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“Winter is Coming!”- House Stark. Any Game of Thrones fans? Either way winter is coming, and with the snow and cold comes a decrease in outdoor activities, especially cardio.

Naturally, you could easily switch from running outside to running indoors whether it be a track or a treadmill, however, if you are anything like me, you’ll find that this is not the easiest transition to make as the treadmill does not offer many variations. 

Thus, I target HIIT cardiovascular routines during the winter months. For those that can’t brave the cold or want to “Winterfy” their cardiovascular routine, I have some fun suggestions for you to try to stay true to their fitness goals!

HIIT Cardio

Most people hear cardio and think of just running, however, cardiovascular routines are any exercises or exercise routines that elevate your heart rate such as HIIT Cardio. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training –

This helps improve heart circulation as well as serving as a good addition to any day exercising. There are many common routines but the three main ones I practice are TABATAs, EMOMs, and AMRAPS. I will give a brief overview of each one as well as a sample routine for each!


TABATA, unlike the other two routines, is named after the scientist, Tabata that popularized this style of training. TABATA is not an acronym that stands for anything, but rather is a structure of the workout itself.

The original method consists of 20 seconds of hard work with 10 seconds of rest completed for a series of rounds. In the example below, we will do 6 rounds which means the routine would last for 3 minutes.


TABATA 1: Squats

TABATA 2: Burpees/Pushups

TABATA 3: Sprint (bike, treadmill, rower, elliptical, etc.)

TABATA 4: Crunches/Situps

To explain the example we will target TABATA 3, which involves sprinting. For this routine you would choose a sprinting method from above and sprint hard for 20 seconds, followed by a 10-second rest. You would continue this for 6 rounds, totaling 3 minutes overall. Each TABATA set is performed this way until the workout is completed. Using the example above, this routine would take between 12-15 minutes total depending on the rest between each movement.


EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute and is a workout designed for speed. In this version of HIIT, you select a predetermined amount of time in which you will complete a set of exercises, beginning each round at the start of each movement. The reward with this method is that once you complete the routine within the minute you have the remainder of the minute to rest. 


EMOM for 12 minutes


Even Minutes (0,2,4,6,8,10)

7 Burpees

Odd Minutes (1,3,5,7,9,11)

10 Air Squats

10 Crunches/Situps

In the above example, the exercises completed on the even minutes will consist of 7 burpees. If all 7 burpees are completed in less than the minute, you have the remainder of the minute to rest before going into the next routine. If you are not able to complete all 7 burpees when the minute is up, you will stop what you are doing and move onto the next exercise, regardless of the number and without a break. You then alternate between these two routines with even minutes being Routine 1(burpees) and odd minutes being Routine 2 (squats/abdominals). 


The last, and perhaps my favorite, is AMRAP which stands for As Many Rounds As Possible. In this workout, you design a series of movements into a routine and then complete as many rounds of that routine as possible within that time. Sometimes rests are built into this routine, however, other times they are not which adds the extra element of knowing how to pace. In the example below there will be a build in rest.


AMRAP for 12 minutes

25 Crunches/Situps

20 Air Squats

15 Shoulder Presses/Pushups

10 Lunges (5 per leg)

5 Burpees

30-second rest

Move through the routine beginning with crunches/situps and ending with burpees. Once you complete the burpees, rest for 30 seconds and then start again. Complete as many rounds of this routine in 12 minutes.

These are some examples of some HIIT cardio routines that can be used in the house or gym this winter, or for those who prefer not to get their cardio in by going on runs, biking, swimming, etc. The point of HIIT cardio is to keep moving and get your heart rate up! Don’t let the winter months be an excuse to not engage in cardiovascular exercises.

Written by Military Fit Contributor

Chris Goebel

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Chris Goebel, CPT

Hi! My name is Chris Goebel and I am so happy to be part of the Military Fit Family! A little bit about me is that I am the traditional Monday through Friday 9-5’er working as a Clinical Project Manager specializing in Neurology and Oncology research. I very much love what I do, often describing myself as a nerd.

I daily have the luxury to apply my scientific passion and knowledge to better improve and treat patients suffering from various neurological and oncology-related illnesses. To give my brain a break, I take the evenings off to adhere to another passion: fitness and personal health. I am a certified personal trainer and train clients in addition to offering guidance to as many people as I can.

My favorite aspect of personal fitness and health is the nutrition component. I truly believe you are what you eat, thus a well-balanced diet with “cheat meals” intermittently sprinkled in has helped me and my clients improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Lastly, and probably my favorite passion is obstacle course running-OCR for short! If I am not trying to help cure some pretty nasty diseases or helping improve my clients’ health, I am either playing in the mud or training/preparing for my next race to play in the mud! I train as often as I can either solo or with my racing team, the Cleveland Obstacle Racing Alliance (CObRA for short).

During the season I travel the county to compete in various OCRs such as Tough Mudder, Savage Race, Spartan, and more! Overall, my goal is to provide the average person with an example of how one can juggle a full-time job, personal responsibilities, and personal hobbies while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Is it always easy- Hell no- but my hope is that I can share value that I have learned over the years too and be a resource for you as you try to live a healthier lifestyle?

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