There are countless exercise programs for weight loss and fitness, but the very best ones all incorporate some type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) format. When it comes to strength training for maximum fat loss nothing beats HIIT circuit training. Today, I’m going to share three very different HITT circuits that work great in weight loss and fitness boot camps. They are:
Workout A: 40-20 Drop Sets Circuit
Workout B: 60:30 Strength/Cardio Supersets
Workout C: 30-second Complexes
Each of these weight loss and fitness workout program templates will attack your metabolism (and body fat) in different ways helping you develop a lean and sexy body that looks great at the lake!
40-20 Drop Sets Circuit
The 40-20 Drop Sets Circuit is a classic high intensity bodybuilding style of training with an interval training twist. One of the keys to developing lean fat-burning muscle is using maximum intensity and training to what’s called “momentary muscle failure.” This is the one time where we actually want to “fail.” In other words, we’re going to train with a load where no matter how hard we try we simply can’t complete one more repetition in good form for that set.
Without getting all scientific on you, just understand that training to failure will cause maximum muscle fiber breakdown thus signaling the need for the body to build more lean and sexy muscle and ultimately BURN MORE FAT WHILE AT REST!
Well, drop sets take training to failure to a whole new level. Here’s how they work:
1. Select a load that you will cause you to fail at X number of reps
2. Perform that set with maximum effort and than upon failure immediately reduce the load enough so that you can continue working for another X number of reps.
When you train “beyond failure” like this you will send the ultimate signal to your body to build muscle and burn fat.
Here’s how we put a circuit training twist on this incredible high intensity training technique:
You will alternate between 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest for each exercise in the following 4-exercise circuit. Upon hearing “halfway,” perform a drop set (decrease intensity) for each exercise where applicable. You’re goal is to complete 10 reps per exercise for each half of each set.
Perform up to 5 total rounds for a 20-minute total body workout.
1. Sumo Deadlift Drop Set Variation
2. Resisted Push-up Drop Set Variation
3. Split Squat Jump Drop Set Variation
4. Bent-over Row Drop Set Variation
WARNINIG: This is not something you can do in every workout. The intensity is just too high. That’s why we’ll only be using the 40-20 Drop Set Circuit format once per week in this training phase. We’ll also be doing it on Monday’s after getting maximum rest over the weekend.
60:30 Strength/Cardio Supersets
60:30 Strength/Cardio Supersets are an incredible way to train total endurance: muscular and cardiovascular. Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time. Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the heart, lungs and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to working muscles and tissues, as well as the ability of those muscles and tissues to utilize that oxygen.
Endurance is important for most recreational and competitive athletics, as well as living a high-quality everyday life – think about getting through the day with less fatigue, keeping up with your children or grandchildren – not too mention avoiding our top three killers: heart disease, cancer and stroke.
By performing our workout in a superset fashion we’re able to take our endurance training to another level and get the best of both worlds (muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance) simultaneously. Supersets amp up the intensity of a workout because when we perform non-competing exercises back-to-back our muscles get a “break” and we’re able to maintain a higher level of intensity through the workout which we know is critical for maximizing our sexy.
Below is an outline of how we’ll be performing strength/cardio supersets this month:
Superset Station 1
1. Lunge Variation
2. Front-to-Back Hops Variation
Superset Station 2
1. Chest Press Variation
2. Side-to-Side Hops Variation
Superset Station 3
1. 1-arm Vertical Pull Variation
2. Rotational Hops Variation
At each station you will alternate between 60 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest for both a strength and cardio exercise. Your goal is to complete 30 reps per exercise or 15 reps per side.
You will perform 2 total rounds followed by a 1-minute rest and transition for 3 total stations for a 20-minute total body workout.
30-second Complexes are an absolutely awesome way to light things up, especially at the end of the training week. This classic kettlebell style training employs heavy loads and maximizes the amount of total work that can be done in a short period of time. The end result – a metabolic turbo boost that will have you burning fat all weekend!
The key to this workout template is performing compound unilateral (single-side) exercises to both overload the working muscles AND provide recovery for the next exercise in the sequence. Keep in mind that compound exercises are multi-joint exercises involving large muscle groups. For best results, use total body movements that integrate the upper and lower body. Take a look:
1. 1-arm Push Press (Right)
2. 1-arm Push Press (Left)
3. 1-arm Power Curls (Right)
4. 1-arm Power Curls (Left)
5. 1-arm High Pulls (Right)
6. 1-arm High Pulls (Left)
You will perform 6 consecutive 30-second work sets followed by a 1-minute rest and transition. Your goal is to complete 10 reps per exercise – that means heavy loads!
You will perform this 4- Minute sequence up to 5 times, working for a total of 20 minutes.
While this workout doesn’t look like much on paper, don’t be fooled – it’ll work every part of your body and have your heart rate flying and your muscles screaming. Of course, anyone can do this workout and every exercise has injury and limitation modifications so don’t be scared…
The only thing you’ll have to worry about this month is picking out your new fall wardrobe. 🙂
Now, GET AFTER IT!