High Intensity Interval Training With Weightlifting

By Marc


Weightlifting isn’t usually the first thing people think of when it comes to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).

However, there are plenty of reasons to combine HIIT and weightlifting. This article will look at these reasons and explain how to put together an effective HIIT weightlifting routines.

The Benefits Of HIIT Weightlifting Workouts

HIIT weightlifting workouts are a fantastic way to combine the benefits of cardio training and weightlifting. The list below outlines the specific benefits of HIIT weightlifting workouts:

  1. 1. Enhanced Cardiovascular Fitness: Weightlifting workouts are great for building up your muscles and strength levels but generally do very little for your cardiovascular fitness. With a HIIT weightlifting workout, you can address the balance and boost your cardiovascular fitness while also working your muscles.

  1. 2. Faster Workouts: Standard weightlifting routines take at least 1 hour to complete whereas HIIT weightlifting workouts last a maximum of 30 minutes.

  1. 3. Greater Production Of HGH: Studies have shown that HIIT can increase the levels of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) within the body by up to 450%. This powerful hormone burns body fat, prevents visible signs of aging and most importantly stimulates muscle growth.

  1. 4. Increased Calorie Burning: Weightlifting burns around 400 calories per hour. HIIT weightlifting uses more than double that amount with a 30 minute HIIT session blasting through 500 calories – the equivalent of 1,000 calories per hour.

  1. 5. Improved Fat Burning: When it comes to fat burning, HIIT is very efficient and studies have shown that HIIT burns a much higher proportion of fat to muscle than many other competing exercises.

  1. 6. More Enjoyable Workouts: Performing the same weightlifting routine week after week can become repetitive. With HIIT weightlifting, you can mix up your workout routine, try new exercises and ensure that every single workout is fresh and fun.

How To Create A HIIT Weightlifting Routine

Creating your very own HIIT weightlifting routine doesn’t take long. Just follow the simple steps below to get started with your very first routine:

  1. 1. Choose Your Equipment: Since HIIT only allows for very short rest periods, switching between different pieces of equipment mid-workout isn’t an option. So choose whether you want to exercise with a barbell, dumbbell or kettlebells and stick with it for the entire workout.

  1. 2. Start With Light Weights: HIIT involves lots of reps, so you need to be lifting very light weights. For your first HIIT weightlifting workout, start with a 5lb barbell, a 5lb set of dumbbells or a 5lb set of kettlebells. If you find those too light, move up to a slightly heavier set of dumbbells for your next HIIT workout. Then continue progressing in this way until you find a weight that’s challenging but not so heavy that you can’t complete your workout.

  1. 3. Decide Which Muscle Groups You Will Be Targeting: You can use HIIT weightlifting workouts to target a single muscle group, multiple muscle groups or your entire body. So choose if you want to work your chest, upper back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, legs, forearms, core or a combination of these muscle groups during your HIIT workout.

  1. 4. Decide How Long You Want To Workout For: HIIT workouts last for a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes. Simply choose a workout duration anywhere within this range.

  1. 5. Choose Some Exercises: When choosing your exercises, you need to select exercises that will work the muscle group or groups you want to target. Each exercise will take around 30 seconds to complete, so you also need to factor this in when deciding how many exercises will be in your workout. For example, if you’re going to be working out for a total of 5 minutes, you’ll want to select a maximum of 10 exercises.

  1. 6. Select An Intensity Ratio: The standard intensity ratio for HIIT weightlifting workouts is to switch between periods of high intensity lifting and rest at a ratio of 2:1. For example, 20 seconds of high intensity lifting would be followed by a 10 second rest and then this cycle would repeat continuously for the entire workout duration. However, if you find this too difficult, you can start with a ratio of 1:1 or even 1:2.

  1. 7. Bring It All Together: After completing the 6 steps above, you’re ready to start your HIIT weightlifting workout. Set a beep timer to beep at each interval and beep when the workout is complete. Then grab the weights, begin the first exercise and complete each interval and exercise repeatedly for the entire workout duration.


By adding HIIT weightlifting workouts to your existing fitness plans, you can enjoy numerous health benefits without investing a large amount of time. So if you want to tone or build up your muscles, blast through body fat and more, try a HIIT weightlifting workout today.

Marc Ouellette is a Certified In-Home Personal Trainer, Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and Owner of Personal Training Alliance.

I help busy men and women get thin, burn fat, add lean muscle and help them become more energetic and confident.

I'm offering you a Free In-Home Fitness and Nutrition Consultation to see if we can work together so I can help you reach all your health and fitness goals.

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