T Nation

Any HITers out there?

I’m new to this board and would first of all like to briefly explain my background. I started off with routines that Flex recommended - high-volume. I gained alot of weight (fat and muscle) with this type of training. I then became tired of it, so I turned to HIT/Heavy Duty. I did this type of training for about 2 1/2 years. From my experience, I found that this type of training was GREAT for strength, but awful for mass gains. It has been about 3 weeks now that I have returned to more volume, yet with carefully adding sets plus additional calories. I am very excited about this change and anxiously await for my muscles began to grow once more! I’m very knowledgable in exercise and would like to know if anybody else has tried HIT and what were your results?

Uh, you did not gain fat from the type of training you did. You gained fat because you ate too much.

Mr. Shugart, you have such a wonderful way with words. I could not have said it any better myself.

Two things: First, don’t lump Heavy Duty (a la Mentzer) and HIT together. Heavy Duty is an extremist subset of HIT, and you’ll find little support of those methods here. HIT is a good method for increasing strength, as you’ve found, and is a good break from a high volume routine. I’ve used HIT type training for a long time, going from 150 to 202 lbs, with only maybe 15% fat gain as opposed to muscle (over a two year period). Mix up your training. Try new things. Look over back issues of T-mag, as there’s a ton of great training advice there.

First you have to define, what is HIT? If I’m talking about one thing, and you’re talking ahbout another, my answer may apply to what I’m talking about but not to what you’re talking about.

If Arthur Jones is the principal innovator
of HIT, well then, in his “Bible” on the subject, the “Training Bulletins,” the man advocates 72 sets per week. His advice is pretty good, certainly works well, and these
days the main regard in which most would suggest improving on the Training Bulletins
is by moving to a split routine in which bodyparts were trained only two or three times per week (same total volume however) instead of
three times per week with full body workouts.

Is that what you mean by HIT? If so, then I’d say it’s pretty sound.

Or do you mean Mike Mentzer 2 sets per week nonsense? If so, that’s not the way to go (nor is 8 sets per week except as a change-up.)

During some weeks my volume is as low as 24
sets per week. They’re not gaining weeks, but
maintenance weeks.

As for an “inbetween” version of HIT, I followed the Ellington Darden theory of HIT for three years, and must say unequivocably that it is NOT the way to go, and will keep you a good
15-20 lb smaller than you could be with a better training approach. Tim Patterson could
tell you of even worse, and much longer personal experience with that approach. It cost him more like 30 lb LBM. Not just missing out on gaining that much, but LOSING it, having
already achieved it. That sort of HIT may be fine as a change-up but absolutely not as a training method always to be followed.

Bill, how many other people have you seen fail on HIT (Darden style) protocol? I do well with it and there are alot of others who do too. Take Ken Liestner and his boys (one is adopted) they are strong as oxes and the Kevin kid is freaking huge. Just because a couple of writers at you magazine had a bad expereince does not mean much. Look at the NCAA and NFL teams who train HIT, if we ask them, they will tell us about how it works. You gotta show something more rigorous than that to convince me.

Just bustin’ your chops, bro! :)—!!! Mufasa!

Oh goodness, here we go with the same f’n reply. “The NFL has teams that use it” Please, try and refer to at least one other reference besides this tired Mentzer article. I don’t think Bill was knocking all of HIT. All he simply did was give his, as well as another person he knows, experience with certain concepts of HIT, which is what the orginal poster asked for. Not for a debate on if HIT works. Please don’t make this another useless HIT pro or con post.

I started out using lifting routines from the glossy magazines also and stayed with that style longer than I should of. My gains in both strength and muscle size were very good over the first couple of years but then stalled badly. In hindsight, I’m sure that the good gains were from being new to weight lifting (when any lifting style will work) and the lack of progress at the end was certainly from overtraining. After being frustrated for some time I turned to HIT style workouts. I followed Rob Spectors’ version of HIT very closely; whole body workouts, one set to failure, always making sure that my weights were progressing, using a 2/4 cadence etc…This worked really well for increasing both my size and strength, but I did overtrain a couple of times. I kept at this for three years and then had a forced layoff from some health problems (not fitness related). Unfortunately I stopped exercising but managed to keep eating and got fat (a 42 inch waist at 6’1’’ ouch!). I’ve been back lifting for 18 months and at the same time I have been restricting my calories to get lighter. During this time my workouts have changed. First, I finally figured out that one set to failure only works optimally on about half my exercises, the other half seem to require 2 hard sets. I also control the cadence of my repetitions very carefully, with my upper body exercises moving slower than my lower body exercises. By controlling the cadence of my repetitions I can keep my exercises progressive for a longer period of time and need to change my routine around less often. I still do whole body workouts that last about an hour twice a week. Even though I have been restricting my total calorie intake, I have been very happy with the strength gains using these workouts. I look much more muscular and I have lost a lot of fat (my waist is down to 34 now, 2 inches to go!). I’m sure that what I do is not optimal for mass gains, but if your muscles are covered with fat what do you need them for?