High Intensity Training Is Not For Natural Bodybuilders Either

High-Intensity training (HIT) was popularized by Arthur Jones, Mike Mentzer, and Dorian Yates. The main idea behind it was that bodybuilders are overtraining and would benefit greatly from a workload drop.

HIT requires the lifter to reduce the working sets to one while increasing the rest between the training days. It was not uncommon to rest 10 days before repeating a workout. The belief behind this practice was that naturals cannot recover as quickly as steroid users and therefore need less volume and more rest.

According to HIT’s rules, the single work set must be taken to complete muscle failure. As a result, the method is extremely stressful on the nervous system. When every set begins with the thought that failure is the end, the mind fatigues quickly.


Yet this is not the main reason why HIT is an ineffective training method for natural bodybuilders. The main problem is that the volume is not enough. When you add the extremely long rest periods, it becomes obvious why the so-called HIT Jedis are failing to report growth.

Six times Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates is known for supporting HIT. And while Yates knows all there is to know about training, his opinion does not mean that HIT is super effective, for the fact that he was not natural. When you use as many drugs as an IFBB pro, everything works. It’s really that simple.

Another big reason why HIT fails is its reliance on machines. Some of the principles are impossible to apply on exercises with free weights.

Truth be told, HIT was just another spin-off designed to milk the unaware natties.

To summarize:  The principles behind HIT are very interesting and logical. I have watched many videos of Mike Mentzer because I was intrigued by HIT a few years ago. At the end of the day, however, HIT won’t break the natty chains either. Moreover, it comes with a serious stress on the CNS and an unnecessary downtime, which has a negative impact on your growth, recovery abilities and lifting skills.

6 comments

  1. Robert H

    Hi guys,

    The principles of HIT have severed me well as a natural trainee for over 20 years now. With regards to training to failure, its not entirely necessary, but it is desirable, at least now and then as results are proportional to the intensity of effort but forth, as for the CNS, it does not “burn out” lol, its plastic and adapts over time. Indeed HIT proponents mostly advocate using high end machines / equipment, simply because its safer and also so that balance is not an issue and all efforts can be focused on the contraction.
    With regards to HIT “counting mainly on pumping and burning sensations”, that is complete bullshit, the likes of Mike Mentzer, Drew Baye, John Little and others have stated many times that the pump has nothing to do with stimulating growth.

    Best
    Rob

  2. Glen

    HIT works fine for me and it has been for years. I’m still just as big and strong as I’ve always been.

    HIT is sufficient for one to reach and/or maintain their genetic potential. You can’t get past that without steroids. And with that being the case there’s no point in doing more than one set it’s just a waste of time.

  3. Careless Unbeliever

    It works will for muscle maintenance not growing, I tried it as I usually spend weeks without going to the gym and it works.

  4. James

    I have 38 years of doing every workout system out there, for me HIT or any prolonged pushing to failure results in CNS meltdown after 2 weeks, my work around for this is 1 1/2 weeks push push push, then back off upto 2 weeks light weight and very high volume, the 2 together. Somewhere between works well too such as 6×8 with one weight 1 1/2 times a week for one movement only, no failure and add 2-3 reps per session (for me). Keeps logs, run whole training styles, find what works for you, stay natural !

  5. Bill Pruitt

    Yates did not really do true HIT. There were some elements to it. He took from Mentzer and made it his own but did much more volume than what Mentzer espoused. He also did each body part once per week and his form was good but he did it faster than how HIT is done which might be how he injured himself several times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *