Does High Intensity Training (HIT) Work?


As you cruise around the internet you’ll come across a variety of training systems that all claim to be The One. A handful of the ones you’ll probably run across are DC Training, Westside, Crossfit, 5/3/1, p90X, Linear Periodization (ha!), and “High Intensity Training”, or HIT. I’m thinking about doing a series addressing all of these training programs (let me know if that sounds interesting), but since I recently ran across some “HIT Jedi’s”, as they’re known in the internet-training sphere for their at times fanatically faith-based training programs, I’ll start there.

Casey Viator - Can't argue with results.

Ok, so as a background, HIT Training comes out of the old school Arthur Jones/Casey Viator/Nautilus movement of doing one heavy set to extreme failure, often machine-based. More recently bodybuilders such as Mike Mentzer (pictured above) and Dorian Yates have made some the HIT ideas popular. The idea is to create maximum fatigue and damage of the muscle at a very low volume then take a long time (often as in 1-3 weeks) between training that muscle again. So what you’re looking for is a huge acute stress, but low chronic stress. The thought is that by training in this manner you can maximally stimulate the muscle to grow but then allow it full recovery in order to do that growing.

I’ve actually tried this for about four months after college, and I have a video where I talk about my results for you. The program I used was:


A1) Back Squats: 1×12-15
A2) Neutral-grip Lat Pulldowns: 1×12-15


A1) Deadlifts: 1×10
A2) Dips (weighted): 1×8-12

Here’s my thoughts after the “HIT Experiment”:

As you can see things could have gone a lot worse, especially coming from the other style of training I’d been doing before. This also goes to show you that it’s sometimes a good idea to try something before you condemn it and simply say that it “won’t work”.

If you’re looking for NINE solid months of training that WILL increase your athleticism, build muscle, and shed fat, then you need to get The Athlete Reborn!

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Comments on Does High Intensity Training (HIT) Work? Leave a Comment

May 25, 2013

Eric Cameron @ 12:04 am #

Thanks for the perspective. You made a really good point about time management. I would be interested in your thoughts about the training programs you mentioned. Thanks for being such a great resource, keep up the good work.

May 29, 2013

Isaac @ 5:39 pm #

Glad you liked it, Eric! I’ll get cranking on the rest of the series.

June 6, 2013

maisto papildas raumenu auginimui muscle test @ 7:56 am #

High intensity training is the only way to reach a success of becoming fit.

June 25, 2013

Isaac @ 11:49 am #

Really? Tell me more.


June 27, 2013

Mike @ 10:03 am #

Do you think there is any potential benefit in switching into an HIT routine every once in a while to just change things up for your body, I mean your muscles invariably get used to your normal routine so do you think there could be a benefit that say every 5 or 6 months you throw in a couple of months of HIT?

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