T Nation

High Intensity Training

I’d like to incorporate HIT principles in workout routines, or better yet, abandon my current workouts for a month or two and try a pure HIT program.

The problem is finding one. I found a number of sites that list the basic principles; lots of weight, few sets, drop sets, and so forth, but no actual programs.

Could any of you enlighten me on your experiences with this type of training, and perhaps share some effective HIT workout routines?

My thanks,

D. Indech

Come on, I know some of you have tried this.


Darden has some routines at classicx.com.

It hasn’t been updated since September 2000 though. But if you want true good HIT, Darden is the best source. The other big name in HIT was Mike Mentzer, but I say ignore anything by him. I doubt I would have found this site if it wasn’t for the Classic X website.

Well, HIT has come in A LOT of different guises over the years but I think that Mentzer’s original ideas for Heavy Duty were pretty good. Most of us are gym rats anyway so we can’t really stand his more recent recommendations of training once every 9-12 days. Bascially you work using pre-exhaustion and work to failure in a 6-10 rep range. That’s it. So a program would look something like this:

MONDAY - chest/delts/triceps

Incline flyes/incline presses
Laterals/military press


Leg extension/squats
Leg curls/stiff leg deadlift
Calf raises

FRIDAY -back/biceps

Shrugs/bent over row
Machine pullover/pulldown
Barbell curl/supine grip pullup

Now, Mentzer recommended a few warmup sets (‘no more than necessary’) and then one all-out, balls-to-the-wall, “if you’re not dying you’re not doing it right” set. Rep cadence is fairly slow and deliberate and you make sure you get a full ROM on each rep. That’s a basic HIT program from the old days.