HIIT vs. Strength Training


By Laura Des Cognets, CPT

If you've been anywhere around the fitness industry in the past few years, it's likely you've heard the acronym HIIT. What does it stand for you ask? We'll tell ya! It's High Intensity Interval Training. Strength Training on the other hand doesn't really need an acronym. It's been around for a long time and is pretty self explanatory.

Now that you know the basics, let's get in to how these two training methods differ.


Exercises used in HIIT generally contain a combination of muscles groups working together in various ranges of motion with the goal being the more of your muscular system that you challenge in one movement or during a series of movements to complete a single repetitive cycle, the more challenged your body is as a whole. Think jump lunges, mountain climbers, kettlebell swings or battle ropes. These exercises are designed to challenge different muscle groups--killing multiple birds with one stone. You will often work your lower body, core and shoulders in one exercise, all while getting your heart rate up. They are usually powerful, quick motions requiring a certain amount of strength, balance and endurance.

The HIIT programs come in various forms. Tabata (20 second work/10 seconds rest x 8 rounds) AMRAP (as many rounds as possible), or really any timed interval where you work for a certain period and rest for a shorter period either completing a longer one circuit of exercises or going back and forth between 2 exercises before switching to another set of two exercises.

What do people say about HIIT? Participants will say they love the high energy, that it makes them sweat, and that they see gains in strength and loss in fat. It is great for endurance and less of a grind than spending an hour on the treadmill, plus, unlike the traditional cardio, you'll be engaging more muscles and burning more fat for the long term.

Strength Training:

Having been around for centuries, the traditional practice of lifting heavy loads through a single movement helps to pack on muscle, burn fat and is great for boosting the metabolism. In different gyms, you might hear strength training called weight training, resistance training, or even bodybuilding.

Programs can vary a lot. The biggest misconception being that strength training means lifting HUGE loads with the goal of HUGE muscles. We cannot list the amount of times we have heard from clients that they don't want their muscles to be too big and are even afraid of doing any strength training. Honestly, that is another blog post in itself. Lighter weight loads are still strength training. You will also use your own bodyweight in strength training (i.e. Push-ups). Resistance bands can pack a punch in strength training as well. Functional strength training means that you will use several muscle groups in one exercise, often engaging your core. There is a place for traditional lifting as in barbell squats and chest presses, but it's certainly not what you're limited to.

What makes it different from HIIT? The movements and exercises will vary, as well as the load and the volume of work. It's not uncommon to do as little as 5 reps of a strength exercise if you're really pushing the load. The pace in strength training should be slower than HIIT. You might shoot for a slower tempo, sometimes pause in the middle of a move, or maybe a slow motion move combined with an explosive one. In between reps or rounds, your trainer will probably as you to rest a bit, which can prove to be difficult for someone used to the HIIT method. Something we hear a lot from clients is that they are more sore from strength training than HIIT. They also say that they FEEL stronger, that they can hit a golf ball further and more easily pick up heavy loads at home.

More positives? So many! We'll keep it simple. For men: Strength training boosts your testosterone levels, and for women: it regulates hormone and thyroid levels plus it has some great benefits for bone density and lowering blood pressure.

So, what should YOU do?

At LiveWELL, we offer both more traditional strength training and the HIIT method. We combine the two in our personal training sessions and classes. In personal training, you will do more strength training, however, we definitely implement high intensity work in those sessions! Monday you might do 5 sets of 5 and Wednesday knock out 300 reps. We offer a faster paced Afterburn class AND an Industrial Strength class where will ask you to lift heavier and slower. In short, you'll get it all here at LiveWELL!




Weekend Warrior Workout--Ladders!


Are you ready for the “All You Need Is A Little Space” Workout? Grab a couple dumbbells and a kettlebell and get ready to work your tail off!  


Complete the four exercises in a circuit starting at 10 reps of each exercise (each side if required) and work down by one each round until you reach 1 (10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)

Single-Arm Kettlebell Clean (can sub a dumbbell here)
Speed Squat (quick and explosive!)
Renegade Row (grab those dumbbells)
Dumbbell Floor Press (go lighter for those higher reps, heavier towards the end)


Have a great weekend, Warriors!

Meal Preppin' Made Easy


By Laura des Cognets, CPT

Meal Prepping may not be the easiest thing to add to your routine. It takes some time, some planning, some supplies and some dedication. It's not for everyone and it's not for every week, BUT if you can meal prep, you are more likely to see results on your fat loss journey. I am not a dietician, but I do know something about making meals for a busy family trying to eat well.

The concept is simple really: if you prep REAL food ahead of time, you are more likely to stick to the plan and eat what you've prepared when you're right in the middle of your hectic schedule. If you don't have that plan in place, hello take-out, fast food, gas station garbage (EEK!)

The fact is that eating whole foods is your best bet for fat loss no matter what sort of diet plan you're on (whole 30, keto, paleo, low carb, you name it)

Without doing some sort of meal prep, fining whole food options can be tricky. Plus, even if you are lucky enough to live in a city where there are great, healthy options for take-out or restaurant food, that can get expensive!

Start small but just doing meal prep for maybe 2 or 3 days per week. We think you'll realize that the effort is worth it! Here are a few of our tips. You can find many more out there on the world wide web, too!

1. MAKE A PLAN: What days do you need to prep for? Will you need breakfast, lunch and dinner? Do you have lunch or dinner plans for any days during the week? Figure out what you need and when you'll likely eat it.

2. MAKE SOME TIME: Just like you make time for the gym, make time to meal prep. Sundays are great for obvious reasons. But if Monday afternoon is good, go for that! Whatever works best for you.

3. GO SHOPPING: The grocery store on Sundays can be maddening. Is there a better day for this? Fridays maybe? Saturday morning after your workout? Do you use a meal delivery service or curbside pickup option? Buying bulk can be a huge money saver when you meal prep. If you get into it for long enough, you'll realize that there are some things you use every single week. Cashews, salsa, chicken, spices, eggs, spinach or kale, protein powders, etc. are some of our bulk buys.

4. MAKE THE MOST OF WHAT YOU'VE GOT: Try to plan it so that you don/t waist what you buy. I was opened our fridge and we had enough spinach for a soccer team. I just started searching online for recipes using spinach and went with it! Trying some ground turkey in a soup? Have it for lunch with veggies and rice, or make a little egg scramble for dinner.

5. MAKE DOUBLE AND FREEZE IT: This is just a no brainer. If you're buying the ingredients and spending the time making it, you might as well double the recipe. If you or your family won't be finishing it, freeze it for another time.

6. GET SOME STORAGE: Buy some containers that will work for you. If you are going to start taking your lunch to work, putting plastic wrap over your ceramic dinner plate from last night won't work.

7. THE ACTUAL PREP: When you get into the kitchen to start this prep madness, get the most out of your time. Chop up lots of veggies--for your soup, your stir fry, your roasted veggies, your crunchy snack--just do it all at once and pull them out as you need them. Same with your meats. Marinating on Sunday not only makes those proteins tastier, it makes for way less time spent when you go to cook.

8. USE YOUR KITCHEN TOOLS: Heard of an instant pot? No. Look it up. Now go buy one. Enough said.

9. ONE PAN MEALS: Also something you should just go and google. Prep the ingredients, throw on a sheet pan covered in foil and you've got a meal and barely any clean up!

10. DON'T OVERTHINK IT: It may seem overwhelming, but if you just start small, you'll have it nailed down soon! Don't worry TOO much about exactly what you're making. Just remember that pretty much anything you make at home is probably healthier than eating out. Also, do NOT think that you have to eat expensive, hard-to-find items. Like we said, try to do a few of your go-to meals that have been prepped ahead of time and you'll want to do it for every meal after that!

Good luck!


Weekend Warrior Workout--High Intensity Intervals


Hey Warriors! This is another great at-home workout for you! It's a high intensity interval style program and guaranteed to get your heart pumping!


Set a timer (you can download one on your phone!) for 45 seconds on and 20 second rest.

Do 2 rounds of each circuit. Rest as needed in between rounds.


CIRCUIT 1: (x2)

Mt. Climbers

Push-up POS Shoulder Taps

Jump Lunges

Marching Push-ups


CIRCUIT 2: (x2)

Jump Squats

Russian Twists

Log Jumps

Tricep Push-ups


CIRCUIT 3: (x2)

Burpee w/ a Pushup

Marching Plank

Fwd. Box Run

Broad Jumps


CIRCUIT 4: (x2)


Bear Crawl

Jump Jack Squats

Spiderman Push-ups


Have an awesome weekend, Warriors!





Weekend Warrior Workout--No gym? No Problem!

Hey Warriors!

Don’t have time to make it to the gym? Try this 15-minute, total body, no equipment necessary, at-home workout (that’s a mouthful!). If you have a little more time, do it twice!


Here’s what you need: a timer

This is a “Top of the Minute” workout: you have 1 minute to complete the stated number of reps of each exercise. If you finish in less than a minute, you can rest until the top of the minute.

Perform each exercise in order for 3 rounds (5 exercises = each round is 5 minutes). Be sure to set your workout timer to 1-minute intervals.

Remember: the quicker you finish an exercise, the longer you have to rest. Have fun and let us know how it goes!


15-Minute Workout:

Pushup x20
Jump Lunges x20 (total or each)
Bird Dog Plank x 20 (total or each)
Touch Down Squats
Run 50 yards (25 out, 25 back)


Feeling awesome? Do it again!


Happy Weekend, Warriors!





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