What is High Intensity Resistance Training?

With a new year comes a new fitness craze, and this is one we can definitely get around! 

High intensity resistance training (or HIRT) is the latest fast-paced workout which involves short bursts of intense strength training. 

Not to be confused with its cardio-twin HIIT, high intensity resistance training focuses on using weights and resistance equipment to build strength, lean muscle mass and power. 

man doing weight plate goblet squat

WHAT IS HIGH INTENSITY RESISTANCE TRAINING?

High intensity resistance training involves short, sharp and intense bursts of resistance training followed but brief periods of rest. The purpose is to put in maximum effort during each period of work, and to take minimal rest to ensure your heart rate stays elevated.

A regular HIRT session will be structured around several strength exercises, normally completed as a circuit. The rest periods aren't taken after each exercise, but at the end of each circuit. 

During the work periods the focus should be to execute as many reps as possible with the proper technique. Like with methods of training, maintaining the correct technique is important to minimise the risk of injury and ensure you're getting the most out of the exercise.

Because high intensity resistance training requires maximal energy and strength each session will go for a duration of 15 - 45 minutes.

THE BENEFITS OF HIGH INTENSITY RESISTANCE TRAINING

High intensity resistance training is a powerful and effective workout with a ton of benefits. Below we've listed just a few.

TICKING OFF STRENGTH AND CARDIO TOGETHER

If you struggle to fit both cardio and strength training into your workout schedule, then high intensity resistance training is a great way to combat this. Combining strength and cardio training into a single workout not only saves time, but it also promotes fat loss, improves muscle efficiency, enhances sleep and reduces your risk of injury.

TRAIN ANYTIME, ANYWHERE

Because high intensity resistance training doesn't require a lot of equipment it can be done at home, in the gym or in an outdoor setting. A typical HIRT session normally involves equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, pull up bars, aerobic steps, barbells and weight plates.

BUILD STRENGTH AND ENHANCE YOUR ENDURANCE

Exercising the body against a resistance is the best way to build strength, and exercising with an accelerated heart rate is the best way to improve your cardiovascular endurance. High intensity resistance training enables you to do both.

FULL BODY TRAINING

HIRT is extremely versatile. You can easily work the upper or lower body, or combine the two for an awesome full-body sweat session. 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIRT AND HIIT

The main difference between HIRT and HIIT is that high intensity resistance training has more of an emphasis on weight training, whereas high intensity interval training is more cardio based.

A HIRT session will generally include more equipment or different equipment, heavier weights and less reps. A HIIT workout tends to use little to no equipment, includes more bodyweight exercises and faster reps. 

HOW TO DO HIGH INTENSITY RESISTANCE TRAINING AT HOME

Wanting to give high intensity resistance training a go? Try out this home workout below. 

3 Circuits | Complete each circuit twice | 30 seconds rest between each round circuit

CIRCUIT 1:

Exercise 1: 12 X dumbbell shoulder press

Exercise 2: 10 X e/l dumbbell walking lunges

Exercise 3: 12 X dumbbell RDL’s

Exercise 4: 12 X dumbbell front raises

 

CIRCUIT 2:

Exercise 1: 15 X kettlebell goblet squats

Exercise 2: 15 X kettlebell swings

Weight plate overhead tricep extensions

Exercise 3: 10 X e/l kettlebell step ups

Exercise 4: 10 X kettlebell upright rows

 

CIRCUIT 3:

Exercise 1: 10 X barbell back squats

Exercise 2: 10 X resistance band back pulls

Exercise 3: 10 X barbell back rows

Exercise 4: 10 X resistance band bicep curls


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