How To Effectively Structure Your Workouts


Wondering how you should go about structuring your workout sessions? You know that you need to have two main types of exercise in your program – strength training and high intensity cardio training.

But, how do you set them up? And more importantly, within those two types of workouts, how do you set up each exercise you’ll be doing?

Many people often find themselves confused when it comes to workout programming, so today we’re going to set the record straight.

How you structure the exercises you do in each session will influence the nature of the results you see, so it’s something to start paying closer attention to.

Let’s go over what you need to know.

The ‘60’ Minute Time Block

So let’s say that you have 60 minutes to workout total. How much do you devote to strength and how much to cardio?

A good split that I would recommend is about 30-40 minutes to your strength work and the remaining 20-30 minutes to high intensity interval cardio training.  Note that strength work must come first.

If you have a longer or shorter block of time, adjust these time frames respectively.  The key point to note is that strength training is the priority, gets the most time, and comes first in that session.

Structuring Your Strength Workouts

To best structure your strength workout, you’ll always want to do your multi-joint or complex exercises first.  These are your squats, your deadlifts, your bench presses, your bent over rows – if they utilize more than one muscle group, they are going to take more energy to perform.

As such, doing them first helps ensure you perform them without a problem.  After those exercises have been completed, then you can move into your isolated exercises such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, leg extensions, and so forth.

Adding Cardio Into The Mix

After your strength work is completed, now you need to add cardio to the mix. If you’re still doing that steady state cardio, going at it at one straight pace for 40-50 minutes at a time, you are missing out on results.

Those who participate in this form of training experience greater fat loss all over their body, as well as specifically from the trunk region, as was found in one study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

For instance you can bike hard for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds.  Or you can run uphill and walk back down.

Do whatever mode of cardio you prefer as long as you can do it intensely. Or, if you want another option, try my HIIT max program, found at  You’ll see noticeable improvements in just a few short weeks doing this type of cardio.

What About Abs?

Now you might be wondering when you should do abs?  Because abs will help to support your core throughout all the main strength moves, you want to make sure you’re doing any intense weight lifting moves requiring core support before abdominal training.

This means squats, deadlifts, lunges, rows, shoulder presses, and of the like. If you were just going to do an arm workout and you want to blast through abs first, that’s fine, but anything more intense on the strength side, abs come last.

So keep these points in mind as you go about structuring your workout protocol and you can be confident that you are going to head toward results.

Cut Out the Confusion:

Now, this was one of my more “science” blog posts.

And I know I didn’t give you any real specific guidelines. But that’s because this is a rather complex topic, and reality, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do things.

However, The way that I’ve found most effective?

The one that not only got me from 24% body fat to 8% body fat in a little over 3 months?

And the one that I’ve used with thousands of clients. (Over 60,000 to date, to be precise) is this one – HIIT MAX™

HIIT MAX™ takes the methodologies and guidelines we have here, and lays everything out into one easily accessible, done-for-you training & nutrition program.

We give you a plan that’s easy to implement, takes no thought process, removes confusion, and guarantees to torch stubborn fat in record time.

Plus, you only need to commit 20 minutes, three times per week.


Chisholm, D.J. et al. (2008). The effects of high intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. International Journal of Obesity.  32, 684-691.