Strength Training VS HIIT
When you engage in a healthy lifestyle, there are certain goals you will find yourself setting. Milestones to celebrate all the hard work you plan to put in. One key component a program that gets you results is having the proper elements working together. Strictly lifting weights and not doing cardio, may get you decent results, but you will be neglecting your cardiovascular health. On the flip side, doing cardio alone may burn fat temporarily, but it does nothing to alter the composition of your body concerning lean mass and fat mass.
Strength training is a great way to change body composition permanently, which leads to a whole host of health benefits. It serves as the number one way to add muscle mass to your frame, which in turn boosts your metabolic rate. A popular myth is that 1 lb. of muscle weighs less than 1 lb. of fat…not true. One pound of fat weighs the same as one pound of mass. What differentiates one from the other is that one pound of muscle is much more compact. Therefore it takes up much less space than one pound of fat. As a result, the more muscle mass you have, the tighter and more toned you appear.
Cardio Sessions Don’t Have to Be Long
As far as cardio is concerned, many people tend to think that long, drawn-out sessions are critical. The truth is, once the body hits a certain amount of time during a cardio session, doing more does more harm than good. Secondly, most people just don’t have the time to slave away on a machine, and could instead better utilize that time to get a lift in. One of the most efficient and time-saving forms of cardio is something referred to as HIIT, high-intensity interval training.
HIIT training involves all-out effort, often in the form of sprints, for up to 30 seconds. This type of training is considered anaerobic (takes place in the absence of oxygen), unlike other low to moderate intensity exercise, which is considered aerobic. Why does this matter? In the anaerobic state, our body can still build muscle. So even though an HIIT session is seen as cardio, you can still build muscle from it as a result.
Afterburn: Fire Up Your Metabolic Furnace
One of the huge perks of HIIT training is something referred to as the afterburn. The Afterburn is the period in which your metabolism experiences a boost, therefore turning your body into a furnace. The afterburn can last up to a whole 24 hours after an HIIT workout. Typical cardio burns calories during the cardio session itself, but once the session ends, so does the calorie burn. This is not ideal for long-term sustainability and reaching weight/fat loss goals.
Ideally, combining both strength training and HIIT will yield remarkable results. Why? Strength training alone will add muscle and lead to a tighter, stronger appearing physique. It will not work the cardiovascular aspect of a well-rounded fitness program. Doing cardio, specifically HIIT, will accelerate body fat loss at a faster rate than if you were to do strength training alone.
So how can you make the two work together to reach your goals quicker and in better condition than anticipated? The key is to ensure the elements of your strength training program include hitting all muscle groups throughout your workout rotation. Also, throw in 2 HIIT workouts per every 7-day workout cycles. Some examples of HIIT workouts can include battle rope “sprints,” sled pushes, kettlebell swings, or total-body workouts that consist of bodyweight exercises done intensely (think Tabata-style).
The Key is Finding Balance
No matter your fitness or physique related goal, finding the right combination of cardio and resistance training, along with a proper, health-based nutrition regimen, you can reach your goals sooner than expected. Take advantage of what both strength training and HIIT offer to get the most out of your time and workout routine.