Full body HIIT circuits with weights are excellent time savers.
The fat-burning, metabolism boosting potential of HIIT is well known. If you add weights to the cardiovascular aspect of high-intensity interval training, you can amplify the affects of your workout.
Weight bearing (strength training) exercise helps to send the proper hormonal signals to your body to focus energy (calories) on building and growing lean mass rather than on weight gain/maintenance.
Combining cardio intervals and weights, lifted with proper form, in a full body HIIT circuit saves time since workouts at this intensity only need 20 minutes of your time (or a little more or less, depending on your fitness level).
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t perform intense workouts every day as they are stressful on you body and the recovery time is needed for optimal results. Recovery is when your body repairs and builds muscle so you can keep progressing. So, follow the golden rule with full body HIIT circuits. Use them alongside a carefully planned progressive training plan.
Strength training shows health improvements for:
Read more about the benefits of HIIT and strength training in the Ultimate Guide to Choosing A New Workout Routine
Full Body HIIT Circuit with Weights
How to Perform Full Body HIIT circuit with weights
- Perform the first A, B, C, D one set each, one after the other before resting for one minute and then repeating that circuit twice more.
- Each set is 30 seconds long
- Use a timer like SecondsPro to time your intervals
- Rest for 1-5 minutes, depending on your fitness level and how hard your worked.
- Move on to the next ABCD circuit and repeat the steps. Move to final circuit and repeat to complete the workout.
To make the full body HIIT circuit easier:
- perform each circuit only once or twice before moving to the next one
- take longer rests between sets or circuits
- lower your weights or skip using weights and use only body weight
To make the full body HIIT circuit more challenging:
- go all out during your working sets
- use perfect form always
- increase your weight
- use plyometric movements like laterally jumping curtsy lunges (skaters) and push presses
- take shorter rests or only rest when you absolutely need to
- perform more sets of the ABCD circuits
Full Body HIIT circuit exercises
You can download and save or print the workout plus all of the exercise instructions by joining my FREE Resource Library.
ABCD Circuit #1: Delts
A: Standing front shoulder plate raises
B: Lateral shoulder dumbbell raises heavy weight
C: Lateral shoulder dumbbell raises lighter weight
D: Rear delt facepull
ABCD Circuit #2: Glutes & Thighs
A: Curtsy lunge left leg
B: Curtsy lunge right leg
C: Cable/band hip abduction left
D: Cable/band hip abduction left
ABCD Circuit #3: Upper Body
A: Cable/band overhead triceps extension
B: Dumbbell biceps curl to shoulder press
C: Dumbbell pullovers
D: Cross body cable/band rows
How to Choose Weights for Full Body HIIT Circuits
- Go lighter than you would for traditional sets and reps
- Choose a weight that is challenging but that you are able to complete all reps with perfect form
- If form degrades, go lighter
- For the cable exercises, you can use resistance bands for an at-home workout
- Resistance bands are just as good or better than cables for many exercises, especially lat raises
- Use body weight, focusing on the mind-muscle connection if you don’t have weights or if your weights are too heavy to complete all reps