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High Intensity Interval Training vs Weight Lifting. Which training type is more beneficial?

High Intensity Interval Training vs Weight Lifting. Which training type is more beneficial?

Today I want to talk about High-Intensity Interval Training vs Weight Lifting and which training type of these two can be more beneficial to you. High-intensity interval training, best known as HIIT training has become more and more popular these days and you can probably find high-intensity interval training classes in a very gym

 

But not that many people know what HIIT training is about and what type of training is more beneficial to choose, HIIT training or weight lifting? I will explain what high-intensity interval training and weight lifting is, talk about the pros and cons of both training types and help you decide which one to choose.

 

What High-Intensity Interval Training?High Intensity Interval Training vs Weight Lifting

High-intensity interval training or HIIT training is a cardiovascular exercise mixed with body weight exercises and performed in very high intensity to keep your heart rate at around 80 -100% of your maximum heart rate with very short periods of recovery. You can add weights to your HIIT training exercises too.

 

A full HIIT workout can take between 20 to 60 minutes and contain 5 to 10 exercises, with short training intervals between 30 – 60 seconds for each exercise. After completing all circuit of exercises you can rest for 3 – 5 minutes between circuits. Usually, HIIT training contains 2 – 3 circuits.

 

If it’s too hard to complete the circuit, time for each exercise can be reduced.

 

HIIT training is great for weight loss. This type of training is more intense than cardio workout and high intensity combined with your body weight exercises and dumbbells during the workout helps to burn a lot more calories and continue burning them for many hours after your workout. After a cardio workout, your metabolism slows down a lot faster and the body stops burning calories after an hour of your cardio workout

 

What is Weight Lifting?What is weight lifting

Weight lifting is a sport or workout where heavy dumbbells or barbells are lifted to increase muscle size and strength. Recommended workout length is no more than 60 minutes with repetition range from 4 – 15 depending on your goals. Rest between sets can take from 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on the muscle group. The larger muscle group is, the longer rest period between sets should be taken.

 

Weight lifting is the same as HIIT training, it works better for weight loss than a cardio workout, because once you lift heavy weights your muscles need a lot more energy and you burn more calories. After weight training workout muscles still burn calories up to 24 hours when after a cardio workout your body stops burning calories after an hour or two of your workout.

 

Differences between HIIT training and Weight liftingDifferences between HIIT training and Weight lifting

The biggest difference between high-intensity interval training and weight lifting is that HIIT focuses less on bigger muscle growth or strength and more on a large volume of reps which improves your endurance and helps you to lose weight and tone up your muscles without making them bigger.

 

Weight training focuses less on endurance and more on maximum strength and muscle growth. Weight training is great for losing body fat too. To learn more about weight training you can read my article Best Exercises with Weights. Compound and Isolation Exercises Differences.

 

High-Intensity Interval Training Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • HIIT training is great for people who are short on time.
  • High-intensity interval training is great for people who want to lose weight faster and more efficient, rather than doing cardio.
  • It’s not as monotonous as cardio or weight training.
  • High-intensity interval training can boost your endurance.
  • Increases metabolism.
  • Can be done at home.

 

Disadvantages

  • HIIT training is not ideal for beginners
  • It’s not good for people with heart problems
  • Requires longer recovery periods
  • Might be exhausting
  • Might cause injuries

 

Weight Lifting Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Increased strength
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Better conditioning
  • Increased metabolism
  • Stress relief
  • Increased immune system
  • Easier for beginners.
  • Requires less time for recovery, as different body parts can be trained on different days.

 

Disadvantages

  • Usually can’t be done at home
  • Takes more time
  • Risk of injury

 

Which training type is more beneficial?

It’s hard to answer which workout is more beneficial, because both have their advantages and disadvantages. I recommend choosing to train based on your own goals. If your goal is just to lose weight without increasing muscle mass or just to increase your endurance and speed, you should choose high-intensity interval training.

 

If your main goals are to lose weight and increase muscle size and strength weight lifting training would be the best choice without a doubt.

 

High-intensity interval training exercises

HIIT has many exercises such as different variations of push-ups, squats, burpees, lunges with hops, star jumps, high knees, mountain climbers and many more.

 

Key Facts

  • HIIT training is a cardiovascular exercise mixed with body weight exercises and performed in very high intensity to keep your heart rate at around 80 -100% of your maximum heart rate.
  • HIIT workout can take between 20 to 60 minutes and contain 5 to 10 exercises, with short training intervals between 30 – 60 seconds for each exercise.
  • Weight lifting is a sport or workout where heavy dumbbells or barbells are lifted to increase muscle size and strength.
  • Recommended weigh lifting workout length is no more than 60 minutes with repetition range from 4 – 15 depending on your goals.
  • HIIT improves your endurance and helps you to lose weight and tone up your muscles without making them bigger.
  • Weight lifting focuses on maximum strength and muscle growth and weight loss.

 

Conclusion

Both Weight lifting and high-intensity interval training can be very beneficial, you just have to decide what your goals are and choose a workout type which suits you best.

 

Not sure which one to choose? Try both workout types and see which one workout you enjoy doing more, because it is very important to enjoy and love what you are doing. Doing something just because you have to do it can be very challenging and hard stick to it.

 

As always, if you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

 

All the best,

Marius Mickevicius

Founder of ihealthylifestyle

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2 thoughts on “High Intensity Interval Training vs Weight Lifting. Which training type is more beneficial?”

  • Wow, this was so helpful! Turns out I’ve had it all wrong this whole time haha. I have been trying to gain muscle mass while keeping my body toned, I have seen that I have become more toned but have not really seen any growth in muscle mass.

    I’ve strictly been doing HIIT workouts which explains why I am not seeing that muscle mass. Would you recommend a mix of both HIIT and weight training throughout the week if Im wanting to stay toned and build muscle? Or just simply focus on weights to gain the muscle mass I’m wanting?

    • High-intensity interval training is too intense and includes not enough weights to gain muscle. It is best for losing weight, getting toned and to increase endurance. If you want to stay toned and increase muscle mass, I would suggest you work with weights at least three times a week and once per week you can do a HIIT training, just keep that endurance. However, if you will eat right and work just with weights 5-10 minutes cardio at the end of your workout is more than enough to stay lean and toned with adding muscle mass at the same time.

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