T Nation

My First HIT Routine

Unfortunately I can’t do DC (I would like to do it as well), but I think that I can reach failure with compound (only squat I can’t and widowmaker could be my friend) with any exercise.

Yesterday I worked legs and today I can barely walk, it was a long time ago that I felt DOMS.

Since I have begun this style of training, my body weight is going down, this week I had to increase to 3400Kcal. Body measures remain the same, so I’m not losing muscle (cross fingers).

So except if you have shortage of equipment, why can’t you do DC? Failure is failure, with Yates, with DC, with all of them.
However, any of the other programs or methods I mentioned will work just as well. Just learn to train to failure, true failure.

When you say “true failure” are you saying technical failure?

That depends on your own technical efficiency and injuries. For example I would never hit muscle failure on a squat because the chances are my back would go to shit again as soon as I do a very sloppy grinding rep. So for legs, it’d be leg press, hack squat etc when I train HIT, they allow me to grind.

There is a reason all the people I listed train/trained with controlled negatives, in case of Mentzer, pre-exhaustion with isolation directly before a compound was also big, even DC recommends controlled reps. In such manner, it is safer to reach muscle failure because you are controlling the reps, making sure you put every possible bit of tension on the target muscle. Even on compounds. On the likes of Squats and deadlift, there is a reason DC doesn’t recommend rest-pause, it’s dangerous, high risk of injury. Technical failure, controlled reps, then repeat on window maker on Squats. On any isolation or machine movement, even on the likes of a DB press, Smith machine press etc, if you are proficient, on BB presses as well, hit muscle failure. At least that’s what I have done. You control your negatives, and focus on squeezing the target muscle and working it throughout the movement, reach muscle failure that way

So, you think that pre-exhaustion with isolation and immediately afterwards a squat, with less weight and that I’ll be able to handle, could be a solution?

Could be, but again, until you get familiar with true failure, not necessary. Depends what you have in your home gym, but the first time I did any HIT work, many years ago, I simply started my leg workout with leg extension. Worked up to a top set of 10-15, with slow eccentrics, and until I couldn’t move the damn thing for another rep. So before I had a bar on my back my legs very jelly already.
If you do DC, you will only need to kill a muscle once in a workout.
If you do something closer to what Dorian Yates did, you have to learn to do it, 2-3 times. You kill your legs on a leg extension, then kill them again on the squat, going as close to positive muscle failure as you can without significant technique breakdown. Then on the leg press or hack squat once again. Then you gotta do it on about 2 different hamstring movements, and again for your calves.
It is mentally and physically draining to hit that grinding, painful muscle failure when the last rep takes 5-8 seconds to lift up despite your intention to explode on the concentric. Don’t rush into spicing it with direct pre-fatigue, meaning immediately from isolation to compound. Take a few months, even a year, and get yourself used to repeating that muscle failure on every exercise. If it’s too much, cut the volume by cutting out an exercise. Don’t even worry about back down sets, maybe only with autoregulation. If you didn’t feel like you hit the muscle well enough even though you reached failure, its worth dropping some weight and reaching failure in another set, with more concentration on using the right muscle. Otherwise, hit failure, next exercise.
Again, this is all from my experience, it’s up to you what you end up doing

1 Like

Thanks @bert2145, you have been very kind and source of knowledge for me that I want to explore HIT workout and its potential.

You are welcome, I would have saved some time if I had the right advice at certain stages of my training life, so if I can say something helpful, why not.

Good luck on your process with HIT

1 Like

failure or “true failure” is more like mental ,mind thing than as training proces result.
don’t forget nobody can calculate or estimate "failure ". for someone failure is different and dissimilar for the other

Mmm…IMO, but I could wrong, technical failure is when you can’t do another rep with good form, true failure is when a barbell falls on you.

1 Like

Why don’t you ask the good doctor about HIT? It’s fascinating to read a HIT thread with many names being dropped (incl Arthur Jones) but no mention what so ever of Dr Darden who is with us here.

Hi @pettersson,

yes you are right, @Ellington_Darden is welcome to thread!

i can do another set with same weight and higher reps after 5-10 min. , and another set same weight after 2 days with lower reps to “failure” . wich one is true failure ?

I don’t know what kind of HIT routines you did but it’s not a strength routine, to you don’t get 5 minutes, and definitely not 10, between sets. 2-3 min max on compounds, less on isolation. Failure is not being able to squeeze out another rep, on compounds especially this must be coupled with good form because technical breakdown has more downs than ups

1 Like

I follow Dr Darden’s thread every so often, but I never used any of his routines so it would be unethical of me to recommend him without personal experience of his methods.

That’s pretty sneaky of you to quote this

But not this

Which was part of the sentence you quoted. And then you asked a question about true failure, when you quoted his definition of technical failure.

In both of your examples, which are kind of random, they could both be true failure with different weight and different reps, if you physically cannot complete another repetition even with cheating the movement and fail halfway through the concentric.


Or, if you stopped a set the minute that your form changed, bar speed slowed down, cheated the movement, etc. - that would be “technical” failure.

Yes, different people have different definitions for these, but he described his distinction between technical failure and true failure in a pretty clear and concise manner, and you just took half of his quote out of context and asked a question that actually didn’t make much sense - I had to kind of decipher what you meant to even answer it.