HIIT & Strength (Cardio Burn Workout)


This workout is a combo of fat-blasting HIIT and muscle building strength work. It’s one of my very favorite ways to train because you work up an awesome sweat, get cardio and strength checked off, and it will keep your heart rate elevated for a high calorie burn during and after the workout. Yay, EPOC!

HIIT and Strength workout

As always, be sure to check with a doctor before making any fitness changes. Honor your body and modify as needed.

A HIIT and strength combo workout with intervals and weights. Burn fat, increase speed and strength, and get in an awesome sweat! All you need is a pair of dumbbells. fitnessista.com

 (tights are here)

Here’s what the workout looks like:

A HIIT and strength combo workout with intervals and weights. Burn fat, increase speed and strength, and get in an awesome sweat! All you need is a pair of dumbbells. fitnessista.com

Form cues and tips:

Warm up, 5-7 minutes, moderate cardio: You can power walk, row, run, do some slow-motion bodyweight strength (like squats and push-ups), or anything you like to do to get ready to work hard

Reverse lunge with biceps curl and kick x 10 each (optional 1-leg balance): Holding a pair of dumbbells, take a big step back to come into a lunge position. Watch your alignment and make sure your front knee is stacked over your front ankle, and your chest is lifted with a tight core. Step back to starting position, then complete a biceps curl (squeeze your biceps and exhale as you curl). Keep your core engaged as you kick the leg that stepped back. That’s one rep. You can balance on one leg as you do your curl and press for an extra challenge. To make it more intense, lift heavier weights. If the compound exercise is too much, break it into pieces.

Low squat with overhead reach x 10: Holding one heavy dumbbell, keep your chest lifted and your weight in your heels as you squat down and back. Hold that low squat as you lift the weight overhead, keeping a slightly bend at the elbows. Lower the weight, and rise from the squat. That’s one rep.

Curtsy lunge and side raise x 10 each: Start with one leg forward, and toes angled out 45 degrees. Step your other foot totally back behind the front, so that your foot is behind the opposite shoulder. Sink low into a curtsy lunge, them as you exhale, lift the back leg out to the side, and bring your dumbbells out to shoulder height. Really think about squeezing your glutes to lift your leg. Make sure that you take a nice big step back and to the side for your curtsy lunge, bringing the weights back down to your sides.

warrior 3 with triceps kickback

Warrior 3 with triceps kickback x 10 each: Start standing, and tilt forward, keeping your back straight as you extend one leg behind you. Flex your foot and keep your hips parallel to the floor. Bring your elbows in by your sides and use your triceps to straighten your arm as much as possible before bending back to 90 degrees.

Deadlift with upright row x 10: Hold a pair of dumbbells, or kettlebell, and tap one leg behind you. You can keep it here, with the weight in your front foot as you tilt forward, bringing the weights just below the knees. Exhale and rise with a flat back. Complete one upright row, making sure that your elbows are the first to rise, and the dumbbells stop at mid chest level. For more advanced variations on the deadlift, you can float the top foot off the floor. Make sure to keep hips parallel to the floor. 

plank and punch

Plank and punch x 45 seconds: Start in a plank position (or modified plank with knees down), with hands wide and knuckles pressing into the floor. Lift one arm in front of you and punch at the air. Bring that arm down and repeat with the other arm. Repeat until time’s up!

single leg bridge

Single leg bridge x 10 each: Start on your back with legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg off the floor, and press your heel towards the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips, keeping your upper back pressing into the floor and hips parallel to the floor. Lower down towards the floor (don’t touch it!) and exhale to rise back up. Continue for 10 reps, then switch legs. 

Run .50 miles; or walk .25 miles quickly

Complete up to 3 total rounds

Please let me know if you give it a try!

Are you excited for Summer Shape Up? Give your workout buddies the heads up and get ready for Monday! It’s going to be a good one. 



Photos: Lindsay Colson

Wearing: Lorna Jane tights // lululemon tank // Nikes // Apple 2 Watch

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  1. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-ups on July 11, 2017 at 10:27 am

    This looks like a great workout, can’t wait to give it a try!

  2. Stacey on July 11, 2017 at 11:01 am

    LOVE this workout! You are the HIIT queen, this workout is just what I love! I still love your book so much!

    • Fitnessista on July 12, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      thank you so much, lovely- i really appreciate it!

  3. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on July 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I love these kind of workouts. I got that plank move from Alexia Clark and live it!!!

  4. Amy Ramos on July 11, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    I am so excited for SSU!!! I think this is my fifth or sixth year.
    It will be easy to supplement the workouts with my (intense) workouts with Orangetheory.

    • Fitnessista on July 12, 2017 at 10:11 pm

      so excited you’re joining in the fun!

  5. Sara @ Sara Steps on July 11, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    This looks like a great workout! I’m so excited for SSU too! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on July 12, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      yay, so glad you’re joining in!

  6. Bethany on July 12, 2017 at 12:57 am

    Thank you! This will be my nap time workout tomorrow!

    • Fitnessista on July 12, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      how was it?!

      • Bethany on July 14, 2017 at 12:09 am

        It’s nice lighter workout. loved it

  7. Stephanie Prause on July 12, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Can’t wait to try this!

  8. kelli @ hungry hobby on July 12, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    this is my kind of workout! I’m in love with anything that works my hamstrings! I want that hamstring BUMP! ha ha h

  9. Christine on July 12, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    So glad you put this up – it was exactly what I needed tonight. 2 kids under 2, a full time job, and a messy house had me feeling all sorts of anxious, but this was such a great mix of running to clear my head and hiit to make me feel sweaty and accomplished. Thank you!

    • Fitnessista on July 12, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      so so awesome! glad you got a good workout <3

  10. Guest on July 16, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Doing this tomorrow. Pumped for SSU!

    • Guest on July 17, 2017 at 6:12 am


  11. Reghan on July 17, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Can’t wait to try this, this week! I’m getting a little bored with my workouts and this looks likes a great workout to get me out of my rut!!

  12. Lindsay on July 17, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Hey Gina! Going to start this today but i think you listed the “Reverse Lunge with Bicep Curl and Kick” move twice, is that right? Excited to get started!!

  13. Leah on July 17, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Excited for summer shape up! Came at a good time as we just returned from vacation and I took 2.5 weeks off working out. We did a ton of touring and walking around the city. It was nice to feel active but not feel pressure to workout. This workout kicked my butt. Running is a big challenge for me.

  14. Jamie H on July 17, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    About to start this workout! I have been following your blog for many, many years, but this is my first time joining a shape up.

    To be practical with fitting this in around kid stuff, do you have any suggestions for the cardio blasts if I want to do this at home during rest time? Jumping jacks? Jump rope? Something else that doesn’t take a ton of space? Thank you!!

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