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High-intensity resistance training, or HIRT for short, is a type of weightlifting procedure that emphasizes intensity over endurance. The overall goal of HIRT is to burn fat and gain muscle at the same time, which makes it an appropriate program for those who have trouble fitting in separate workouts for fat loss and muscle gain in their schedules. To perform HIRT correctly, you must first develop a full workout routine with HIRT at its core.
Benefits and Considerations
Before even deciding whether HIRT is right for you, be aware of its benefits, which include increased muscle mass, fat loss and a heightened metabolism. HIRT is flexible enough to accompany both high-calorie and low-calorie diets. On a high-calorie diet, a HIRT practitioner can minimize fat gain; on a low-calorie diet, a practitioner of HIRT can maximize muscle gain. However, due to its intensity, HIRT is not for everyone. Consult a physician before starting a high-intensity resistance training routine.
The main ideas behind a HIRT routine are twofold: maximize intensity instead of endurance and focus on large-muscle, compound exercises. Practitioners of HIRT do not perform the standard three-rep sets of exercises. Instead, they perform one set of a given exercise only at a higher intensity, meaning with a heavier weight and to the point of failure. In general, a HIRT exercise should not go beyond 15 reps, so make sure the weight you are using will cause you to fail before reaching rep 16. The exercises selected for your routine should consist of compound movements that recruit large muscles. Examples of such exercises include bench presses, shoulder presses, squats and deadlifts.
While most weight-training routines include cardio as a method of burning fat, HIRT eschews cardio. One reason for this is that the low-intensity cardio exercises that burn fat also burn muscle, which is counter to the main idea of HIRT. Instead, for cardio, HIRT practitioners use high-intensity interval training, an intense form of cardio that consists of вЂњ20 second on, one minute offвЂќ exercise/rest intervals. This form of exercise raises the heart to 90 percent of its maximum heart rate and is as anaerobic as it is aerobic. In this way, HIRT practitioners can lose extra fat without risking lost muscle gains.
A HIRT routine usually is a two-day per week HIRT session with three rest days and two optional training days. On the HIRT days, schedule a full-body workout, consisting of approximately 10 exercises that are compound in nature and target large muscles, exercises such as deadlifts, chest dips and chinups. Schedule rest days in between HIRT days so that there are no consecutive HIRT days. The optional training days can be any form of exercise, ranging from standard resistance training to HIRT.