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Now, my feeling has always been that cardio and weights are BOTH great in their own way.
Especially when you consider that cardio often involves shifting and lifting your own weight…
And that the vice-versa is also true: lifting weights automatically has some cardio value.
So those crazy purists who say you should ONLY do cardio or only lift weights just don’t know what they’re talking about! You should do both!
But even better than doing both would be doing both at the same time!
Now, I know that sounds pretty intense, and it kind of is, so I would definitely recommend talking to your doctor first if you’ve never done high intensity interval training before.
And if you don’t know exactly what HIIT is: basically it means that instead of just working out at the same speed and intensity the whole time, you do SHORT bursts (usually from 30 seconds to 2 minutes), of crazy intense activity that really takes the wind out of you and gets your heart pumping…
Then you take a short break with something lower intensity! (Or just a break, period.)
This may not be a good idea for people with certain heart conditions, but for everybody else, it’s way more effective than just plain ol’ steady, moderate exercise. It’s quite the life hack!!
If you’re doing HIIT with weights, then…what exactly does that mean?
Well, it could mean that you do jumping jacks for 5 minutes, then rest for a minute, then do dumbbell rows…
(For dumbbell rows, take two 3 – 15 lb dumbbells and bend over, back straight, lower the dumbbells to your knees, then up to your hips.)
And you do those for 5 minutes. Then rest for a minute again…
Basically, what you’re trying to do is alternate cardio exercises with weightlifting, enhancing the effectiveness of both! Once you get the hang of this, as tiring as it is it’s also pretty fun! You really do get an exhilaration and hormone release that you don’t get from regular exercise.
The whole thing is enhanced and boosted to the max!
I know it might sound a little complicated to be doing cardio for 5 minutes, then rest 1 minute, then doing weights for 5 minutes, then rest 1 minute…
So that’s not the ONLY option for doing HIIT with weights…
I’m also going to tell you about my favorite method of doing HIIT with weights, PiYo!
You know how with PiYo, you get the muscle strengthening elements of Pilates (working with your own weight), and then you also get the flexibility and flow of yoga?
Well, PiYo (in addition to being that combination of Pilates + Yoga) is a combination of HIIT and weights! You’re lifting your own body weight and engaging your muscles a lot, and doing it quickly!
That’s basically the same thing as doing HIIT with weights!
Plus, I think PiYo’s way more fun than the routine I described above. That earlier idea of doing a bunch of jumping jacks and then picking up dumbbells immediately after seems more arduous somehow than being in a class with me and the gang, doesn’t it?? Maybe I’m biased! 😉