Kelley Vargo by Kelley Vargo

Last Updated December 8, 2023 (originally published May 18, 2017). 

Whether you want to fortify a regular fitness routine or add some variety to your plan, this 10-day workout plan can amplify your efforts by revving up both your workouts and your metabolism. It’s based on the highly effective format called high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which alternates very high-intensity efforts with brief periods of active recovery, and features both muscular and cardiorespiratory training. 

Following are descriptions of the muscular-training and cardio components, the HIIT workouts and a 10-day training schedule. Feel free to cycle through the program for another 10 days if you’re feeling extra motivated, but be sure to include a rest day or active recovery on day 11 if you decide to cycle through it again. And, don’t forget to stretch before and after each workout. 

Each workout lasts about 30 to 40 minutes and the idea is to train intensely for the entire session. So, pick some music that gets you fired up, put your cell phone on airplane mode and get going. 

Muscular-training Workouts 

Alternate the two total-body workouts over the course of the 10 days. For these workouts, you will need a mat and pair of dumbbells. Choose a weight that allows you to complete 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise. If you can complete more than 12 repetitions easily, select a heavier pair of dumbbells. If possible, have two sets of dumbbells on hand: a heavier pair and a lighter pair. This allows you to drop from a heavier set to a lighter set while going through the workouts. 

Each workout features three circuits, each consisting of three exercises—two resistance exercises and one plyometric exercise. Perform the three exercises consecutively with minimal rest time between exercises. This equals one round. Take a break when your form begins to break down or you feel fatigued. At the end of each round, rest for 60 seconds before moving onto the next round or next circuit. 

Cardiovascular Workouts 

The two cardiovascular workouts are designed for the treadmill but can be completed outside as well (you’ll need to find a good hill to run up for the incline treadmill workout). You can also adapt these workouts to the elliptical or bike. The point is to alternate between periods of high-intensity and low-intensity efforts, regardless of the mode of exercise. Adjust your speed according to your fitness level, but again, try to push yourself and then rest if you need to. If completing these workouts on a treadmill, do not hold onto the handrails unless needed for safety. 

Active Recovery 

Day 6 is an active recovery day. Choose something light intensity but engaging for exercise, such as a leisurely walk or gentle yoga. And, don’t forget to include an active recovery or rest day on day 11 if you decide to cycle through the workouts for a second time. 



Strength-training Workouts 

Total-body Workout (TBW) 1 

Circuit 1: 4 rounds 

  • Lunge + Shoulder press: 10–12 repetitions each leg 

  • Reverse lunge + Front raise: 1012 repetitions each leg 

  • Jumping lunge: 1012 repetitions each leg (take out the jump if necessary)  

  • Rest: 60 seconds  


Circuit 2: 3 rounds  

  • Dumbbell row + Reverse fly: 1012 repetitions 

  • Push-up + Row: 1012 repetitions (go to knees when form declines)  

  • Mountain climbers: 1012 repetitions with weight 

  • Rest: 60 seconds  


Circuit 3: 3 rounds 

  • Squat + Lateral raise: 1012 repetitions 

  • Squat + Upright row: 1012 repetitions 

  • Pop squat: 1012 repetitions (Start with feet together. Jump out into a squat and then jump back to feet together. As a default, take out the jump and perform a squat.) 

  • Rest: 60 seconds  


Total Body Workout (TBW) 2 

Circuit 1: 4 rounds 

  • Squat + Curl + Shoulder press: 1012 repetitions  

  • Squat + Shoulder press: 1012 repetitions 

  • Squat jump: 10–12 repetitions (take out the jump if necessary) 

  • Rest: 60120 seconds  


Circuit 2: 3 rounds  

  • Row + Reverse fly: 1012 repetitions 

  • Close-grip push-up: 1012 repetitions (go to knees when form declines)  

  • Burpees: 1012 repetitions  

  • Rest: 60120 seconds 


Circuit 3: 3 rounds 

  • Crunch + Chest fly: 1012 repetitions 

  • Wide-grip push-ups: 1012 repetitions 

  • Inchworms: 20 repetitions (default exercise is a plank for 4560 seconds)  

  • Rest: 60 seconds  


Cardiovascular Workouts 

Incline Intervals 

  • 0:00–5:00 – 6.5 mph, 0% incline 

  • 5:01–6:00 8.0 mph, 2% incline 

  • 6:01–7:00 3.5 mph, 2% incline  

  • 7:01–8:00 7.9 mph, 4% incline 

  • 8:01–9:00 3.5 mph, 4% incline 

  • 9:01–10:00 7.8 mph, 6% incline 

  • 10:01–11:00 3.5 mph, 6% incline  

  • 11:01–12:00 7.7 mph, 8% incline 

  • 12:01–13:00 3.5 mph, 8% incline 

  • 13:01–14:00 7.6 mph, 10% incline 

  • 14:01–15:00 3.5 mph, 10% incline 

  • 15:01–16:00 7.5 mph, 12% incline  

  • 16:0117:00 3.5 mph, 12% incline 

  • 17:0118:00 7.4 mph, 14% incline  

  • 18:0119:00 3.5 mph, 14% incline 

  • 19:01–20:00 7.3 mph, 15% incline 

  • 20:0121:00 3.5 mph, 15 % incline 

  • 21:01-26:00 7.0 mph, 4% incline 

  • 26:0130:00 4.0 mph, 0% incline  

Flat Intervals 

  • 0:00–5:00 6.5 mph, 0% incline  

  • 5:016:00 7.0 mph, 0% incline  

  • 6:016:30 9.0 mph, 0% incline 

  • 6:317:00 Squats on side of treadmill 

  • 7:017:30 Rest for 30 seconds 

  • Repeat minutes 5:01–7:30 seven more times to take you to 25:00 

  • 25:0130:00 3.5 mph, 0% incline  


  • Day 1: TBW 1 

  • Day 2: Incline Intervals 

  • Day 3: TBW 2 

  • Day 4: Flat Intervals 

  • Day 5: TBW 1 

  • Day 6: Active Recovery 

  • Day 7: TBW 2 

  • Day 8: Incline Intervals 

  • Day 9: TBW 1 

  • Day 10: Flat Intervals  

Bonus Tips 

Sleep, nutrition and hydration are essential for recovery, performance and optimizing your fitness level. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night; choose whole foods when possible; limit consumption of solid fats, added sugar and alcohol; and be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. 

Consider keeping a journal to track the amount of weight used for your muscular-training workouts, your speeds for your cardio workouts, as well as your nutrition, sleep and fluid intake. This can be a great source of motivation and a helpful tool for understanding where you can improve. 

One of the great benefits of this program is that it can be done anywhere, at any time. Commit to this program for the next 10 days and see if you notice a positive difference in your energy and enthusiasm for hitting the gym. 


Interested in learning more about the benefits of HIIT? Check out these other resources from ACE: 

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