T Nation

Conditioning for Strength - HIIT Redundant?


Hi friends. I’ve always focused my training on strength, power, and size but now want to add in some cardio for health benefits. My initial thought was HIIT style workouts on a spinner or airdyne. I’m beginning to feel like those workouts are kind of redundant to my current strength training as I am still working in an alactic state. Is HIIT really offering cardiovascular benefits that differ so much from strength training? Especially in high volume phases?

My question is, for someone mainly interested in strength but wants to feel a little healthier, is it better to reduce strength training and implement some HIIT w/o’s -or- LISS/LIIT style work on off days for the aerobic benefits?



If it’s just for health, basic boring walking is totally fine. It’s not necessarily that HIIT would be redundant, it’s that it would need to be more specifically programmed to avoid impairing recovery from the strength workouts. Definitely doable, just takes more planning than “do what I’m doing, plus walk a half-hour a day”.


When I want a cv work out that doesn’t effect my lifting I have a simple protacal.
Pick a pace you can run, row, cycle for 60 seconds. Do this for 30 seconds.
Give it 90 seconds rest.
I find shorter harder bouts of exercise along with lifting are too much.
For example if you can run 400m in 60 seconds, run 200m at this pace, take 90 seconds off and repeat.


Thank you for sharing that protocol. This week I started experimenting with a similarish protocolby focusing on doing interval work but keeping my heartrate in an aerobic state. Basically stopping when it goes above 75%ish and start up again once it lowers to 60-65ish.


I don;t measure heat rate. But its a good idea.

All I know is I found 4-6 intervals of 20 seconds at 100% harder than 10 intervals of 30 second at 85-90%. Maybe not on the day. But recovery wise.
I use Tabata (as in 20 seconds at 170% VO2 or there about with 10 seconds rest).
This along with weights (531) was too much. I was constantly tired. And sore.
I found the long intervals - at slightly less intensity worked really well. And I had good CV result. I use this 60 second pace for 30 seconds as my early preseason