If your objectives is to improved general fitness, endurance and lose weight one of your best options is high intensity interval training. Due to the variable intensity and training patterns this approach allows you to reach your goals in a faster and more efficient way.

Quite often interval training routines are performed using treadmills, elliptical trainers or other forms of traditional cardio equipment. While you are still able to gain the cardiovascular benefits, it’s not the best approach to obtain general fitness. The main issue is that majority of active people have got a good level of lower body muscle endurance, but unfortunately their upper body muscle endurance is usually quite weak. By placing more emphasis on exercises that develop upper body it’s possible to fix this disbalance. The following routine is designed with exactly this objective in mind.

The routine consists of three pairs of exercises + two warm-up exercises, meaning that there will be eight different exercises in total. Both warm-up exercises should be performed just once.

Warm-up: Shoulder mobility training with clubbell mills x 10 (each arm)
Rowing x 5 minutes
A: Halo x 10 (each direction)
Single arm kettlebell swing x 10 (each arm)
B: Stiff leg kettlebell deadlift x 15
Kettlebell snatch x 10 (each arm)
C: Kettlebell squat x 20
Windmill x 5 (each arm)

This routine is rather simple and easy to follow. You will start with the two exercises in the “Warm-up” section and follow with the exercise pairs “A”,”B” and ”C”. Warm-up exercises should be performed just once, but the exercise pairs A, B and C should be performed three times. Exercises within a pair should be performed nonstop – without taking any breaks in-between. A 1 minute break should be taken after completion of an exercise pair.

This is a high intensity exercise routine which consists of 335 individual repetitions + 5 minutes on the rowing machine. Due to the demanding nature of this training method you should use weights that are lighter than the ones you are using for more bodybuilding oriented training approach.

Exercise description

Clubbell mills

Keep the clubbell upwards in an extended arm. Bend your arm in the elbow and let the klubbell drop away from you while you rotate your arm/clubbell around your head and shoulders. When a full circle is made, your arm should return in the same starting position – extended arm with the clubbell facing up. Use smooth, controlled motion in order to maintain momentum and avoid injuries.


Secure your feet using the security straps. Grab the handle and while maintaining a completely straight lower back, extend your knees and lean back imitating the motion of rowing a boat. The power should be generated in your hips and back muscles. Make sure that your lower back is always straight and strained. Vary the speed and power output according to your fitness level and experiment with the position of your palms in order to find the most natural position.


Grab a kettlebell by its “horns” with the bell portion facing upwards. Rotate the kettlebell around your head just like you would be drawing a halo in the air. Perform the exercise in a slow and controlled manner. If you feel any pain or discomfort in your shoulders you should lower the weight or readjust your hand position.

Single arm kettlebell swing

Grab a kettlebell with one arm and place your feet shoulder with apart. Bend your knees and keep your lower back completely straight. Use your hips and core muscles to generate power in order to swing the kettlebell. Your arm acts just like a pendulum. Swing the kettlebell until your extended arm is almost parallel to the ground. Stop the motion and allow the kettlebell drop back between your legs. Use your shoulders and back muscles to lower the kettlebell in a controlled manner. Make sure that your knees are position wide apart. You don’t want to hit them with a heavy kettlebell.

Stiff leg kettlebell deadlift

Put your feet shoulder with apart and grab the kettlebell by its “horns”. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and while maintaining a straight upper and lower back lower the kettlebell as low as you can without bending your back. If you have a good level of flexibility you should be able to lower the kettlebell just below you knees. If you can’t, continue to work within your range of motion and it will gradually increase. The key to this exercise is to keep your legs stiff and knees locked throughout the whole motions. It’s a safe and very effective exercise as long as you keep your back straight and strained.

Kettlebell snatch

The starting position of the snatch is similar to the starting position of a single arm kettlebell swing. Instead of stopping the motion when your arm is parallel to the ground you will slightly bend your elbow and drive the kettlebell straight in the air until your arm is fully extended. Lower the kettlebell in a slow and controlled manner. You don’t want to allow the kettlebell to swing back down, because it might cause too much strain for your joints, especially if you are using heavy weights.

Kettlebell squat

Hold the kettlebell in front of your chest just like if you would be getting ready to perform a halo. Instead of a halo you will perform a deep squat while holding the kettlebell in front of you. Not only it’s a great leg strengthening exercise, but it also makes your core muscle to work really hard since they will have to maintain your balance.


Stand with your feet shoulder with apart and keep the kettlebell up in a fully extended arm. Shift your hips to one side and bend your upper body in opposite direction while holding the kettlebell above your head. Your legs should be fully locked throughout the movement. Try to work within your full range of motion. The aim is to touch the ground with your fingertips. Remember to take small steps and progress gradually in order to prevent injuries.

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