T Nation

Questions about HIT

I think the person around here who most frequently makes the most lucidly stated and best researched arguments for doing things in ways contrary to HIT is Chad Waterbury. Read some of this articles for some very good, deep explanation of why other approaches might be better.

As far as what others think of HIT, I hate to say it but here it comes: try Search. This question gets asked about every other month. And, as someone else mentioned, there was even an interview with Darden not all that long ago.

[quote]BIGERIC wrote:
Correct me if I am wrong but I think most the success stories in the book are from steroid users.( Casey Viator, Sergio Olivia, Mike metzger…).Can the average person recover fast enough to do three intense full body workouts a week without steroids to get results that are better than other programs that say work each muscle group once or twice a week.[/quote]

The New HIT by Darden explains that a new beginner would start with 3 WO’s per week, but the more advanced you get, the less you workout. The reason for fewer workouts: recovery. Workout schedules vary: Sometimes 5x/two weeks, sometimes 3x per week with the middle workout being not to failure, sometimes only twice per week. Throughout the program, there are times when a week, even two, are taken off.

Again, this is one method of working out, not the only method, just as there are other methods on this site that are espoused as just that: other methods. I’ve read CW’s stuff, even his HIT stuff, some I like other stuff I don’t, just like Dan John’s stuff and CT’s stuff and all the other guy’s stuff here.

As for the success stories and the steroid use, that is not altogether accurate. Yes, when you are dealing with pro BB’ers, you will have steroid use, regardless of the protocol. The main success story was at the end in his case study with a guy who followed the New HIT protocol. No juice involved.

AS for some other “spokesmen” for HIT: yes, there are contradictions and divergent paths, but, as with any workout protocol, if you have three trainers in a room together, you will, generally, have four opinions.

Please, I am not trying to convert people to HIT or any other system, simply answering, in as non-biased manner as possible, any questions that come up. Further, I am not saying that one method is superior to another, just different. Being different does not equate to rejection.

Tyler

[quote]teedog wrote:
slotan wrote:
teedog wrote:
Disagree, I have seen personally, and with athletes I train, the effects of HIT with explosive movements.

Second, with heavy weights, by their very nature, you will not be moving fast. The heavier the weight, the slower the movement. Within the HIT context, if you are using a weight of 80% of your 1RM, you really don’t want to be going much faster than 2/4, both out of necessity and safety. If, however, on the concentric movement, you begin the lift controlled and lift as fast as you can and it only takes 1-1.5 seconds, fine, you will build explosive strength. Just control the weight for 4 seconds on the way down.

For explosive movements in sports or other activity, practice the specific sport or activity explosively. The transference is far more “direct” that way.

Tyler

If you’re using maximum acceleration on the concentric, then it’s not HIT. Slow tempo is one of the things HITers insist on, as it is supposedly much safer.

If you’re doing reps until failure with 80%, force production will diminish with each rep closer to failure, which would be detrimental to development of speed. Reps nearing failure will inevitably slow down significantly.

Controling the weight on the eccentric for full 4 sec is unnesseccary for speed-strenght development. On the other hand, training with maximal weights (above 80-85%) can indirectly help as maximal strength is foundational to all other strength qualities.

In conclusion, there are much better approaches than HIT. On this site, Defranco’s WSSB and Thib’s Pendulum for Athletes, for instance; although Thib’s programs are usually higher volume and you’ll probably need to downsize it a bit.

I didn’t say it was. I said, “If, however,…” implying that it is a departure from HIT routine.

Tyler[/quote]

I was refering to HIT in the traditional sense with slow tempo. I’m sure that it can be modified like anything to address goals. But there are ways of training specifically geared to improve explosiveness.

[quote]teedog wrote:
Ithink the premise is that you must make “inroad” to stimulate gains and going to momentary muscular failure accomplishes this. MMF is best achieved through completing 8-12 reps in good form in a slow and controlled fashion. In the context of HIT, you will be able to see progression in both the amount of reps per exercise at a specific weight and, when you can complete 12 reps in good for at that weight, you will see progression by increasing the weight.
[/quote]

It’s been a few days since this post. I wanted to respond immediatly but got sidetracked with some other things.

Anyway, Artur Jones’ definition of inroad is basically pseudo-science. It goes like this: if you reach failure with 80% of 1RM - you have made 20% inroad. He doesn’t not quantify that in any way. How much inroad do you make if you stop short of failure? Then, a few minutes from that set, you take 80% again, reach failure again, but get less reps. Inroad is still 80%. He doesn’t take total work performed into account. And if inroad is what’s needed, than how come people improve while not going to failure? In other words, he just made that up to sound scientific.

I guess this is the main point. You seem to be under the impression that people resort to higher volume workouts just to amuse themselves, where in fact they can have the same or better results in half the time. But, the truth is, they workout the way they do because it is what’s needed to be done in order to make progress. (Good) Coaches create different programs and use periodization so the athlete can improve optimally. It is not just the question of “inroad” in a single training session; there are many factors to consider (neural, metabolic) that HIT just doesn’t take into account.

Although it has been generally observed that elite athletes can withstand less volume, due to factors like increased neural efficiency, that level is not something you’ll be reaching after few weeks with Darden’s book. Also, you can tolerate more short term than you can long term. Recovery is dependant on many factors and generally speaking, your work capacity can be improved. The main point being, if you’re resting too much, you can undertrain.

And it took him 20+ years to realize that you can work NOT TO FAILURE and end up with Bill Starr-like approach (work up to heavy 1x3-5 on Monday and Friday, light work on Wednesday).

N=1. There is at least one guy for every training protocol under the sun that made great progress with it. While a case study is a nice approach to show the readers how to apply a training protocol in reality, it doesn’t prove the validity of his principles.

Not really true. I think that many coaches that write for this site will agree on general training theory. Check out Thib’s “Training Quiz for Smartasses”. Also, in athletics training, a good coach will never subscribe to just one training protocol; they’re all viewed as tools to improve an athlete’s performance. And that’s why I’m saying I’m not criticizing low-volume approach or working to failure, but HIT as a system.

We’re just discussing things, on a discussion forum :slight_smile:

[quote]slotan wrote:
teedog wrote:
Ithink the premise is that you must make “inroad” to stimulate gains and going to momentary muscular failure accomplishes this. MMF is best achieved through completing 8-12 reps in good form in a slow and controlled fashion. In the context of HIT, you will be able to see progression in both the amount of reps per exercise at a specific weight and, when you can complete 12 reps in good for at that weight, you will see progression by increasing the weight.

It’s been a few days since this post. I wanted to respond immediatly but got sidetracked with some other things.

Anyway, Artur Jones’ definition of inroad is basically pseudo-science. It goes like this: if you reach failure with 80% of 1RM - you have made 20% inroad. He doesn’t not quantify that in any way. How much inroad do you make if you stop short of failure? Then, a few minutes from that set, you take 80% again, reach failure again, but get less reps. Inroad is still 80%. He doesn’t take total work performed into account. And if inroad is what’s needed, than how come people improve while not going to failure? In other words, he just made that up to sound scientific.

Inroad is also accomplished by following many, if not all, of the different routines found on this site. As I am sure I have mentioned somewhere in the past, I utilize this method most for 2 main reasons:
1)Efficiency. Why do in three/five/eight sets what I can accomplish (or come close to accomplishing) in one? At my age (47) and with my time constraints, it works well for me.
2)At my age (47) sometimes your short term memory goes and you can’t remember #2. But I do remember there was a #2 somewhere. Maybe later. (scratching his head, furrowing his brow, then roflhao [“h” = his])

I guess this is the main point. You seem to be under the impression that people resort to higher volume workouts just to amuse themselves, where in fact they can have the same or better results in half the time. But, the truth is, they workout the way they do because it is what’s needed to be done in order to make progress. (Good) Coaches create different programs and use periodization so the athlete can improve optimally. It is not just the question of “inroad” in a single training session; there are many factors to consider (neural, metabolic) that HIT just doesn’t take into account.

The New HIT by Darden explains that a new beginner would start with 3 WO’s per week, but the more advanced you get, the less you workout. The reason for fewer workouts: recovery. Workout schedules vary: Sometimes 5x/two weeks, sometimes 3x per week with the middle workout being not to failure, sometimes only twice per week. Throughout the program, there are times when a week, even two, are taken off.

Although it has been generally observed that elite athletes can withstand less volume, due to factors like increased neural efficiency, that level is not something you’ll be reaching after few weeks with Darden’s book. Also, you can tolerate more short term than you can long term. Recovery is dependant on many factors and generally speaking, your work capacity can be improved. The main point being, if you’re resting too much, you can undertrain.

And it took him 20+ years to realize that you can work NOT TO FAILURE and end up with Bill Starr-like approach (work up to heavy 1x3-5 on Monday and Friday, light work on Wednesday).

As for the success stories and the steroid use, that is not altogether accurate. Yes, when you are dealing with pro BB’ers, you will have steroid use, regardless of the protocol. The main success story was at the end in his case study with a guy who followed the New HIT protocol. No juice involved.

N=1. There is at least one guy for every training protocol under the sun that made great progress with it. While a case study is a nice approach to show the readers how to apply a training protocol in reality, it doesn’t prove the validity of his principles.

AS for some other “spokesmen” for HIT: yes, there are contradictions and divergent paths, but, as with any workout protocol, if you have three trainers in a room together, you will, generally, have four opinions.

Not really true. I think that many coaches that write for this site will agree on general training theory. Check out Thib’s “Training Quiz for Smartasses”. Also, in athletics training, a good coach will never subscribe to just one training protocol; they’re all viewed as tools to improve an athlete’s performance. And that’s why I’m saying I’m not criticizing low-volume approach or working to failure, but HIT as a system.

Please, I am not trying to convert people to HIT or any other system, simply answering, in as non-biased manner as possible, any questions that come up. Further, I am not saying that one method is superior to another, just different. Being different does not equate to rejection.

We’re just discussing things, on a discussion forum :)[/quote]

It seems as though you were missing my point(s).
1)There are many different systems available and many of those are quite effective. I am only making comments, in answer to a question.

2)N=1. True, we can’t base a study or results on one person. To be fair, Darden has written over 40 books and, though I haven’t read them all, he seems to have case studies in each. His principles are sound, as are many others.

3)Good coaches do adapt programs to individuals. I do the same with the different athletes I train. Some respond better to HIT than anything, while others respond to different styles/methods. The key, I am sure you will agree, is to identify the individual with the program that works best. (I am not articulating this as well as I would like, I’m at work)

4)It did take him 20 years to incorporate the Not To Failure, but he did and that says something. There are also many who were upset/disappointed with that concept. I personally think it is a good idea and when I do HIT, I incorporate it into my routine.

5)As you mentioned, these are all tools that can be utilized. HIT is one tool that I utilize among several others.

I was trying to be as neutral and unbiased as I could because I knew I would get crticism for my comments on HIT. Oh well.

Tyler

[quote]teedog wrote:
It seems as though you were missing my point(s).
[/quote]

No, I get your point. You train people using different methods, HIT included, and adjust when needed. At no point was I critizicing you personally or the kind of work you do.

I am however, to repeat once again, criticizing HIT as a system of training, also as a response to a initial post of this thread. I was also responding to your comment how you basically get the job done with just one set… I wanted to point out that some, if not many, people NEED more work in order to improve, they’re not doing more out of ignorance. In order to cope with more work, they resort to periodized schemes.

But going to failure is the most important piece of HIT dogma. Generally speaking, if you accept that some workouts can be NTF, than why not accept, say, Starr’s heavy-light-medium approach, or going to failure every 3rd week a la Ian King. As for Darden, I think he’s as narrow minded as other HIT cultists.

[quote]
I was trying to be as neutral and unbiased as I could because I knew I would get crticism for my comments on HIT. Oh well.

Tyler[/quote]

Once again, I’m not criticizing you personally. You have an open mind and seem to have incorporated positive aspects of HIT in your routines. In fact, I wouldn’t call the way you do things HIT in the first place, so maybe we’re just discussing semantics. I personally do similar volume (15-18 work sets) during my accumulation phase to Jones’ original recommendations (12 sets, full body, 3x a week), and about 8-10 in intesification (with less reps overall).