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[WOTM, 05/2016] Ignite Your Muscles & Build Your Leanest Body Ever With The Hardcore HIIT Workout Program

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HIIT, HIIT WORKOUT, hiit training, high intensity training, best hiit workout, hiit workouts, interval training, high intensity interval training, hiit workout routine, hiit workout plan, hiit exercises, interval training workouts, hit training, hiit program

Get ready to run into STRAIGHT FIRE, Khaleesi style.

May’s WOTMThe Hardcore HIIT Workout Program—is THE most challenging, sweat-inducing, muscle-mutilating workout program we’ve ever put out. And if you’ve followed any of our WOTMs or workout plans regularly, you know that they’re no joke.

But this month we decided to go further and light it up with fat fireworks, just in time to carry you through the entirety of beach season and summer sixteen.

As the name indicates, the Hardcore HIIT Workout Program is an insanely rigorous, HARDCORE 5-day workout program. It’s designed as an advanced, superset and eccentric set driven, HIIT-anchored fire monster that digs deep into muscle fibers, tears ’em up, and finishes the body off with strategic bouts of fat-incinerating HIIT.

And that’s where it gets interesting, completely unique, and just a little bit evil.

First, each of the 5 workouts lays down a circuit of targeted, highly intense resistance training to knock out a specific part of the body. Second, once you’ve conquered the lifting portion, you’ll power through a corresponding HIIT session that matches the target muscle group, burns the region out, and lights it up in a blaze of glory.

One day you’ll cap off a lunge and squat massacre with a little Stairmaster Blaster HIIT. The next, you’ll row, row, row until your back is completely torched. And we might even get a little boxing involved to pummel searing shoulders, arms, and pecs.

Think of it as an ice cream sundae with HIIT sprinkles on top. RAWR.

It’s torture and highly intense, and it will be extremely difficult on the body, but get through it and not only will you blast your muscles harder than you ever have before, but you’ll send your heart rate skyrocketing, tap into fat stores, and ignite your metabolism for days after the fact.

Do it consistently and you’ll produce results that are beyond impressive and oh so glorious, all while gradually building the leanest physique you’ve ever experienced (ps. behind the scenes secret — the workout program is modeled very closely after my own personal workout split and what you see on Snapchat).

Get after it and make big things happen.


 

[WOTM, 05/2016] The Hardcore HIIT Workout Program


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The Hardcore HIIT Workout Program is a rigorous 5-day workout split. Each workout routine hits the following muscle groups and breaks down as follows:

We’ve designed the workout to run in a 5-2 sequence, meaning complete all 5 workouts in a row—in sequence A→B→C→D→E—and then follow it up with 2 rest days off. From there, repeat the cycle.

If you need an unexpected day off or need to structure the workout differently, that’s cool with us, just make sure to go IN ORDER. All 5 workouts are mandatory. And that means no skipping leg day.

As you get stronger, gradually increase the weight used for each set. Challenge = growth. Use the heaviest weight possible for the given number of reps (without compromising form).

Two quick hitters:

  • 1. Because the workout program is highly intense and hard on the body, strong nutrition becomes paramount. Make sure your eating is optimized and on point throughout. Use our clean eating guide as a blueprint.
  • 2. Likewise, it’s important to optimize recovery. Use our HIIT recovery guide to maximize your performance, increase recovery, and protect you body from burnout.

Got it? Good.

*Click on each applicable exercise name for a full pop-out video demo. A printable summary of all 5 workout plans is available here.

 

Workout A — Shoulders + HIIT


 

1. [SUPERSET] Face PullsReverse Cable Flies


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How To:

Protocol:  4 sets — 12 reps + 12 reps

Target Muscle(s): Shoulders (All), Rear Deltoids, Upper Back

  • (1) Do 12 Face Pulls. Set up a cable so that it’s at face height. Pull the rope directly into your face and SQUEEZE your rear deltoids.
  • (2) Immediately do 12 Reverse Cable Flies. Bend over to 45º, keep your back flat and core tight, and pull each cable handle up until they’re parallel with your torso. They should be in line with your shoulders.

 

2. Eccentric Dumbbell Shoulder Press


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How To:

Protocol:  5 sets — 5 reps ECCENTRIC + 5 reps REGULAR

Target Muscle(s): Shoulders (All), Triceps

An eccentric set is one where you emphasize and exaggerate the LOWERING phase of the movement.

For the Eccentric Dumbbell Shoulder Press, you’ll press the weights overhead per usual, but slow down the lowering portion and draw it out for 5 seconds.

  • (1) Sit on a bench and set-up as if you’re doing a normal dumbbell shoulder press.
  • (2) Do 5 eccentric reps. Powerfully press the weight up overhead, pause at the top, and then SLOWLY lower the weight down until your triceps are parallel with the floor. You’ll lower for a count of 5 SECONDS, for a 1-5 tempo. 1 second up, 5 down. Complete 5 reps.
  • (3) Immediately finish the set by doing 5 normal reps.

 

3. Dumbbell Shrug Complex


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How To:

Protocol: 4 sets — 20 reps NEUTRAL + 20 reps OVERHAND

Target Muscle(s): Traps, Shoulders (All), Forearms

  • (1) Hold 2 dumbbells with a NEUTRAL GRIP—your palms face towards your body, like the picture above—and do 20 shrugs. Raise your traps straight up and squeeze at the top for 1 second.
  • (2) Immediately rotate the dumbbells inward into an OVERHAND GRIP—your palms face straight behind you—rest the dumbbells on the front of your quads, and do 20 shrugs. Roll your shoulders back, squeeze, and hold at the top for 1 second.

That’s 40 total reps. The movement is almost identical, you’ll just twist your hands.

 

4. Kettlebell Swings


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How To:

Protocol: 3 sets — 25 reps/30 reps/35 reps

Target Muscles: Shoulders (All), Front Deltoids, Legs, Lower Back, Core

For kettlebell swings, use the heaviest kettlebell possible for the prescribed number of reps.

  • (1) Place a kettlebell in between your feet.
  • (2) Maintain a flat back, bend down, and grab the handle with both hands. This is your base position.
  • (3) Powerfully dip down, press through your heels (squeeze your butt), raise your torso, and vigorously swing the kettlebell up to forehead height. Thrust through your hips at the midpoint and keep your arms straight throughout the motion.
  • (4) Let the kettlebell sit at the apex for as long as possible, bend your knees, and slowly allow it to release between your legs — keep your chest up. Repeat.

You’re following an ascending rep protocol. Start with 25 reps in set 1, do 30 reps in set 2, and finish off with 35 reps in set 3.

 

5. Arnold Press


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How To:

Protocol: 3 sets — 15 reps

Target Muscles: Shoulders (All), Triceps

  • Hold two dumbbells on top of your thighs with palms facing forward.
  • Curl the weights upwards to chest height, rotate your wrists externally, and press overhead, all in one fluid motion.
  • Slowly lower back to the bottom and repeat.

 

6. HIIT Cardio — Speed Boxing


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How To:

Protocol: 3 bouts — 5 minutes

 

Find a double end punching bag and set-up a timer for 5 minutes.

Get into fighting stance, dance on your toes, and continue to alternate hooks and jabs. Swing from left to right as the bag moves around. Box as if you’re in a real fight — keep your hands up, toes bouncing, and punch according to where the bag moves. Twist through your core, punch vigorously, and rip off combos as you become more proficient.

  • If you MISS the bag at any point hit the floor and do 1 push up. If the bag hits you in the face, do 2 push ups. If the bag stops at any point, do 1 push up. These are all no-nos.
  • Continue to alternate hooks and jabs until the 5 minute bout is up.

Rest 1-2 minutes and repeat for 2 more bouts.

As you become more proficient—your hand-eye coordination and punching ability will improve with time—work on more advanced combos.

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Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  • Jodi Elliott

    Excited to start this one! Just wondering about a suggestion to replace the 5 mins of HIIT boxing? My gym doesn’t have the equipment for this :(.

    • BUMMER! No worries though — replace it with 15 minutes of treadmill incline intervals.

      – 10-15% incline.
      – Alternate 30 seconds at 3 MPH // 8-10 MPH for a total of 15 minutes.

  • Corey Thacker

    Thanks for this, Bryan. I’m finishing up with your 4-day muscle-thrashing workout-program and have had some of the best results of my gym “career”. Plan on taking a week to rest/recover, but this seems like the next logical step. Would you say 8 weeks is a good timeframe for this one before changing things up again down the road?

    • Hey Corey, that’s amazing, so glad you’ve gotten killer results. CRUSHING IT!

      This is definitely a more rigorous and more advanced plan, I’d definitely recommend it after following the 4-day split for a while. I’d typically follow it for at least 8 weeks and then switch things up (back to the 4-day split works).

      But honestly, assess as you go. Don’t change what’s working. If you’re still seeing strong results and gains 10, 12, 14, 16 weeks in, keep it going.

      This plan definitely will be more METABOLICALLY focused than the 4-day split, which makes it a little but more ideal for staying lean and adding muscle gradually. Let me know how it goes!

      -BD

  • T Balzano

    Hi Bryan! Would you recommend battle ropes as a substitution for the speed boxing in gyms that don’t have boxing equipment?

    • Totally! Great idea. Love battle ropes for HIIT, especially on shoulder and arm days (mwahahahaha).

  • TheArlenefelicia

    This looks soo good!! It gets me all excited to train again!

  • Nicole

    Can you convert the stair mill levels to steps per minute? I have to manually enter spm instead of levels 🙁

    • Of course, here’s the conversion:

      Level 1 is 24 SPM and then each level adds another 8 SPM. So that’s 24 + (8*level-1) in equation form.

      Level 3 = 40 SPM
      Level 7 = 72 SPM
      Level 12 = 112 SPM

      • Nicole

        Thank you!!

  • James

    Hey Bryan, love your stuff! Been following since you since 2013! Thanks for everything. Got a quick question on work-out splits. Going to do 6 work-outs a week split up like this: Day 1 (chest/shoulders/HIIT), Day 2 (back/biceps/triceps/HIIT), Day 3 (legs/abs/long cardio) all twice a week. I know it’s slightly different than the above, but are there any problems with those workout splits instead? Don’t want to be wasting my time or not allowing my muscles the time to heal so would love to hear your thoughts

    • Hey James — thanks for the love! Totally fine with that split and doing everything twice/week. Organization makes sense and you’ll give each muscle group enough time to rest.

      Jake sure your eating and hydration are on point, recovery will be super important with a rigorous split like that.

      Keep up the work!

  • Abhi

    Hey Bryan! Gotta say love everything your doing! Ive been following you for more than a few years now and love your workouts! Keep on keeping on! Im a 5’8 165lb 20 year old chilling at about 19.5% body fat and my goal by the end of the summer is to bring that down to around 12% and put on a few pounds of lean muscle. I love your hiit workout. With the way my work schedule is I get in the gym prob 3-5times/week. Obviously, what I eat is even more important. In terms of how I am eating
    for meals not after working out i do this: http://draxe.com/measuring-fat-why-bmi-is-inaccurate-and-weight-scales-don%E2%80%99t-cut-it/
    and http://lifeloveandthyme.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Fat-Loss-Plate-Collage.jpg
    for after workouts i do this: http://www.crossfitmilescity.com/recovery-series-part-2-nutrient-timing
    Am I on the right path? Granted that I started about 2 weeks ago. If theres anything else i should add/not do, any insight would be much appreciated brotha!
    Cheers, Abhi

    • Hey Abhi,

      Thanks for the love dude, much appreciated! It sounds like you’re already at pretty healthy weight, but looking to crank up the intensity and really lean out. That goal is definitely doable, but realize, as your body fat starts to get lower you’ll have to be more and more disciplined with your eating and consciously push the intensity/difficulty of your workouts.

      Do both of those and you’ll see continuous results.

      As for eating, I’m okay with that guide. Really focus on eating a lot of protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and slow digesting carbs. Try cutting out processed crap and eliminate sugar whenever possible. Drink a ton of water.

      Give this guide a read — it’ll help break everything down in more depth: http://www.leanitup.com/lean-clean-eating-manifesto-17-nutrition-tactics-eat-cleaner-live-leaner-build-ultimate-body/

      As for your workouts, I can’t see any workouts at the link you sent, but you’re at a point where the 1-2 combo of resistance training—especially res training that’s more metabolic in nature (i.e. shorter rest, more vigorous movements, supersets, etc.)—and HIIT really makes a difference.

      Focus heavily on adding weight and reps to your lifts, and gradually increasing your strength. The results will come naturally.

      -BD

      • Abhi

        Thanks a ton man! I love that you actually take the time to respond to my question!

        I deff understand what youre saying. The fast digesting carbs that I eat are usually white rice and whole wheat bread. In terms of processed crap and sugars I only eat during my cheat meals (Friday and Saturday nights…party time ya know) but during the rest of the week I follow the guides religiously. In terms of workouts, I follow the hiit workouts you have with a few tweeks for more supersets and heavier weights (as i find this duo works best for me). Ive given the guide you posted a read before. With respect to calories, I used the link for the calorie counter you had and ive found with my work schedule and stuff I usually hit under the amount of calories…most time by 200-700 calories. In terms of reducing body fat and putting on some lean muscle while roughly maintaining the same body weight: is it more important to hit my necessary calories and workout or keep on with what I am doing? I just need some clarity with respect to this.

        Abhi

        • You got it Abhi. It sounds like your eating is solid. The cheat meals are fine, but they’ll definitely slow your progress if you’re doing it multiple times/week. That’s life though (and how it goes with partying), just be aware of it.

          Especially when you’re drinking try to keep it lean — subbing out sugary drinks and massive amounts of beer for leaner options makes a HUGE difference.

          If you want a gradual increase in muscle mass and decrease in body fat, keep your calories right around maintenance (the zone that you’re in right now), make sure you’re eating clean foods, and focus HEAVILY on your workouts and HIIT.

          Clean eating around maintenance + quality workouts with heavy weights and gradual improvement + HIIT = success.

          Keep working hard.

          • Abhi

            Thanks for all the help man! Keep on keeping on! Cheers

  • Jessica Nurack

    Hi, I recently found Lean It Up and am just starting this workout series. I don’t currently have access to a box for box jumps. I attempted using a bench in place of a box, but it kept sliding and wasn’t stable enough to feel safe. Can you suggest some alternate exercises that I can replace it with?

    • Hey Jessica, if you don’t have a box sub them out for air squat jumps (you can hold weights also to up the difficulty).

      Check out our UPWODs as well if you want daily workouts.

      -BD

      • Jessica Nurack

        Thanks, Bryan! I really appreciate that you actually answers questions!