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How Effective is HIT?


So how effective is HIT? Does it actually work for hypertrophy like it did for Mike Mentzer and Dorian Yates or do you have to be on a steroid for it to actually give great results.. or is it just something you need to be a juicer to get results from?

(Not program hopping, just wondering) And do any of you do old school bodybuilding like a 6 day split with every body part trained twice? How effective is this old kid of routine also?

Thanks yo.


Honestly I never saw what the huge difference was between "HIT" and normal bodybuilding training.

99% of bodybuilders (from Arnold to Haney to Dorian to Ronnie) all pyramid up in weight till they are lifting as heavy as they can to failure in a pre-determined repetition range. They all do 3-5 exercises per bodypart, and during any mass gaining period or offseason they all put progressive overload at the forefront of their training.

Maybe Dorian liked to do his barbell rows for 2 low rep sets to failure, and Ronnie liked to do his for one high rep set to failure, and Arnold liked to do 3 medium rep sets to failure... You do what you like, and you do as much as you can inside the limits of your own routine and your own body.


Thats a good opinion on it.

I've always wanted to try it, the pre exhaust type stuff.. 1xFailure Flyes then a 1x2-3 on incline bench stuff.

But I'm also considering an old school routine over 3 days. I'm doing Madcows for the next 8 weeks or so just to get my strength back and then changing.. Hopefully this will work well :slight_smile:


It can be very effective, just like many other training methods.

I think a lot of the problem you see with HIT, just like other training ideologies, is that some avocates see them as the answer and the best way for everyone to train. In their minds, if you're not training "their way," you're not training the right way. HIT "jedis" are notorious for this line of thinking. Needless to say, it's is a counterproductive mindset.

But as a training method itself, it's a solid option. Thibaudeau wrote an article discussing lower volume, HIT-type programs:

Absolutely not. HIT has often been promoted as an ideal method for "hardgaining" natural trainees, due to the lower training frequency.

Good! :wink:

HIT is generally defined as being low volume (both per bodypart and per workout), high intensity (per set or per exercise, often going beyond failure with techniques like forced reps and/or negatives), and low frequency (either per bodypart or per workout).

HIT generally uses a low training volume, avoiding what they'd see as "redundant" training (multiple exercises per bodypart). Some HIT variations will use a few more exercises, but classic HIT would be one or two exercises per bodypart, if that many. (Some smaller bodyparts were considered sufficiently trained by going beyond failure with some compound lifts.)

I'm not so comfortable categorizing HIT as a method that keeps progressive overload at the "forefront" of their training. It was more about working to, and beyond, failure in each workout and then fully recovering before the next session.

That style of "trash the muscle, then rebuild the muscle" was more of a priority than "make sure you get more reps or more weight next workout." Does that make sense? They're connected, definitely, but I wouldn't say overload was the necessarily the highest concern.

This is a solid philosophy.


Good answer man, I'll save that article in my favourites for a while, moving house so I can't read much.

But I suppose when you listen to so many people saying that HIT doesn't work then you begin to wonder if it's true or not.

And yeah haha, thought you'd be happy to see I wasn't program hopping.


I would strongly urge against program hopping like that, and recommend instead that you stick to a basic training program for a long period of time if you actually want to see real results (minimum 6 months).

Making small tweaks (like pre-exhausting with flyes) as NECESSARY is obviously acceptable, but constantly changing things around and trying new things just for the sake of it never got anybody anywhere. Looking at your avatar you appear to be in the novice stage still, and you aren't going to get out of it until you put the work in for a good year or so on the basics (meaning things like HIT and pre-exhaust aren't going to be helpful for a while).


Well I'm doing the Madcow as said - 12 weeks overall, this is my 2nd week in though so I meant to put 10 weeks sorry, I didn't realise just looked through my logs...

And I'm not doing anything like that for this routine I mean just for when I actually go to another routine.


I think the point was that 12 (or 8 or 10) weeks is short term. It seems like a lot of really succesful guys stick with the same basic template for years, varying exercises and minor details as needed.


Yes this is what I mean. Strength is built long-term just like muscular size. You aren't going to get "strong" in 12 weeks, although a program like that may give you some short term gains on your back squat (at the expense of other things), it is a minimalistic routine that neglects important muscles.

Why not begin a simple, complete program, and be consistent with it for a year or so? Doing this program or that program for some specific purpose is akin to yo-yo dieting... don't be one of those gimmicky people.


I just want to stay focussed on this for the next 12 weeks or so.

I want to get my strength back to where it was at one point.

I'm cutting anyway so I'm not looking for mass, just looking to keep strength.