MB Madaera
Lost 31.7 lbs fat
Built 11.7 lbs muscle

Chris Madaera
Built 9 lbs muscle

Keelan Parham
Lost 30 lbs fat
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Bob Marchesello
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Jeff Turner
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Jeanenne Darden
Lost 26 lbs fat
Built 3 lbs muscle

Ted Tucker
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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."


This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.


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All-Time Best HIT Routines
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Ellington Darden

As I've mentioned several times, currently I'm working on a new book, which will be called, "The New HIT 2: Personalized Bodybuilding for Old-School Results."

In one section, I'm presenting a half dozen or so of what I consider to be the all-time best HIT routines. One is straight from my book, BIG, which featured Eddie Mueller, and is called the BIG routine. Another is the well-known 12 exercise routine from the Nautilus fitness center days, which involved at least three Nautilus "double," pre-exhaustion machines.

Anyway, I'd like to get some feedback from you guys on what you consider to be the best HIT routines that you've personally tried.

Right now, I'm only interested in whole-body programs (no split routines), but A and B versions are allowed, or even A, B, and C versions.

Of course, if I use any of the routines that are presented in this forum in the book, I'll give the poster full credit for it.

I look forward to hearing about your best, or favorite, result-producing routines.

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California, USA

The routine I had the best results with was a twice a
week N/A ( except as noted ), one set to failure with the following exercises , in order :

Nautilus leg ext , Nautilus leg curl, Nautilus pullover, Nautilus behind the neck,Nautilus 50 degree chest, Nautilus tricep extension ( plate loaded ) , Nautilus bicep curl (plate loaded ), leverage 4 way neck, calf raises.

( the behind the neck and 50 degree were performed in a " regular " fashion , the 4 way neck negative only )


Nautilus duo squat ( regular fashion , extended with a few akinetic reps ) , pullover, Nautilus bench ( hyper ) Nautilus leverage row, Nautilus tricep ext.,
Nautilus compound bicep curl ( regular fashion ) , wrist curls ( regular fashion) 4 way neck.

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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

The routine I was using when I went from 174 up to 185 included two full body workouts:

Workout A

1. barbell squat
2. weighted chin up
3. barbell overhead press
4. barbell curl
5. barbell shrug
6. trunk curl
7. barbell wrist curl
8. barbell wrist extension

Workout B

1. barbell deadlift (later shrug bar deadlift)
2. calf raise on a leg press machine
3. weighted dip
4. Hammer Strength isolateral low row
5. cable tricep pressdowns
6. back extension
7. Atlantis plate-loaded neck extension
8. Atlantis plate-loaded neck flexion

both routines were followed by various grip exercises, including using an Ivanko SuperGripper and static holds with either a thick handled revolving deadlift handle or a pinch gripping block

Drew Baye
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New York, USA

Dr Darden:

I would like to through out a few ideas while you are compiling material for the new book. I would like to see the "more is better" principal applied here. :-)

I have a lot of your books, but some I don't have that I am unable to find. It would be nice to see this book as a "bible" of HIT. Lots of stories, pictures and a compilation of previous books all in one volume so we didn't miss anything important. Maybe you could do chapters for past out of print books. So 1 chapter would be "100 high intensity..." and another is "big" etc.

I like changing my routine every 4-6 weeks, and having a lot of different ideas in 1 book would be convenient.

I am looking forward to the finished product.


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Maryland, USA

I have two routines that have delivered reults for me time after time.

Squat 1*20
SLDL 1*8-12
Pullover 1*8-12
BenchPress 1*6-10
Neg Chin 1*5-10
Military Press 1*6-10
Calf Press 1*15-20
Sit Ups 1*15-20


All Done 1 set 8-12 reps
Leg Extension
Leg Curl
Leg Press
Sit Ups
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New York, USA

1) squat
2) calf raise
3) pullover
4) row
5) chest fly
6) chest press
7) lateral raise
8) overhead press
9) abdominal
10)low back

1) leg extension
2) leg press
3) leg curl
4) hip adduction
5) hip abduction
6) chins
7) biceps
8) dips
9) triceps
10) 4 way neck
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Texas, USA

Here's an Arm Specialization Cycle I did recently:

Workout A - General Body
Icarian Hack Squats
Side Bends
Hammer Incline Press
Hammer High Row
Cybex Lateral Raises
Wrist Extensions
Supination/Pronation Machine

Workout B - Biceps
Calf Raises
Cybex Behind-the-Neck Press
Lying "L" Raises (External Rotator Cuff)
BB Curls
Incline Hammer Curls
End Overload (plate-loaded Preacher Curls, with emphasis in the contracted position)

Workout C - Triceps
Leg Press
Leg Extensions
Trunk Curls
Close-Grip Bench Press
Overhead Triceps (EZ Curl Bar)
Neck Machine (L/R)

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Routine A:
1)Leg press / squats / deadlift
2)Lying pullover
3)Incline Fly, followed immediately by,
4)Decline Bench, followed immediately by,
6)Bicep Curl
7)Tricep Extension
8)Resisted Ab crunch, front
9)Resisted Oblique Crunch

Routine B:
1)Leg Extension
2)Leg Curl
3)Reverse grip pull downs
4)Seated row
5)Full Chin (negative accentuated)
6)Full Dip (negative accentuated)
7)Rear Delt Rows /Seated Shoulder press
8)Resisted Ab Twist

Routine A has provided incredible results for my chest: hasn't been this "full" in 25 years.

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Dr. Darden:

I think the format of your new book sounds outstanding!


Constructed with these PRINCIPLES/BENEFITS in mind:

Includes equal parts Compound movements (i.e Squat) for overall strength and growth; and Isolation exercises (i.e Dumbbell Fly) for greater Inroad/Intensity to individual muscles.

Exercise Order is designed so "Antagonistic Muscles" are trained alternately. Working opposing muscle groups right after the other helps with local recovery, increases strength in the following exercise, and ensures balanced muscular development.

The order of muscles trained rotates between the two routines (chest trained before back in routine "A"; back trained before chest in routine "B") to provide equal priorization to large muscle groups.

Routine can be used indefinately and on any type of equipment. Variety can be introduced by changing from free weights to machines or by inserting set intensifiers (i.e every third workout do Negative Chins and Dips). Short on time? Do two exercises back-to-back in "Superset" fashion!

For further variety; combine both the compound and isolation exercises together in one routine and perform Pre-Exhaust supersets (i.e Leg Extensions followed by Squats or Lateral Raise followed by Overhead Press).

If recovery is a problem, eliminate exercises for your stronger muscle groups (or perform them every other week).



1. Squat (or Leg Press)
2. Leg Curl (Lying or Seated)
3. Chest Press (Barbell, Dumbbell, or Machine)
4. Bent-Over Row (Barbell, Dumbbell, or Machine)
5. Pullover or Shoulder Shrug (Dumbbell, Barbell, or Machine)
6. Lateral Raise (Dumbbell or Machine)
7. Triceps Extension (Barbell, Dumbbell, or Machine).
8. Biceps Curl (Barbell, Dumbbell, or Machine)
9. Wrist Curl (Barbell or Dumbbell)


1. Stiff-Leg Deadlift
2. Leg Extension
3. Chin (or Parallel Grip/Underhand Grip Lat Pulldown)
4. Dip or Overhead Press (Barbell, Dumbbell, or Machine)
5. Bent Over/Reverse Fly (Dumbbell or Machine)
6. Chest Fly (Dumbbell or Machine)
7. Reverse/Hammer Curl (Barbell or Dumbbell)
8. Calf Raise (Standing or Seated)
9. Crunch (Standard or Reverse)

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I'm "Mr. Hardgainer" so my best one is very abbreviated...

2x per week (Sunday & Thursday)

Pulldowns or Chins
One legged calves

That's all!

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Michigan, USA

DR. Darden,
I have been using your advice for years (the problem has been that I have trained off and on). I think one of the best basic routines that you have come up with is the one in 100 HIGH INTENSITY WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BODYBULDING - entitled "BUILD YOUR LEGS TO BUILD YOUR ARMS". I have never failed to get great results from this routine after only a month.
The best chest building routine that I have found is - bench press (standard rep speed 4 up 4 down) followed by bent armed fly (with 4 second stretch in bottom) followed by bench press to neck (super slow with 10 seconds of pushing after failure is reached).
The best bicep routine I have found is barbell curl (standard rep speed) followed by incline curl (4 second stretch in bottom) followed by a one rep lowering chin (60 seconds).
Note: I like to incorporate the one rep lowering chin-up in lat cycles also-it is VERY effective for me.
The best tricep routine I have found is - lying tricep extension followed by tricep extension with one dumbell followed by superslow "L-seat dip".
The best deltoid routine is the one you mention in "Massive muscles in 10 weeks".
Note: I do my reps very slow and controlled (using a metronome) but, have found that I dont grow much if I push an exercise much past 60 seconds. I like to keep the TUL between 40 and sixty seconds (per exercise). However this time under load does not seem to become cumulative when doing a giant set - like the ones mentioned above....
P.S. I just got your new book and have gotten motivated to train hard once again :O).
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Leg Extensions
Leg Press
Bent Legged Deadlifts
Calf Raises
Overhead Press
Trunk Curls

and...I have to say that your arm specialized routine, which include the 30 sec pulldown and 30 sec dips from your new HIT book was the best routine I've ever experienced!
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Ontario, CAN

I haven't tried many different HIT routines, as I switched from High Volume Training to HIT not too long ago. However, I was at first doing a split HIT routine. I am row rotating between two full-body HIT routines...the results? Amazing.

Here they are:

Routines performed every 3 to 4 days, 8-10 reps, 1 set to failure (Plus ONE static hold and ONE negative after set completion. This is not done 100% however)


Leg Extension
Les Press
Straight-Arm Pulldowns
Barbell Row
Barbell Curl
Bench Press
Abdominals (Usualy hanging leg Raises)


Calf Raises
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
Dumbell Lat. Raises
Barbell Overhead Press
Barbell Shoulder Shrugs
Press Downs
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The routine that I am currently following with great results :

leg extension
leg curl

seated calf raise
db pullover
bent over row
machine bench press

standing lat machine curl
standing db french press
machine crunch /leg raise

leg extension
stiff legged deadlift
leg press

seated calf raise
negative chinups
seated machine front press
barbell shrug

negative dips
standing db curl
machine crunch /leg raise

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the best basic routine I've used is:

Leg Press
Shoulder Press
BB Pullover & Press
BB Curl
Reverse Curl
Overhead DB Tricep
Reverse Crunch

Leg Ext
Leg curl
One leg calf raise
DB Row
Wrist Curl


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Colorado, USA

All of these are done One Set of 12-15 for the lower body and 8-12 for the upper body. I did this twice per week and got incredible results!

Leg Press
Immediately followed by
Leg Extensions
Immediately followed by


Leg Curls
Immediately followed by
Calf Raises
Immediately followed by
Machine Pull Over
Immediately followed by
Chins (Underhand Shoulder width grip)


Pec Deck
Immediately followed by
Machine Incline Bench Press


Bent over Laterals
Immediately Followed by
Dumbbell Curls
Immediately Followed by
Triceps Extensions
Immediately Followed by
Parallel Bar Dips

Stuart Schaefer
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1.Stifflegged Deadlift 8-12reps
2.Leg Extension 8-12reps
3.Seated Calf Raise 8-12reps
4.DB Fly 7-10reps, immediately followed by
5.Bench Press 5-8reps
6.Negative Chin 5-8reps, immediately followed by
7.Cable Spider(or Preacher)Curl 5-8reps
8.DB LAteral Raise 8-12reps

1.Leg Curl 7-10reps, immediately followed by
2.Squat 7-10reps
3.DB Pullover 7-10reps, immediately followed by
4.Bent-over Row 5-8reps
5.Negative Dip 5-8reps, immediately followed by
6.DB Overhead Extension 5-8reps
7.BB Shrug 8-12reps
8.Trunk Curl 8-12reps

Rep-speed 3/3 except Negative Chin and Dip 8-10sec.and max. 3sec. to climb up again. Rest between sets 60sec, between supersets max. 5sec.

The idea is to train a given muscle(-group) to failure over the largest part of ROM possible with conventional equipment in one workout and not work directly(kinda NTF)in the next. I.e.Superset Neg.Chin+Cable Curl, works Biceps thouroghly and Lat only indirectly vs. Superset Pullover+Bent-over Row, works lat thouroghly and Biceps only NTF due to temporarly beeing stronger then the lat.
Other muscle groups receive sufficient inroad with a simple set to failure over a reasonable ROM (i.e.Lower Back with SLDL, Quadrizeps with Leg Ext., Trapezius with Shrug etc.)



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Dr. D,

I like this, its a bit longer than my normal routine but i like to do it from time to time.

1. Leg press
2. Leg extension
3. Calf raise
4. Straight armed pullover
5. Bent armed fly
6. Bench press
7. Overhead press
8. 1 min chin
9. Bicep curl
10. 1 min Dip
11. Tricep extension
12. Trunk curl

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hi all ,

here is mine :

a-routine :

leg extension
leg press
chest press immediately followed by push ups
stiff legged deadlift
barbell shrugs
lateral raises with dumbbells
pressdowns for triceps
barbell curl
jackknife crunch
dumbbell side bends

b-routine :

barbell squat
machine chest press
incline dumbbell press
bent over rowing
upright rowing
bent over lateral raises with dumbbells
EZ-bar curl, small grip
Dumbbell overhead extension
chin up

reprange between 8-12
repspeed : 1/2 sec + 4/5 sec -
I rest 90 minutes between sets unless it is a superset
I eat whatever I want just keeping track of my carbs and protein ratios: 1 gram per kilogram of BW for protein and lots of clean carbs ( whole wheat bread and cereal, fruit and veggies , ricce , ... ) I also drink 2 litres of water daily

warmup is 5 minutes of jogging on treadmill or cycle and 5 reps of 50% 10rm of squat - chest press - deadlift

I train 3 times per week

kind regards
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Bubba Earl

Georgia, USA

Dumbbell Flys superseted with Dumbbell Presses

Leg Curls superseted with
Stiff Leg Dead Lifts

Weighted Dips

Weighted Reverse Pullups

Dead Lifts Trap Bar

Leg Extensions

Military Press

Abdominal Exercise

Dumbbell Bicep Curls


Laterial Raises

Calf Raises

I know that this is probably more exercises than most people believe are needed, but it works for me. It takes me 40 minutes.

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Florida, USA

I think my favorite A-B routine was one I used early on.

Calf Raise
Leg Press/Squat
Arm cross
Chest press
Pull down
4-way Neck

2ST Hip extension
Leg press
Leg extension(Negative only)
Lateral raise
Compound row
Biceps curl
MedX Chest press
Triceps extension

I was 190 pounds when I first found out about SS and/or HIT. 5 years later I am 250 pounds. I can no longer do this many exercises in 1 session or I will puke! I now design my routines with symetry in mind. I am at nearly the same body fat as when I first started. I have some BF% to lose before my midsection would realy show.


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New Zealand

Dr Darden

I'll second the "bible" idea -- put everything in it so it appeals to all those freaks at the gym who think more is better -- they buy it because of its size. Then they find, on reading it, that big books are nice but to get big, less is better.

How about a title that'll appeal more to the mainstream rather than people who remember the 70s? The problem is, you see, anyone who sees "oldschool" might think of how skinny grandad was and who wants to be like that?
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Indiana, USA

Dr. Darden:

I'd have to say the most productive of your routines for me in regard to size and strength was the old 10 week program you used with Eddie Mueller. I tried it back in about 1988 and I think that was the biggest and strongest i got. I did have some problems though. I developed tendenitis in my pectoral insertions and a sore elbow. I think this was my problem, not the program. I believe I would have done better on a two-day a week system than 3 times a week. Three days a week was just to much for me. I also started using somewhat of a ballistic form on the bench press in an effort to stay up with the guy I was training with. Unfortunately, My ego got in the way. The wisdom of age and common sense would have prevailed today. I would definitely do it differently if I tried it again.

I tried the "Big" program but it just never seemed to have a good fit with me.

The New Hit workout seemes to be a pretty good one. There is variety every 6 weeks, and I made pretty good progress on it. Most of it within the first few weeks and then things started slowing down. But I really like the routine.
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New York, USA

i havent found one that i like yet, i just like the ones in the new H.I.T book from the ones i have seen. The more is better thing never worked as well as i thought for me and this makes sense. Hit it hard then get out plain and simple.
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My best routine would be a variation on an AJ full-body routine, split over two workouts, done for 2 sets x 10 x 8 to failure:

Dumbbell Curls

Bench Press/Dips
Lying Side Raises
Lying Tricep Extension
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