Sunday, 6 December 2009

HIT Training – High Intensity Training

Some of you may have heard the word HIT training banded around the gym by some of the big muscled types, but have you ever wondered what they mean by HIT training?

HIT training is an abbreviation for High Intensity Training and was the brain child of Authur Jones, the man who launched Nautilus training equipment on to the market in the 1970’s.

The ethos behind High Intensity Training is basically that you train to a very high intensity; this is achieved through the following:

  • Reducing rest times between reps and sets
  • Using the maximum weight you can lift for your reps/sets
  • Train using basic compound movements
A typical HIT training session consists of 4 to 6 exercises of around 3 to 4 sets on each for major muscle groups such as the chest and 2 to 3 exercises of around 3 to 4 sets each on smaller muscles such as the triceps. If you’re new to HIT training we suggest you start on the low of these volumes and build yourself up.

An example workout is below:


Barbell Bench press – 4 sets x 6 to 8 reps
Dumbbell Bench press – 4 sets x 6 to 8 reps
Incline Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets x 6 to 8 reps
Dumbbell incline flies – 4 sets x 6 to 8 reps


Skullcrushers – 4 sets x 6 to 10 reps
Triceps Extensions – 4 sets x 6 to 10 reps

By carrying out sessions with heavy weights with low resting times you will fatigue the muscle, which is the desired outcome of your workout as your body will repair your muscles bigger and stronger.

You could say that the HIT training method is a similar training method to the 5x5 workout; the difference is that HIT training tends to be used by bodybuilders rather than powerlifters and weight lifters.

The High Intensity Training is a great tool to use to boost your performance in the gym. The HIT training method does however need to be used with caution because you will need longer resting periods between sessions (of the same muscle group) and increased mental strength as this training can be grueling to the uninitiated.

Note: With any high intensity workout there needs to be a period of low intensity or total rest every now and again, a good way of achieving this is by taking a week break from the gym after 12 weeks of training (every 3 months).