Redefining the fitness of performance With Joel Jamieson

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High Resistance Interval Training

Interval training is a common method used by many athletes, but all too often all forms of intervals are lumped together as if they are all equal. In today’s performance tip, you’ll see how high resistance intervals should be done and discover how effective they can be

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Joel: Hey there I'm Joel Jameson, of Eight Weeks Out TV. In today's ultimate performance tip, we're going to cover high-resistance intervals a badass way to get in shape.

All right. We're here today in my gym, just outside of Seattle Washington. Today, we're talking about high-resistance intervals, or HRIs. This is something I discussed in my book, 'Ultimate MMA Conditioning', and it's really a way to improve the endurance of the fast-twitch fibers. Of course, the greater endurance of the fast-twitch fibers, the greater your ability to maintain your explosive power over the course of whatever sport you're doing. The key to this interval method is you're going to use very short explosive bursts. In this case, we're going to do 5 to 6 seconds. We're typically going to rest anywhere from 40 to 60 seconds, and then we're going to repeat that a number of times.

The key is that we want to use resistance to engage the fast-twitch fibers. In this case, we're going to have Howie use the incline of the treadmill to really get the resistance in there and make those fast- twitch fibers work. If you don't have a treadmill like this, you can do incline sprints up hills, you can do stuff with the sled; there is different ways you can increase our resistance. Again, the key is you want to use short explosive bursts with long rest intervals, and you want to repeat this for a fair amount of time.

We'll go ahead and have Howie demonstrate here. We're just going to do quick explosive . . . Good. It's a quick, short 5 or 6-second explosive burst. We're going to rest 40 to 60 seconds, somewhere in that range. We also will use his heart rate for a gauge for the rest. A lot of times, we'll wait until his heart rate comes down to 135-ish, 140 before we repeat. We'll go ahead and have him do it again, so you don't sit here and watch him rest for a minute. Go ahead, again. Good

Another key to doing this properly is you want to make sure that your overall heart rate stays below your anaerobic threshold throughout the course of the workout, otherwise, you're going to start to engage stuff that we don't want to. You're going to, like I said, short, explosive bursts with longer rest intervals, keeping that heart rate below anaerobic threshold. Let's just do one more, just for fun, and make Howie work a little bit. Good.

These are a great way to improve the endurance of the fast-twitch fibers, or a great way to improve your conditioning. We typically would do anywhere from 15 to 25 reps in a given workout, and you want to do those 1 to 2 times a week.

To find out more, you can of course buy my book, 'Ultimate MMA Conditioning'. Make sure to visit for more tips and videos like this. We'll see you again soon.

14 Responses to High Resistance Interval Training

  1. fred1986 says:

    Hi Joel

    I have all your other materials, but i would like to purchase HRV book only i.e. without the iphone app. Is it possible and how much will it cost?


  2. nick_rsn says:

    At first- Great thoughts and words! After that I want to say this method looks very similar to DinamicEffort work that WestSide Barball use. But when just change a little rest intervals and intensity the outcome is totally different- here we train for endurance of fast fibers while there we train for strength of slow fibers.
    all the best

  3. mlee says:

    Hi Joel,

    Is this similar to the alactic training protocols discussed in “Soccer: Alactic-Aerobic Sport: Part II”? That article suggested training at a high intensity for 6 – 10 seconds followed by 20 – 40 seconds of recovery and is meant to enhance RSA conditioning.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Joel Jamieson says:

      It’s similar but the difference is that this specifically requires high resistance to be used whereas the intervals they are recommending do not. Both are effective and can be used

  4. lucas says:

    Can make HRI with Olympics Lifts and heavy wheels?

  5. lucas says:

    Ok. and what exercises fullbody do you recomend?. PD: you book is amazing

  6. mlee says:

    Joel, another question… in your book your high resistance interval guidelines state that each rep should last between 10 – 12 seconds but in multiple articles and videos on your site you state the rep should not go over 5 seconds. Which is the correct guideline?

  7. […] Interval Training (for performance) Done Right by Joel Jamieson. […]

  8. akqjt says:

    In this article:

    You had posted that a rest period of 60-90 seconds (or 130-140 bpm) was more appropriate; you even made a point of mentioning how the low work:rest ratio was important. But in this video you say 40-60 seconds (or 135-140 bpm). Have you changed your mind on the optimal amount of rest?

  9. drsandman12 says:

    Hi Joel,

    The high resistance intervals seem to closely mimic alactic power intervals. Is the difference the load – meaning heavy prowler pushes for HRI vs. sprints for API (just an example)? Is there some overlap between the two methods?

    Thanks for your time.


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