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:
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.
- Strength Training Without Weights: Home Workout Without Equipment
- Boxing Workouts at Home: A Training Routine to Let Your Fists Fly!
- Hotel Room Workout Routine: Use Bodyweight Circuit Training and Other Travel Exercises to Stay in Shape Away From Home
- The Best Cardio For Weight Loss: A HIIT Workout Routine to Burn Belly Fat Fast
- A HIIT Workout Routine: A High Intensity Cardio Alternative That Burns Belly Fat Fast