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Applying High-Intensity Interval Training to Weight Lifting

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a term for workouts that involve short periods of intense exercise alternated with recovery periods. The most significant advantage of HIIT is that you can achieve the results you’re looking for in a short amount of time.

HIIT may seem too good to be true, but those who do high-intensity interval training workouts know that this method is best for improving athletic performance and physical appearance.


Most of these types of workouts focus on cardio exercises, like running or cycling. But, according to a study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), it’s possible to apply the high-intensity interval method to strength training, too.

If you want to get stronger and look better in a short period, high-intensity interval weight training is your best bet!

We will show you why applying HIIT to weight lifting is better and far more efficient than traditional weight training:


The American Council on Exercise (ACE) tested 48 men and women (between the ages of 21 and 59) who were all generally healthy, and assigned these participants, by random, to 3 test groups. One group was assigned a traditional strength-training program, a high-intensity strength-training program for the other group, and the 3rd group did no workout at all; all of the participants had to follow their assigned program for six weeks.

Note that these individuals hadn’t done any particular strength/resistance exercise for the past six months before the start of the study. The researchers first have to figure out the maximum weight they could lift for a number of repetitions of 10 various exercises; this included lat pull-downs, biceps curls, chest presses, shoulder presses, leg presses, and seated rows.

Here is an overview of what the participants of each group did:

Traditional Strength Training Group

First three weeks:
The group worked out two times a week, doing 10 repetitions for 1 set of each exercise. Each member lifted 60% of the maximum weight they could handle for each exercise – as previously determined by the researchers.

Last three weeks:
The group worked out three times a week, doing 2 sets of 12 repetitions at 70% of the aforementioned maximum weight.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Group

First three weeks:
The group worked out two times a week, doing 5 repetitions for 1 set of each exercise. Each member lifted the maximum weight they could handle for each repetition.

Last three weeks:
The group worked out three times a week, doing 5 sets of 5 repetitions with the maximum weight.

All of the HIIT group workouts only took less than half the time of the traditional exercises.


All of the groups, except for the one who wasn’t assigned to any particular exercise, have significantly gotten stronger, all while having a decreased body fat percentage. However, the blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels of the HIIT group we’re much lower than the traditional workout group. The HIIT group also saw more gains in strength and speed; overall, they already showed improvements midway of their training. Participants in the traditional workout group only saw their improvement in strength and speed after the full six weeks.

These results suggest that a high-intensity interval weight training program will help you achieve better and faster results than any other weight training program.


Facts about High-Intensity Interval Weight training

  • The bases of this scientific information on high-intensity interval weight training are exercise physiology. These medical professionals study the body’s responses to physical activity as well as how the body adapts to physical activity over time.
  • Research shows that high-intensity interval lockouts offer ways to improve athletic performance while spending less time working out.
  • Studies show that HIIT is effective for weight lifting our strength training in addition to cardio exercise.
  • Studies have shown more improvement during interval training than people doing traditional strength training programs, despite spending less than half the amount of time working out. So if you want to get stronger and faster, HIIT is the way to go.
  • In general, high-intensity training involves workouts that alternate bursts of activity close to the maximum possible intensity with periods of rest.
  • It can take you more than six weeks to actually see the changes in muscle size. But strength gains happen more quickly at around two weeks. You will begin to see an increase in muscle size after 4 to 6 weeks of training if you’ve challenged your muscles sufficiently.

Dr. Matlock’s 6-week High-Intensity Interval Weight Training Circuit

Dr. David Matlock designed the 6-week High-Intensity Interval Weight Training Circuit program to help you define muscles, increase strength/endurance, and burn fat in just 6 weeks. The program consists of five workout days (Monday through Friday). The workouts can be completed in 27-37 minutes, depending on the exercises for the specific day, but the majority of the workouts can all be done in only 27 minutes.

This personalized workout program, complemented by a diet program also developed by Dr. Matlock, is also perfect for our patients who have undergone LiposculpturingVaser Hi-Def LiposuctionVaser Assisted LiposuctionAdvanced Surgical Bodybuilding®, and Brazilian Butt Lift to assist in maintaining their new physique.


Dr. Matlock strives to expand your abilities to be a healthier/fit person through greater physical challenges and nutritional excellence. If you’re serious about your health and fitness, contact us now!

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