HIIT vs Cardio vs Weight Training: Should You Combine Them?

hiit-vs-cardio-vs-weight-training-should-you-combine-them-748-riot

Even the most dedicated of gym-goers can sometimes battle with a busy schedule.

So when it comes to getting maximum results in minimal time, HIIT workouts are absolutely ideal. High intensity workouts involve numerous reps that will get your heart rate up and also build muscle mass, but for those who want to take their training to the next level, the combination of both HIIT and weights could be just the ticket. So why the need to do both? Many programs these days only prescribe HIIT training in their quest for a leaner physique, but according to Jay Harper, founder and head coach at BFAST Fitness, serious athletes can benefit from the best of both worlds.

“While HIIT is an effective tool in the toolbox, you miss out on a number of key benefits that only strength training can provide,” he says. “For example, combining weights with HIIT training can help you build muscle mass. While it’s possible to build some degree of muscle with strength-based HIIT sessions, it will always pale in comparison to a typical weight training program that utilises the concept of progressive overload - slowly increasing training volume over time. If building shape in certain areas is a goal, targeted strength training will always be the most effective method to achieve this.” Pairing the two training methods can also help to improve technique. Strength training is a skill, and by practicing new movements with more rest, lower reps, and a steadier pace, you can fine tune the technical aspects that will allow you to make better progress over time. “Controlled strength training allows you to target weakness in your kinetic chain in a safer, more controlled environment, reducing the risk of injury,” adds Jay.

Finally, utilising the two training methods together is a great way to become stronger in a shorter space of time. “It seems like an obvious answer, but by becoming stronger, you will make other tasks more efficient and a whole lot easier. If you can squat 100kg, a 20kg goblet squat in a HIIT session will be a breeze!”

So how do you combine the two? According to Jay, a simple way is to focus on one main lift per day to build your strength base, followed by a HIIT circuit that combines a mixture of assistance work for your main lift, along with explosive moves to raise your heart rate and ramp up the calorie burn. Ready to up your training game? Grab your HIIT interval training timer and get stuck into these suggested workouts:

DAY ONE

1a Deadlift - Build up to a 5 rep max within 6 sets, then reduce the weight by 20% and complete a further set of as many reps as possible

Then complete as many rounds of the following in 15 minutes:

2a Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift x 10 reps

2b Band pull apart x 15 reps

2c Kettlebell swing x 20 reps

DAY TWO

1a Bench Press - Build up to a 5 rep max within 6 sets, then reduce the weight by 20% and complete a further set of as many reps as possible

Then complete as many rounds of the following in 15 minutes:

2a Chin up x5

2b Kettlebell military press x 10 reps

2c Pushup x 15 reps

2d Rope slam x 20 reps

DAY THREE

1a Squat - Build up to a 5 rep max within 6 sets, then reduce the weight by 20% and complete a further set of as many reps as possible

Then complete as many rounds of the following in 15 minutes:

2a Kettlebell lunge x 10 reps each side

2b Back extension x 15 reps

2c Sled push x 30 metres

DAY FOUR

1a Overhead press - Build up to a 5 rep max within 6 sets, then reduce the weight by 20% and complete a further set of as many reps as possible

Then complete as many rounds of the following in 15 minutes:

2a Dip x 5 reps

2d Bent over row x 10 reps

2c Reverse fly x 15 reps

2d Skipping x 100 reps

And that’s how you can combine strength and HIIT training into a short session that can be completed in under 40 minutes - perfect for the busy individual who wants great results in the minimal time they have to spend.

hiit-vs-cardio-vs-weight-training-should-you-combine-them-748-riot

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