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Illustration of a person doing squats with dumbbells next to the text "High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT)." In the bottom right, a small image of almonds is labeled "10 almonds." The background is light blue with a gradient effect.

HIIT, But Make It HIRT

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This May HIRT A Bit

This is Ingrid Clay. She’s a professional athlete, personal trainer, chef*, and science writer.

*A vegan bodybuilding chef, no less:

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For those who prefer reading…

This writer does too 😉

We’ve previously reviewed her book, “Science of HIIT”, and we’re going to be talking a bit about High Intensity Interval Training today.

If you’d like to know a little more about the woman herself first, then…

Centr | Meet Ingrid: Your HIIT HIRT trainer

Yes, that is Centr, as in Chris Hemsworth’s personal training app, where Clay is the resident HIIT & HIRT expert & trainer.

What’s this HIIT & HIRT?

HIIT” is High Intensity Interval Training, which we’ve written about before:

How To Do HIIT (Without Wrecking Your Body)

Basically, it’s a super-efficient way of working out, that gets better results than working out for longer with other methods, especially because of how it raises the metabolism for a couple of hours after training (this effect is called EPOC, by the way—Excessive Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption), and is a good thing.

You can read more about the science of it, in the above-linked main feature.


HIRT” is High Intensity Resistance Training, and is resistance training performed with HIIT principles.

See also: Chris Hemsworth’s Trainer Ingrid Clay Explains HIRT

An example is doing 10 reps of a resistance exercise (e.g., a dumbbell press) every minute on odd-numbered minutes, and 10 reps of a different resistance exercise (e.g. dumbbell squats) on even-numbered minutes.

If dumbbells aren’t your thing, it could be resistance bands, or even the floor (press-ups are a resistance exercise!)

For HIRT that’s not also a cardio exercise, gaps between different exercises can be quite minimal, as we only need to confuse the muscles, not the heart. So, effectively, it becomes a specially focused kind of circuit training!

If doing planks though, you might want to check out Clay’s troubleshooting guide:

Expert trainer Ingrid Clay identifies the mistakes many people make when doing the plank, and how to correct them.

Want more from Clay?

Here she gives a full 20-minute full-body HIIT HIRT workout:

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