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.
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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
To quick sum it up, few of the many benefits to HIRT training include:
- Incorporating strength and cardio training into one workout.
- Efficient workouts can be done with minimal pieces of gym equipment.
- Can burn a high volume of calories in short periods of time.
- Effective for building strength and adding muscle mass.
- Improves your cardiovascular health and endurance.
- Engage in dynamic, full body workouts.
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, with heavier weights and less reps. A HIIT workout tends to use little to no equipment, includes more bodyweight exercises and a greater number of reps.
SO, HIIT OR HIRT?
High intensity resistance training and high intensity interval training both have their benefits, so determining which is the better form of your training for you is dependent on your unique goals.
If your goal is to build strength, add muscle mass, and increase your power, then HIRT is the way to go.
If your goal is to increase your muscular endurance, improve your aerobic capacity, or enhance your heart health and functioning, then HIIT workouts are for you.
HOW TO DO HIGH INTENSITY RESISTANCE TRAINING AT HOME
Wanting to give high intensity resistance training a go? Try out this home HIRT workout below.
2 Circuits | Complete each circuit three times | 30 seconds rest between each circuit
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
Exercise 1: 15 X kettlebell goblet squats
Exercise 2: 15 X kettlebell swings
Exercise 3: 10 X e/l kettlebell forward lunge
Exercise 4: 10 X kettlebell upright rows
HOW TO DO HIGH INTENSITY RESISTANCE TRAINING AT THE GYM
Here is an example of a high intensity resistance training workout you can do at the gym.
2 Circuits | Complete each circuit three times | 40 seconds rest between each circuit
Exercise 1: 10 X dumbbell Arnold press
Exercise 2: 8 X e/l dumbbell reverse lunge
Exercise 3: 10 X e/l dumbbell step ups
Exercise 4: 10 X e/s dumbbell snatch
Exercise 1: 8 X barbell back rows
Exercise 2: 8 X barbell back squat
Exercise 3: 8 X barbell shoulder press
Exercise 4: 8 X barbell deadlift
Exercise 5: 8 X barbell clean