8-Minute Cardio AND Strength Training—Using Only Body Weight!

Work out all your muscle groups with High Intensity Circuit Training

Time, there’s never enough of it.

It’s no wonder, then, that Americans have trouble meeting exercise guidelines. Even finding 30 minutes a day can be a challenge, which is why the buzz around high intensity interval training (HIIT) has been growing increasingly loud. This method, which alternates bursts of maximum intensity with intervals of moderate-to-light exercise, can compress an entire workout into as little as 4 minutes. (Read more about HIIT here.)

An article in the new issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s journal Health & Fitness puts a new spin on HIIT by showing how to incorporate both resistance and aerobic exercises into this method. The authors, Brett Klika and Chris Jordan, both of the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida, call this hybrid “high intensity circuit training,” or HICT.

Their sample 8-minute workout (Okay, 16- or 24-minute if you do two or three reps) only requires a wall and a chair, and alternates opposing muscle groups to allow your lower body to recover while your upper body performs at high intensity, and vice versa.

Each exercise is to be performed for 30 seconds at maximum intensity with 10 seconds of transition in between. The order is important:

1. Jumping jacks Total body

2. Wall sit  Lower body

3. Push-up  Upper body

4. Abdominal crunch  Core

5. Step-up onto chair  Total body

6. Squat  Lower body

7. Triceps dip on chair  Upper body

8. Plank  Core

9. High knees/running in place  Total body

10. Lunge  Lower body

11. Push-up and rotation  Upper body

12. Side plank  Core

For illustrations of each exercise, click through to the original article.