30 Minute Full Body HIIT Workout: Total Body Resistance And Cardio

full body HIIT workouts are a great way to build muscle and improve your cardiovascular fitness at the same time

Full body HIIT workouts are a great way to build muscle and improve your cardiovascular fitness at the same time. 

A full body HIIT workout will combine compound lifts, bodybuilding movements, fast-paced bodyweight exercises, and various cardio machines (bikes, rowers, and treadmills).  

In this article, we give you five examples of 30-minute full body HIIT workouts that incorporate total body resistance and cardio.  For more workout ideas, download the Fitbod app and get 3 free workouts.  

Full Body HIIT Workouts: Overview

Like it’s name implies, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is a training methodology that has you perform a movement of modality at high intensity (above 80-85% of heart rate max) for a short period of time, followed by a longer period on lower intensity or rest. 

This ratio between high intensity and low intensity/rest can vary based on the overall goal of the workout. 

The shorter bursts of time allow you to push yourself to harder levels of intensity than you wouldn’t normally be able to achieve if you had to hold that intensity longer. In doing so, you are able to increase VO2 max, increase muscle lactate thresholds, and become more accustomed to training at high intensities. 

This also means you are able to accomplish more intense work, in less amounts of time, which is why many athletes and fitness goers who are short on time turn to HIIT to attack their fitness goals in an effective manner.

Check out our other HIIT workout guides for more info: 

What Are The Benefits of Full Body HIIT Workouts?

what are the benefits of full body hiit workouts

Working out has many benefits, however training at higher intensities can offer some unique benefits that make HIIT attractive to many gym goers. 

If you are someone who is strapped for time at the gym, and is looking for a way to attack weights yet still increase muscle and cardiovascular endurance, then HIIT may be up your alley. HIIT allows you to train with weight at high intensities to create significant muscle fatigue (which can stimulate muscle growth), while also using short rest periods to keep your heart rate and caloric expenditure elevated.

Limitations of Full Body HIIT Workouts

One potential limitation of HIIT is that if you are performing something that requires you to rest and be adequately recovered between sets, you may find that the HIIT protocols can impede progress. 

For example, if you are doing maximal strength or power training, or are looking to improve technique, you may find that the heavy reliance on all out intensity and short recovery times will decrease your ability to move heavier loads or continue to use proper form as you begin to systemically fatigue out.

In other words, if you are someone who is looking to build a stronger 5 rep max bench press, HIIT workouts are likely not going to accomplish that goal. 

If that’s you, I recommend checking out our article on:  How To Mix Hypertrophy & Strength Training.  

5 Total Body Resistance and Cardio HIIT Workouts

5 total body resistance and cardio hiit workouts

Below are five (5) total body resistance and cardio HIIT workouts. 

Note that the below workouts are classified based on the equipment needs. You can also substitute other cardiovascular movements (rower for running, bike for ski erg, etc). 

1. “Barbell + Rowing” HIIT Workout

Perform all rounds of the first pairing, then rest 5 minutes. Then, perform all rounds of the second pairing.

Part 1 – 4 Rounds (12 minutes)

This workout is mainly for the upper body, specifically the chest and back, however you will also get some triceps, biceps, and legs as well. The work to rest ratio for both workouts is 1:1.

  • Barbell Bench Press x 30 seconds – Choose a weight that is near your 50-75% max.
  • Rower x 60 Seconds – Max effort.
  • Rest x 90 seconds

Rest 5 minutes, then

Part 2 – 3 Rounds (12 minutes)

This workout is mainly for the legs and back.

  • Front Squat x 30 seconds – Choose a weight that is near your 50-75% max.
  • Pull Up x 30 seconds – To failure, aiming for at least 8 reps.
  • Rowing x 60 seconds
  • Rest 2 minutes

2. “Dumbbell Only” Full Body HIIT Workout

The below workout is a 30-minute workout that includes five dumbbell only movements. While there are no cardio machines, your heart rate will get cardiovascular training through the continuous movements and elevated heart rate throughout the workout.

4 Rounds (30 minutes)

Perform the below routine for four rounds. Once you have completed all rounds, you are done! 

  • DB Devil’s Press x 45 seconds
  • Dumbbell Goblet Squat x 45 seconds
  • Weighted DB Sit Up x 45 seconds
  • Rest x 90 seconds
  • Bent Over Row x 45 seconds
  • DB Floor Press or Push Ups x 45 seconds
  • DB Swing x 45 seconds
  • Rest x 90 seconds

3. “Bodyweight Only” Full Body HIIT Workout

The below workout is a great way to stay fit and build muscle endurance at home or on the go without needing equipment. The harder you push yourself in this workout, the nastier it becomes.

Part 1 – 4 Rounds (12 minutes)

  • Walking Lunge x 60 seconds
  • Burpee x 60 seconds
  • Rest x 60 seconds

Rest 5 minutes, then

Part 2 – 4 Rounds (12 minutes)

  • Handstand Push Up, Push Up, or Kneeling Push Up x 60 seconds
  • Sprint (uphill if can) x 60 seconds
  • Rest x 60 seconds

4. Kettlebell Only” Full Body HIIT Workout

Below is a total body kettlebell workout that can be done to increase muscular strength and endurance.

Perform the below movements with 30 seconds of rest between them. After completing one full round, rest 90 seconds prior to beginning the next round.

4 Rounds (29 Minutes)

  • Double Kettlebell Clean and Press x 45 seconds, rest 30 seconds
  • Double Kettlebell Squat x 45 seconds, rest 30 seconds
  • Double Kettlebell Front Rack Walk x 45 seconds, rest 30 seconds
  • Double Kettlebell Floor Press x 45 seconds, rest 30 seconds
  • Double Kettlebell Row x 45 seconds, rest 30 seconds
  • Rest x 90 seconds

5. Test Your Fitness” Total Body HIIT Workout

This workout will test your fitness and skills using a variety of equipment and modalities. You can customize the cardio finisher to your liking, just make sure you push yourself!

Part 1 – 4 Rounds (18 minutes)

  • Barbell Back Squat x 60 seconds, choose a weight that is between 60-75% and go to near failure
  • Rest x 30 seconds
  • Bodyweight Push Up x 60 seconds, do as many as you can in the time frame
  • Rest 30 seconds 
  • Kettlebell Swing x 60 seconds, choose a weight that is heavy and challenging, yet you can still perform swings the majority of the time frame
  • Rest x 30 seconds

Rest 5 minutes, then

Part 2 – 1 Tabata (4 minutes)

Perform one tabata, which consists of eight, 30 seconds rounds, in which you perform 20 seconds of hard intensity work, with 10 seconds of rest. You can do this with the rower, assault bike, ski erg, or running (I recommend not doing this on a treadmill unless it is self propelled, however you could use a standard treadmill and keep the belt running while you step on and off, however this can increase injury risks of falling off the treadmill).

How to Know If Total Body HIIT Is Right For You?

how to know if total body hiit is right for you

When asking yourself whether or not HIIT is right for you, you first need to determine what your goals are for your training, and the specific outcome of the session you are performing. 

For most people, HIIT can be a great way to add muscle and get some form of cardiovascular training at the same time. It can also help you squeeze in fitness during a condensed training time that may suit your lifestyle and schedule better.

For some individuals however, performing HIIT all the time can be counterproductive to their overall fitness goals and overall health and wellness.

For those looking to build muscle mass and focus on building strength, power, and skill in sports like powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, and strongman, HIIT may not allow for adequate recovery between sets to train optimally for strength progress sessions. 

This isn’t to say you should never do HIIT, you just need to make sure to plan your main strength and skill work with adequate rests and then attack HIIT that make sense to your individual training goals and needs. 

For example, trying to squat 600lbs and running a marathon are two very different training goals and demands on the lower body.

Lastly, training HIIT every day can create increased stress levels (cortisol), impede recovery, and potentially negatively impact your immune system. 

This is really a case by case scenario, however, since training hard and intense, regardless of modality, can result in overtraining and under recovery depending on training age, lifestyle factors, sleep, nutrition, hydration, and recovery.

Final Thoughts

When looking to design HIIT workouts, the key is to make sure you allow for the workout to produce periods of short and intense bouts of exercise, with either lower intensity or complete rest segments to allow for some acute recovery. 

The ratio of work to rest/recovery can vary, however it is typically best to keep the ratio 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3. You can integrate short rest periods between segments, or have them be performed back to back with longer rest periods coming at the end. 

The ratio and workouts should result in a lifter being able to push hard for short periods of time, and rest just enough to feel 80-90% recovered so they can continue to push these to high intensities during the higher intensity periods.


About The Author

Mike Dewar

Mike holds a Master’s in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), USA Weightlifting Advanced Coach, and has over 10+ years of experience working with collegiate athletes, national level lifters, and beginners alike. Mike is Founder of J2FIT Strength and Conditioning, a growing global training company with gyms in New York City, Cincinnati, and online offering personal training, online custom coaching programs.