Is My Training HIT?

I read through Dr. Darden’s “New HIT” about a decade ago and have followed bits and pieces of the philosophy as time has gone on…but I have a regular workout I perform that, upon thinking about, I started to wonder if I had been doing HIT this whole time.

Today it went like this

18x225 front squats, straight into 18x225 squats, straight into 18x225 safety squat bar squats, into 18x225 deadlifts

It’s an 8 minute workout, so it’s short. It’s CLEARLY intense, and highly so. There is VERY little time between the movements. It’s a single set of each one. The first movement is taken to failure, and the final one actually has me fail once in the set before continuing on.

Would this be considered HIT?


I think by any definition, this is certainly ‘high intensity training’. I often feel that my training often falls into the category of HIT as well, or at least following the same mindset of HIT. Purposeful, hard ass training that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.

As a side note, I thought “The New HIT” was a very cool book. Lots of cool stories and pictures from the old days as well as good routines and even pages with visuals on how to perform the exercises.

Appreciate the contribution @davemccright . The philosopher in me poses this quandary. True: this training is high intensity, but I’m curious if I’ve been accidentally doing HIT, haha.

Although I suppose I should recognize that nothing exists in a vacuum. This could be a HIT workout, but it’s not HIT: I train the muscles themselves too frequently. The morning of this workout, I did 32 Armor Building complexes w/24kb kettlebells and 50 burpee chins, and the evening of this workout (about 7 hours later) I got in a tabata workout combining KB clusters and snatches.

But still, I’m curious if this would fit the bill. I dig chaining the movements together from hardest to easiest, and felt that was something we saw within HIT.

That book was interesting for sure. My wife got it for me from a Borders…back when that was still a thing, haha.

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Most years, yes. For a couple years now, no.

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That’s a fair point: I’m not plugged in to the newest testament.


Maybe Maybe not HIT but definitely High Effort Training.

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My God!

The question here is: How can something be high intensity training, but yet still not HIT? Not that this matters at all - You are killing it (and should keep doing so)! Who cares what others (me) think anyway?

Hypothetically, just for fun, in my humble opinion you are coming close to a HIT specialization routine, pre-exhausting, supersetting legs. But the set is probably considered too long, the reps are too many, and the emphasis on negatives maybe not there. It may also depend upon whose “religion” you’re following. I wonder what @BDJohnston thinks, as he seem to be a lateral thinker outside the “box”? Is this High Density Training?

Thanks for a thought provoking question. I am always questioning norms, and the answer to the greatest routine/program is individual and based on restrictions and goals (not branding).


“Words mean things”, as per one of my favorite quotes, haha. Much like how one can be “The World’s Strongest Man” without actually being the World’s Strongest Man, training can be high intensity without being “THE” HIT.

I really dig the detailed analysis you did. Very fair point on the eccentrics. I’m controlling the deads more than I need to from a building strength perspective, but there would definitely be room for more eccentric manipulation. And thanks for the kind words as well! This little weekly workout has really been pretty awesome for my development.


One thing I forgot to mention: Your form is actually good, which adds another check in the “HIT” box. Even the negatives aren’t that bad, but obviously more strength emphasized than pure HIT (slower).

I am also holding back on the deadlift negatives, 2-3 secs! Just because it’s more controlled and I suffer from an old herniated disc. But it may be an open debate whether it’s good for the lower back or not. Works for me. My deadlift form is more a mix of SLR and Romanians.

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Thanks once again dude! Absolutely appreciate the feedback.

My own experience says it’s the right call. Keeping the tension in the back the whole time is MUCH better on my back vs releasing it with a full dead stop and then loading it all the way up again.


This is definitely going to vary with the individual. If I keep weight light, doing longer times under tension seems good for me. Stuart McGill seems to believe endurance is more important than absolute strength when it come to avoiding low back pain. But once I get above a certain weight on deadlifts, not resetting between reps is “deadly” for my low back.

Arthur Jones–train harder(high intensity),train briefer(one set),train less often(2-3x/week)

So based on that, your thoughts?

I said it before … you’re training is at a different level altogether. It’s not only the volume you do but the weight you’re using.

Incredible … 72 reps between three different squats and DL’s with no rest between any of them. What the fuck are you made of !!! ???

I’m sure not many guys could match what you’re doing. But I’m sure there are quite a few that will criticize it for one thing or another.

As far as what to call it … call it whatever you want to call it … in my mind it’s " T3’s training ".


Dr. Ken would like it.

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Ellington Darden and I both watched your video, and we both agree:

You certainly did a high-intensity workout.

I don’t know if you’ve read my posts about my early years with Arthur Jones, Ellington Darden, and the Mentzers. If not, I won’t go into the details, but I believe you can get some insight about high-intensity training with a story.

Ellington Darden saw Arthur Jones train Casey two days before winning the Mr. America contest. Here’s that workout:



  1. Universal Lep Press, 750 pounds for 20 reps. minimal rest
  2. Universal Leg Extension, 225 pounds for 20 reps, about a minute getting to the squat
  3. Squat, 502 pounds for 13 reps

Rest 2 minutes

  1. Universal Leg Curl, 175 pounds for 12 reps, reduce to 150 pounds for 10 reps, minimal rest
  2. One-Legged Calf Raise with 40-pound dumbbell in one hand, back and forth one leg then the other

The leg cycle took 11 minutes.


  • Casey then did 10 exercises for his upper body.

No one can ever get high-intensity training perfect – it’s a fool’s errand – but you can get it practical. It’s a balancing act between effective form and intensity, with no clear winner.

If you want to continue with a high-intensity training direction, we’d suggest tightening up form and learning optimal exercise sequencing and methods/techniques layering.

We’re here to help if you need it.

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If there is such a thing as extreme intensity training (EIT), I’d call your workout exactly that. Doing 4 exercises, continuously that put A LOT of stress on the spine with 225, for a total of 72 reps, with decent technique and without much breakdown in technique is very impressive!

What surprises me the most is you are able to match your ssb with your back squats. I’m probably 20-25% weaker with the ssb than with a straight barbell across my back. You have serious core strength to do all those exercises, especially in the order performed. As someone else stated, very few people could do your workout.

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Maybe the difference is in the focus?

As i see it, as a non-HIT aficionado, traditional HIT focuses the intensity on one particular muscle, almost to the exclusion of all others (High Focus Training?). Workouts like that abomination above don’t really fit this mold because they don’t focus on one particular muscle, they just hurt your everything.

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“High Pwnishment Training (HPT)”