And I am the perfect example since hiit and metcons are the main foundation for my own training and for FWW Live .
But for HIIT to work in building strength, you do have to do a few things differently:
Progressive overload. Most circuit style workouts fail to encourage progressive overload. It's holding you back and keeping a workout cardio focused vs. strength focused.
Rest. Because HIIT is INTENSE on the system, it's more important to listen to your body for recovery. Do you need to take a rest day? Maybe do a purely weight lifting session from time to time. Make sure to eat for recovery. All these things allow the body to rebuild and increase strength.
Workouts should incrementally get harder either with the weight used, the number of reps you perform, the number of total sets, or time under tension. This is the fundamental rule for building strength.
2. If short on time, is it better to cut reps or sets?
There will be plenty of instances where time tries to rob you of a workout.
We always tell our ladies that a little something is better than nothing...
But to keep it simple and 100% focused on this question...
If it's a rare issue, don't worry about cutting either. Instead, maybe do a circuit, metcon, or interval workout that fits the time you have.
If it's happening consistently, to allow your body to progress while still keeping sessions short, I'd recommend cutting sets but increasing reps. Read the example below.
Cutting Sets & Increasing Reps:
If you're used to doing 3 sets of 10 reps of, let's say, bench press. That's 30 total reps. And there is probably at least 3 minutes of rest.
On days when you need to be in and out, consider 2 sets of 15 reps.
That's still 30 reps but you'll only have 1-2 minutes of rest total. That done with every exercise on the training plan will cut your workout in half.
You might have to decrease your weight but with the decrease in rest, the intensity will be close to the same.
3. Most Underrated Training/Fitness Tips?
When you're going into a workout, it's hard to break free of the competitive mindset. Fast reps, fast turnovers, short rests...
But slowing down can lead to huge improvements.
Not only in form, but helping to learn body awareness, focusing on the muscles you're supposed to be engaging and in the end...
Better gains in strength and hypertrophy.
Don't always compete with yourself or your workout partner. Sometimes take you your time, go lighter, and feel how a move is supposed to feel without rushing.