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HIIT Strength Training: The Best of Both Worlds

Many people wonder whether they should focus more on HIIT or strength training, based on the idea that HIIT is the same as cardio. What they don’t know is that HIIT can also be a strength-focused workout.

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a time-based workout method that consists of several bursts of maximum-effort exercises with rest periods in between. The magic of it is that you can include any type of exercise you want–strength, cardio, or both!

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HIIT strength training: is it the best HIIT training program?

HIIT strength training is a pretty simple concept: it’s essentially strength training, also called resistance training, done with the high-intensity interval training method. And while it may seem weird to include deadlifts or bicep curls in a HIIT workout, it’s actually very effective.

Combining HIIT and strength training is not only a time-saver, but it also takes your workout to the next level:

It boosts your metabolism

Because you’re building muscle, strength training increases your metabolic rate, which means it burns more calories at rest. You’re not only burning calories during your workout, but you’ll keep doing so for up to 72 hours after your session.

It helps you lose fat and preserve your muscles

Contrary to popular belief, doing too much cardio can actually slow your metabolism, since it makes you lose lean muscle mass. In other words: you’re gonna lose fat, but you’re also gonna lose muscle. 

Adding strength exercises to your HIIT workout helps you lose fat while maintaining or building muscle. And if you’re building muscle and losing fat, you’re going to be leaner and have more muscle definition. 

It lowers your risk of injury

Strength training not only helps improve strength but also the mobility of your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This helps you support your whole body better, protecting the major joints from injury.

Additionally, this style of training helps avoid muscular imbalances, such as when you force your lower back when you lift something heavy. In this case, if you have a strong core and lower body, it will take the weight off your back–literally!

It takes the health benefits of HIIT to the next level

We all know how beneficial HIIT can be for our health–and combining it with strength training takes that to the next level! Both types of exercise help lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels, improve circulation, and increase HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol).

Additionally, doing strength HIIT training has other added benefits: 

  • Strength training helps bone development, making your bones stronger.
  • Studies have shown that strength training has neuroprotective effects, such as reducing inflammation, improving blood flow, and improving memory.
  • Having stronger muscles increases your joints’ range of motion, promoting greater mobility and flexibility. This contributes to factors like pain management and general physical functioning.

You can still lose weight

If you’re asking yourself, “If I wanna lose weight, don’t I have to stick to cardio?” the answer is not at all. In fact, strength training supports weight loss by helping you build muscle mass. 

Muscles are very metabolically efficient, which means they burn more calories at rest than fat and other types of tissue. In other words, training for stronger muscles boosts your resting metabolic rate, which is also important for weight loss.

At SWEAT440, we integrate cardio and strength training into dynamic, 40-minute HIIT classes that work your entire body. No matter what your fitness goals are, our coaches help you through the journey to achieve them. Come visit our Miami Lakes studio and get your first class for free!

Woman working out at fitness studio

The best HIIT equipment for strength

Strength training doesn’t necessarily have to be done with weights. There are several types of equipment that create that resistance, such as resistance bands, TRX, row machines, medicine balls, battle ropes, etc.

At SWEAT440, we use different types of equipment to make our workouts as dynamic and fun as possible, from free weights to resistance bands, row machines, and TRX. You’ll never get bored!

HIIT strength training vs. HIIT cardio training

Although HIIT was initially created as a cardio workout, it has evolved and become a lot more versatile, and it can apply to many different types of exercises.

However, HIIT cardio workouts are still very popular–and for good reason. They’re a much more efficient way to do cardio and burn the same amount of calories (or more) in less time. 

It’s ideal to include both cardio and strength training in your workouts. And while you can certainly alternate cardio sessions with strength sessions, combining them makes it all the more efficient. 

Both HIIT cardio training and HIIT strength training have their benefits, but they also have some similarities:

How they’re different

  • HIIT cardio training burns more calories per session, while HIIT strength training burns more calories at rest.
  • HIIT cardio training typically involves more compound and plyometric exercises that get your heart rate up, such as jump squats and mountain climbers. HIIT strength training may involve slower, weighed exercises like deadlifts or rows.
  • HIIT cardio focuses more on getting your heart rate up, while HIIT strength focuses more on building strength and muscle.

How they’re similar

  • Because they’re both HIIT workouts, they’re both anaerobic exercises. This means they’re more intense and shorter in duration, and use energy in your muscles instead of oxygen as fuel.
  • They both help you lose fat and make you fitter overall.
  • Combined with the right diet and other healthy habits (such as sleep), they can both support weight loss.

SWEAT440: The best HIIT classes to get stronger

If you’re looking to get stronger but still get that heart rate up, SWEAT440 is for you. At our HIIT classes in Miami Lakes, you’ll train both your cardiovascular endurance and resistance, strengthening both your heart and your muscles. 

Our Miami Lakes studio is conveniently located near the NW 67 Av & Main St bus stop. It’s also right next to the Miami Lakes Main St Mall and the Miami Lakes Home Health Care Inc. 

Ready to get stronger? Come visit our studio and sweat for 40 minutes a day!

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HIIT strength training vs. HIIT cardio training

HIIT strength training

  • Burns more calories at rest.
  • Involves slower-paced exercises with some type of resistance (weights, resistance bands, your own body weight, etc.)
  • Focuses more on strengthening your muscles.

HIIT cardio training

  • Burns more calories per session.
  • Involves faster-paced exercises such as plyometrics.
  • Focuses more on getting your heart rate up to strengthen your heart and lungs.