High Intensity Resistance Training: 5 reasons to try it

The Vitl Nutrition Team / 15 Jun 2015

My love/hate relationship with High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT) began about 2 years ago and after being exposed to this method of training, I simply couldn’t believe how great it made me feel. That was it. It made me feel absolutely fabulous.


A HIRT session involves several bodyweight and resistance exercises performed in timed intervals or reps with very little rest throughout. I know - painful! HIRT is one of the most effective ways to build lean muscle, lose weight and get fitter, faster. Why on earth wouldn’t you? Alongside a healthy, balanced diet too of course, below, in the simplest way possible, are the reasons why you should add it to your fitness regime.

1. Boost your metabolism

HIRT increases your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which basically means your body becomes a calorie burning furnace. Not only do you burn a large amount of calories in a short amount of time during your session, your body's metabolism increases and keeps burning for up to 36 hours post work-out.

2. Get happy

The post workout effects are where the magic really happens. A powerful cocktail of youth-enhancing hormones are released and stimulated for up to 24 hours after your HIRT session. Specifically your growth hormone, HGH. This hormone is responsible for youthful skin, muscle tone and the rate at which we burn fat. Another group of hormones released within this cocktail are your endorphins, aka the happy hormones. Exercise and endorphins are a match made in heaven. These hormones are designed to relieve stress (cortisol), enhance pleasure, boost concentration and from my experience, leave you feeling absolutely fabulous.

3. Burn fat and build lean muscle

Want to maintain your curves but lose body fat? Walking or jogging on a treadmill for hours on end will only lead to muscle loss. However, incorporating some resistance into your training, you'll dig into those fat stores whilst sculpting lean muscle all at the same time. Bodyweight, battle ropes, kettle bells, slam balls and a TRX are all examples of what I would incorporate into a session.

4. Full-body workout

The benefits of compound movements are endless. Your body is far more likely to build lean muscle, gain strength, burn more calories and improve your postural alignment and flexibility. From my experience as a personal trainer, my clients achieve far better results with the use of compound exercises rather than isolating each session to a certain muscle group. It's also a cardiovascular challenge. When you reach the stage where it feels like your heart is pumping out of your mouth and you’re absolutely exhausted, then you are doing it right. This is the point where you keep on going!

5. Who needs a gym?

Some people hate the thought of stepping into a gym. Do not fear - you do not need a gym to exercise. Your own bodyweight is all you need for a HIRT session and it's an extra bonus if you have some resistance equipment to hand. You can do a session within your own home, garden or local park and only 20 minutes minimum is required. Absolutely no excuses not to give it a go and certainly no need for endless hours in the gym, left feeling unsatisfied!

So there we have it. Plenty of great reasons to start putting your body through new challenges for which it is most definitely going to thank you for!