High Intensity training (HIT) has been popularized by Arthur Jones, Mike Mentzer and Dorian Yates. The main idea behind it was that bodybuilders at that time were overtraining by doing endless amounts of sets and repetitions. HIT requires the lifter to reduce the working sets to just one while also increasing the rest between training days. It was not uncommon to rest 10 days before repeating a workout. The belief for that was that proper recovery required a lot of time. That’s why many natural bodybuilders were mislead into believing that this way of training is good for them. However, it’s not the case.
HIT requires to perform only one working set to complete muscle failure. That’s why this method of training is extremely stressful on the nervous system. If you begin doing an exercises knowing that will end when your body gives up, you will burn out too soon. Of course, this is not the main reason why HIT is an ineffective training method for natural bodybuilders. The main one is that the whole training volume is very low and there is not enough stimulation. When you add the extremely long rest periods it becomes obvious why the so-called HIT Jedis failed to report any growth unless they were heavily enhanced.
The reason behind HIT was somewhat logical because at that time many were using the popular Arnold routines which consist of dozens of sets. The workouts were long and regular people were unable to catch up. However, HIT went too far to the other extreme only to fail for the opposite reasons.
The popular six-times Mr.Olympia Dorian Yates is known for his support of the HIT training protocol. He claimed to be the hardcore kinda of bodybuilder. Regardless of his muscles mass what he thinks is irrelevant when it comes down to natural bodybuilding. Dorian Yates is one of the most hardcore abusers of anabolic steroids, growth hormone and all kinds of muscle elixirs. Despite of his training he was going to grow, and so he did. One of the worst things for a natural bodybuilder is to follow the advise of the IFBB pros. Chances are most IFBB pros don’t even know what they are doing. They know more about chemicals than they know about training. Therefore, what they say is only important for enhanced bodybuilders.
Another big reason why the HIT training method failed was that it relied heavily on machines. Some of the principles were impossible to apply if the lifter was to use free weights. HIT counted mainly on pumping and burning sensations – completely ignoring the fact that the pump alone will make no one grow and the burn can be achieved without even lifting a weight. The belief was that if something was brutally hard it was also effective.
Truth be told HIT was just another spin meant to make money by selling training equipment, personal training services, books and other kinds of merchandise. It was just as ineffective as Arnold’s bullshit volume routines which required the bodybuilder to live in the gym.
To summarize: HIT may look attractive to the eye, it may leave you sore, it may be brutally hard but it will fail. Your CNS will burn out for nothing. Train smarter.