Intense Home Workout: Strength Training Routine and HIIT Routine | Not Your Average Fitness Tips

Intense Home Workout: Strength Training Routine and HIIT Routine

After a lackluster workout schedule for the past month and a half which has included a bachelor party, two weddings, birthday parties, and a bout with bronchitis, I’ve decided it’s time to once again perform an intense home workout routine.  Fortunately, the last month and a half has actually primed my body for this type of intense workout.  While I haven’t lost any fat during this time period, I haven’t really added any fat either.  I’ve been on more of a maintenance schedule where I’ve just been trying to preserve muscle without gaining fat.  Therefore, I can perform a more aggressive workout routine for the next month without worrying about my body breaking down.

The strength training routine and HIIT routine I outline below is not meant to be done on an ongoing basis.  This is something I incorporate every 3-4 months to really blast body fat.  I’m only going to perform this routine for the next month.  Any longer and I would risk overtraining.  Despite increasing my workout intensity, I don’t want to significantly increase the amount of time that I exercise either.  Generally I exercise 4 days per week, 45 minutes per day.  My goal for the next month is to workout 30-45 minutes per day, 6 days per week.

My Strength Training Routine

To get really lean, tight muscles, my strength training routine includes low rep, heavy weight training (I learned this from Phase 3 of Visual Impact Muscle Building).  I utilize supersets to create a more time efficient workout.  This routine will be performed on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  I will do 3 sets of 3 reps for each exercise, except weighted pull ups and dips where I do 5 slow reps, and the kickboxing routine at the end.  The first set for each exercise will be a warm up set using approximately 75% of the weight I do for the 3 rep sets.  I perform this warm up set using slow reps to increase time under tension.   Rest time in between sets is 2 minutes, during which I perform the other exercise in the superset.  I avoid training to failure.

  • Superset 1: Closed Grip Bench Press, Seated Individual Dumbbell Curls
  • Superset 2: Incline Dumbbell Press, Straight Barbell Curls
  • Superset 3: Shoulder Press, Abs (Planks, Renegade Rows)
  • Superset 4: Weighted Pull Ups, Weighted Dips
  • Kickboxing: Weighted Kicks, Weighted Punches

Since I workout at home, some of these supersets were put together for practical reasons.  For example, to avoid time spent changing weights, I pair a barbell exercise with a dumbbell exercise.  I also like to end my strength training routine with a kickboxing workout to accelerate my heart rate.  I’ve been involved in martial arts since a young age and enjoy this type of routine as well.  I use ankle weights to increase tension for kicks and do punches with 10lb dumbbells.  This type of weighted cardio adds a nice fat loss effect.  All in all, my total strength training routine is 30-35 minutes.  Each superset only takes 6-7 minutes and kickboxing is about 5-10 minutes.

My HIIT Routine

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to get really lean.  I will perform this HIIT routine on Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday.  Because of the intensity of my HIIT routine, I avoid direct strength training for legs.  The first part of my HIIT workout is short interval HIIT.  I warm up for 2 minutes and then perform 8 sets that include 15 second all out sprints and 45 seconds of jogging on the elliptical.  Since this releases fatty acids into my bloodstream, I like to perform 10-15 minutes of steady state cardio on the exercise bike afterward to burn those fatty acids.  This also helps my legs recover.

Generally I would finish with 10 minutes of long interval HIIT that includes a 1 minute fast paced run followed by 1 minute slow jogging, but I’ve decided to slightly modify my routine.  I will be doing a plyometrics routine that includes everything from calf raises to step ups to broad jumps.  It’s about a 10 minute routine and serves a similar function as long interval HIIT in that it increases lactic acid and reduces glycogen to allow for significant fat burn after my workout is completed.  Additionally, plyometrics help strengthen my legs a bit better than traditional cardio.  The total time for this workout is around 30-35 minutes as well.

A Tabata Jump Rope Workout…I add this in the last 2 weeks to really up the intensity:

My Diet

During this short term intense workout period, diet is of the utmost importance.  I perform intermittent fasting twice per week but also clean up the rest of my diet.  Many people can perform strength training on fasting days but I like my lower calorie days to coincide with HIIT days and higher calorie days to coincide with strength training days.  Therefore I fast on Mondays and Fridays.  I skip breakfast on Wednesday as well to create another calorie restriction.  During this month, I will also somewhat restrict calories on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  Sunday will be my cheat day to control leptin levels.

Additionally, I will eat cleaner than usual.  On Monday, dinner will be a high quality protein, vegetables, and fruit for dessert.  Similarly, I will be avoiding saturated fat and refined sugars on Wednesday as well.  While I will restrict calories on the other days (excluding Sunday), I will allow myself to indulge in some light, low calorie snacks.  Anything goes Sunday which prevents my diet from dominating my lifestyle (I love to host BBQs in the summer).

The Final Countdown

While the above provides a very intense home workout for me, I like to stretch things a bit further for the final week or two.  I will add a 10 minute circuit training workout to my strength training routine to further burn fat while preserving muscle.  I will also add a Tabata workout (20 second sprint, 10 second rest for 8 sets; a total of 4 minutes) to my HIIT routine on Saturday and Wednesday (too intense to perform on Monday as well). Finally, I will skip breakfast on Tuesday and Thursday to create a further calorie restriction.

Overall, I expect this strength training routine and HIIT routine to help me blast through a fat loss plateau over the next month.  Then I can reduce the intensity of my workout to avoid overtraining.

19 Responses to “Intense Home Workout: Strength Training Routine and HIIT Routine”

  • It good to see you are changing things around all the time. I got caught up in keeping the same routine diet for over a year and really suffered with lack of results.
    I found out the hard way that cycling foods and exercise around provides the best benefit.
    I do it in seasons now rather than in a month … Its Winter so I back off the cardio, lift heavy, eat well… as summer comes on I reverse all that more cardio, eat less, lighter and higher reps and I look better than I ever did

  • Raymond,
    I’ll be doing a different post on it, but I think changing workout routines and diets is very important. It surprises your body and keeps things interesting as well. Sounds like you have an excellent approach.

  • Dave,

    This sounds like a solid routine. It’s good that you mention that this type of regimen should not be performed for an extended period of time. When it comes to working out, I also find myself going hard for 4-5 weeks and then light for 1-2 weeks to prevent burnout.


  • This is really close to my what my workout looks like right now. Really effective.

    I love that you mentioned using Tabatas, I have just started adding Tabata sessions to the end of my strength workouts and liking the results (so much so I’m actually finishing an article on Tabata protocols at the moment :) ) using a jump rope is perfect for this kind of work.

    Another great video too…was there a jump rope in there? I didn’t notice. I’ll have to watch it again, lol.

  • Alykhan,
    I agree that you can’t push 100% all the time. There has to be some time to recover in there.

    I’m really hoping this workout helps me get to my lowest body fat ever. I’m confident I’ll get there, then pull back a little, then hit the accelerator again in a couple months. Tabatas are fantastic but they are really taxing. I’ll make sure to check out your post on them. I guess you’re a big fan of Zuzana from BodyRock as well!


  • Anna:

    Wow Dave, looks like you got the whole month all planned out. I really do think that having a plan saves us from a lot of guessing. It’s also great that you were able to make use of your home gym equipments so you’re more likely to stick to the program because it’s right there :)

    I look forward to hearing your progress.


  • Anna,
    I definitely think a plan is important. For me, a month or two is the longest I plan though. It’s enough time to make progress but not so long that I get bored.

  • q:

    I like Zuz’s workouts but thanks to you I realize I shouldnt be doing this 5 days a week like Zuz does. Not good….I was wondering why I was feeling run down. Thanks for adding the intellectual element.

  • Q,
    Trying to perform HIIT, or especially Tabata, 5 days a week is murder for your body. Maybe if you needed to cut weight for some event, you could do this for a week. For maintenance, 2-3 days of HIIT per week is fine. Even for an aggressive routine, 3-4 days should be more than adequate.

  • I guess working out at home is really the trend nowadays. People like us who don’t have time to go to the gym really find this substitute feasible. Your work out seems really intense. Unlike you, I don’t have a particular workout scheduled everyday. I just do cardio exercises everyday.

  • Patricia,
    In a busy world, the home workout trend is a time saver. You don’t have to get in your car and go to the gym…simply do some exercises on your own. Plus you have less excuses for not exercising. That’s just me though. Some people like going to the gym to get away and the monthly fee is motivation to go often.

  • Thank you for the workout schedule. I had a friend in college who never went to the gym and had the most fit body I had ever seen. He attributed it to home workouts and resistance training. He just used his own body weight and did pushups and situps, etc. and saved 1000’s from going to the gym.

  • Jennifer,
    Sounds like an excellent success story for your friend. Most people don’t realize what a great workout they can get at home.

  • I usually do a boxing bag punching and punching and kicking with weights on my arms and legs in the end of my fitness training. It is great cardio training, and its also great for athletes who wants to improve their stamina. I’m glad that you use this exercise too.

    Thank you,

  • Gary:

    This looks like a rock solid routine. I need to loose 10 kgs and this looks like it will do the business.

  • Dave,

    Do you feel that the HIIT is really necessary, especially with the intermittent fasting that you are doing? Is it just icing on the cake, or do you feel you wouldn’t get the same results without it?

    Thanks, Michelle

  • Michelle,
    If your diet is good enough and you’re performing strength training, cardio probably isn’t even necessary. For me, even with intermittent fasting, my diet isn’t usually clean enough so the combination of HIIT and IF really helps me maintain or cut body fat while still enjoying my favorite (bad for you) foods.

  • Thank you very much for the workout however I have been doing the workout and have run into problems at my gym. I do the super setting and the manager has asked me to try and not do that because other people are using the equipment even though I go as fast as I possibly can. Perhaps you can give me some insight I do not workout at home as I have a small villa at the beach. But thanks again for the great workout I have lost count and do have somewhat of a sixpack stomach at least until I eat my next meal.

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