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How To Integrate Resistance Training In HIIT

Posted on May 10 2018

Guest post by Joe Humphries from Orangetheory Fitness

Not all exercises offer the same benefits. Whether you're looking to lose weight, tone your body or build muscle mass, you must perform the right workouts. The two most common types of workouts are high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance training. While both can help you achieve your goals, they affect your body in different ways.


What Is HIIT?

Also known as high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE), HIIT consists of cycles of short and intense cardiovascular exercise proceeded by a period of rest. Although there's no limit on the duration of HIIT exercises, they are usually shorter than 30 minutes. Performing as many push-ups or burpees as you can, followed by resting for five to 10 minutes and repeating is an example of an HIIT exercise. It forces you to exert a significant amount of your body's energy while increasing your heart rate in the process.

Benefits of HIIT

HIIT exercises are relatively easy to perform, often requiring no special equipment or even weights. You can perform them in the comfort of your home, eliminating the need for a gym membership.

HIIT also offers calorie-burning benefits. According to a study cited by Men's Journal, HIIT exercises burn more calorie, both during and after the session, than traditional cardiovascular exercises. All aerobic exercises burn calories, but the intense, energy-demanding characteristics of HIIT make it more effective at burning calories.

Furthermore, performing HIIT exercises on a regular basis can lower your risk of heart disease. It strengthens the heart, reduces body fat and allows blood to flow more freely through the cardiovascular system. The culmination of these effects means a lower risk of heart disease.

What Is Resistance Training?

Resistance training exercise, on the other hand, is characterized by application of force on one or more muscles during contraction. This force may come from your own body weight, elastic bands, gravity, free weights or weight machines. By applying force to your muscles, you must exert additional energy to contract them and perform the respective exercise.

Push-ups are a form of resistance training that uses your body's weight as force while barbell chest presses use a weighted barbell as force. Any exercise that involves added force placed on the muscles is considered a type of resistance training exercise.

Benefits of Resistance Training

While HIIT is best suited for burning calories and losing weight, resistance training is most effective at building muscle mass. With the added force, your muscles must work harder to contract. This results in greater damage to your muscle tissue. When your body repairs the damage, it rebuilds the muscles with more tissue, thus promoting bigger gains.

Resistance training also promotes healthy bones and joints. As we age, our bones become weaker and more susceptible to fracture. By performing resistance training exercises, you'll protect against bone and joint degradation.

You'll benefit from increased stamina and endurance when performing resistance training exercises, allowing you to work out for longer periods of time without feeling fatigued.

In addition to building muscle, resistance training also burns fat. As your muscle mass increases, your body will burn more fat.

Incorporating Resistance Training Into HIIT

Rather than focusing your workouts strictly on HIIT or resistance training, try using both in your fitness regimen. Doing so will allow you to reap the calorie-burning benefits of HIIT with the muscle-building benefits of resistance training.

For example, you can perform intense resistance training exercises like lifting weights with the occasional 15- or 20-minute HIIT exercise. Lifting weights builds muscle whereas HIIT burns calories. 

Another way to achieve this is by wearing Physiclo. These unique workout tights feature built-in elastic bands that add extra resistance to every movement, allowing you to easily combine elements of resistance training into any HIIT routine.

Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn't perform resistance training exercises on multiple consecutive days. Rather, you should space them out with a 48-hour period of rest in between. You can still perform HIIT exercises for multiple consecutive days, but your body needs time to recover from resistance training.




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  • Terry Lincecum: August 21, 2020

    I’m combining resistance training (mostly bands) with aerobic type exercise. I.e. I set my timer for 45 seconds on the 20 seconds rest.
    1st round is arms;
    45 sec standing bicep curls With Arms straight out & bands.
    20 sec rest
    45 sec battle ropes
    20 sec rest
    45 sec standing bicep curl with elbows in & bands
    20 sec rest
    45 sec flip tractor tire
    20 sec rest
    45 sec tricep push down w/bands
    20 sec rest
    2nd set is chest:
    45 sec incline dumbbell bench press
    20 sec rest
    45 sec squats with 50 pound bag
    20 sec rest
    45 sec flat dumbbell bench press
    20 sec rest
    45 sec cable cross over w/band
    20 sec rest
    3rd set is back:
    The entire workout is done in 23 min. and I’ve never felt better and I’m 62 years old still coaching HS football and baseball.

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