I’m sure that anyone who is a regular reader of this website would have some pretty poopy things to say about HIT training.And I would definately have to agree with all of them. But the truth is that I have never tried the methods for more than a one week, so I guess that my opinion doesn’t go very far. It just feels to me that that kind of training is about as productive as picking the peanuts out of my shit in the hopes of eating them again to spare the money that I spend on proteins… Simply pointless. So I guess what I’m getting at here is a question. Has anyone actually tried HIT for an extensive amount of time and actually seen decent results?
The truth is that when I would come off of soccer season (semi-pro before MLS was formed…yes, I am old), I would use Ironman Mag’s POF programs with some amazing success. It just worked well for me… as did not running 6-10 miles worth of wind sprints over the course of a practice. I would use Met-RX for 3 meals and eat 3 regular meals, and would always throw on 20-25 pounds in 8-10 weeks… some was fat, but during soccer season, I would get veins in my abs and lats, so adding some fat was good.
The only thing I added to the POF program was some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) recumbant bike work for 20 minutes to warm up… After the season, my legs just needed to re-coup… soccer players are cheap little athletes who take cheap shots and fake injury… which is why I prefer football and played that in college. No where to run on the football field… you play cheap, and justice will come soon enough.
Anyway, Just 20 minutes of Bike on 'Hill" profile (sprint the hills @ 120-140 rpms on the hardest level, and just smooth the rest intervals). Then, I would stretch out statically… remember, not performance training, just recovering from angry little hackers. Then I would do POF. Oh, as a finisher on the squats, I would do a single set of 20 and always increase the weight every workout.
Nothing fancy, but the size came without question.
Success was from setting my watch to alrm at every meal… and never missing a workout for 8 weeks. But, then again, success always comes when those two things are done…
Simple… not easy.
PS- I have done this with many athletes who are just starting out and need body comp changes…always produces results… then we switch to real force training…lol.
Lil Coach H, CSCS
sounds interesting…thanks for the post.
To tell you the truth I also don?t like HIT, but all methods have a time and place this, HIT is no different.
Hey TheSilverback Ironman?s POF programs weren?t bad I actually have the book and all the updates. I also used one of the POF programs and had very good success.
I agree completely. Although not the basis for my athletic training, the POF routines always produce good body composition changes for my clients. Simple, but pretty effective.
Lil Coach H
At the risk of being flamed - I have used HIT style strength training periodically throughout the last 5 years and had some great success with it. Now I’m not saying that anyone should train like this all the time, but for periods of high stress, too much work, poor recovery etc it provides a method of training from which recovery is reletivly easy.
I have tried Mentzers Heavy Duty which I didn’t like much and a more McRobert/Lestener orientated version which I did like.
I can honestly say I have made good improvements in both strength and size following a very short upperbody workout and even shorter lower body workout once per week.
Bench Press 1 set to failure
Rows 1 set to failure
Military press 1 set to failure
Chins 1 set to failure
Dips 1 set to failure
BB Curls 1 set to failure
Drop set or forced reps used every other week.
Squats 20 reps
SLDL 1-2 reps short of failure
Calf raises 1 set to failure
Deadlifts 1-2 reps short of failure
Most sets were between 6-10 reps, and when 10 reps was achieved the weight went up.
Early exercises were preceded with a couple of warm up sets e.g. 5 reps with 50%, 3 reps with 80%, 1 rep with 95% of actual training load. Later exercises got just one warm up say 3 reps with 70%…
The only way this kind of training will work is to make sure your set truly goes to failure - I.E. the weight wont move any more! Phsycologically you have to be very “up for it” to do this time after time and you have one chance of getting your set right. Oh, ind it’s pretty hard on the old joints - especially elbows and shoulders.
Like I said, I wouldn’t train like this all the time but if you are coming off the back of some high volume programme or are not recovering from what you are doing give it a try.
Anyway, hope that is of interest.
I think the HIT article in this week’s issue summed it up very nicely: it works for about six weeks, just like every other program, but it’s not a religion.