I love doing HIIT with battle rope and sledgehammer. These cardio intensity is the highest two I ever have. I love battle rope most because it has almost no joint wearing. I separate loading to whole body. It boosts more oxygen to my brain and render me to almost relentless during daytime office work. The problem is that I move to a new place and gyms near do not provide battle rope and hammer. They only provide regular machines, dumbbell, and some small handy equipment like resistant band, yuga pad, and ViPR.

How do I improvise to do HIIT to the cardio level of battle rope and sledge hammer?

I tried machines but it doesn't work well. Machines are designed to stimulate single part of muscle so it doesn't hit the cardio intensity I need, not even when I use whole body muscle to use machines.

  • Do they have a rowing machine?
    – C. Lange
    Sep 25, 2020 at 15:48
  • Unfortunately not.
    – Superuser
    Sep 26, 2020 at 7:46
  • 1
    Do they have kettlebells? Sep 29, 2020 at 18:34
  • 1
    Running on a treadmill at e.g. 10mph and 10% gradient requires a high energy output, whilst the gradient minimises the load on your joints
    – John M
    Oct 2, 2020 at 13:43
  • 1
    I'm under the impression continuous double unders on a jump rope gets your heart rate really high. Knee high jump burpies too.
    – DKNguyen
    Oct 6, 2020 at 13:20

2 Answers 2



Sprinting is the best way to achieve your body's full capacity and work yourself the hardest. It can also be done outside or on a track so if your gym doesn't have a track you can go outside and do it. Here are some other examples that require equipment but are in many gyms:

  • Jump rope (speed or double unders)
  • Box jumps(speed or height can be added)
  • weighted jump squats(speed or weight can be added)
  • Zercher walks (use a lot of weight)
  • Farmers walks (use a lot of weight)
  • circuit training with weights(see below for an example of a fun one)


Cardioacceleration is the idea of skipping rest periods between sets of weightlifting and doing an intense cardio move, such as jump ropes, box jumps, lunges, etc.. this mimics HIIT by using strong weightlifting and switching to a less intense but still intense cardio.

You can also increase the time you do hiit. For instance instead of 10 minute round, you can try a 20 minute round(I wouldn't do more than this).

Circuit training challenge

Do 4 or 5 full body compound barbell movements as a circuit. Rest a minute between sets. Here's the kicker.. start with a weight you can do 15 reps with but start at 5. At the end of each round of a circuit, add a rep. If you cannot complete an exercise due to fatigue, skip it and go to the next one. Keep going until you've exhausted yourself. The rest ratio between the workload creates an hiit like environment which gets harder as you go. Here is an example:

Bench press 5 reps

Rest a minute

Row 5 reps

Rest a minute

Rdl 5 reps

Rest a minute

Squat 5 reps

Rest a minute

Bench press 6 reps

Finish round at 6 reps ... 7 reps ... 8 reps.. ... 9 reps...

Can't complete rdl, so do just bench press, row, and squat for 10 reps


How do I improvise to do HIIT to the cardio level of battle rope and sledge hammer?

Jump rope like a boxer

  1. Pick up a jump rope.
  2. Learn to jump to the point where you can do a full 3-minute round.
  3. Do 5 x 3-minute rounds, with slightly less than 1-minute rest in-between.
  4. Add criss-cross and double-unders (also mentioned in Ace Cabbie's answer).
  5. Decrease rest periods to 30 seconds.

Getting through this will involve learning the 'boxer skip'.

When you will be done, you will be training like a boxer. The cardio gains will very likely surpass those of your current training routine.

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