I’ve had many posts about strength training and how important it is for us women. Also, if you want changes in your body you NEED to incorporate strength training. However, many of you are still hesitant when it comes to strength training or resistance training. You may be thinking that working with weights will make you muscular and bulky.
Read about my strength training journey here.
Well, cast all your fears aside because they are unfounded. The truth of the matter is that weight training will actually accentuate your curves, tone your legs and butt and leave you looking gorgeous.
It is extremely difficult for most women to develop the physique of a man because they just do not have enough testosterone in their bodies. Over and above that, it’s a difficult task to pack on muscle. Even men struggle with it because their diet, nutrition, reps and training must really be on point to develop muscles that are large and noticeable.
Most of the female bodybuilders that you see with overly developed muscles and a very masculine physique are often on steroids or other performance enhancing drugs. The average woman who works out at the gym will never end up looking like them.
HIIT Strength Training
Now that we’ve established this fact, let’s see how we can use strength training in your HIIT workouts. Combining the two will help to not only tone your muscles but also shed the excess pounds. It’s a two-pronged approach to getting fit and fabulous fast!
Here’s what you need to know:
- Your HIIT workouts need to be full-body workouts
- The focus is on compound movements
- You’ll be working several muscle groups in one total body circuit
- Your reps can be anywhere from 10 to 20 per exercise
- You can do 3 to 5 sets per session depending on your level of fitness
- Rest intervals can be anywhere from 0 to 90 seconds
Now you have all the basics. To get a proper full-body workout, you’ll need to target several of the major muscle groups. While it’s not necessary to target all groups in one session, aiming for 3 to 5 groups is a good idea. These are the different muscle groups:
- Adductor and abductors
Some exercises like pull-ups will target several different muscle groups. For example, if you did deadlifts, you’d be targeting your glutes, quads, back, hamstrings (legs), abdominals and several other muscle groups. Deadlifts is one of my fave compound movements and I’ve talked about it in so many of my posts (check them out here).
HIIT Strength Training Exercises
You don’t need to find specific exercises just for a particular muscle group. Just use the exercises from the list below and you’ll be good to go.
- Front/ Bent over/ Lateral shoulder raises
- Squats/ Jumping squats
- Hanging leg raises
- Bulgarian split squats
- Chest press
- Mountain climbers
- Jump rope
- Lateral lunges
- Plank walks
- Side leg lifts
- Kettlebell swings
- Dumbbell rows
These are just a few of many.
HIIT Strength Training Workout Plan
You can decide how you wish to spread out your workouts throughout the week. You could have two HIIT cardio sessions and two strength training ones. Or you could have 4 HIIT strength training sessions a week and so on.
Since HIIT workouts are also cardio in nature, you might just wish to focus on strength training movements. Take note of the exercises you do for each workout. If one workout focuses more on legs on one day, the next workout should work the arms and chest more.
It’s all about balance. Make sure you warm up and cool down after each session. Also note that, you should spend some time working on your flexibility too. You may wish to attend a yoga class or Pilates session or just spend 20 minutes every alternate day stretching your muscles.
Your body will be more supple and balanced. Imbalanced muscles will cause the body to compensate where it needs to and this can lead to chronic pain and injury. So, I recommend spending some time stretching.
Now that you know what muscles to train and how to split your workouts, apply the information in this post and create your own HIIT workouts and enjoy the benefits of this highly effective training protocol. You’ll have your dream body in a matter of time and it will look feminine and beautiful.