HIIT 101: Adding Resistance & Equipment

The next installment of HIIT 1o1 is all about how you can change up your HIIT routines by adding resistance to your moves.

To be clear, when I am talking about resistance here I’m essentially talking about using weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, even a barbell, soup cans, ANYTHING) to make your movements more challenging and allow you to develop more strength and power. When I talk about “equipment”, I will refer mainly to a BOSU ball, Medicine Ball, Exercise Ball, Bands, and/or TRX.

Note: These days there are a million and one tools you can use in a gym during a workout. I firmly believe that, for the most part, you can get an equally effective workout using only your bodyweight (not talking about body building, olympic weight lifting, etc.). Therefore, I am only going to focus on the tools that I have and use frequently, and that I know most gyms and people are familiar with.

There are a few different approaches you can take to adding resistance to your HIIT.

  1. You can modify moves you are already doing so that you will perform them using some type of equipment or external resistance
  2. You can develop a workout based upon movements that must be done using equipment. In this case, we will pick simple yet compound movements. This way you can complete a large number of reps in quick succession, as HIIT requires, and hit more than just one major muscle group through a single exercise.

One important consideration here, adding resistance and equipment to a HIIT workout doesn’t mean using a barbell loaded with tons of weight or dumbbells so heavy that you can only do 5-6 reps without stopping. The point is to move with speed and precision at 100% intensity for the prescribed work period, just as you would with any bodyweight movement.

Below are some of my favorite ways to add resistance to HIIT. A mini workout too!


HIIT 101 Resistance

Keep in mind that these are just a snapshot of the variations. Most variations listed above can also be performed on a BOSU to include weight resistance AND a balance challenge.

With the exception of the “Shoulder & Arms” and “Push-Ups” variations, you can add weight to the move with dumbbells, kettlebells or a medicine ball.

Here are two mini workouts for you!

HIIT 101 Mini Workouts


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