HIIT Workout Plus Strength Training and Running

HIIT Workout Plus Strength Training and Running

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is hugely popular and undoubtedly effective. But what if there was an even better way to work out? Read how HIIT, strength training, and running combine for the ultimate workout plan.

What is a HIIT workout?

As the name suggests, HIIT workouts involve short (typically no more than 1 minute) but high-intensity (>80% max. heart rate) bouts of exercise, followed by active recovery (∼60% max. heart rate). The interval-recovery cycle is repeated several times for a total workout of approximately 20 minutes. The typical interval to recovery ratio is 1:1 or 1:2, meaning that for every 30-second interval, active recovery is between 30 and 60 seconds long, but of course, there are exceptions.

HIIT has become a global phenomenon. It was listed as the number one fitness trend between 2014 and 2018 and remains in the top 10 in 2022 [1]. But its increased popularity, especially extreme variations of HIIT, has led to concern over increased injury rates[2]

Although HIIT workouts are a time-efficient way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, if you want to focus on improving bone density and flexibility, other kinds of workouts would be more effective than HIIT.  

Lifelong health and fitness are built on more than high-intensity intervals. In this article, we explain the benefits of HIIT, strength training, and running and how to combine them for maximum effect.  

What are the benefits of HIIT?

  1. Heart and lung health – HIIT is a proven and effective way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness.[3] [4]
  2. Body composition – The excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) that follows a HIIT workout results in more calories burned – the so-called afterburn effect. HIIT also improves insulin sensitivity and body composition, maintaining muscle while reducing fat.[5] [6]
  3. Performance – HIIT increases maximal aerobic capacity (V̇O₂ max) and lactate threshold (the point at which lactic acid production exceeds removal).[7] [8] Both V̇O₂ max and lactate threshold are key determinants of athletic performance.
  4. Time – HIIT improves fitness in less time than conventional steady-state workouts.[9] A single 4-minute interval completed three times a week for ten weeks was shown to boost V̇O₂ max by 10%.[10] Even 1-minute workouts can be as effective as 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.[11]

HIIT for beginners?

Balancing interval and recovery duration is essential. Extended intervals with insufficient recovery lead to fatigue and demotivation and increase the risk of illness and injury, which is why it’s important to start with the basics to build a strong foundation as your body adjusts. 

Recovery is always a vital part of working out. Listen to your body; if you need to stop during a workout to catch your breath, do it. As you progress, you will build endurance and be able to push through the discomfort.  

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Training with Heart Rate

Heart rate monitors are increasingly accessible – in your gym equipment, as a chest strap, or built into your watch. Heart rate is an accurate and easy way to monitor the intensity of your workout. Keep HIIT intervals within 80 to 90% of your maximum heart rate (HRmax), and active recovery within 60 to 70% HRmax. Not sure how that feels? The Talk Test is an easy way to measure your exertion. Find out how it works by watching the Talk Test video in our HIIT Journey in the adidas Training app. 

Strength Training

Strength training uses resistance in the form of free weights, bodyweight, resistance bands, or machines to strengthen muscle, joints, and connective tissue.

Inactive adults lose around 5% muscle mass every decade. This is usually matched by an increase in body fat, bone loss, and a lower metabolic rate.  A well-balanced workout plan should include strength training to build muscle and increase bone density.

What are the benefits of strength training?

  1. Metabolism – Strength training increases metabolic rate due to the energy demands of building, repairing, and maintaining muscle. This elevation in resting metabolic rate keeps the body burning calories even after you’ve finished your workout.[12]
  2. Bone Density – Strength training increases bone mineralization and reduces the risk of osteoporosis, which affects 4% of men and 20% of women over 50.[13] [14]
  3. Range of motion – Strength training increases range of motion and flexibility as much as conventional stretching techniques.[15] [16]
  4. Injury prevention – Strength training reduces injury through fat loss and by strengthening joints and connective tissue.[17] 


Running adds versatility and variety to your training. In contrast to HIIT workouts, running doesn’t have to feel intense and sweaty. Here are four reasons to include running in your workout plan.

What are the benefits of running?

  1. Heart health – running increases life expectancy and improves cardiovascular health.[18]
  2. Versatility – running can build cardiorespiratory fitness, anaerobic power, and muscular endurance.
  3. Simplicity – running allows you to work out anywhere, anytime with no equipment – even barefoot!
  4. Feel good factor – The “runner’s high” is a real phenomenon thought to be caused by the release of endocannabinoids.[19]  Running outside can also improve mood through natural sunlight and vitamin D.[20]

A balanced workout plan goes beyond simple gains. Combining high intensity interval training with strength training and running targets all five fitness components using all three energy systems. Looking for a place to start? Try the workout plan below.

7-Day Workout Plan

This weekly plan includes three simple workouts with plenty of rest and recovery. Remember to start each workout with a warm-up and end with a cool down.

Day 1: HIIT workout

Day 2: Rest

Day 3: Strength Training

Day 4: Rest:

Day 5: Running

Day 6 and 7: Rest

Day 1: 12-minute HIIT Workout

Complete each of the four exercises below for 30 seconds at 80-90%HRmax. Follow each one with 60 seconds of active recovery at 60-70%HRmax. For active recovery, use Walking High Knees or Jog in Place. Repeat the round of four exercises. Total: 8 intervals in 12 minutes 

1. Plié Jump Squats

The plié jump squat variation is excellent for elevating the heart rate. 

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2. Mountain Climbers

This all-body exercise stimulates most major muscle groups.

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3. Lateral Jump Touchdown

Lateral jumps add plyometric power to your glutes, calf, quads, and hamstrings.

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4. Knee Tuck Crunches

Also known as seated knee tucks, these crunches engage your triceps, shoulders, and abdominals.

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For other great HIIT workouts, explore the HIIT Journey in the adidas Training app. 

Day 3: Strength Training Workout

For an effective strength workout, follow these guidelines:

  1. Perform 8 to 10 exercises that stress the major muscle groups of the arms, chest, back, abdominals, and legs. 
  2. Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise.
  3. Lift and lower in a controlled manner – 2 seconds up, 2 seconds down.
  4. Each exercise has one direction that is harder and one that is easier. When you do a push-up, it’s harder to push up than to lower yourself back down to the ground. Time your breathing to exhale when you’re working harder and inhale during the “easier” part.
  5. Adjust the weight for each exercise so that the last repetition is hard to complete.

Day 5: Fartlek Running workout

Enjoy the freedom and creativity of fartlek running. Fartlek, meaning “speed play,” involves a low-moderate intensity distance run interspersed with periods of fast-paced running. 

Traditional Fartlek running is continuous and unstructured. Run fast or slow according to your mood and surroundings. Use hills and landmarks as inspiration—for example, sprint for five lampposts.

Playing with speed is a fun way to develop both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. Try the workout below to get started:

  1. Raise heart rate and body temperature with a 5-minute warm-up at low intensity
  2. Run continuously for at least 10 minutes at low-moderate intensity
  3. Allow your mood and the landscape to inspire your pace
  4. Include at least 30 seconds at a fast pace three times
  5. Follow each speed interval with 30 minutes at low intensity – jog or walk if necessary
  6. Cool down with a 5-minute walk at low intensity


Different types of workouts have different benefits for your health. HIIT workouts boost your metabolism and improve cardiovascular health. Strength training supports your joints and bone density while preventing injuries. Running is excellent for your heart and simple cardio you can do almost anywhere. Combine all three of these for maximum health benefits. Remember to listen to your body and adjust the intensity to your level and goals. Make sure to start our HIIT Journey in adidas Training for a complete introduction to high intensity interval training and how it can get you on track to holistic health.

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HIIT Training: Nutrition for More Power

HIIT Training: Nutrition for More Power

High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is what many athletes consider the best way to get in shape and lose weight. The high intensity intervals boost metabolism and stimulate fat burning. A balanced, healthy diet is key for optimal results. We’ll tell you what to eat before a HIIT workout and after.

What is HIIT training?

The name says it all: High-intensity interval training alternates phases of intense exercise with short recovery periods. This makes you sweat a lot. Many athletes consider this anaerobic training the most effective way to improve endurance.

Benefits of HIIT

HIIT workouts offer a multitude of benefits. They are great for cardiovascular health, excellent calorie burners, and improve your performance in other sports. Find out more in our blog post Top 6 HIIT Benefits.

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What to Eat Before HIIT and Afterward

What to eat before a HIIT workout 

Do you like to exercise on an empty stomach in the morning? HIIT is one of the best ways to burn calories and reduce body fat.(1) If you feel strong, there’s no reason why you can’t work out before breakfast. However, remember that you need carbs to keep going during your workout. They give you the energy you need to push yourself. If you don’t eat before working out, your performance and stamina will likely suffer.(2

Have a high-carb snack a few hours before your HIIT workout: 

  • banana and a handful of nuts 
  • oatmeal with almond milk, berries, and nuts
  • granola bar
  • toast with pure nut butter or avocado
  • smoothie

Remember to hydrate!

Always keep a bottle of water within reach during your workouts. HIIT makes you thirsty. You don’t need sports drinks to hydrate effectively.

Did you know? Coffee before a workout can boost your performance.(3) An espresso (without milk or sugar) gives you a natural boost. 

What to eat after a HIIT workout 

Focus on recovery after your HIIT training. Have something to eat within an hour after your workout to repair the damaged muscle tissue and refill your glycogen stores.(4) Your focus after HIIT should be on protein, but make sure to combine it with carbohydrates:

  • veggie omelet with a slice of whole-grain bread 
  • protein smoothie
  • Greek yogurt with berries 
  • sautéed chicken or tofu with oven-roasted sweet potatoes 


There are many benefits of HIIT workouts. You’ll get the most out of your training if you give your body the energy it needs to really explore your limits. The right nutrition helps you perform your best during HIIT training and supports your muscles during recovery. Give yourself the right fuel to work hard and feel great!


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Relieve Sore Muscles: 7 Foods that Help

Relieve Sore Muscles: 7 Foods that Help

It’s important to stretch, warm up, and cool down if you want to avoid or relieve sore muscles the day after your workout. But don’t forget that proper nutrition also plays a major role. Which foods and drinks relieve sore muscles?

7 Foods and Drinks for Sore Muscles

1. Beetroot

Drinking 250 ml of beet juice right after an intense workout can reduce muscle soreness.(1) Beets are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. How about a red beet smoothie after your workout? It promotes muscle regeneration.

Red beet juice

Ingredients for one serving:

  • 75 g red beets (pre-cooked)
  • 1 apple
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 150 ml carrot juice


  1. Chop the beet and apple into chunks.
  2. Peel the ginger.
  3. Add all ingredients to a blender and purée until smooth. 

2. Caffeine

An espresso before your workout can improve performance. But is caffeine good for sore muscles, too? Studies show that athletes are less prone to suffer from muscle soreness and aches post-workout when drinking caffeine before their training.(2)

Cup of coffee

3. Sour cherries

Relieve sore muscles by drinking 1.5 oz of cherry juice both before and after your workout. Thanks to the juice’s anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidants, your muscles will recover more quickly.(3)

4. Ginger

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. The effects of gingerol, the active component responsible for the sting, are similar to those of the active agent contained in aspirin. If you eat ginger regularly, especially on days you work out, you can reduce muscle soreness.(4)


5. Tomato juice

The carotenoids in tomato juice can prevent muscle soreness.(5) Drink this before your workout. 

Tomato juice

6. Fish

The omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish promote muscle recovery and healing.(6)

Fish plate

Good to know:

Do you follow a vegan diet? order to prevent a deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids, you should add supplements to your diet. These days you can find plant-based dietary supplements derived from algae. Check with your doctor or nutritionist.

7. green tea

The phytochemicals in green tea (polyphenols) stimulate blood circulation, which has a positive influence on muscle regeneration. This is a great drink for sore muscles(7)

In Summary

After a tough HIIT workout or a long run, it’s not unusual to experience muscle aches. Include these foods and drinks in your meals and snacks to relieve sore muscles. Don’t forget to take a day off if you’re in a lot of pain. Or, focus on a different muscle group. Your muscles need time to recover.

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