Intense exercise is an absolute requirement for muscular growth, yet many bodybuilders with their multiple-set routines seem to go to great lengths to avoid exercise intensity. The intensity of their workouts is seldom high enough to stimulate much in the way of muscle growth, but the amount of training is so high that they remain in a constantly rundown condition.
HIT and a large amount of training are mutually exclusive factors. You can have one or the other, but not both at the same time.
What exactly is HIT?
HIT is going all-out, not almost all-out. It is taking each set to your absolute limit, not almost to the limit.
HIT is a commitment to work as hard as possible while in the gym or weight room, without socializing, resting excessively between exercises, or falling prey to the latest champion?s routine.
HIT is serious business because it deals with the ultimate in muscular effort. Maximum intensity occurs when a muscle is pulling as hard as it possible can. This should happen during a range of repetitions between 8 and 12, assuming that the resistance has been accurately selected. By this time the involved muscles should be barely able to lift the resistance. When they are unable to do so, we say that they have reached momentary failure ? and that is what we are aiming for.
Performing an exercise to the point that you cannot lift the resistance one more time ? the point of momentary muscular failure ? is high intensity. When you feel you can?t do another repetition, try one more. Try until upward movement is simply impossible.
This maximum effort sends your body a signal that says, in effect, grow larger and stronger before this happens again. Intense exercise stimulates a compensatory buildup in the form of added muscle tissue, which aids the body in coping more successfully with similar stress in the future.
One of the basic rules of HIT is as follows: Look for ways to make your exercise harder, not easier, and your results will be vastly improved. Of course, hard exercise is much less fun than easy exercise, but that?s a necessary part of reshaping your body in the most efficient manner. You must learn to simply learn to tolerate the discomfort.
Do not make the mistake of confusing intensity with the amount of exercise. Long, endurance-type exercise cannot be in high in intensity. Maximum-intensity exercise, because it is so tiring, must be brief.
When an exercise is performed in a high-intensity manner, one set ? and one set only ? usually gives your body optimum stimulation. Multiple sets of the same exercise are not desirable.
So, examine closely the intensity of all your exercise. If it is not at the maximum level, up the intensity. Decide today that you want the best-possible results from your training. Make up your mind now to train harder, but briefer.