HIT, HIIT and HIRT; What's The Difference?
When it comes to High Intensity Training most of you will have only heard of one single type of this training; HIIT.
But did you know there is actually a few different categories under the umbrella term of High Intensity Training?
I'm here today to just clear up what these abbreviations stand for and what they actually mean when used correctly.
HIT stands for High Intensity Training. This style of training is a form of strength training and focuses on performing weighted reps to the point of muscle failure. Muscle Failure is when the neuromuscular system can no longer produce adequate force to overcome that specific workload; for example, during a shoulder press when you physically cannot push that weight up any more.
The training takes into account the number of reps, the amount of weight, and the amount of time the muscle is exposed to tension in order to maximise muscle fibre recruitment.
HIT exercises should be brief and not performed often. They should also be intense and performed with a high level of effort (intensity) and it is though to increase muscular strength and size. As strength increases, resistance will progressively increase too to provide the muscles with added overload to stimulate further improvements.
The one we've all heard of and, the one that is probably going to surprise you the most. For the most part HIIT is sold as a quick, time-efficient way of working out with short bursts of energy followed by short rests. This is exactly what it does but I'm here to tell you that this isn't true HIIT training and the kind that probably about 99% of you are used to.
True HIIT originates and lies within sports conditioning. The sole purpose of HIIT is to become stronger, faster and more explosive by implementing overload and being extremely specific with training. True HIIT training is about going to 100% maximum effort which in most humans actually only lasts around 10 seconds. When at 100% max levels the system you are using is the Phosphagen system which is a form of anaerobic metabolism (it uses Creatine Phosphate to generate a little ATP) . After around 10 seconds the body's Phosphagen system begins to deplete meaning you are now entering the Glycolytic stage which produces less ATP per cycle. From there we enter other systems and Phosphagen continues to deplete even more the longer we spend trying to push. Eventually ending with 0% left in this 'tank'. Phosphagen stores take around 3 minutes to fully recover so really, if you want to do true HIIT, you want to be working for around 10 seconds and then resting for at least 3 minutes.
HIRT stands for High Intensity Resistance Training and is sold as resistance training for fat loss (note: no single style of exercise will lead to fat loss). HIRT training is a good way to increase BMR (Basal metabolic Rate- the amount of calories you burn at rest by performing your normal bodily functions like breathing, cell production, nutrient processing, etc.) and increasing EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption- increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous exercise.) HIRT is where you perform a series of strength training exercises for a set number of reps, for a set number of minutes, without rest. This keeps the heart rate elevated and gives your muscles very little time to recover before being used again. HIRT is essentially about getting your cardio and weights in at the same time, in one session.
Hope thats cleared up a few little things for you or helped you understand each one individually, rather than just presuming everything is the same :)