For HIIT, i.e. high-intensity interval training, a recent study from the Nippon Sport Science University does now claim, though, that my that combining HIIT and weight training may be a very bad idea, ... an idea that may in fact, just as the broscientific nightmare suggests "ruin your gains, bro!" Upon closer scrutiny, however, things appear less unambiguous than the abstract would have it...
The purpose of the study was to examine whether or not lower limb sprint interval training following arm resistance training influences training response of arm muscle strength and hypertrophy. Or in short: Will doing HIIT sprints immediately after an arm workout ruin the strength and strength gains you've primed before?
|Figure 1: According to the study, you better don't do HIIT sprint training after an intense arm workout if you don't want to ruin the strength and size gains you "primed" with curls and co (photo from Kikuchi. 2015)|
- The RT program was designed to induce muscular hypertrophy (3 sets x 10 repetitions (reps) at 80% 1 repetition maximum [1RM] of arm curl exercise), and was performed in an 8-week training schedule carried out 3 times per week on nonconsecutive days.
- Subjects assigned to the CT group performed identical protocols as strength training (ST) and modified sprint interval training (4 sets of 30-s maximal effort, separated in 4m 30-s rest intervals) on the same day.
|Figure 1: Relative changes in VO2max (conditioning), muscle size (CSA) and strength (1-RM) over 6 wks (Kikuchi. 2015).|
No, you are not mistaken. The average muscle size and strength gain in the combined training group was larger. The reason the scientist still claim that their study would show that HIIT impedes strength adaptation is a statistical one. While the changes in the CT group had p-values p > 0.05 and were thus not statistically significant. The (albeit smaller) mean increase in the RT group was significant. Accordingly, the corresponding "effect size" in the RT group is larger than the one in the CT group and thus HIIT training must be bad, right? Well,... I don't think so.
- Kikuchi et al. "The effect of high-intensity interval cycling sprints subsequent to arm-carl exercise on muscle strength and hypertrophy in untrained men: A pilot study." Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Publish (2015): Ahead of Print | DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001315