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Training Guide

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Continue to learn more about training routines: Workout Routines Home

H.I.T. Training

A. Overview of H.I.T.

H.I.T. training or “high intensity training" is an effective way to build strength and size in muscles. The main focus of H.I.T. training is to train to fatigue every set with slow controlled movements and high weight. Essentially this means that you will train with a low volume of exercises at high intensity. This is in contrast to the traditional method which calls for sub maximal effort with high volume (moderate reps and sets). It was introduced by the Nautilus equipment owner Arthur Jones. He and many others believe this to be the most effective way to quick gains relating to strength and muscular size.

Although H.I.T. training is a high intensity activity, it does not entail quick, powerful movements and burst of energy. This fact leads to a safer form of effective training while overloading your muscles at the same time. An example of power training would be exercises such a power cleans or polymeric training. Many sport training programs will argue that you need power exercises that will carry over into sports.

B. Principles of H.I.T.

1. For H.I.T. training you must attempt to increase either the resistance or
    repetitions used at every workout.

2. In H.I.T. training you must incorporate high weights usually in the 1-3
    rep range but can be higher around 6-10 (with high intensity).

3. In H.I.T. training intensity must be maximal and achieved through high
    weights and low volume.

4. You must use proper technique with each exercise.

5. By the end of your set you should reach concentric failure and should
    incorporate various methods of muscle failure such as “pre-exhaustion”,
    “negative reps”, and “rest-pause” (see below).

6. Training should be within a one hour time frame.

7. Train your muscle groups from largest to smallest.

8. Emphasize major muscle groups.

9. Train a given muscle group only once a week and train overall 2-3 times
    per weeks on nonconsecutive days.

10. Keep detailed exercise logs.

C. Why H.I.T. Works

Increases in Training Volume

The H.I.T. method has shown results for several reasons. When following the principles your muscles are forced to get bigger and stronger due to the fact that you must increase the weight (however little) or increase the repetitions.

High Intensity

H.I.T. training also high intensity which produces the most results and most people never really train at this level. This forces your body to adapt and grow but also requires complete knowledge of the exercises being performed. You can check out the exercise guide for instructions and videos on popular exercises.

Major Muscle Groups Emphasized

Major muscle groups are also emphasized which will cause your body to release the most growth hormone, increase your metabolism to burn more fat, and build more muscle. This is why major muscle groups are emphasized first during a workout when you have more energy, followed by smaller exercises such as bicep curls.

Large Recovery Periods

The recovery periods are lengthened due to the high weight and intense exercises. A longer than normal recovery is necessary and will help you body grow bigger and stronger than before. Most people will often over train and this principle eliminates the risk for overtraining and breakdown of muscle tissue.

Maintaining Records

With a regularly updated exercise log your training will be taken to a new level. Now you can remember all the little settings, tips, and weights lifted during your workouts. This is key to H.I.T. training to ensure that you are increasing your intensity weekly. Check out the exercise log page for free printable logs to incorporate into your fitness plan.

Train to Failure

Many often will not truly train to muscular failure and therefore are missing out on huge gains. H.I.T. training requires you to go to concentric failure every set of every exercise. Many would say this would lead to overtraining but this is why H.I.T. has increased recovery times to get the best of both worlds. This ensures you work your muscles maximally and then taking a larger recovery period to avoid overtraining.

D. Training Techniques of H.I.T.

There are a variety of ways to train to failure using different muscle exhaustion techniques that offer a continually changing stimulus for continued growth. Some such techniques are pre-exhaustion, negative reps, and rest-pause.

1. Pre- Exhaustion Technique

Pre-exhaustion involves training a specific body part first before moving on to the bigger compound exercise involving that muscle hopes of making that muscle less helpful (To make a more important muscle work harder).

For instance, bicep curls may be done prior to lat pull-downs so that only the back will be working hard during the exercise as the usually assistive biceps will be too tired to help.

2. Negative Reps Technique

Negative reps involve only the eccentric or muscle elongating action to be performed. This is usually done with a partner as they will need to raise the weight and let you slowly control the motion down. This goes off the idea that muscle damage (the kind you want) is caused on the eccentric portions of exercises and therefore should be the focus.

As an example we can use the above bicep curl exercise. Your partner helps lift the barbell or dumbbells to the highest point and you must then let the weight slowly return to the starting position in a controlled manner.

3. Rest-Pause Technique

Rest-Pause technique involves achieving more reps with the same amount of weight by taking a break once your near failure, then continuing repetitions with that same weight.
An example including the biceps curl would be curling the weight until failure, setting the weight down for 10-15 seconds, picking it back up, and completing the reps again until failure.

E. H.I.T. Workout Routine

Here is an example of a routine you could use to begin your H.I.T. Training Routine. The repetitions are on the higher end as you will need to adapt to this style of training. Feel free to lower the reps after you are more accustomed.

Move exercises around, include your own exercises, use varying techniques, and do what works for you overall. Be sure to include all of the above principles at all times. Include at least one exhaustive exercise technique per workout day as well!

  • Barbell Bench Press (3 sets X 6-8 reps)
  • Dumbbell Bench Press (2 sets X 8 reps)
  • Dumbbell Chest Fly’s (3 sets X 6-8 reps)
  • Dips (3 set X 8-10 Reps)
  • Tricep Skull Crushers (3 sets X 8-10 reps)
  • Front Deltoid Raises (3 sets X 10-12 reps)


  • Squats (3 sets X 6-8 reps)
  • Leg Press (3 sets X 6-8 reps)
  • Hamstring Curls (2 sets X 8 reps)
  • Leg Extensions (2 sets X 8 reps)
  • Seated Calf Raises(3 sets X 8-10 reps)
  • Standing Calf Raises with Smith Machine (3 sets X 8-10 reps)



  • Deadlifts (3 sets X 6-8 reps)
  • Bent-Over Barbell Rows (3 sets X 6-8 reps)
  • Lat Pull-downs (3 sets X 6-8 reps)
  • Barbell Bicep Curls (2 sets X 10 reps)
  • Hammer Curls (2 sets X 10 reps)
  • Bent-Over Shoulder Raises (posterior deltoids) (3 sets X 10-12 reps)
  • Lateral Shoulder Raise (3 sets X 10-12 reps)


A. Overview of H.I.T.
B. Principles of H.I.T.
C. Why H.I.T. Works
D. Training Techniques of H.I.T.
E. H.I.T. Workout Routine
Monday: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders
Wednesday: Legs
Saturday: Back, Biceps, and Shoulders

Workout Routines: