Motivation for High Intensity Training and Progressive Weights Sessions

In any form of exercise regime, you will aim at increasing your strength and your aerobic capacity. Two heavily researched methods to achieve your exercise goals with lots of current evidence are high intensity interval training (HIIT) and progressive resistance training (PRT).

HIIT involves small bouts of high intensity exercise interspersed with short rest breaks at a lower intensity e.g. 20 seconds at maximal effort followed by a light 10 second effort. The craze for HIIT training is in its ability to greatly increase your VO2max (maximal oxygen uptake and utilisation) and its ability to cause fat loss. I am sure you guys are more interested in the latter so I will go more in depth into that. Due to the high intensity nature of HIIT and its ability to greatly increase our heart rate as well as the use of large muscle groups leads to a large production of catecholamines in our body. Catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine etc) have the ability to increase fat oxidation. This process continues well after the completion of your HITT session and occurs to a much greater effect then steady state exercise.

PRT involves performing resistance exercise with continually increased loads over a prolonged period of time e.g lifting 20kgs in week 1, 25kgs week 4 etc. This is important as the muscles adapt to a specific load and you need to continually stress the muscles to get stronger. When we lift a weight, we cause microtears to our muscle. This is why it is important to rest between sessions to ensure myogenesis (formation of muscular tissue) to adequately occur before retraining that same muscle group and re-tearing it. This process occurs over and over again as we do PRT. It is important to note that the more muscle we have the higher the metabolic rate you will have and thus the more calories you will burn in your daily living. So, this links in above as any well-rounded program for weight loss will use both these modalities of exercise.

It’s all good and well knowing the benefits of PRT and HIIT but finding the motivation to undertake one of these programs is the hardest part. Here are a few strategies to help overcome any motivational issues you may have:


Rewards can be a valuable motivational tool to get anyone to do anything. We all remembered as a kid if we did our chores we could get $5. We can use this same strategy with exercise but maybe not with money. Tell yourself if I complete this session then I can watch my favourite TV show when I get home. And stick to this and make sure you do not watch the show if you did not complete your session.


Now I don’t mean signing a gym contract, I mean create your own contract with your loved one or a friend to make sure you are held accountable for not exercising. Your contract could be that for every session you miss you must give your partner $20 or if you skip your session your husband can grow that ugly moustache you hate. Just make it personalised and sign it as a contract with both parties.


This is probably the most important tip when it comes to motivation and is probably one of the hardest to achieve. Find out what barrier is holding you back from exercise and create a personalised goal around this barrier. Sit down with a piece of paper and pen and write it all down. Write down your barrier and multiple strategies to overcome it. This ensures the strategy is personalised and will boost your intrinsic motivation to want to complete it. If you are having a hard time determining what your barriers are and a way to overcome them, then speak to a friend or one of our staff members here at 6X who can help map out all your barriers with you.

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