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Dissecting HIT – High Intensity Training – Part 2

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In part one of this 2 part article, I gave you a small taste of the history of hit. I made mention of the big 3 of the HIT family tree – Arthur Jones, Mike Mentzer, and Dorian Yates. In part two, I will expand on the theories and reasoning behind HIT, why it can work for you, and how to create your own routine. If you don’t wish to put in some outright brutally hard work that will make your workouts more efficient, then I suggest you quit reading now, and continue with your long drawn out and often inefficient programs.

Opinions regarding HIT are often wildly unfounded, both on the sides for and against. I’ve heard them all, from HIT being responsible for Mike Mentzer’s untimely death, to the idea that anyone who trains in a fashion other than hit will surely go to hell.

Though I’m a HIT advocate, I have also trained and discussed many other programs with the people who follow them night and day, and having tried many of them. I feel I have a more well rounded view on training than most of my peers. I’m not going to try and blow smoke up you’re a**, but I will give you the truth as I see it.

The human race is one that finds comfort in the familiar and reject the new, no matter how exciting it may be, and that has caused progress to be slowed. Just think about how much further we would be in science had the dark ages never occurred. And in much the same order, training rarely has any advances, it simply repackages the old ideas. Granted, every now and then someone comes along and notices the obvious answers we need, and so we make small advances as apposed to leaps and bounds.

Now I am not here attempting to sell you on the idea that multiple set training is uneffective, because that could not be further from the truth. Anything will work for awhile, and then it is time to move on. Now then, here are the governing principals of HIT.

Principles of HIT

  1. A work set must be taken to concentric failure, meaning carry the set to the point where no more reps are possible.
  2. Intensity must never be sacrificed for volume. Find the point between maximum intensity and your recovery abilities.
  3. Do just enough to elicit a growth response, and then stop, so that you place minimal demands on recovery while allowing for the maximum in hypertrophy.
  4. Every workout should be progressive. Always strive for one more rep or more poundage on the bar.
  5. Base your routines around the exercises which are most effective, and leave out those which are not.
  6. Use the principal of indirect effect, meaning that when one muscle group is exposed to a growth stimulus the whole body will grow as well, but at a diminished rate. The highest growth being in the areas that are closest to the worked muscle.
  7. KISS, keep it simple stupid.

That’s really it. By following these rules you can make some truly effective routines that will take minimal time, and produce some good gains. Also, if you’re strapped for time, then this may just be the most effective choice. I mean honestly, why waste time performing 3 sets of an exercise when you can do one and get similar, or even better results.

Now the best proof is results. So why should I keep talking if I can just show you a few routines that can be used to build muscle and save time.

THE TIME SAVER

HIT Routine 1

Squat – 2×8-10 (warm ups), 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
Bench press – 2×8-10 (warm ups), 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
BB row – 2×8-10 (warm ups), 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
Military press – 1×8-10 (warm ups), 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)

HIT Routine 2 (squat to death 1)

A1. Breathing Squat*- 2×8-10 (warm ups), 1×20 (80% 1rm)
A2. DB pullovers – 1×15-20 (50% 1rm)

HIT Routine 3 (squat to death 2)

A1. Breathing Squat – 2×8-10 (warm ups), 1×20 (80 1rm)
A2. DB pullovers – 1×15-20(50% 1rm)

B1. Bench press – 2×8-10 (warm ups), 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
B2. BB row – 2×8-10 (warm ups), 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
B3. Military press – 2×8-10 (warm ups), 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)

* breathing squats are performed with your 10 rep max. Every time you do a full rep, come up to the top and take a deep breath, as the set carries on increase the breaths between reps.

THE SPLITS

Routine 1 (2 day split)

A

Incline Bench press – 2×8-10 (warm- ups)

A1. DB fly- 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
A2. Incline Bench Press- 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
Military press – 2×8-10 (warm- ups)

B1. Lateral raise – 1×8-12 (80% 1rm)
B2. Military press – 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)

C1. Skull crushers – 1×8-12(80-85% 1rm)
C2. Dips – 1×8-12(80-85% 1rm)

B

Squats – 2×8-10 (warm- ups)

A1. Leg extension – 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
A2. Squats – 1×8-12(80-85% 1rm)

BB rows – 2×8-10 (warm- ups)

B1. Pull overs – 1×8-12(80-85% 1rm)
B2. BB row – 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)

C1. Barbell Curls – 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
C2. Chin ups – 1×8-12(80-85%)

Routine 2 (3day split)

A

Deadlift – 2×8-10 (warm up), 1×8-10 (80-85% 1rm)

BB rows – 2×8-10 (warm- ups)

B1. Pull overs – 1×8-12(80-85% 1rm)
B2. BB row – 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)

C1. Barbell Curls – 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
C2. Chin ups – 1×8-12(80-85%)

B

Incline Bench press – 2×8-10 (warm- ups)

A1. DB fly – 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
A2. Incline Bench Press – 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)

Military press – 2×8-10 (warm- ups)

B1. Lateral raise – 1×8-12 (80% 1rm)
B2. Military press – 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)

C1. Skull crushers – 1×8-12(80-85% 1rm)
C2. Dips – 1×8-12(80-85% 1rm)

C

Squats – 2×8-10 (warm- ups)

A1. Leg press – 1×8-12(80-85% 1rm)
A2. Leg extension – 1×8-12 (80-85% 1rm)
A3. Squats – 1×8-12(80-85% 1rm)

There you go. 5 different workouts to meet varying needs, as well as the knowledge to make your own in case you have a need that I didn’t cover. I promise though if you give your all to any of these routines along with enough calories to meet your needs then you will grow, especially if you have been on a higher volume.

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