Fitness Tips

Build Even More Strength Work Into Your HIIT Sessions With HIRT Training

Rachel Lapidos

Rachel LapidosSeptember 4, 2020

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High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, might just be the most efficient workout method ever. The fast-paced, heart rate-spiking exercise style moves your muscles based on a formula that can make even an eight-minute sweat sesh enough for your day. But if you’re not the biggest fan of cardio, or if you want something lower-impact than burpees, a HIRT method workout will bring the same kind of intensity, along with a whole lotta strength.

A type of HIIT training, the HIRT method stands for “high-intensity resistance training.” The main difference between HIRT and HIIT is that the former is strength-based versus cardio-based. “The HIRT method includes resistance through weights or resistance bands in order to strengthen and build muscle,” says Brianna Bernard, certified personal trainer and Isopure Athlete. “So instead of plyometrics, for example, you’d do circuits of strength-based movements that spike your heart rate.”

The benefits of opting for a HIRT sesh over a HIIT one is that it’s more gentle on your body, but just as challenging. “The HIRT method combines the HIIT method with low-impact exercises, especially when using resistance bands,” says Floery Mahoney, founder of Board30, a resistance band-based workout studio. “So it allows for the same intensity level that you get with HIIT but it protects your joints and incorporates more of the muscular structure of your body, including your smaller muscles and tendons.” Because of this, your body will get stronger overall, which translates to strength and movements outside of the gym.

Another perk of the HIRT method, according to Bernard? It’s something you can do practically anywhere since you don’t really need big pieces of equipment. “This is great for people who work out at home since just free-weights [or a resistance band] will do the trick,” she says. To try it for yourself, keep scrolling for example HIRT workouts.

HIRT workouts to try at home

Bernard shares three ways to do a HIRT-style workout, below. Her tip? “It works best if you group two to four exercises together into a set that you perform back to back without breaking,” she says. Once you complete the set, take a short recovery—less than 90 seconds—then repeat.

1. HIRT workout one:

20 dumbbell or barbell push-presses
20 squats
15 V-ups
15 bicep curls

2. HIRT workout two:

8 to 10 pull-ups
15 dumbbell or barbell deadlifts
15 dumbbell or barbell chest presses
15 up-downs

3. HIRT workout three:

15 Bulgarian split squats
15 push-ups
15 kettlebell swings
15 dumbbell bent-over rows

And if you want a regular-old HIIT workout, give this video a try:

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