Doing HIIT weight training to prevent pre-diabetes

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.

The majority of gym-goers go for the  purpose of using the cardio equipment to burn excess calories. Day after day they do this but never seem to lose any weight. The sad thing is that lots of them are there because they are either pre-diabetic or have diabetes and were told by their doctor to start exercising.

To effectively shed any noticeable weight takes focused effort.  In other words you have to work to burn off the extra calories.

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 CrossFit 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. And I believe that to prevent pre-diabetes we should take a page out of their training manual and ramp up our efforts.

Benefits of HIIT weight training

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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 to shed the fat and extra water weight.

One of the biggest risk factor for pre-diabetes is being over-weight. Shed that excess weight by doing hiit training.

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 tire 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.

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 fat.


Although HIIT is great for shedding excess weight – care must be used when doing it. Because it requires a lot of energy to do in a short time you are more susceptible to injuries.

If you are starting a HIIT weight training regimen for the first time you will experience the DOMs effect. DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness) is the pain and soreness you feel in your muscles the day after a HIIT session. When this happen rest those muscles. If you don’t give them the proper rest and recovery period it could lead to unnecessary injuries.

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

Other injuries could be related to the repetitive motion of doing HIIT 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 and technique.

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.

One excellent HIIT floor exercise that can be challenging is the burpee. You get a great cardio workout as well as a resistance exercise in one movement. Start by doing three sets of five and work your way up to 3 x 10.

Doing squats is also another way to perform HIIT. I do four sets of squats and calf raises to really get my legs pumped up.

There are several other types of HIIT exercises that you can do to add variety and muscle confusion which will speed up fat loss and help prevent pre-diabetes.

To start doing HIIT weight training set up a schedule – time to start and end, and 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 how you look.

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3 Responses to Want to look like you just left the gym?

  1. […] cardio I do is HIIT or high intensity interval training. This is a variable form of exercise that can be done at any level – whether walking, jogging […]

  2. […] a personal trainer, I find the best way to reach optimum health in half the time is to incorporate HIIT training. This directly affect the intensity portion of the activity. Doing HIIT means speeding up the […]

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