Use HIRT to Burn More Fat
To get the best physique possible you need to push your body hard. If you’re a regular gym goes you’re probably already familiar with HIIT – a training approach that involves high-intensity cardio work.
Not everyone is a fan of cardio though. High Intensity Resistance Training is a system provides a perfect alternative for those who want to lose fat and get fit, but hate the thought of cardio work.
It is an innovative, challenging workout that is guaranteed to build muscle and shed body fat. If you haven’t heard about it and you want to look and feel better then give this article a read…
What is HIRT?
High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT) is a training method designed to improve body composition by boosting muscle mass and dropping body fat. It is essentially a way of increasing strength whilst decreasing fat – the holy grail of training.
It uses similar principles to high intensity interval training (HIIT) by using work and rest ratios. The system is built around the use of circuit-style strength exercises – the only rule is that you limit the rest time in-between each exercise to boost your heart rate, muscle damage and metabolic rate.
During a HIRT session you perform a number of strength exercises back to back with little to no rest in-between. You’ll get more from the session if you focus on bigger, compound exercises so try and avoid isolation exercise like bicep curls and leg extensions.
You decide beforehand how long your total session time will be, and how long each work interval is. Once you’ve completed all exercises you rest for a pre-determined amount of time, then repeat.
More often than not, you’ll organise your sets into 10 minute blocks. The idea is to complete repeated sets of the first circuit, rest for 1-2 minutes, then move onto a different circuit to cover more muscle groups. This keeps the total session time short but very productive.
You’ll use weights that challenge you somewhere between 6 and 15 reps – again, you’ve got a bit of freedom here, but the key message is it has to be challenging. You can change the sets and number of exercises to suit – you can even change the work and rest times.
To a degree you can put any type of resistance exercise in your program, but it works well if you avoid two exercises in a row that involve the same muscle – upper body to lower body works really well as it forces blood to pump quickly around the body. No matter how much you need to, don’t rest in-between exercises though.
Benefits of HIRT
We’ve learned in recent years that higher-intensity intervals can improve fitness, body composition and reduce risk of long-term illness much better than endless hours of steady state cardio.
Interval training allow you to cram more work into a shorter time frame – and at a higher intensity too. This makes it a productive system that suits a busy lifestyle really well.
Combining strength with high-intensity cardio is a very potent mix. You’ll burn more calories in less time, which provides not only a better body composition, but better strength and endurance too.
HIRT is very effective at increasing your basal metabolic rate (BMR) – the rate at which you burn calories at rest. The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR is. Not only that though – muscle is very metabolically active so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn during exercise too.
HIRT is an adaptable, portable training system. If you are limited for equipment you can perform body weight intervals – as long as there is a resistance against the body it’ll do the job. For that reason it allows you to choose workouts that you enjoy, and that you are comfortable with.
The beauty of HIRT of course is that it is so demanding – as you get fitter you need systems like this to progress to the next level.
The problem with demanding though is that you need to be strict with your recovery days. Combining strength with endurance can quickly bring around a fatigued state – both your nervous and muscular system can quickly become fried if you don’t schedule rest days so leaving a good day or two off in-between HIRT sessions gives you enough time to fully recover.
You need to think cleverly about the structure of your session – the exercises you choose are intense so it’s important that you pick only activities you are familiar with and can complete with good technique. Aim to order them so that you move from upper body to lower in order to maximize blood flow – that way you’ll really challenge your endurance.
Sample HIRT Workouts
You can pretty much create any workout you want with HIRT – the only limiting factor is your imagination and knowledge of exercises. To get you started we’ve included a few sample workouts.
In this sample workout you’ll complete set 1 for a total of 10 minutes. Move from one exercise to the next and keep going until 10 minutes is up – no break until the time has passed. You can then for up to 2 minutes before moving onto set 2. Repeat this process until all 3 sets are done.