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Does H.I.T. Work?


I wanted to know if the concept of H.I.T. works training with 1 set to failure per exercise, doing 2 exercises per body poart, and hitting the body with 2 or 3 full-body sessions a week.

Also, is the best tempo to work with a 2-seconds up and 2-seconds down tempo, or if it works best emphasis ont he eccentric, like a 402, 312 tempo.

Can you work H.I.T. with a faster concentric?

Anyone who has used H.I.T. to get big, please help me.


It would probably works, but it's certainly not optimal, there are many better programs here, especially when it comes to full body training.


Everything works, nothing works forever. Some things work better than others. Pretty much sums things up. Change things around and don't become a dogma disciple.

Do a cycle of HIT and then change your program to something different. There's no shortage of good workout routines to choose from on this site.


Of course H.I.T works, every training method works to some degree. You simply have to discouver what forms of training are more effective for you. Before you start H.I.T go grab some Mike Mentzer books on the subject. H.I.T is not simply one set to failure. There are a variety of methods that take it far beyound that. Thus HIGH INTENSITY. Get all the facts, keep your intensity up and if you grow you grow, if you don't change it up.


I recommend books by Dr. Ellington Darden.

Last year he came out with The New HIT, it is pretty all-inclusive and covers the main points and alot of the different variety that can be found in HIT.


I'm sure it works. They're are a lot of critics, though. I personally prefer to hit full body workouts with different means of stress...such as max, explosive, hypertrophy. Have you checked out Waterbury's quatro dynamo?
His total body programs will pack on some serious mass. I would encourage that before doing H.I.T. Good luck!


HIT works and works well if you truly kill it. I'm not one of these zealots who think it's the only valid way to exercise, but it is my favorite type of training for hypertrophy.

I don't know that I'd use it for athletic preperation, though.


Im currently doing HIT. About 3 weeks in?(cant quite remember). Even with a shity diet it helps(mine). Ill probally do it for another week at the most and then cycle something else. Im more of a HFT person, but all styles of training are good and have there own effects. IMO, ive learned the best thing to do is everything, 4-6weeks cycle of this, then 4-6 cycle of that, and so on.

At least thats what ive found for me to work, it took about 8 years off/on for me to learn this about myself. Im one one those people that need a constant change every 4-6weeks or i'll end up getting bord and platue.

Good luck,



Sage wisdom sir. That quote right there can be applied as an excellent rule of thumb for all aspects of life. Accidental Spiritual Genius?: Dr. Ryan



Even if you do more than 1 set per exercise(and I do) it's not only done with just high intensity but MAXIMAL intensity. I feel H.I.T will work well during a maintance phase or for beginners but there are definately better programs out there for the advanced trainee if that's you. All in all I think H.I.T is lazy and lacks proper muscle stimulus. Just my thoughts.


Yates didn't do 3 total body workouts a week. Yates didn't do 2 exercises on most bodyparts.

He trained primarily on a 4 way split, training each bodypart once every 6-7 days.

His typical back workout for example was 1-2 sets to failure of on average about 6 exercises. He wrote that he usually picked 6 of the following:

1) Barbell row
2) Closegrip pulldown
3) Cable row
4) Wide grip pulldown
5) Machine pullovers
6) Dumbell rows
7) Back extensions
8) Deadlifts

On day 2 it was 4 chest exercises and 2 bicep exercises for 1-2 sets

All together, I would estimate he did about 30 total intense sets of about 20 different exercises each once per week.


Do you train the whole body 3x/week, or split it up and hit everything 1x/week? When I read Mike Mentzers articles, I was always amazed at how he would talk about cutting the frequency of training. He wrote about one trainee who had stalled doing each bodypart 1x/week on a 3 way split (Chest/tri, Back/Bi, Legs) and he had to cut them back to 3 workouts every 2 weeks to get them to start making progress again.


Thanks. Sounds good to me, as long as I don't have to give up my Yoda status. LOL


Wow I couldn't disagree more. I think most people couldn't even do a HIT program properly. ANd by that I mean training to absolute failure with strict form. As a matter of fact, I'd bet most people couldn't. People don't like to work out that hard and hurt that much. Most people would prefer 10 sets stopping 2 or 3 reps shy of failure versus balls to the wall.


I highly recommend just one set per bodypart to failure in strict form. Train 3 days a week, total body between 7-9 sets per workout. Change the exercises every 2 weeks. You should make gains every 48 hours. You'll be super strong within a year for sure.


Did you read this in a bodybuilding magazine? Because remember, the bodybuilders don't write those articles. Usually a writer just makes up that stuff. That's why so many pro bodybuilder's leg routine looked like this:

Squats 4 sets 10-15 reps
Leg Press 4 sets 10-15 reps
Leg Extensions 4 sets 10-15 reps
Leg Curls 4 sets 10-15 reps

I must of had 20-30 magazines in the late 80's/early 90's that had the exact above routine for about 20 some different bodybuilders.


Yes and his book, and I don't presume that he wrote it, or even that it is completely accurate, but it's as reliable as whatever source said he did HIT


I agree - most people can't do a HIT program properly, but it's not necessarily their fault. In the discussions under the first Darden interview I discussed at length how HIT ignores the nervous system. This going one set all out is a good example of how HIT doesn't take into account CNS activation. Ever notice how you need several warm up sets to get to a good working weight? I've started a squat workout for instance, loaded 205 on the bar, did 5 reps that felt ugly and heavy, and thought no way will I get past 255 today. But by the end of the workout I was doing solid reps with 315. This is a nervous system thing. As I added weight, my nervous system "woke up" and was able to get the right muscles firing in the proper sequence to do a proper squat.

The CNS was also able to recruit more muscle. Now, I don't know what the HIT warm up protocol is like, or of there even is one, but this "lag time" that the CNS needs to find the right groove is why one set to failure is not optimal. And another thing - training a movement more frequently causes the CNS to "remember" the movement which means that there will be less of the lag time in future workouts. HIT, with its recommendation of infrequent training, actually discourages this neurological adaptation. You know what's really funny? When a HIT Jedi experiences a bad workout because their squat or bench technique was "off," they interpret this as being "overtrained" and actually go take a longer layoff.

This is exactly the opposite of what they need to do, which is more frequent sessions of bench and squat to practice technique and hone the groove. This is probably why HIT Jedis like to use machines so much - none of that nasty technique to get in the way of your workout.

There is no advantage to failure training. In fact, for those seeking strength, failure training can be counterproductive. "Balls to the wall" is pretty subjective. Doing 10 sets of 3 with a weight you could do for 5 reps may not seem like "balls to the wall" during the first couple of sets, but sets 8, 9, and 10 will be very tough.


May they burn in hell.


Worry not you must.... :wink: