What it is and why you should be doing it – Health News Today

Chill out on the HIIT. Try HIRT instead. 


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Not to put a coronavirus spin on everything (OK, I am doing that, you got me), but if the COVID-19 pandemic taught us one thing, it’s that it’s OK to slow down. It’s more than OK, actually — it’s necessary. 

The sudden halt to our everyday lives back in March 2020 showed us all that we just do too much. Pre-COVID, hustle culture was alive and well. People scoffed at downtime and we were made to feel guilty about resting. I don’t know about you, but as of late, people in my circles have been encouraging others to slow down.

It feels like slowness is encouraged in all aspects these days, including exercise. I’ve taken this cue and applied it to my workouts — instead of my usual high-intensity, CrossFit-style workouts, I’ve been enjoying slower, more intentional workouts. 

I said goodbye to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and embraced high-intensity resistance training (HIRT), a type of workout I think everyone can benefit from. 

What is high-intensity resistance training? 

HIRT is a slower, easier-on-the-joints version of HIIT. The latter has been glamorized by the fitness industry for nearly 20 years, ever since researchers found out that HIIT can burn more calories in less time than other forms of exercise. 

That’s dandy, but HIIT can also keep cortisol levels high if you don’t recover from your workouts properly and give yourself enough time to rest between sweat sessions — not a beneficial scenario for those of us who are already chronically stressed. 

An older woman doing push-ups inside her home.

HIRT workouts revolve around high-volume resistance training.


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HIRT slows things down and gives you the ability to put more intention behind your movement. You can focus on your form while still getting in an effective workout. 

This type of workout is essentially timed, high-volume weightlifting. You’ll use weights on the lighter side for your strength level so that you can perform more reps. 

Benefits of high-intensity resistance training

With HIRT, you get all the benefits of HIIT, plus some. Those include:

Read More: HIRT workout: What it is and why you should be doing it