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It’s OK to HIRT

by Meaghan posted October 5, 2013

“Metabolic resistance training” – or what Italian researchers and authors of a new study call “High-Intensity Interval Resistance Training” (HIRT) – is all the rage these days. And when compared against traditional resistance training, it’s easy to see why. We experience a much greater rise in EPOC (excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption, or “afterburn”) following high-intensity work.

This new study shows us just how great of impact HIRT can have. The gist of the study is this:

  • Subjects were split into two groups: Traditional and HIRT.
  • In the traditional group, participants performed a 62-minute workout consisting of 4 sets of 8 exercises to failure. Each exercise was done at 75% 1 RM.
  • The HIRT group performed a 32-minute workout that consisted of only 3 sets per exercise of leg press, chest press and lat pulldowns at 85% 1RM followed by two “rest-pause” sets.

Results? The total lifting volume was around 17,000 lbs. in the longer traditional workout, but blood lactate levels were very low and the 22-hour afterburn effect elicited a mere 5% increase in caloric expenditure (about 98 calories).

In the shorter HIRT workout, total lifting volume was about half of the traditional workout (8,500 lbs.), but the increased intensity and combination of rest-pause training led to more than twice the elevation in blood lactate and a whopping 22-hour afterburn effect of 452 extra calories (a 24% increase in metabolism).

Conclusion: HIRT training allowed subjects to do half the lifting volume in half the time and still increase afterburn by a whopping 450% more than traditional lifting. (J Transl Med. 2012 Nov 24;10:237.)

To learn more about HIRT, check out our programs at the Focus Personal Training Institute.

To experience it for yourself, check out our new and improved PT6 class!

Filed under: education events, exercise programs, exercise research, fat loss, recommended resources

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