30 seconds with a loop band, aiming to get anywhere between 5-15 reps. Adjust band tension as needed. After 30 seconds, go directly into the next exercises.
- Push Up: Perform as many push ups as you can in 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, rest a full 2 minutes, and repeat again.
Workout #5: HIIT Beginner Chest Workout
- Incline Push Up: Perform this exercise for 30 seconds, getting as many good reps as you can get. Aim to get at least 8 in 30 seconds. If you need to, you can adjust the incline to make this exercise easier or harder. Rest 30 seconds before going on to the next exercise.
- Dumbbell Floor Press: Perform this exercise for 30 seconds, getting as many good reps as you can get. Aim to get at least 8 in 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds after performing this exercise, then go onto the next exercise below.
- Jumping Jacks: Perform 30 seconds of continuous jumping jacks, with 30 second rest. Once you have completed this exercise, go back into the next round of incline push ups.
Looking for a workout program? Try using the Fitbod App, which will design your program based on your logged training data and goals. The workouts will adapt automatically to your levels of recovery and rate of progress. With over 600 movements and exercises videos, you can be sure to perform the movements correctly for optimal results. Take the guesswork out of your workouts. Try 3 free workouts on Fitbod.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Build Mass in the Chest With HIIT Chest Workouts?
Yes. HIIT chest workout are a great way to build chest mass as they allow you to increase training volume, train the muscles to failure to induce growth, and even allow yourself more opportunities throughout the week to train chest since HIIT workouts are so time efficient.
How Many Days Per Week Can You Do HIIT Chest Workouts?
You can do HIIT chest workouts 2-3 times per week, which should deliver enough training volume over the course of the week yet not too much that would impede recovery. Each HIIT workout should deliver 8-12 total set for beginner (2-3 exercises) and 12-20 total sets for more advanced lifters (3-4 exercises).
About The Author
Mike holds a Master’s in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), USA Weightlifting Advanced Coach, and has over 10+ years of experience working with collegiate athletes, national level lifters, and beginners alike. Mike is Founder of J2FIT Strength and Conditioning, a growing global training company with gyms in New York City, Cincinnati, and online offering personal training, online custom coaching programs.