Like everyone who wants to build muscle and lose unwanted body fat, I’m always looking for ways to do it in the least time possible.
Ambitious, ain’t I?
What is High Intensity Resistance Training all about?
Most of my research and gym conversations keep leading me to high-intensity resistance training (HIRT). HIRT is often called “fat loss” resistance training, but it can be much more than that.
In principle, HIRT are full body workouts that focus on the largest muscle groups. However, unlike standard weight training, you are encouraged to push through the lactic acid “burning sensation” that comes with the increased intensity.
Most routines build in compound exercises that require different set variations (i.e. super-sets, giant-sets, etc.).
Potential Benefits of HIRT Training
When performed correctly, HIRT offers several workout benefits, including:
- Sped up metabolisms – up to 36 hours post-workout.
- Maintaining muscle mass with low-calorie diets.
- Building muscle mass on moderate to high-calorie diets.
- Minimizing fat gains on a high-calorie diet.
- Increased muscle density and strength.
- Improved aerobic and anaerobic endurance.
High Intensity Performance Principles
To really appreciate what high intensity training is all about, you must push yourself in each workout to the max. That’s right, no rest or slowing down during reps or sets!
Go to the brink of exhaustion or until you complete the set. By faithfully following through HIRT, you can achieve maximum metabolic and muscle retention benefits.
Who Can Benefit from HIRT?
Athletes involved in explosive, contact and/or combat sports (e.g. basketball, football, boxing, MMA), need to increase muscular endurance in 5-10 minute bursts, while minimizing body fat.
Therefore, they are often directed towards high intensity weight training programs. However, others can also benefit, provided they want to:
- Maximize short term fat loss through resistance training.
- Keep as much muscle as possible during a cutting phase.
- Minimize fat gains during a bulking phase.
- Increase aerobic and/or anaerobic endurance.
- Burn more calories on a daily basis.
- Supplement their High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts with additional fat-burning exercises.
HIRT Is Not for You If…
While High Intensity Resistance Training is not as limiting as HIIT, there are still some folks who are better off following other fitness regimens. For example, people who are:
- NOT cleared by their doctor to begin a high intensity exercise routine.
- Too enthusiastic! You can’t do both HIRT and strength training or HIIT 3-4 times a week. Even if HIRT is not as neurologically stressful as HIIT or strength training, you still need proper rest between workouts.
- Looking to maximize strength gains. Excessive high-intensity workouts slow down strength gains.
- Looking to increase your speed.
For those of us who are not natural-born bodybuilders, powerlifters, or involved in sports-specific weight training, HIRT is the ticket for increased lean muscle mass and fat loss.
Together with adequate rest and a proper nutritional plan, you can achieve great results that make heads turn.
Your choice of high intensity resistance excercises, frequency, intensity, recovery time, etc. will be dictated by your present fitness level, physical ability and current goals.
Now get to it!