T Nation

Dorian Yates Hit


I want to try Dorian Yates style of training but having very limited equipment (barbell, dumbbell, flat bench)
I was thinking of doing two working sets to failure instead of one per exercises, two exercises per body part instead of 3, for the rest I would do the same as he prescribe, 2 or 3 ramp up sets leading to my 2 work set.
Would it be as effective as the original protocol ?


u might be thinkin to much hombre


Your answer will probably revolve more around the amount of experience you have versus the amount of equipment. Those low volume/high intensity programs tend to work better for advanced trainers who already have maxed out their genetic ceiling when it comes to work capacity.

The reason why is the first 5 to 10 years the majority of people will find their greatest adaptations lie in the accumulation of volume (when it comes to bodybuilding the same can be said for increasing the amount of weight on the bar). After that time your ability to do more pays off less (in the form of stalled progress and injuries) and then gains tend to rely more on your ability to generate higher levels of intensity. Granted none of this is absolute and varies depending upon the person you are talking about but as a general rule it tends to stand up very well for most of the population.

If you look at guys who had a lot of success owed to HIT techniques you will find they came from a more traditional lifting background. Mike Mentzer started out being trained by powerlifters and olympic lifters and had fairly elite levels of strength in exercises like the squat, clean and jerk and bench press (at a very young age no less) before he ever got into HIT and Nautilus equipment. Same for Casey Viator, Sergio Olivia and Yates.

You can do an awful lot with just the equipment that you listed because HIT really comes down to the amount of internal tension you can place into a muscle. Arthur Jones used to call these "inroads". The limiting factor with such systems is very few young/inexperienced trainees have the motor unit recruitment ability to get very much out of training that way and even then a good 20% still responds better to higher volumes instead. The remaining majority (80%) falling somewhere in between the volume bell curve.

Please note I am not a mathematician so those percentages are really just something I pulled out of my ass based on my personal experience as well as being around gyms and being a trainer for over 20 years.

Best of luck.

Mike Cruickshank

(Please note the image of Viator is from Zack Even Esh's site)


look at this



wow what a great post MikeShank. People don't realize how strong guys like Mike Mentzer were before going into HIT. I was reading his routine and the squat set he takes to failure is with 495. Sergio Olivia was a top Olympic prospect before he switched to bb'ing style (btw I thought he trained with volume, didn't know he used HIT). The point is they were freakshly strong not beginners. As far as I know Yates never recommended his style for beginner


Oh Yeah!

Thanks Ronald!