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How to look like you just left the gym

Most of us who do weight training do so with the intention of becoming stronger and leaner. Visit any local gym and you will see every body-shape under the sun working out with weights trying to look like Mr. or Miss Universe. Kudos to them. Those who stick with it will get stronger but getting leaner has always been a big problem for these guys and gals.

For many the number one goal is becoming leaner and more defined- showing more abs and  less ‘jiggle in their wiggle’.  I have seen guys in the who could lift crazy weights but where so out of shape otherwise – it was shameful. I have also seen lots of people doing cardio with the sole purpose of getting leaner but unfortunately not losing much weight.

Enter HIIT or high intensity interval training. HIIT weight training has taken the fitness world by storm over the past few years and it’s obvious why. Doing this type of training is the most efficient way to get leaner and stronger according to American College of Sports Medicine . I have been doing hiit weight training for a few years now and the results are amazing. I have been at the same weight for several years and I attribute it all to doing interval training.

Most people associate HIIT with cardiovascular exercises but it can be done with weights also. Just today for example, I worked on my shoulders and back and I use HIIT weight training methods to do them. It takes a lot of energy to complete this type of training . . . . but the results speak for themselves.

Crossfitters are an example of people who do HIIT weight training. Every so often ESPN will televise the competition. The next time it’s aired – watch it. When you do you will notice that all the competitors are in fantastic shape. This is all due to the HIIT weight training they do.

Benefits of HIIT weight training

The number one benefit you get from of doing HIIT weight training is the quick weight loss results you see in a few short weeks  . . . . and muscle striation. A lot of bodybuilders will bulk up or put on weight in their off season and a couple of months before competition they will do hiit weight training and cardio to shed the fat and extra water weight.

Another major advantage of doing this type of training is that you can cut your cardio time in half. Unless you are training for long distance running steady state cardio is a waste of time and the toll it takes on the body can be counterproductive to health and fitness. This is the number one problem I see with exercisers in the gym. Ditch the steady state and change up your cardio routine for a more dynamic workout.

HIIT weight training will also give you more muscle endurance since you are doing more repetitions in a shorter period of time. You are basically retraining your muscles to do more work – kind of like a carpenter who uses a manual saw every day. In time his muscles become use to doing this kind of work. Somebody who is not used to doing it would find it difficult and they would get tired quickly. In the same way doing HIIT weight training in a short period will give your muscles more power and the ability to work longer. When you go back to your regular workout routine you will definitely notice the difference.

Up to 24 hours after you complete a HIIT workout your body is still burning calories. Does it get any better than this? It’s called the ‘after burn’ . . . . Your metabolism is so revved up that even at rest you are still torching calories.

Disadvantages of doing HIIT weight training

There are some downsides to doing this type of training. Because it requires a lot of energy to do in a short time you are more susceptible to injuries. Naturally if you are starting a HIIT weight training regimen for the first time you will experience the DOMs effect.

DOMs (or delayed onset muscle soreness) is the pain and soreness you feel in your muscles for hours or even days after doing strenuous work. When this happen you must rest those muscles. If you don’t give them the proper rest this will lead to major injuries of all types.

It’s ok to do exercises not involving the sore muscles. eg. if you exercised legs today give it at least three days of rest. During that time you can work your chest.

Other injuries could be related to the repetitive motion of the exercises. Using proper form and technique with adequate rest in between is the best way to prevent these types injuries.

HIIT weight training should only be done for a set period of time – such as six or eight weeks. Doing this for extended times will put a lot of stress on your body. You need to give it a rest and recovery period.

Don’t start HIIT weight training without going through an intro period where you’ll learn to use proper form to safely complete the exercises.

Some examples of HIIT weight training

Clean and jerk is an example of an exercise that can be done with HIIT. Check out this training video below by Jim Schmitz -three-time coach of the U.S. Olympic Weightlifting team – to get the basic movements. Remember to use weights light enough to complete the lift for 10 repetitions eight times using proper form and technique.

For the exercise to be considered HIIT weight training it should be done with little rest between sets.

So to burn fat and become leaner and stronger start doing HIIT weight training. Set up a schedule – time to start and end, types of exercises to do during that time. Adjust your diet to include good protein sources and carbs for quick energy. Keep track of your progress with pictures and a journal.

In a short time you will be amazed at way you look.