Busy schedules don’t often leave a lot of time for self-care, even though prioritizing your health and fitness is one of the best things you can do for yourself. But if you’re looking to squeeze in a short, but effective workout style that checks all the important boxes, high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) is it.
Similar to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), HIRT aims to keep the intensity up throughout the session. Resistance, in the form of bands, light weights or kettlebells, challenge the muscles, with short rests between circuits.
Proper form is a must, regardless of which exercise style you choose, as this ensures safety, maximum energy expenditure, peak calorie burn and cardiovascular output. HIRT is less strenuous than HIIT, but still produces similar or better results.
Typical workouts are 30 minutes or less, so it’s easier to schedule. Ultimately, HIRT reduces the stress on your body, reduces fatigue and requires less recovery time compared to HIIT.
Here’s six more benefits of resistance training to take your fitness to the next level:
1. HIRT Burns More Calories
Compared to traditional forms of resistance or weight training, HIRT workouts burn more calories, even while recovering from your workout.
2. HIRT Boosts Muscle Growth and Endurance
Adding lighter weights and more reps to resistance training can increase muscle tone and endurance.
3. HIRT Is Cardio AND Strength Training
Get two workout benefits in one with HIRT. High-intensity resistance exercises done at higher reps keeps the heart rate up and breathing rate strong throughout the workout.
4. HIRT Workouts Are Safer
Have joint pain or injuries that make you tentative about working out? HIRT delivers the benefits of cardio and resistance training while being gentler on your joints.
5. HIRT Workouts Are Short, But Effective
Get more out of your workout in less time and when and where it’s convenient for you. HIRT workouts can be done just about anywhere, including the gym or at home.
6. HIRT Workouts Support Better Mental Health
Exercise is good for your mental health. But a challenging workout like HIRT can improve your mental strength and determination because it’s all about pushing through.
You can develop your own HIRT workouts to do at home, but plan them in advance. Structure them into three or more 10-minute sets, with an emphasis on a full-body workout. Aim for eight to 15 reps per exercise, but it’s OK if you have to work up to those numbers. Build in one-minute rests in between sets, and eventually try 30-second rests to make your workout a little more challenging.
Rest for 48 hours between each HIRT workout, but you can plan yoga, swimming or stretching on your rest days.
As always, consult your physician before starting high-intensity training, especially if you have any underlying medical concerns.
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