this is a 6 year personal ‘lab study’ of sorts with some interesting findings. In a nutshell HIT is certainly effective but only as a segment of an overall trainig plan and more correllated with strength development than muscle building.The heavy duty proponents of HIT being a singular mode of training are most certainly short sided.
My ‘serious’ weight training efforts began in 1995 and until 1999 and were solely fed by the ideas of arthur jones and mike mentzer. I went from 150 to 175 and my strength rose much more dramatically… (in fact I was slightly stronger at 175 than I am today at 208!).
After plateauing for close to 2 years at around 175 in 1999, I decided to simply add a ‘backoff’ set of 12-15 reps following my set to failure.Ididn’t get any stronger but I got great pumps for once and noticed I started filling out more… noticibly. No strength increasebut a fuller look and 2-3 pds heavier after a few months (wow!). Then I decided to furher violate HD principles by going to four days a week and devoting each day to a major muscle group with up to 6 different exercises (v.s. a protocol similar to the HD handbook)…thats when my physique seemed to take off… again my strength actually declined a bit (in the exercises I’d done habitually)… but my muscle development took OFF! Went from 178-190 in a 6 month period. I pushed the volume side further in various ways subsequently (end had the presence of mind to eat more as I grew) and am now at 208ish. To this day interestingly enough, some core compound exersises are only 5-8% stronger than when I was at 175.
Bottom line for me: any routine which limits variation in loading, sets, or training frequency WILL grind to a HALT.This is the blind side of the heavy duty vision.
Their response is “decrease frquency even MORE!”.all that does is just extend the inevitable…NO PROGRESS.However, returning to a new periodized cycle which perhaps peaks into another HIT style period will have you surpass yourprevious bests significantly more… whether it be bodybuilding OR strength goals.
Yes, HIT folks, they are NOT the same!