Fat Loss for Women: A 7 Day Full Body Routine Plus HIIT

Build Muscle, Burn Fat, Get Ripped

Originally posted: 1/26/10
2/1/10 updated routine, added Excel spreadsheet workout logs)
3/8/10 added example HIIT routines for days 2, 4, and 6.

Fat Loss for Women
Fat Loss for Women

Many of you are asking for a full body workout routine to burn fat, so here you go.

I have even customized the program for both men and women.

You can skip the details and go straight to the routines if you wish:

The Program

We are integrating 3 full body training sessions with 3 HIIT routines and taking the 7th day off. Since the goal is fat loss, we are striving to add some muscle mass, maintain strength, and burn as many calories as possible.

This is accomplished by staying in a slightly higher rep range than we would normally use for strictly strength training, while using super-sets for most of our exercises. We add an optional set to the end of each workout in case you are able to finish the workout early.

Major compound exercises are rotated to prioritize a different muscle group on each of the 3 training sessions each week.

Volume, Frequency, and Overtraining

HIIT sessions on off-days are designed to melt fat and stimulate muscle growth, but the sheer volume of work should not force you into overtraining. If you do feel the symptoms of overtraining, you should take either the 4th or 6th day completely off instead of performing a HIIT workout.

Some of the symptoms of overtraining:

  • elevated pulse
  • trouble sleeping
  • nagging muscle soreness
  • sore joints
  • inability to recover from the previous workouts
  • decreasing strength
  • decreasing muscle mass
  • increasing fat storage

This routine can be used for 6-10 weeks before switching your focus to a new set of goals. When progress stalls and you can determine that the plateau is not a result of overtraining, it is time to take an active recovery week and start a new routine.


You should rest 60-90 seconds between super-sets, and 180 seconds (3 minutes) at most between exercises.

Warm Up

Initial Warmup – small, light exercises possibly including dynamic stretches to warm up the muscles

Feeler Sets – use feeler sets only if necessary, with 40-50% of your 1 rep max for 3-5 reps to warm-up before each new exercise


You should engage in some form of recovery on a daily basis.

Here are some of your recovery options:

  • foam roller
  • deep tissue massage
  • ice massage
  • alternating hot and cold showers
  • dynamic stretching


You know the drill.

  • Calories = 12 x your goal bodyweight, adjust weekly according to progress
  • Protein = .8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight
  • Carbs = 100-150 grams per day, more on weightlifting days, less on HIIT days, and even less on rest days
  • Fat = the remainder of the calories once you’ve subtracted protein and carbs from total calories

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The Routines

Click here to see this workout routine customized for men.

Full Body Routine For Women

Day 1:
5 minute initial warmup
a) Quads – Barbell back squats
reps: 8/8/8/8
b1) Chest – Incline dumbbell press
reps: 10/10/10
b2) Calves – Standing calf raise
reps: 12/12/12
c1) Hamstrings – Stiff leg deadlifts
reps: 10/10/10
c2) Abs – (Weighted) decline sit ups
reps: 15/15/15
d1) Back – (Weighted) wide grip pull-ups
reps: 10/10
d2) Shoulders – Seated dumbbell shoulder press
reps: 12/12
e1) Triceps – Dips
reps: 10/10
e2) Abs – Reverse crunches
reps: 2 sets x As Many As Possible (amap)
f) Stretch all your muscles for 10 minutes while sipping your post-workout drink.

Day 2:
25 minutes of full body HIIT (push, pull, calisthenics, jumps, sprints, kickboxing, etc…)

  • 3 sets – 30 seconds of push ups as fast as possible, 90 seconds of moderate-speed jump rope (6 minutes)
  • 60 seconds rest
  • 3 sets – 30 seconds of rowing as fast as possible, 90 seconds of squat thrusters (6 minutes)
  • 60 seconds rest
  • 3 sets – 30 seconds of skipping lunges as fast as possible, 90 seconds of kickboxing drills (6 minutes)
  • 5 minutes of stretching

Day 3:
5 minute initial warmup
a) Chest – Flat bench press
reps: 8/8/8/8
b1) Quads – Step ups onto a bench or box holding dumbbells
reps: 10/10/10
b2) Abs – The bicycle
reps: 3 sets x amap
c1) Back – One arm dumbbell rows
reps: 10/10/10
c2) Calves – Seated calf raises
reps: 15/15/15
d1) Shoulders – Standing dumbbell raises to the side
reps: 10/10
d2) Biceps – Standing alternating dumbbell curls
reps: 12/12
e1) Hamstrings – Glute-ham raise
reps: 10/10
e2) Abs – Fold ups
reps: 2 sets x amap
f)Stretch all your muscles for 10 minutes while sipping your post-workout drink.

the glute-ham raise – lock your heels under something with the instep of your foot facing down and, starting upright with your thighs perpendicular to the floor, lower your upper body forward and down towards the floor then use your hamstrings to pull yourself back upright.

Day 4:
25 minutes of lower body HIIT (jumps, sprints, etc…)

  • 5 sets – 30 seconds of sprinting, 90 seconds of jogging/walking (10 minutes)
  • 60 seconds rest
  • 2 sets – 30 seconds of rapid squat jumps, 90 seconds of moderate-speed bodyweight squats (4 minutes)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 2 sets – 30 seconds of sprinting, 90 seconds of jogging/walking (4 minutes)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 2 sets – 30 seconds of jumping rope as fast as possible, 90 seconds of jogging/walking (4 minutes)
  • 5 minutes of stretching

Day 5:
5 minute initial warmup
a) Hamstrings – Deadlifts
reps: 8/8/8/8
b1) Shoulders – Standing military press
reps: 10/10/10
b2) Abs – Russian twist with medicine ball or plate
reps: 12/12/12
c1) Quads – Alternating dumbbell lunges
reps: 15/15/15
c2) Chest – Decline dumbbell bench press
reps: 12/12/12
d1) Back/Biceps – (Weighted) close grip chin-ups
reps: 10/10
d2) Calves – One leg standing calf raise on a 2 inch block or plate holding a dumbbell
reps: 12/12
e1) Triceps – Diamond push ups
reps: 2 sets x amap
e2) Abs – Sit ups with straight punch
reps: 2 sets x amap
f) Stretch all your muscles for 10 minutes while sipping your post-workout drink.

Day 6:
25 minutes of full body HIIT (push, pull, calisthenics, jumps, sprints, kickboxing, etc…)

  • 3 sets – 30 seconds of bodyweight rows as fast as possible, 90 seconds of jumping jacks (6 minutes)
  • 60 seconds rest
  • 3 sets – 30 seconds of bodyweight step-ups as fast as possible, 90 seconds of kickboxing drills (6 minutes)
  • 60 seconds rest
  • 3 sets – 30 seconds of explosive push ups (clapping, up onto a box, etc…), 90 seconds of moderate-speed walking lunges (6 minutes)
  • 5 minutes of stretching

Day 7:
Completely off, no exercise at all.

Women’s Full Body Fat Loss Workout Log

Now you can print out your workout log using this Excel spreadsheet:

Women’s Full Body Fat Loss Workout Log

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40 Responses to “Fat Loss for Women: A 7 Day Full Body Routine Plus HIIT”

  1. I currently work out about 5 days a week mostly cardio. It is not giving the results that I want so, I Just started this workout today. But my question is about how many weeks should I do it,and what should I do next?

  2. I'm going to try this. I do the lifting 3 days a week but the fat isn't leaving my lower abdomen.

    • Then I’d suggest examining your diet, keeping a food log, and increase protein while cutting carbs. Of course I don’t know what your diet is like now, so I can’t really make a good recommendation, but diet is responsible for at least 75% of your fat loss progress.

  3. I will be starting this program in the next two weeks. It looks like exactly what I need. I will be sure to post my progress!

  4. Complete Gain Weight Guide…

    Fat Loss for Women: A 7 Day Full Body Routine Plus HIIT | Project Swole…

  5. Hi Steve,

    It seems that my weight loss program isn’t that great. I’m on a reduced calorie diet and a general physical fitness routine. I have lost 11.02 lbs or 5 kilos last 6 months and I’m still on the diet but it seems I no longer lose weight. Should I shift to other routines?

  6. question:

    Can this be done in addition to already being active three times a week? (one hour of boxing, one hour of kickboxing, and an hour of bootcamp)

    • Yeah I’m pretty sure you can use all of those workouts with the fat loss routine. Might consider switching some of the routine’s HIIT sessions with your workouts if it becomes too much.

  7. Hi!

    I started this routine after my Boyfriend began your werewolf training, and man am I feeling the burn. I do have a question about exercises that will be easier on the knees. The stiff leg deadlifts absolutely kill my hamstrings in a pain way, not a burn way, but trying to do squats and squat thrusters makes my right knee hurt quite a bit. I previously did Ballet (Pointe, to be specific) so I have had knee and ankle injuries in the past. Can you recommend exercises to replace squats and stiff leg deadlifts?


    • There are a dozen exercises you can use for replacements but I’ll just choose one for each. Replace stiff leg deadlifts with Good Mornings. Replace squats with the Leg Press.

  8. I’m 5’1 and I used to weigh more than 180 pounds. In trying to lose the pounds I simply focused on Cardio and reducing my overall calorie intake. I kept a food journal of everything I ate and worked out 5-6 days a week for about 45-90 minutes. Well it has been 8 months and now I’m 112 pounds and I definitely don’t have the body I want. I think the term that best describes the situation I find myself in now is skinny fat. I feel like I made a huge mistake in my weight loss. I want a strong lean athletic body and right now I look like a twig and feel weak. Is this the best routine for me or should I be doing something else to get that lean athletic build I want?

  9. Interesting I’ve never done HIT workouts but will definetly try the routine above. Now my question do you think HIT workouts are more effective than lets say a full hour of steady cardio?

    • Steve never mind I believe my question is answered on the other article about HIIT Workout Routine. Unless you want to answer

      • HIIT workouts are more effective at burning calories and elevating the metabolism for a longer period of time. The only time I recommend endurance cardio over HIIT cardio, is when someone is already resistance training with high frequency, high intensity, and high volume. For example, someone who is already training 5 days a week for an hour a day with weights, might overtrain if they add 3 or 4 HIIT workouts to their weekly routine. You’d have to consider morning HIIT and evening weightlifting (or vice versa) for that to really work. But for the most part, is someone is weight training 30-45 minutes per session for 3-4 workouts a week, they can safely add 2 or 3 HIIT sessions to their weekly routine.

  10. Hey,
    i like the sound of this routine. just out of curiosity if i followed this routine how long would it take to roughly lose about 20 lbs.

  11. One question: If I want to build my glute muscles should I incorporate more lower body exercises on the workout days or is this routine sufficient to increase my glute muscles?

  12. I’m a 32 year old female weighing 11 st 10lb,im on acai berry and have recently bought a treadmill can you give me some advice on what sort of workout i should be doing to lose my weight

        • I’m not sure how much more I can help you. You have to decrease your total calories, keep carbs and saturated/trans fats low, try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise 6 days a week even if it’s only a brisk walk, try to get 45 minutes of vigorous exercise at least 3 days a week including weight training and high intensity cardiovascular training.

          What else do you need help with?

          • Thanks i asked your advice because i have been using my treadmill for about a month and havent seen any changes, the weight training may be difficult for me but i can now change the way i use my tread with the advice you have given me, my calorie intake is already low and i dont eat many fatty foods, im burning on average 300 calories a day do you think that is enough or is there a higher target i should be hitting.

          • 300 calories a day in exercise is not high, is that the number the treadmill gives you? If you really are exercising enough, which I believe you are not, you will still need to decrease total calorie consumption in order to lose fat. Are you keeping a food log yet? If not, you really should.

            You could definitely make the cardio exercise more useful by alternating intervals of max intensity with intervals of moderate intensity. For the weightlifting, simply start with bodyweight exercises like squats, push ups, and triceps dips. The only problem there is that you should really have a way to increase the weight or difficulty at each workout, but at least by trying to complete more reps or the same number of reps in less time, you can still gauge progress.

  13. hi 🙂
    this is such an awesome website – thankyou so much! It’s great to have some honest help with fitness from someone who knows what they’re talking about, without having to give out your credit card details 😛

    I’m a teenage girl wanting to lose my last 7kg and get toned (with abs if possible) by Christmas, which is our Summer here in NZ 🙂 I don’t mind gaining/maintaining weight if its muscle rather than fat. I’ve been cleared to do weights by my doctor, but I’m not sure where to start… this has given me so much help, but I have a couple more questions:

    I want to do HIRT ‘cos it sounds very effective and a good time saver, which is important for me as I don’t have much time because of study and work. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I have twenty minutes free times after lunch when I can use the school weights room, which has loads of free weights and some machines. At home I have 4×2.5kg weight plates and 4x5kg weight plates, and the bars for them, I also have a stepper, a Swiss ball and a resistance band. How could I break up the workouts to utilise 20 minutes in the morning before school, 20 minutes in the weights room and possibly a little bit of times after school? And what weight (eg 5kg…) should I use for the exercises you list above?

    I have started a dance-fitness program that incorporates interval training, and I have a kickboxing DVD if you think that would be better. Would that cover the HIIT days?

    omigosh, this is so many questions! thank-you so much for reading it all. 🙂 I hope you’ll be able to give me a bit of advice 🙂

  14. Hi
    I had twins 2 years ago and I have never done anything like this. I want a flat tummy and to be stronger, I am at least 12 lbs over what I am happy with.
    Can I do this without killing myself? Also I will have to google some of it as I am clueless as to what the terms mean.

    • You should be able to drop 12 lbs of fat easily in 4-6 months. You will also gain some muscle during that time, so be prepared to see little movement on the scale. Don’t worry though – if you lose fat and gain muscle, your body weight might stay the same but your metabolism and physical appearance will be vastly improved.

  15. I have been training hard for 6 months but I am beginning to feel tired. I know it’s in part to no rest days, however, I have heard about the full body training and I am very excited to switch up my routine. I am such a creature of habit, that this should do my mind and body good! I will be 54 next month and weight training has put me into the best shape of my life. Thanks for your site and the information you provide.

  16. Hey! What an amazing site, thank you so much 🙂
    My question is: Do you have any recommendations for people who don’t have money for a gym membership or access to barbells/machines? I have some resistance bands, an 8 lb medicine ball, and 10/15/20 lb dumbbells but unfortunately that is all.
    Thanks again.

  17. I’m having trouble understanding the HIIT days.

    Do you do 30 secs max and 90 secs moderate for a total of three circuits without rest? Then rest 60 secs before doing the next intervals?

    Or do you do 30 secs max and 90 secs moderate then 60 sec rest then move to the next circuit?

    I’ll have my girlfriend do this. I hope she doesn’t get bulky using this or she’ll kill me.

    • 30 secs max and 90 secs moderate for a total of three circuits without rest
      60 seconds rest… actually it’s OK if she rests for 2 minutes in the beginning, but no longer! 60 seconds for more experienced athletes.
      Move to the next circuit.

      I really don’t think your girl will get bulky man. This routine is designed to build a foundation and shed excess fat.

      • Thanks! We’ll be starting your werewolf strength and fat loss programs today. I’ll keep you posted with the results.

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