Over the years I have used various training systems and I have enjoyed learning the benefits of them all! When I first started I did an awful lot of ‘High Intensity Training’ otherwise known as ‘Low Volume Training’! This article is going to outline the basics behind the training system which enabled the legend Dorian Yates, to win an outstanding 6 Mr. Olympia titles!
The foundations principles of H.I.T training include 2/3 warm up sets, followed by one ‘all out’ set where you go beyond failure with a spotter at hand! You follow this training pattern for every exercise, typically complete 3/4 different exercises depending on the body part. H.I.Y also insists of the best of form as well, to ensure the intensity is channelled correctly! However, you shouldn’t mistake this as an ‘easy’ alternative to a training system where you complete 3 working sets per exercise. You don’t go to failure here and do one forced rep; you try and go for as much as 5. If you hit failure and do another 5 forced repetitions you are going to really feel this, big time! In a nutshell, that is the basic principles of H.I.T as we know it today!
So what are the benefits? The pure intensity of this training system is brutal, and the shock to your muscles is so drastic that it really does stimulate growth, growth and more growth! H.I.T is known for its ability to develop new levels of strength on a consistent basis, because you are constantly pushing those working sets beyond limits. You could say the way H.I.T stimulates such high levels of growth is through constant increases in weight used, forcing the body to grow! Another great benefit of this workout system is that you don’t spend a lot of time in the gym, so your workouts are done quickly.
Are there any drawbacks? Yes is the answer! Firstly, in order to get the full impact which H.I.T can offer you really do have to train INTENSELY! Therefore the gains are limited to your application of the training system, more than a lot of other styles of workouts. If you don’t train hard enough on the working sets, 4 sets to failure per session won’t cut it for you! As mentioned earlier, H.I.T also relise on perfect form. Too many people don't use very good form, which again would really limit the effects of H.I.T! As Dorian himself found out, this form of training can lead to injuries if you do it for sustained periods of time. Constantly using repetition ranges of 6-10 with forced reps will take its toll, but it does also really drive forward your growth and strength levels!
As a conclusion, I would say you should use H.I.T for around a month, and then cycle it thereafter with different training systems. Therefore you are only hitting the joints and connective tissues with that much intensity once every 3 weeks! This is why Yoda 3 Training is such a great system because it cycles very intense low rep workouts with high rep workouts and then very high workouts every 3 weeks! From my experience I made some awesome gains using H.I.T and now I make great gains using Y3T! If you want to use H.I.T which I recommend, I would suggest cycling it in order to enable your joints and muscle to recover. In the long term, I believe this will actually stimulate added muscle growth!