Should You Combine HIIT With Weight Training? Optimize Your HIIT and Strength Training Routine

Updated: Sep 16

We all want to maximize workout results, but is it safe to combine HIIT with strength training? Read the article to find out!

hiit high intensity resistance training is the perfect way to burn fat image

How to Combine HIIT With Weight/Strength Training to Transform Your Body


For most of us, between work, taking care of the family, and other daily tasks, finding time to work out is difficult. So when we do show up to exercise, we want it to be as effective as possible. This begs the question: can you combine HIIT with weight training to get optimal results? Or should you stick to one or the other? Read on to find out more about HIIT vs weight training and if you can combine the two.


What is HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training?


HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a type of exercise wherein you workout for a short intense burst, followed by a shorter recovery period. The idea is to get the heart rate up, recover slightly, then repeat. HIIT workouts are typically about 10 to 30 minutes. Activities during HIIT can range from cardio, like biking or running, to strength, like bodyweight exercises.


HIIT workouts have been well-studied and are shown to be incredibly effective. One study found that HIIT cycling workouts of 20 minutes were equally effective in improving systolic blood pressure to 40 minutes of continuous cycling. [*]


Another study showed that high intensity interval training (HIIT) was more effective than moderate-intensity continuous training at improving a wide range of targets, including skeletal muscles, risk factors, autonomic function, cardiac function, inflammation, and quality of life. [*]


Related: 5 Tips to Increase Physical Activity Without Even Realizing It


75 Hard Challenge printable planner page

What is Weight or Strength Training?


Weight or strength training involves using weights to create resistance, which strengthens, builds, and tones your muscles. You can use weight machines, dumbbells, and barbells in weight training, lifting them for a certain amount of repetitions and sets. [*]


Consistent weight training makes you stronger, allowing you to lift heavier weights and heavier objects in daily life. Muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. A resistance training workout can also increase your metabolic rate for up to three days after the exercise, helping you burn even more calories. [*] [*]


It's also worth noting that muscle is more dense than fat, so it takes up less space. When you build muscle, you appear leaner even if you haven't been losing weight. When paired with body fat loss, you gain a more defined appearance.


Benefits of Weight Training:


● Lowers the risk of injury [*]

● Decreases likelihood of falls [*]

● Aids in mobility [*]

● Boosts heart health by decreasing blood pressure and LDL cholesterol [*] [*]

women performing an aerobic exercise and focusing on more than one muscle group

Should You Combine HIIT and Weight Training?


HIIT and weight training each provide a laundry list of different benefits. It's important to include both in your workout regime. Since HIIT training focuses on getting the heart rate up, it serves as more of a cardio exercise, while lifting weights focuses on building your muscles. In fact, one study showed that combining strength and cardio in an exercise routine promotes healthy weight and boosts fat loss. [*]


Ways to Combine HIIT with Weight Training:


● Add weights to your HIIT workout

● Do HIIT workouts and strength training on the same day but separately

● Do HIIT and strength workouts on different days


Generally speaking, it's best to keep HIIT cardio-focused to avoid issues with form, so HIIT weightlifting is best for more advanced exercisers. However, combining HIIT with weight training in one day can maximize your time if you're on a tight schedule.


Related: How to Get Your Fitness Motivation Back


Best Home Workout Equipment of 2022 [*]:

How to Combine HIIT With Strength Training


If doing HIIT and weight training on the same day, which one you do first depends on your goals. If your goal is to burn fat and lose weight, it's best to do HIIT first. If your primary goal is to increase muscle mass, do weight training first. [*] [*] Either way, just make sure you take care of yourself too!


Best Sports Bras for a Cardio Workout [*]:

Best Workout Leggings for 2022 [*]:

Not sure where to start? Try out this beginner home workout. Be sure to start with a dynamic warm-up and finish off with a cool-down.


HIIT Workout Session:


Set an interval timer for periods of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Complete eight rounds of each of the following exercises for a total of 20 minutes:

● Jumping jacks

● Burpees

● High knees

● Push-ups

● Jump rope


Strength Training Exercises:


Complete 3 sets of 8 reps:

● Bicep curls

● Squats

● Shoulder press

● Sumo squats

● Tricep kickbacks

● Alternating forward lunge


Be sure to plan your workouts to create a workout routine that is right for you and track your progress for the best results when combining HIIT with weight training. The right workout planner and exercise log can keep you on track and accountable, pushing you toward your goals even faster.

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