HIIT training has been a top runner for most popular trends for quite a few years now often called the only workout you need to do. But is HIIT strength training? In this blog post, we will be taking a closer look at this type of training to uncover the truth behind it. We will explore what HIIT strength training is, its benefits, and how you can incorporate it into your routine. Let’s find out if HIIT strength training is the new strength training!

The Definition of HIIT

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a workout strategy that combines short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. The goal of HIIT is to push your body to its limits in a short amount of time, maximizing the effectiveness of your workout. HIIT workouts typically last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, but the intensity level is what sets them apart from other forms of exercise.

During a HIIT workout, you alternate between periods of high-intensity exercise and recovery. This can be done using a variety of exercises, like sprinting, jumping jacks, or burpees. The high-intensity intervals should be challenging enough to make you work hard and elevate your heart rate, while the recovery periods allow you to catch your breath and prepare for the next round.

The beauty of HIIT lies in its efficiency. Because of the high intensity and short duration of the workout, it can give you similar or even better results compared to longer, steady-state exercises. HIIT has been shown to boost cardiovascular fitness, increase muscle strength, and burn calories more effectively. 

It’s important to note that HIIT is not limited to a specific type of exercise. It can be applied to various forms of physical activity, including running, cycling, weightlifting, and bodyweight exercises. The key is to work at a level that challenges you and pushes you outside of your comfort zone.

The Definition of Strength Training

Strength training, also known as resistance training or weightlifting, is a type of exercise that focuses on increasing muscular strength and endurance. Unlike cardio exercises that primarily target cardiovascular fitness, strength training is designed to challenge your muscles and promote growth.

Strength training typically involves using external resistance, like dumbbells, barbells, resistance bands, or weight machines. The resistance creates tension on your muscles, forcing them to work harder and adapt to the stress. This leads to the development of stronger, more toned muscles over time.

Improving muscle strength with strength training involves gradually increasing the amount of weight or resistance you lift, which helps your muscles become more resilient and powerful. By challenging your muscles, strength training also stimulates muscle growth, which can enhance your overall physique and increase your metabolic rate.

In addition to building muscle strength, strength training also improves muscle endurance. This refers to the ability of your muscles to perform repetitive movements or hold a position for an extended period. By increasing your muscle endurance, you can perform daily activities with ease, whether it’s carrying groceries, lifting objects, or participating in sports.

Another benefit of strength training is its impact on bone health. Regular resistance training stimulates bone remodeling, which helps to increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. This is particularly important as we age, as bone density tends to decrease over time.

Differences Between HIIT and Strength Training

When it comes to fitness, there are countless options available, each with its own set of benefits. HIIT and strength training are two popular methods that can help you achieve your fitness goals, but they are fundamentally different.

One key difference between high intensity interval training and strength training is the way they target different energy systems in the body. HIIT primarily focuses on the aerobic energy system, which involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. This allows you to push your body to its limits and maximize the effectiveness of your workout in a shorter amount of time.

On the other hand, strength training primarily targets the anaerobic energy system. This involves lifting heavy weights or using resistance to challenge your muscles and promote muscle growth and strength. Strength training typically involves longer periods of rest between sets to allow your muscles to recover and regenerate energy.

Another difference between HIIT and strength training is the level of impact on muscle development. While both methods can lead to muscle growth, strength training is more focused on hypertrophy, which involves increasing the size of your muscles. HIIT, on the other hand, focuses more on improving muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness.

Calorie Burn

In terms of calorie burn, both HIIT and strength training can be effective in helping you shed those extra pounds. HIIT workouts can lead to a higher calorie burn during the workout itself due to the intense nature of the exercises. However, strength training can help increase your overall metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day, even at rest.

Additionally, HIIT and strength training have different effects on your body composition. HIIT workouts tend to promote more overall fat loss, while strength training can help you build lean muscle mass and improve your body composition. Although, both forms of exercise can result in weight loss and lean muscle in the right circumstances. There are other factors that contribute to your results like diet, just to name one. 

So is HIIT Strength Training?

One common question that arises when discussing HIIT strength training is whether HIIT can be considered a form of strength training. The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. While HIIT can certainly contribute to building muscle strength, it is not solely focused on this aspect of fitness like traditional strength training.

While HIIT can contribute to muscle strength, it may not provide the same level of muscle growth and definition as traditional strength training. If your goal is to specifically build muscle and increase strength, incorporating dedicated strength training exercises into your routine is recommended.

That being said, HIIT strength training can still be a valuable addition to your fitness routine. It offers a range of benefits beyond muscle strength, like improved cardiovascular fitness, increased calorie burn, and enhanced overall endurance. By combining HIIT workouts with targeted strength training exercises, you can enjoy the best of both worlds and maximize your fitness gains.

Combining HIIT and Strength Training

Combining HIIT and strength training can be a game-changer for your fitness routine. While HIIT and strength training are both effective on their own, combining them can take your workouts to the next level and yield even better results. 

One way to combine HIIT and strength training is by incorporating strength exercises into your HIIT workouts. For example, you can include sets of squats, lunges, push-ups, or dumbbell rows in between your high-intensity intervals. This will not only challenge your cardiovascular system but also engage your muscles and promote muscle growth.

Another approach is to alternate days between HIIT and strength training. For instance, you can dedicate certain days of the week to HIIT workouts and others to strength training sessions. This allows your body to recover and adapt to the different demands of each type of exercise while still providing variety and keeping your workouts exciting.

Consider doing hybrid workouts that combine both HIIT and strength training exercises in a single session. This can involve performing a circuit of high-intensity intervals, such as sprints or burpees, followed immediately by strength exercises like deadlifts or overhead presses. This type of workout challenges your cardiovascular system, burns calories, and builds muscle strength all at once.

Sample HIIT and Strength Training Workout Routines

Now that you understand the benefits and differences between HIIT and strength training, you may be wondering how to incorporate both into your fitness routine. Well, look no further! Here are a few sample HIIT and strength training workout routines to get you started.

1. Full-Body HIIT + Strength Circuit:

– Start with a 5-minute warm-up of jogging or jumping jacks.

– Perform 4 rounds of the following exercises:

 – 30 seconds of squat jumps

 – 10 push-ups

 – 30 seconds of mountain climbers

 – 12 dumbbell lunges (6 on each leg)

 – 30 seconds of burpees

 – 12 dumbbell shoulder presses

– Rest for 1 minute between rounds.

– Finish with a 5-minute cooldown of stretching and foam rolling.

2. HIIT + Lower Body Strength Focus:

– Start with a 5-minute warm-up of marching in place or leg swings.

– Perform 5 rounds of the following exercises:

 – 20 seconds of high knees

 – 10 bodyweight squats

 – 20 seconds of jump lunges

 – 10 kettlebell swings

– Rest for 30 seconds between exercises and 1 minute between rounds.

– Finish with a 5-minute cooldown of stretching and mobility exercises.

3. HIIT + Upper Body Strength Focus:

– Start with a 5-minute warm-up of arm circles or shoulder rolls.

– Perform 4 rounds of the following exercises:

 – 30 seconds of jumping jacks

 – 10 push-ups

 – 30 seconds of plank jacks

 – 12 dumbbell rows (6 on each arm)

– Rest for 1 minute between rounds.

– Finish with a 5-minute cooldown of stretching and foam rolling.

Remember, these are just sample workouts, and you can customize them to fit your fitness level and goals. Be sure to gradually increase the intensity and weights as you get stronger and more comfortable. Always listen to your body and rest when needed.


The health benefits of both HIIT and strength training make them worth working into your regular exercise routine. Whether your goal is to lose body fat, gain muscle, or both, these two forms of exercise are considered two of the best ways to do both. If you need help learning the basics of strength training or high-intensity exercise, check with your gym’s personal trainers. 

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