full body HIIT and circuit workout for the gym

I like to have a plan before I get to the gym. If I'm not going to a group class, I usually like to lay out what I'm going to do ahead of time, either on paper or at least in my head. If I just go and start doing squats willy-nilly or jogging on the treadmill with no idea of how long or hard I'm gonna go, my workout probably won't end up being as challenging. It's way too easy to quit early when there's no set goal you're trying to reach.

This particular workout I planned and implemented recently at the gym was so great and challenging, so I thought I'd share it with you all. I jotted it down on a little notepad before I went (don't worry, I'll spell it out much more clearly for you below).

You do probably need to go to the gym to do this workout (unless you're super lucky and have a home gym!), or you can adapt it to do outside and/or at home. It involves some HIIT on the treadmill followed by 25-30 minutes of circuit training with more HIIT, weights, plyometrics, and abs. It targets all of the major muscle groups and you should definitely feel it the next day! 

I'll try to provide clear instructions and/or a YouTube video where needed. I don't have pictures of each exercise because I work out solo and am too focused to take lots of "selfies" while working out. Okay.... maybe just one. ;)

Full Body HIIT & Circuit Workout 

Duration: 45-55 minutes, depending upon pace and break times
Intensity level: Intermediate/advanced (please adjust to personal fitness level, take breaks as needed, and drink plenty of water)
Equipment needed:
  -Barbell and weights for squatting (I add 40 lbs on to the bar; adjust to your level)
  -Dumbells (I use 10 lb dumbbells; adjust to your level)
  -A bench or step for tricep dips

Here's the simplified version of the workout to bring with you to the gym. Below that, find all of the details and instructions (videos, pictures, tips). Try it out -- I guarantee you'll feel the burn!

Part 1: Treadmill HIIT
Incline = 2.0 for entire workout

-Warm up for 4 minutes (walk for 2; jog for 2)
-Alternate sprinting (speed = 8.5) and walking (speed = 4.0) for 14 minutes 
-Cool down (speed = 3.5) for 2 minutes

0:00-2:00 -- Speed = 3.5
2:00-4:00 -- Speed = 6.0
4:00-5:00 -- Speed = 8.5
5:00-6:00 -- Speed = 4.0
6:00-7:00 -- Speed = 8.5
7:00-8:00 -- Speed = 4.0
8:00-9:00 -- Speed = 8.5
9:00-10:00 -- Speed = 4.0
10:00-11:00 -- Speed = 8.5
11:00-12:00 -- Speed = 4.0
13:00-14:00 -- Speed = 8.5
14:00-15:00 -- Speed = 4.0
15:00-16:00 -- Speed = 8.5
16:00-17:00 -- Speed = 4.0
17:00-18:00 -- Speed = 8.5
18-20:00 -- Speed = 3.5

Part 2: Circuit Training

Set 1: Heavy squats and jumping rope
Alternate between 20 squats (10 regular and 10 pliƩ with pulses) and 1 minute of jumping rope 3 times

1) Squats: (*barbell should be up on meaty part of upper back; chest up and out; shoulders back; abs in; knees pointing forward; nice and slow, no rushing; squatting DEEP. See a video on good squat form here)
  • 10 reps of regular squats with 10 pulses at the bottom of the last one
  • 10 reps of pliĆ© squats (toes pointing out 45 degrees; feet further apart) with 10 pulses at the bottom of the last one. See video here

2) Jumping rope for 1 minute (*jumping with both feet together as quickly as possible; elbows in by your sides and most of the movement coming from your wrists)

--> Repeat squats and jumping rope 2 more times each

Set 2: Wall sits with bicep curls and jumping lunges
Alternate between a 45 second wall sit with simultaneous bicep curls and 30 jumping lunges 3 times

1) Wall sits and bicep curls
For 45 seconds, sit in a deep squat with your back straight against a wall, knees at 90 degrees. Meanwhile, do alternating bicep curls with your dumbbells.
photo from fitbie.com
2) Jumping lunges X 30 
Do jumping lunges for 30 reps -- 15 on each side. See video here

-->Repeat wall sit/bicep curls and jumping lunges 2 more times each

Set 3: Tricep dips, incline pushups, and jumping squats
Alternate between 10 tricep dips, 10 incline pushups, and 20 jumping squats 3 times

1) Tricep dips X 10 on a step or bench
See video here.

2) Incline pushups X 10 on a step or bench
See video here

3) 20 squat jumps
Do 20 squat jumps. See video here

-->Repeat tricep dips, incline pushups, and squat jumps 2 more times each

Set 4: Abs
Alternate between 50 bicycles and a 1 minute plank twice

1) Bicycle crunches for 50 reps (25 to each side)

2) Plank for 1 minute
Either on forearms or hands. 

-->Repeat bicycle and plank 1 more time each

.....DONE. Cool down and stretch!!


  1. oh I love this!!! I'm about to re-join the gym and will be printing this post ;)



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