HIT Training

August 9th, 2007 by Paul Johnson

HIT is the gold standard when discussing low volume intense weight training routines.

What is HIT Training?

HIT, stands for High Intensity Training and was started in the 70's. It advocates very intense, but low volume and infrequent workouts. HIT believes in progressive overload (increasing weights long term), in contrast with periodization principles(changing routines periodically to keep the body guessing). Intensity is believed by HIT advocates, to be the main driving force to muscle gains and strength. HIT was a revolution because it said you didn't need to spend hours in the gym everyday, advocated by bodybuilders such as Arnold Schwarzeneggar. The two biggest names in bodybuilding who used HIT training, were Dorian Yates and Mike Mentzer.

HIT Training Workout:

HIT has various splits, volume, and techniques. There is many ways people have customized their workouts to make them more intense such as; forced reps, static holds, or changing rest times.

The traditional HIT workout split is the 2 day split. Rest days is 3-4 days between the 2 workout days. Each day you will do a full body workout consisting of mainly compound excercises. In the basic HIT workout do one excercise per muscle, 1-2 sets are done per excercises, rep ranges are between 5 and 8, except for leg excercises. Each set should be done to absolute muscular failure.

Sample HIT workout routine:

Day 1

Squats 2 X 12 reps
Incline Barbell 1 sets 5-8 reps
Barbell Rows 1 set 5-8 reps
Tricep Pushdowns 1 set 5-8
Stiff Leg Deadlifts 2 X 12 reps

Day 2

Deadlifts 2 X 12
Shoulder Press 1 X 5-8
Barbell Curls 1 X 5-8
Pullups 2 X 12
Calf Raises 2 X 12

HIT Controversy:

HIT has many detractors for a variety of reasons. Some believe that the low volume simply doesn't work for most bodybuilders and gives mostly strength instead of muscle gains. HIT doesn't follow periodization, which many bodybuilders also believe leads to quicker plateaus long term. The high intensity also leads you more susceptible to bad form or injury, especially if you are new to working out. The fact is, HIT has worked for some, but not for others. How well it works for you, will depend on your genetics.

  1. SLICKTOPPT on January 2nd, 2009

    IF YOU READ ARTHUR JONES’ (HITS CREATOR)AND ELLI DARDENS (HIT’s ARISTOTLE)THE FOUNDATION OF HIT IS A FULL BODY WORKOUT, NO SPLITS. IN THE WORDS OF ARTHUR JONES: ” A SPLIT ROUTINE MAKES AS MUCH SENSE AS AS SLEEPING WITH ONE EYE OPEN.”

    GENETICS IS NOT THE ONLY KEY. ONE WILL ACHIEVE THEIR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL WITH WHATEVER THEY ARE GIVEN, BUT NOT UNTIL THEY CHALLENGE THAT POTENTIAL, WILL ONE FIND THE TRUE LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE.