It is always a challenge to find the right balance between your strength training routine and your cardio workouts. This is true because either one may utilise most of your energy. One way to subvert this problem is to incorporate HIIT workouts into your routine and practise those as your cardio exercises. With High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), you can seamlessly combine these two crucial elements into one comprehensive workout routine.
In this blog, let us explore the benefits of HIIT workouts and understand how you can incorporate HIIT workouts into your strength training routine for maximum fitness gains.
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Benefits of HIIT
The advantages of HIIT over other cardio workouts include:
Time Efficiency: HIIT workouts are popular because of their time efficiency. You can achieve impressive results in as little as 20-30 minutes due to the intensity of the exercises.
Fat Burning: HIIT boosts your metabolism and encourages your body to burn more calories even after your workout due to the afterburn effect.
Improved Cardiovascular Health: HIIT can enhance your cardiovascular fitness by improving your heart’s ability to pump blood and your muscles’ efficiency in utilising oxygen.
Preservation of Muscle Mass: Contrary to traditional steady-state cardio, HIIT is less likely to lead to muscle loss, making it an excellent complement to strength training.
Incorporating HIIT Into Your Strength Training Routine
Now that we know the benefits of HIIT workouts, here’s how you can combine it with your regular strength training routine and optimise your workouts.
Integrate HIIT as a Warm-up
One way to introduce HIIT into your strength training routine is by using it as a warm-up. A brief HIIT session before your strength training can elevate your heart rate, increase blood flow to your muscles, and prepare your body for the upcoming resistance exercises. This not only saves time but also ensures that you’re ready for a more effective strength training session.
You can practise any of the following HIIT workouts as your warm-up for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second rest. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times.
– Jumping jacks
– High knees
– Butt kicks
– Mountain climbers
Alternate Between Strength Sets and HIIT Intervals
Another effective method is to alternate between sets of strength exercises and short bursts of HIIT. For example, after completing a set of squats or bench presses, take a break by doing a minute of high-intensity cardio, such as jumping rope, sprinting in place, or cycling on a stationary bike. This method maintains your heart rate at an elevated level throughout your workout, promoting fat-burning while building muscle.
Combine Compound Movements with HIIT
Compound exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making them excellent choices for combining with HIIT. Exercises like squats, bench presses, deadlifts, lunges and bicep curls can be paired with HIIT intervals. Perform a set of a compound exercise, then immediately switch to a high-intensity exercise like kettlebell swings or box jumps for a specified time or number of repetitions. This approach maximises calorie burn and muscle engagement.
Full-Body Circuit Training
Design a full-body circuit that includes both strength and HIIT elements. Select a series of strength exercises targeting different muscle groups, such as push-ups, rows, lunges, and planks. In between each strength exercise, incorporate 30-60 seconds of a high-intensity cardio move like burpees, jumping lunges, or mountain climbers. You can then repeat this more rounded circuit 2-3 times or as your fitness levels allow.
Dedicated HIIT Days
For those who prefer to keep their strength training and HIIT separate, designate specific days for each. This approach allows you to focus intensely on one aspect of your fitness routine at a time. On HIIT days, choose a variety of cardio exercises like cycling, running and other HIIT workouts. This dedicated approach ensures you give each component the attention it deserves.
Thus, incorporating HIIT workouts into your strength training routine can immensely help you reach your fitness goals. With the best of both worlds, you can reap the benefits of a much more rounded full-body workout. Download the FITPASS app today and find the best HIIT classes near you so that you can begin your HIIT training and solidify your fitness routine.
What is a HIIT workout for?
A HIIT workout is basically a short but highly intense cardio workout that provides an effective burn in a quick time. It is ideal for those people who want the most results in the shortest time. HIIT has many benefits including improved cardiovascular efficiency, weight loss, calorie burn, better muscle strength and enhanced overall health and fitness.
Is 20 minutes of HIIT per day enough?
Yes, 20 minutes of HIIT per day is enough to see excellent results.
What are the 4 types of HIIT exercises?
There are many HIIT exercises one can do. Four common HIIT exercises include burpees, jumping jacks, kettlebell swings and mountain climbers.