HIRT and Swolen


HIRT and Swolen is a High Intensity Resistance Training routine that you can use to either burn fat, build muscle, or maybe even both. It is a circuit of compound exercises performed back-to-back-to-back without rest (sometimes called a giant set), followed by a taxing abdominal superset.

You can use HIRT and Swolen twice a week with light weight in addition to your standard workout routine, if you are looking to get ripped. If your only goal is to build muscle, then use more weight and opt for 90 seconds rest between sets, but be careful not to overtrain if you are still performing your standard workout routine.


  • 5 sets
  • 5 reps per set
  • no rest during the set, that means no rest between exercise and no rest between reps
  • 1 rep means you have to complete each of the exercises back-to-back-to-back once
  • Level 1: 90 seconds rest between sets
  • Level 2: 60 seconds rest between sets
  • Level 3: 30 seconds rest between sets


Start with the loaded barbell on the floor, feet shoulder width, hands shoulder width on the bar, head up, back straight.

  1. Deadlift
  2. Hang Clean
  3. Front Squat
  4. Push Press
  5. Back Squat
  6. Back Push Press

After you complete the rep, return the bar to the floor, prepare for a deadlift to start the next rep.

Abs Training

After you complete all 5 sets above, it will be time to train your abs hard. Do 3 sets of the following abdominal giant set.

  1. Weighted Sit Ups – 7 reps
  2. Captains Chair – 15 reps
  3. Rest 30 seconds
  4. Weighted Russian Twist – 12 reps
  5. Ab Wheel Rollouts – as many as possible (from your knees or feet, depending on your core strength)
  6. Rest 30 seconds and repeat

Many of you may not be able to handle such a giant set due to many factors including inexperience, injury, weakness, lack of conditioning, or whatever other excuse you can come up with. However if you do spend about 30-35 minutes using this routine every other day for a month, I guarantee you will lose a ton of body fat as long as you eat properly.

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13 Responses to “HIRT and Swolen”

  1. Would you consider this workout a back-workout? As in, not necessary to do another day with back exercises on top of this?

  2. Nice article, Steve. An old gym vet showed this to me a few years ago, with a slight variation: he called them ‘killers’. There was no front squat and it was a stiff leg deadlift at the end.

    Deadlift – Hanging clean & press – Back squat – Back push press – Lower bar to knees – Stiff leg deadlift and repeat. Use a lighter weight to do it and try 3 sets of 12 – Great for burning the fat off and my Mrs. uses it now too.

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  4. Steve, I’m using something similar. I based it off of Stronglifts 5×5 workout, and modified it. Right now I’m doing a higher rep, lower set count, but will be switching it back to low rep, higher weight in a few weeks. Who needs traditional cardio with this type of workout in the game plan? 🙂

    • Traditional cardio sucks. I’m curious how you modified the Stronglifts program for this purpose. You should post your workout on your site or write me a guest post. Obviously it would be called ‘Phit and Swolen’. 😉

  5. Steve I love it. I am always looking for new ways to mix up my training. Yet again you have demonstrated that you don’t need fancy equipment or a membership to a commercial gym to stay in shape. What do you do to warm-up for this session?

    • To warm up you can do 5-10 minutes on the elliptical, some neural activation movements, dynamic stretching, or perform the circuit with 50% of your working weight for 3 reps. There are 101 other ways to warm up as well.

  6. What would you suggest as a good starting point in terms of weight? Looking at the exercises I feel like the weight from my back push press wouldn’t be very effective for deadlifts and anything I would deadlift would be impossible to push press.

    • I like to use 135 and have used as much as 185, but that’s unrealistic for some. For most exercises in this routine, you shouldn’t come anywhere close to your 5 rep max. The first time you ever try this, unless you already have an idea of a weight you can handle, for men I recommend starting with 45 lbs (an empty Olympic barbell) and add 20 pounds per set until you hit a good weight. A good weight lets you move through every exercise explosively, or at least pretty quick. Once in a while I struggle with the push press on my last rep or two, if I don’t get a good push. For some women, 45 lbs might be too much and might want to start with one of those 10-40 lbs premade bars that you can find at most corporate gyms.

      • Awesome, I’ll try this tomorrow morning.

        I just finished the “Werewolf for Strength Gains” and I’ll try this before I run through it again. To be honest, I wish it had a different name, I always feel weird telling people about it, haha.

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