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Anyone Still Do HIT?
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wellness warrior

I am frequent visitor to this Forum. It seems over the years that most who post here do not do HIT. I have no problems with other methods and enjoy reading about other ideas.

My question is does anyone still do HIT in some form (hard, brief, infrequent)? If so, please share.

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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Short Answer: Yes

Despite employing clusters if sets, my workouts are still:
* Brief (17-21 min)
* Infrequent (every 3-5 days)
* Intense
* Mostly whole body

Admittedly, my definition of HIT is broader than most, but I still Arrive after and leave before everybody in my gym AND am still good and sore the next day or three.

Scott
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H.I.T. Believer

we do several forms of it, briefer but harder...many HIT people i dont think post here much anymore..i think there are still people here who do HIT however..many different forms of HIT not just one way, main thing is hard,brief workouts




wellness warrior wrote:
I am frequent visitor to this Forum. It seems over the years that most who post here do not do HIT. I have no problems with other methods and enjoy reading about other ideas.

My question is does anyone still do HIT in some form (hard, brief, infrequent)? If so, please share.



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coalman426

its kind of weird but your right.i used to think maybe i shouldnt be on this site,then i noticed some of the hit guys dont do dr. dardens diet so i guess alot of us are 50 percent.the most important things ive learned on this site are rotateing my exercises every workout and declines are best for chest.alot of great equipment info as well.no hit for me im a multy,frequent guy all the way.
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HeavyHitter32

For years I trained in an HIT/Mentzer style (hence my user name) including when I joined this site back in 2004. However, over more recent years my training effort has lessened a bit where as my volume and frequency has increased. I do a lot more variation as well as focusing on working the muscle to create an effect vs being concerned about increasing reps every workout. I find this approach allowed me to create a more muscular, vascular, fuller physique versus the other way. I still do train to failure once in a while, but use it more as a tool (with other techniques) versus on every set, every workout.
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

==Scott==
HIT is high intensity training so when I do train I train with high intensity regardless of what routine I'm using be it single or multiple set, to failure or not to failure or somewhere in between, so yes, I feel I do HIT.
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H.I.T. Believer

most of us once were multi set, frequency, barbell only trainers....i did 4 day 2 hour split routines for 10 years....



coalman426 wrote:
its kind of weird but your right.i used to think maybe i shouldnt be on this site,then i noticed some of the hit guys dont do dr. dardens diet so i guess alot of us are 50 percent.the most important things ive learned on this site are rotateing my exercises every workout and declines are best for chest.alot of great equipment info as well.no hit for me im a multy,frequent guy all the way.


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PTDaniel

I oscillate in and out of HIT type training. Currently my routines are usually full body, 1-2, set often to failure, 6-9 exercises, 2-3 times per week. I'm dialing volume back from weeks of routines that culminated in me doing up to 18 sets per body part in a three way split.
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Absolutely.

Regards,
Andrew
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wellness warrior

Hey guys

Thanks for responding! I have found that my HIT training has also evolved and like many incorporate variation, different rep cadences, sets.....
Yet I do keep my workouts hard and brief with a "rotating frequency".

I appreciate the feedback!
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Citygym

Definitely. It is the most efficient way to train by some considerable distance, when considering ALL factors such as but not limited to and in no specific order; time required, strength gains, safety factors, sports related improvements (running, tennis etc) general and overall health benefits (CV improvements, flexibility, circulatory, respiratory, arthritic, muscular pain, sleep issues etc the list is almost endless.) Most of my clients are (time poor - that's an oxymoron) medical professionals who, in some cases, can hardly believe the results they get from 2 x 20 minutes sessions per week. Not looking like Arnold, then who does, (not their goal anyway) but far from looking like Woody Allen!!
Fabulous/unsurpassed return on investment!
Regards,
John
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noone

New York, USA

Yes, 2-3 times a week. I love it.
Bret
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

THE defining characteristic of HIT, is training to 100% FAILURE. In all honesty, training a rep or two short of that is NOT HIT by Darden's or Jones definition.

100% failure is THE sine-qua-non of HIT.

Although at one point, Darden did endorse occasional NTF workouts I think.

I have not trained in pure HIT manner for over a year, as I have been doing a bit more volume. I find that going 100% all-out on very first work set GREATLY limits my performance on subsequent sets.

So I've been opting to leave a little in the tank on first couple of sets. Though I do usually hit failure on set 4 and 5. (Currently doing 5 sets per bodypart)

I have built up more raw size in certain bodyparts from increasing sets a bit, from 1-2 to 5. But not sure if it's actual myofibrillar hypertrophy or simply increased glycogen/H2O/ATP from more volume.

But I do feel I may have been holding back a bit too much on initial sets at times.

For instance, I was doing DB curls the other day, and used the same load I've been using for several weeks. (Trying to increase reps with that weight for now, rather than load) I had been doing 5 sets of 8 at first. (Even though I usually train higher rep) Then I had worked up to 5 sets of 10, which I was kind of proud of.

But the other day I decided to NOT hold back on first set, but to go to 100% failure.

I got 15 reps!

And here I thought I was only shying a rep or two away from failure in first set, but was in fact waaaay short of failure.

And I got waaaay more sore in biceps from LESS sets as well. (Although my total number of reps was about the same) In fact, that was Sunday, and my bi's are still a bit sore today on Wed.

So part of me feels like I need to go back to true HIT. Maybe do 3 sets to 100% failure.

And heck, even Darden says going to technical failure is adequate. Which has profound implications for more technical and potentially dangerous exercises like BB squat and dead-lifts.

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elDiabloBlanco

Yes.
1 x per week.
TUL less than 7 minutes (all sets added together).
Intense enough to build muscle.

Sw
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

coach-jeff wrote:
THE defining characteristic of HIT, is training to 100% FAILURE. In all honesty, training a rep or two short of that is NOT HIT by Darden's or Jones definition.

100% failure is THE sine-qua-non of HIT.

Although at one point, Darden did endorse occasional NTF workouts I .


CJ
Dr D flat out said To-Failure Intensity was no longer THE defining factor in HIT a few years back. I think it's in one of the other areas of this website
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

Regarding if failure is or is not THE #1 defining characteristic of HIT...

Intensity in HIT circles has long been defined as "percent of momentary effort"...thus if I can squat 300 lbs for 20 reps to 100% failure (With Jones holding a gun to my head to motivate me to do so), but only do 10 reps in first set because I know I have 9 more sets to get through (Like on a 10 x 10 setup), then that first set was only done at 50% intensity.

Of course, the latter sets in such a 10 x 10 squat workout, would likely be to failure due to cumulative fatigue.

If the weight stayed the same 300 lbs. on all 10 sets, I would only "HIT" 100% intensity (As defined in HIT circles) on the last set, or two, or three.

HIT advocates would argue that the first set done at only 50% intensity was basically wasted effort at best. As it needlessly cut into one's biological resources, but was too easy to actually stimulate growth.

Now I'm not arguing (I try not to argue anyway...prefer to discuss all points of view with respect) that the classic HIT definition of intensity, as being THE #1 stimulus for growth is right or wrong.

After all, people grow on HIT, others grow with simple progressive overload, shying away from failure.

But I would argue that HIT is indeed defined as all-out effort on all work sets. NOT holding back at all, in anticipation of more sets to come.

If one backs away from this, then fine. But it would no longer then fit the classic definition of HIT.

It would then probably need to be called simply Abbreviated Training.

If I'm not mistaken, the hardgainer/Stuart McRobert crowd is in this camp? No nonsense low volume routines based on progression rather than failure. In fact, I think he actually advises against failure?

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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

Now of course we have lots and lots of real world, irrefutable evidence that training with all-out 100% intensity is not THE stimulus for growth.

If it was, then the ONLY people who would get "swole" would be HIT trainees.

But if 100% failure is NOT required for results, it is interesting to wonder if it's required for the best possible results.

If Dorian had a twin brother who ate the exact same food and used the exact same drugs as Dorian...but trained in a slightly "easier" manner on all working sets in order to accommodate a slightly higher training volume...would that twin get as good a result as Dorian training to gut busting failure on all working sets?

Put another way...

Will working LESS HARD on most working sets, but doing more total sets, work as well as working as hard as one can on ALL working sets? Even though working so hard may really limit how much volume you can do.

And if "working too hard" counter-intuitively results in LESS gains, then why do you think that is?

The idea that someone working less hard will do better than one working at 100% full effort is kind of hard to accept on a certain level, no?
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Too much linear thinking, as if a person can only do A all the time, or B all the time. It's not training all out that is bad, but all out all the time. Yes, a person will respond from doing 'more' some of the time, but not all of the time. Olympic athletes train in cyclic fashion for a reason. People into weight training, for whatever reason, is looking for the ONE answer of 'Do X.'
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wellness warrior

I believe that most folks have a "built in governor" that is we feel like we've gone to failure but true failure? Likely not, unless you have a trainer or partner that really pushes you. Rather than using the word failure, I prefer the term - strong effort.

I think if you add variation and induce a strong effort, you can be successful with hard and brief training.

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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

Here's a pretty big dude that runs a website called True Natural Bodybuilding.

He actually does a fair amount of volume, yet trains to utter failure on all sets.

==================================

Says he...

"Usually I do 4 sets of each exercise, which is exactly enough to fully wear down the muscle and to maximize growth stimulation. I train to failure in every set of each exercise. I never save energy for my next set or my next exercise. I would rather advice to do a set or an exercise less than to dose your efforts."

==================================

Now of course, most of us have found that taking the first set to 100% failure GREATLY reduces how many reps you can get on a second set. I know when I do take client to 100% failure on first set, they can usually only get about HALF the reps on a second set, even with several minutes rest.

So if you keep the weight THE SAME on all sets, (Unless perhaps you have a lot of slow twitch fibers) you can really only do 2 to 3 sets at best with utter failure, before you just totally run out of strength with that particular load.

So how does this guy do a decent amount of volume to failure then? He LOWERS THE LOAD on subsequent sets in order to maintain a fairly consistent rep range on all work sets.

I used to do the same back in the day. Just not as many sets. I would go right into my heaviest working set while FRESH, and take it to failure. Then if I did another set, it would be with a lighter weight in order to prevent my reps from dropping in half.
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Olddog99

I have been doing HIT since 1982 but in reality by Jones early accounts since 1977 meaning that all my sets went to positive fatigue in whitch no further rep could be done and no movement could occure in the concentric phase, HIT the WALL. I will say though this is very hard work and as I aged I could not do it to that extreme As most can not. But I will say from my experince with myself and working with many others HITTING the wall in the set is the most productive and makes you look the fullest than any other set completion technigue.

HIT as it was designed, was spawned from Volume HIT then reduced to the 10-20 HIT sets from the early 70s. HIT the wall sets are the key for sure, the amount, frequency, will be dependant on the most understood fundemental of recovery. This is by far the hardest to figure out even if you are very aware of biofeedback ques.

The limited Exercises from its origin some what did not hit individual muscles to complete a body or fill in the holes from non firing or dominate muscle order. Only the truly balanced guys showed the complete physic from the nautilus work out plan. hense why these guys where hired or featured. For the 99 % of us myself included the format requires variation and more speficity due to our unbalanced muscle structure ( muscle genetics).

The exact thing that started nautilus was the quest for limitations in an un balanced body. Jones thought his arms were small and could be better. By 1973 Jones was very consentrated on muscles for function or sport or conditioning, bodybuilding was fading and fast, hense 1975 west point, virtually no muscle was produced from the routine, markers of health were and to a great extent improved. The begining of the fitness craze. The rest is history and money.

But make no mistake, HIT is whats going to get you there regardless of the exercises, or rep scheme. the growth response will be dependant on your willingness to be intense. your limitations will be amount and frequency (recovery)( genetics aside).

I have recently attemped sucesesfully trying to fill in my lagging brachicord muscle the one that is in the forearm and goes to the humorous. Like what has been said before a muscle that has really never been worked before, anything is intense and will not exeed its recovery ability given you did not work your body and system to the ground. As you get stronger and bigger in that muscle you must reduce the amount and the need to repeat also gets reduced. When you can see that muscle in your bicept you can go back to a more general arm routine as all the muscles will fire. In contrast 3 weeks prior i was attemping to do the same thing to the same muscle with volume but NTF sets, and no results, none, and very little pump. I changed back to what i know HIT style sets and guess what more and better pumps, and noticable thichness in that very small muscle group. Same for muscles in my very small Forearm. HIT style sets made them grow, it was noticable, it was measurable. Now for my legs after 35 years you would think i might have some legs, but let me tell you, i am very reluctant to HIT those legs, always 3 or 4 reps short of wall fatigue, my mind limitation not my body. hense in hockey i lack power and always have regarldless of skill. No leg power ( watts), a 195 squat does not equate to squat, hense no legs. Strenth is a result not a goal. power is a closed curcuit performance product. I have very little in the legs and an abundence in the back.

My point is when ever I want to grow a muscle either one that lagged or regain from what was lost, HIT got me there every time. I am a purest in the WORD HIT, to the wall, the amount is regulated the frequency is regulated not regimented.

Regimented is for extremest and it truely only worked for the individual that designed it. Hence the spawning of every faction of training.

The true fundementals of , Intensity, amount, frequency are valid, its how you apply it to suit is what is needed ( law of individuality). Think program design not routine.

HIT it! the deciples of muscle: and the cause effect relationship will be more than noticable and quick.
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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

wellness warrior wrote:
I believe that most folks have a "built in governor" that is we feel like we've gone to failure but true failure? Likely not, unless you have a trainer or partner that really pushes you. Rather than using the word failure, I prefer the term - strong effort.

I think if you add variation and induce a strong effort, you can be successful with hard and brief training.




MOST people can NOT handle training to 100% failure I find.

Heck, as I've gotten older I have found I seldom have that "mental edge" I used to have...almost a form of controlled rage...that allowed me to train to 100% failure all the time. I just usually do not have that raw mental aggression anymore. I still try to push to within a rep or two of failure, but am generally no longer motivated to go to 100%.

Have I wimped out on older age?

Perhaps.

But I'd rather enjoy my training, than hate it.

I used to enjoy going crazy, and 100% all-out. I really no longer do.

But I do enjoy training hard and progressively. And doing a bit more volume as well.

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coach-jeff

Louisiana, USA

Another reason I have gravitated towards a wee bit more volume these days (3 to 5 sets rather than my old 1-2) is because my almost 50 year old joints can no longer handle mega heavy loads safely.

Thus I've gone to higher reps and more volume. And doing so does NOT force me to use a LOT less weight. But a just a bit less.

Just basically finding ways to make somewhat lighter and safer loads - for ME at least - work as well or nearly as well as mega loads.

And since I looooove training....it's nice to be able to spend a bit more time in gym each week as well, working out.
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

==Scott==
Oh boy, we're back to that what is HIT stuff. The same old same old. Hmmm, how about free weights vrs machines or failure or not to failure? Hey I've got one, what is HIT? Oh sorry, that's where this has ended up once again, and again , and again.................
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DeBloism

PT and Brian are on the money when it comes to HIT vs volume. There is no one style that works; the key is periodization. Like PT, I alternate a very high volume week with a HIT based week, 2-3 workouts only per week. On my HIT weeks, I have an established routine and goal TULs for each exercise. On my volume week, I give my mind a break from "planning" and increase the fun factor by selecting a total target rep for each bodypart. For example, I might go after 400 total reps for legs, and I will do a combination of higher volume exercises until I get there. This overall approach works the best for me and keeps things fun.
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