4 Week Hiit/Strength Program
This is a four-week kb focused program. There are 3 “strength” days and 3 days of HIIT. The primary exercises in the strength days are down for 10 reps week 1, 8 reps week 2, 6 reps week 3 and back to 10 on week 4.
The HIIT days stay the same throughout. Most are 20:20 circuits although on Tuesdays (day 2) your clients, will do 1 exercise in a 10:20 format for 8 rounds with one minute of rest followed by another exercise of 10:20 for 8 rounds with 1 minute rest after it is complete
On the strength days you need to encourage your clients to increase their weight from week to week as the reps goes down. During the last week when you are back to doing 10 reps per exercise, they should be able to go heavier than the 1st week which was also 10 rep sets. Of course, you need to coach them up and make sure they aren’t sacrificing form for load.
You can download the complete program spreadsheet/template here:
Day 1 Exercises
Sumo Deadlift – You may substitute dumbbells or do barbell RDLs if you don’t have kettlebells. If you do have kbs but they aren’t heavy enough do doubles (1 in each hand) Week 1 10, Week 2, Week 3 6, Week 4 10 (heavier than week 1 if possible). If your client is ready for this have them work the hip hinge
Floor Press – again you can use dumbbells if you don’t have kettlebells. 10 reps on each side. Week 2 8, Week 3 6, Week 4 10
2 hand Swing OR Weighted Glute Bridge (regression) 20 – I’m going for a bit of conditioning here, it decreases across the program as well, so increase the weight. Week 2 15, Week 3 8, Week 4 10
KB Curl – Hold It by the ball with both hands, no with one hand in the handle. Week 1 10, Week 2 8, Week 3 6, Week 4 10
Pullover Crunch – Can be done with a dumbbell or KB. Some ab, triceps and lat work Week 1 10, Week 2 8, Week 3 6, Week 4 10
I usually set a timer and have them go for a set time. 4 sets of this in week 1 was about 25 minutes. Week 2 was about 22, Week 3 was about 20 minutes
Prowler push – Conditioning – Get the heart rate up. 4x times as fast as they can go, so keep it on the light side. If you are running this in medium sized groups they will have plenty of rest between pushes
Day 2 Exercises
KB 2 hand High pull – 10s work 20s rest 8 sets – 4 minutes They should hit 6 to 7 reps every set
Sumo Jump Squat – a KB works best but you can use dumbbells. Make sure they are squatting and not hinging. They don’t have to touch the bell to the floor if they lack hip mobility or core control. If they can’t jump have them do sumo squats. 10s:20s 8x, 4 minutes. They should get 10 reps in 10 seconds
Hand to Hand Swing – 20:20 these tend to be active rest, which is fine. Use a moderate weight
Super plank – Pushup position to forearm plank and back up. The upper arms should remain vertical throughout the movement. The hand should be inline with the shoulders in the high plank and the elbows inline with the shoulders in the forearm plank position
Triceps Extension – Use a kb or DB, not too heavy. Feet together or in a slightly staggered stance 20:20
Goblet Lateral Lunge – hold a KB or DB in both hands, in Goblet position. Take a step to the side with one leg, sit back into the, drive off the outside of that foot to return to standing, then repeat on the other side. 20:20
2 Hand Chest Press – Lie flat on the ground, legs straight bell in both hands on chest, press it up, pull it down. The bell should stay over the sternum through the movement. 20:20
Figure 8 with Tap OR KB Hot Potato (regression) The Figure 8 is an advanced move, if your client can’t control their rotation or they don’t hinge well have them do the hot potato which is basically a standing plank while controlling side bending
Day 3 Exercises
Front Squat – Hold a kb or db in rack position and do the reps (10,8, or 6) or both sides. If your client struggles with the squat have them squat to a bench or box at the appropriate height
Row OR Renegade Row (progression) – KB or DB. For the Renegade rows, using kettlebells, make sure your clients can stabilize. I don’t usually do more than 8 per side on the RR. You can’t go as heavy on the RR but it does hit the whole body versus the regular row.
Dead Clean OR SlingShot – The Slingshot is a plank while trying to prevent rotation or bending of the body while passing a bell around it. Make sure the arms stay straight. The Dead Cleans are an advanced lift, make sure your clients can control torso rotation
Press OR Jerk OR ½ kneeling Bottoms Up Press Basic straight press, feet together and tighten the entire body. Start and end each rep in a solid kb rack position. For your advanced clients have them do a KB Jerk. For those with wonky shoulders have them do the ½ kneeling bottoms up press with a light bell. Make sure they stay tight and press the feet into the floor
Step ups – The step should be at a height that allows them to go up and down without pushing off with the rear leg or collapsing onto it on the way down. Also pay attention to valgus and pronation on the working side. Lower the step if they can’t control the hip., knee or ankle. When doing these I vary the position of the load. One week it will be in suitcase position on the back leg side, the next in rack position on the back leg side. 3rd week move to suitcase on the front leg and week 4 rack position on the front leg side
Finisher – Sled Rows heavy. Sit back into your hips keeping a neutral spine (many people round over) drive backwards through the heels and pull the sled towards you bringing your hands to your hips. Step back and repeat
Day 4 Exercises
1 hand high pull OR Snatch OR 1 hand swing OR 1 hand band high pull – You need to know what your client can do. If they can’t swing emulate the high pull portion by having them use a resistance band and pulling it up and back getting the elbow higher than the shoulder. It’s basically a 1 hand kb high pull without the swing
Split Squat – I use the same loading variations as I discussed with the step up. Back in suitcase, Back in rack, Front in Suitcase and Front in Rack. Each week we do a different position. I rarely use lunges as I deal with folks in their late 40’s and up and lunges are too much for most of them. If you have clients that can perform a lunge variation, feel free to do that instead. However, they probably won’t be able to load as heavy with a lunge vs. the split squat
Goblet Squat or Goblet Squat to a box – This may get tough on week 3 doing sets of 6 with very heavy bells. The heavy bell hits the biceps hard, but like I tell my clients, “It’s good for you!!”
Quad Press – in quadruped position but slightly wider. Bend the ebows and toes at the same time and keep the hips down, back parallel to the flow. Be explosive!
Rotational Med Ball – Hold a med ball in both hands by the lateral aspect of the thigh. Pivot the feet, rotate the hips, shoulder and head a sling the ball up and over the opposite shoulder. DON’T LET GO!!. Quickly reverse the motion and return to the start position. Make sure your clients understand they must pivot the feet in order to get the hips to move. Don’t twist the low back! It’s hip rotation not spinal rotation.
Finisher – Hand over hand Seated rope pull – Get a battling rope and tie to one, or several KBs. Sit on the floor at the other end of the rope and do a hand over hand pull. Make sure your clients are using their upper back and hips and not their lumbar spine.
Day 5 Exercises
Slider DL – get a furniture slider, Val slide or even a paper plate. Put on foot on it. Hold a kb or db in the opposite hand in the suitcase position. Slide the leg back and let the body lean forward so you maintain a straight line from the heal through the head. The front shine should stay vertical, it should not drive forward. Use the front leg to pull you back up. Keep the line from the heel to the end.
½ Kneeling Band Press – Get a resistance band and get down into ½ kneeling position. If you are holding the band in the right hand the right knee should be on the ground. Push your feet into the floor. The working at should be at the level of the lower ribs with the elbow slightly past 90 degrees. Don’t let the elbow go back too far or they will get anterior translation of the shoulder which can lead to impingement. Drive the hand out fast to about chest level then SLOWLY bring it back in. I use a tempo of 3111, That’s 3 count on the return, a 1 count pause, a 1 count push and another 1 count hold
Band Face Pull – Hold a resistance band so it forms a triangle in front of you. The hands should be a little wider than shoulder width apart. Bend the knees slightly, keep the hips under the shoulders and the neck in neutral. Pull the band towards your face, preferably the forehead, then slowly release it. Don’t rock back or forwards during the movement. Tempo would be 3121. 2 on the pull, hold for 1 3 count release, 1 count pause. When you extend the arms reach for the post to get the scapulae to move around the rib cage
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat (RFESS) – using a bench, or step. You may need to use a lower step for some people. For a lot of my clients I do this unloaded. Place the crease of the ankle on the front edge of the bench. Hop the other foot out far enough so the knee doesn’t drive out past the toes. Bend the hips and knees back and down. Keep he torso angled forward slightly then drive up through the foot on the floor. Try not to push with the foot on the bench. I load this in the four locations I discussed in the split squat
Pushups – On the floor or elevate the hands. If your guys can do 20 or more GOOD pushups have them do a harder variation, like heels elevated, Spiderman pushups etc. I don’t specifiy reps. I want them to do as many GOOD reps as they can. I’d rather have 3 good ones than 20 bad ones
Finisher – Prowler/Sled Drags. Loop a strap around the hip or use a dragging harness, walk forwards 50 feet, then backwards 50 feet. On the backwards walk lean back a little and drive through the heels
Day 6 Exercises
Battling Ropes Double Slam – This is a warmup they need to pace themselves to maintain consistent output for 1 minute
Battling Ropes Alternating Wave – Pacing!
Snatch OR 1 High Pull Or 1 hand swings – See Day 4 Exercises. In this workout the Snatches are 1 min per side. Because there’s no chance to rest on high pulls and swing only do 30s per side. This workout is specifically for my advanced people, so the snatch should be the focus if your clients can do it
2 hand swing OR weighted glute bridge
Goblet Squat see above
½ Getup with hip lift– I rarely have my people do full getups. The transition from the the hip lift to ½ kneeling is too much for most of them as is the overhead lunge position. For beginners, I’ll only have them come up on their forearm with no loading.
Dave Randolph is Author of many workout books including programs for Fitness Pros
101 Conditioning Circuits:30 Minute Done-For-You Conditioning Circuits For Fitness Pros
and Sparatan Warrior Challenge for Men– Rebrandable 6 Week Challenge for Fit Pros