Two Words to Blow Your Workout Wide Open: HIIT Weightlifting

Photo: Getty Images/ Thomas Barwick
As a person who gets quite bored in workouts, I've definitely hopped on the HIIT train over the past year. At the gym, you can catch me either doing a HIIT running workout, or alternating (swiftly!) between bursts of burpees and strength training and cardio movements for the biggest bang for my sweaty buck.

Despite being such a devotee, though, I've never come across HIIT weightlifting as an option...until now. If you're not such a fan of cardio machines or plyometrics, you can still get your HIIT on using weights and only weights. "High-intensity interval training workouts burn more calories beyond the workout itself because your body is working 24 to 36 hours after the workout," says Angela Leigh, trainer and director of talent and fitness at Aaptiv. "To create that same EPOC—excess post-exercise oxygen consumption—effect of traditional HIIT workouts with just weights, you need to combine certain movement patterns, big bang exercises for reps and times. The goal is to complete movements with as little rest as possible to maximize the output."

So just as you'd take up the intensity of a regular run in order to make it HIIT-worthy, you'd essentially do the same to your weightlifting routine. How, exactly, can you do that? According to celebrity trainer Lacey Stone, you just have to lift heavy and incorporate little plyometric-type cardio spikes to lift your heart rate and tone your muscles at the same time. "In my opinion, incorporating HIIT training to weightlifting is the fastest way to achieve results," she tells me. "A HIIT weightlifting workout is great for people with busy lifestyles because they get both a cardio and strength workout in one." And you never have to hit that cardio machine section of your gym in order to do it.

Try Stone's hardcore HIIT weightlifting workout for yourself

Circuit 1: 3 rounds—1st round is 1 minute; 2nd round is 45 seconds; 3rd round is 30 seconds
1. Dumbbell lunges
2. Tuck jumps
3. Russian twist

Circuit 2: 3 rounds—1st round is 1 minute; 2nd round is 45 seconds; 3rd round is 30 seconds
1. 10 push-ups or tricep push-ups
2. Dumbbell bicep curl-shoulder press combo
3. Speed skaters

Circuit 3: 3 rounds—1st round is 1 minute; 2nd round is 45 seconds; 3rd round is 30 seconds
1. Dumbbell bent-over row
2. Single-glute bridge with a pulse
3. Cardio kicks

By the way, here's why you should join cardio and weight training together—instead of choosing one over the other. And this is what fitness trainers say about doing cardio vs. strength training first during a workout.

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