10 Best Barbell HIIT Workouts and Routines with Free PDF

hiit barbell workout

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves performing exercises at a quick pace followed by short intervals.

It is an excellent way to promote cardiovascular fitness, increase fat loss, and improve physical appearance.

By integrating barbell exercises into your HIIT, you’ll not only achieve the above benefits but also develop strength and muscle mass.1 Evidence-Based Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training on Exercise Capacity and Health: A Review with Historical Perspective – International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

In this article, I’ll share the 10 best explosive barbell exercises and show you how you can use them to create a HIIT routine.

I’ll also hand out a PDF of the routines so you can download and use them offline whenever you want.

Can You Do HIIT with Barbells?

Barbell HIIT Workouts

You can do barbell high-intensity interval training in the same way you do without weights, performing exercises at your maximum heart rate, followed by short breaks.

However, you won’t be able to maintain high intensity while holding a barbell compared to bodyweight training.

Still, you can do plenty of barbell exercises at a decent pace, such as push presses, hang cleans, thrusters, and squats, to elevate your endurance, agility, and overall fitness.

10 Best High-Intensity Barbell Exercises to Burn Fat and Build Muscle

  1. Back Rack Jump Squats
  2. Deadlift Off Blocks
  3. Barbell Overhead Lunges
  4. Barbell Push Press
  5. Barbell Rollout
  6. Barbell Thruster
  7. Barbell Zercher Squat
  8. Hang Clean
  9. Sumo Deadlift to High Pull
  10. Landmine Oblique Twist

1. Back Squat Jump

The squat jump is a heart-pumping exercise that kindles numerous calories quickly, strengthens legs and upper body, builds endurance, and enhances your jumping performance.

To do this exercise, place a loaded barbell on the back of your shoulder and stand upright in a shoulder-width stance. Next, perform a squat, push through your heels, and jump high as you return to standing.

Start with an empty barbell and do it with maximum intensity, and increase weight only when you perform at least ten reps effortlessly.

2. Off-Blocks Deadlift

The off-block is an easier variation of the barbell deadlift (also known as partial deadlift). It puts less stress on the lower back and allows you to do it with maximum effort.

The fast deadlifts reinforce the legs, glutes, and back and improve jumping, running, and lifting performance.

To perform this movement, place the loaded barbell on the blocks or rack and stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and knees close to the bar. Bend your hips and knees to firmly grab the bar with your hands just outside your knees. Now, perform as many deadlifts as possible, maintaining a tight core and flat back.

Put on a waist belt, use lightweight (20-30% of your one-rep max), and perform at least 10 reps per set.

3. Walking Lunges

best barbell exercises for quad development

Walking lunges are my favorite lower body exercise. They engage the quads, glutes, and hamstrings and help build the burliest legs. Doing them quickly also promotes your aerobic fitness and shapes your physique.

To perform a barbell walking lunge, put the appropriate weight into the bar and place it on your upper trap. Brace your core, maintain a neutral spine position, take a large step, and lower into a lunge until your rear knee touches the floor. Now, pushing through your feet, extend your knees to complete your first rep.

Try to perform ten reps per leg in 30 seconds while maintaining a balance throughout the reps.

4. Barbell Push Press

The barbell push press is a high-intensity compound exercise that hammers multiple muscles throughout the body, particularly the legs and shoulders, and helps develop strength, endurance, and mobility.2 Soriano MA, Suchomel TJ, Comfort P. Weightlifting Overhead Pressing Derivatives: A Review of the Literature. Sports Med. 2019 Jun;49(6):867-885. DOI: 10.1007/s40279-019-01096-8. PMID: 30924081; PMCID: PMC6548056.

To perform a barbell push press, place a loaded bar on the front of your shoulder and stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your core engaged, perform a quarter squat, and as you return, press the bar overhead until your arms are entirely straight.

The faster you do it, the more calories you’ll shed, and the better your endurance will be. So, start with an empty barbell, perform 15 reps, then increase weight if needed or continue with the bar only.

5. Barbell Rollout

The rollout activates the midsection and helps build a solid core. It increases strength and mobility throughout the body and burns significant calories in the least time.

To perform this exercise, position the bar on the ground and put the weight plates into it. Sit on your knees, slightly lean forward, and grab the bar underneath your shoulders. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and roll the barbell forward as far as possible without breaking the form. Return to the start and repeat.

It will challenge your endurance level while bolstering your abdominal strength.

6. Barbell Thruster

The thruster combines a squat and overhead press, making it a time-efficient exercise that simultaneously builds strong legs and shoulders and enhances strength, endurance, and speed.

It is great for people who have been working out for a while and want to challenge their fitness level with some excellent barbell HIIT exercises.

To do a barbell thruster, hold a loaded bar on the front of your shoulder. Stand in a shoulder-width stance with your toes pointing slightly out. Perform a full squat, and while returning to the standing position, thrust the barbell overhead until your arms are entirely straight.

Aim for three sets of 15 reps with 15-30 seconds intervals.

7. Barbell Zercher Squat

Zercher Squat is one of the best barbell squat variations

The Zercher squat is the fancy barbell squat variation that bolsters the quads, glutes, arms, and core, helps develop a firm body, and enhances athletic fitness.

It is slightly different from other squats, as it involves holding the barbell in the crook of your elbows instead of the shoulder.

To perform a zercher squat, place the barbell into the crook of your elbows and stand in the hip-width stance with your back straight and core tight. Lower into a squat until your glutes are parallel to the floor, then return to the start using your feet.

Use a soft pad under the bar so it doesn’t hurt your elbows. Perform a minimum of 15 reps per set at 80% of your MHR.

8. Hang Clean

The hang clean is an explosive barbell exercise that reinforces your shoulder and core and powers up your strength, endurance, and speed.3 Ayers, J. L., DeBeliso, M., Sevene, T. G., & Adams, K. J. (2016). Hang cleans and hang snatches produce similar improvements in female collegiate athletes. Biology of sport, 33(3), 251–256. https://doi.org/10.5604/20831862.1201814

To perform a hang clean, grab a loaded barbell with an overhand grip, stand upright, and keep your arms straight with your hands just outside your knees. Brace your core, slightly bend your knees (to generate power), and pull the bar over your front shoulder. Extend your knees to stand up back.

Use a free barbell and perform as many reps as possible, and when you perform 10-15 reps easily, insert weights and go hard again.

9. Sumo Deadlift High Pull

The sumo deadlift high pull is a multi-movement exercise that involves performing a sumo deadlift followed by an upright row.

The combination of deadlift and high pull makes it an excellent exercise for forging the entire body and improving strength, lean mass, and power.

To perform a sumo deadlift to high pull, put the weight plates into the bar, stand in the sumo stance with your toes pointing out, and lift the bar to complete a deadlift. And when the bar reaches your knees, pull it toward your neck with your full strength at a fast pace.

Aim for 6-8 reps per set while maintaining a moderate to high heart rate. I also recommend wearing a waist belt for safe and efficient lifts.

10. Landmine Oblique Twist

The landmine twist is a functional strength and conditioning exercise that sculpts the midsection, including the rectus abdominals and obliques, and helps improve hip mobility and torso flexibility.

You can do it at a fast pace to burn decent calories and improve speed, balance, and functional fitness.

To perform this exercise, place one end of the barbell in the corner of a wall and insert the appropriate weight into the other. Stand in a shoulder-width stance, grab the bar firmly with your hands, hold it in front of your face with straight arms, and twist from right to left and left to right while keeping your arms extended.

Perform three sets of 6-8 reps on each side with a 15-second break between them.

The Barbell HIIT Workout to Level up Your Fitness

Let’s see how to design a barbell high-intensity interval training using the above exercises.

I’ve shared three examples below: one for beginners, one for intermediates, and an advanced routine. Depending on your fitness level, you can do one of them three times a week to take your fitness to the next level.

Example #1 – 15-minute HIIT Barbell Workout for Beginners

Complete three to four rounds with a 1-minute break between them. Perform every alternate day.

ExercisesActivityRest
Back Squat Jumps10 reps30-Sec
Walking Lunges5 reps/side30-Sec
Deadlift Off Blocks10 reps30-Sec
Barbell Thruster10 reps30-Sec
Landmine Oblique Twist5 reps/side30-Sec

Example #2 – 30-Minute Barbell High-Intensity Routine to Burn Fats and Lose weight

Do as many rounds as possible in thirty minutes with 60-90 seconds of rest in between. Perform three times weekly.

ExercisesActivityRest
Back Squat Jumps10 reps30-Sec
Push Press10 reps30-Sec
Oblique Twist5 reps/side30-Sec
Walking Lunges5 reps/leg30-Sec
Barbell Thruster10 reps30-Sec
Zercher Squat15 reps30-Sec
Hang Clean12 reps30-Sec

Example #3 Advanced 45-Minute Barbell HIIT Workout Plan

Challenge your endurance and enhance your cardiovascular fitness with this 45-minute high-intensity barbell training. It involves performing four exercises in one circuit with a 15-second rest between them.

Circuit 1Circuit 2Circuit 3
Back Squat JumpsBarbell High PullDeadlift Off Blocks
Bent-over RowWalking LungesBarbell Jammer
Push PressThrusterHang Clean
Barbell RolloutOblique TwistZercher Squat

Repeat all circuits as many times as possible in 45 minutes.

Perform this workout alternate day or three times weekly.

Download The Barbell HIIT Training Program PDF

The Bottom Line

Whether you want to lose weight, promote your athletic fitness, or sculpt your physique, you can do high-intensity interval training with barbells.

Integrating explosive barbell exercises in your HIIT makes your training challenging, interesting, and effective.

The barbell HIIT workouts increase strength, power, speed, and endurance and help you achieve your best shape.

Besides exercises, I’ve outlined three barbell HIIT programs in this article so you can use one to work on your fitness.

Like barbells, explore this ultimate guide if you also want to perform high-intensity training with dumbbells.

References

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Picture of Murshid Akram

Murshid Akram

I’m a personal trainer, fitness blogger, and founder of thefitnessphantom.com. I help people achieve their best shape through my science-based and practical workout programs.
Picture of Murshid Akram

Murshid Akram

I’m a personal trainer, fitness blogger, and founder of thefitnessphantom.com. I help people achieve their best shape through my science-based and practical workout programs.

About Me

I’m Murshid Akram, a personal trainer, fitness blogger, and founder of thefitnessphantom.com. I primarily design workout plans and share science-based and practical information that can help you become stronger, functional, and healthier.

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