The majority of exercise routines that I design and recommend for my clients and followers mainly focus on one general area of the body. This helps to focus attention and maximizes the amount of time you spend on an area with as many moves as possible.
However, there are times when it can be very beneficial to work on your entire body. And when you combine that with High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), then you have a recipe for maximum strengthening as well as fat loss.
So, if you’ve done some different HIIT routines, then maybe it’s time to spice things up a bit.
What Is HIIT?
High-Intensity Interval Training is a significant step away from the traditional training methods that people use at the gym. It’s basically about working your body as hard as possible for short bursts of time.
Then, you only get a few seconds to recover and catch your breath, before you get into the next set. It’s a constant battle to work at peak performance to trigger metabolic processes that help you build up more muscle and reduce the amount of flabby stuff.
Once you do HIIT once, you’ll know what intensity is all about.
What Are The Benefits Of HIIT Exercises?
Many people I talk to are skeptical of HIIT because they are so rooted in the traditional exercising and training routines. But there are 4 very important benefits that I always focus on.
Regular cardio exercises are fine, but if you really want to strengthen your heart, then HIIT is the way to go. The short bursts bring your heart rate to maximum levels, which has a much more profound effect.
One thing I always tell my clients is to spend less time on cardio. It simply doesn’t trigger the same metabolic effects that result in fat being burned. HIIT, on the other hand, really boosts your metabolism, which will go into fat burning overdrive.
The harder you work on your muscles, the more they will start building new tissue. It’s exactly what bodybuilders do to bulk up, and HIIT will give you a similar bulking effect.
Effective Use Of Time
For most people, time is really an issue. Between work and family life, it can be a major problem to spare an hour several times a week to go to the gym. With most HIIT programs you can get started with less than 10 minutes to spare.
Full Body HIIT Workout Structure
The concept of this routine is to work on muscle groups from your feet all the way up to your shoulders. You will do each set based on the number of times listed in as short a time as possible.
This will work out at about 40 to 60 seconds each, and when you finish each exercise, you will only have about 10 seconds to recover. Then move onto the next one and keep pushing.
You should feel quite a burn on each set, so make sure you fight through it and don’t give in to the temptation to reduce the intensity.
Before you get started, just make sure that you go through a light warm-up phase of about 5 minutes. Some jogging on the spot and some stretching will be needed to not jump right into high intensity with cold muscles.
1. Stair step ups (12-15 reps/side)
All you need for this is a small bench or a few steps. Stand in front of the step with both feet on the ground. Lift your left foot up and place it on the step, then push your body up through your heel.
When you get to the top, place your right foot next to your left, and then step down with your left foot. Do this 12 to 15 times each side at maximum speed, and over time, make sure you increase the step height.
2. Dumbbell lying rows (10-12 reps)
For this, you’ll need a bench or a couple of stools that you can lay down on. With a dumbbell in each hand and laying on your stomach, your arms should be fully stretched out.
You will now pull up the dumbbells to your chest and repeat the move 10 to 12 times. Use a heavy enough weight and make sure that the last 2 to 3 reps start to really cause some burn that you need to fight through.
3. Hip thrusts (12-15 + 12-15 reps)
This one is not for beginners, and you will need a bench and a barbell with some weights. Sit down on the ground with your legs bent at the knees and your shoulders resting against the bench.
Place the barbell at the top of your thighs and then push your hips up while balancing the weights. Go back to the original position and repeat 12 to 15 times. This exercise should also be done twice to get the maximum effect.
4. Dumbbell bench press (10-12 reps)
This is a simple but highly effective exercise. You lay down on an exercise bench flat on your back. It’s best to have your dumbbells in hand before you lay down.
Pick a heavy enough weight and then start pushing your hands straight up. As you go through sets, you can also change how far apart your hands are at the top. This will trigger slightly different muscle groups in your back and shoulders.
5. Modified V-Ups (10-12)
The goal will be to get to the regular v-ups with straight legs, but when you’re starting out, it’s fine to have slightly bent knees.
Lay down flat on your exercise mat with your arms straight alongside your body. Start the move by lifting your upper body. Once your shoulders are off the ground, start lifting your legs up.
You’ll end up with a V-shaped body position before you lower back down again. You’ll definitely feel your core starting to burn.
6. Cable kickback (10-15 reps/side)
The multi-purpose weight machine at the gym will work for this, but you can also use exercise bands. With the band attached to your ankle, you will stand facing the direction the band is attached to a wall or door.
Then, pull back your leg as far as it will go, and slowly release it back down again. The last 3 or 4 reps should really be a struggle for this to be effective.
7. Russian twists with dumbbell (24 reps; 1 rep = right & left twist)
Start in a seated position with your heels together, knees bent, and your back at about a 45-degree angle. From here you’ll move your outstretched arms with both hands on the dumbells as far to each side as possible.
This will very quickly start to burn in your core, and if you really want to spice it up a bit, then raise your heels a few inches off the ground.
8. Bicep curls, triceps extension, shoulder upright row (12-15 reps)
On each set you’ll alternate between these three unless you’re already pretty fit, then you can do all three as part of one set. The biceps curl is simple. You just stand straight, with a dumbbell in each hand and pull them up in an alternating way.
For the triceps extension, you will lean your body forward with your upper arms in line with your upper body and the dumbells hanging straight down. Now straighten your arms, alternating between each side.
The shoulder upright row starts off in a standing position with your arms bent and the dumbbells each side of your head. Push both up at the same time until your arms are straight.
9. Hip crossover (24; 1 rep/side)
Lay down on your exercise mat with your arms stretched out to the sides for more stability. With your knees bent, lift your legs up so that your shin bone is parallel to the ground.
Now, twist your lower body to get your knees as close to the ground and then pull back up before moving them to the opposite side. It’s an excellent full core exercise that will take a bit of practice.
If you’ve ever done some yoga before then, this one shouldn’t be too much of a problem. You will need to practice your balance, but it’s not that difficult.
Start off with your hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips. From here, lift your right arm straight forward and at the same time, your left leg straight back. Then go back to the starting position and do the same with the opposite arms and legs.
I love doing full body HIIT programs because you come out of the routine knowing that practically your entire body has been worked out. At the same time, you won’t be feeling as sore in each area as you would if you had done a completely focused HIIT routine.
As you start getting used to the moves and exercises, you should look at switching things around, and I don’t mean just the order. Find new types of exercises that you can introduce to make sure you don’t get bored.
And as always, join us on our Facebook page and leave some comments on different combinations that are working for you.