The Official HIT thread

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  1. Quote Originally Posted by HIT4ME View Post
    I disagree strongly with this. Being on cycle really improves recovery times, stimulus responses, etc. It allows you to increase both volume and frequency and still improve between workouts.

    If someone who is natural is using a sufficient load to stimulate a response, they better be using less volume and lower frequency - unless you are saying people recover better when NOT on gear?
    Ok, valid points (and I agree completely that being on cycle allows you to recover way quicker)........however, with what we know about the impact of aas and protein synthesis plus the frequency of training needed to elicit a maximal natural anabolic response to resistance training I personally don’t think for many that a 3 day a week program can be optimal (of course if you look at mentzer who I believe was more a full body 3x a week proponent as opposed to Yates who was a 1-2 body parts a session guy then the situation is better with 3x full body a week but I still don’t believe optimal). We know natural lifters need to hit a muscle with more frequency than those who are enhanced, and whilst you are right in that recovery is important, I’d suggest that for those on cycle the ‘recovery’ doesn’t need to be as long but that doesn’t mean that time isn’t spent growing, being able to train with greater frequency doesn’t mean that actually training with more frequency is optimal.

    Most of the big boys used to train 3-4 days a week and they were on cycle more often than not. Most coaches I’ve read suggest 5 or 6 days for natural lifters.

    Massive caveat to the above though, this is hugely individual. Ones ability to recover varies hugely in my experience. A good lifter will try a variety of programs and establish what works best for them. Just from my experience most nattys benefit from greater frequency despite less ability to recover than someone on cycle who trains less but will grow more through increased protein synthesis.

    Of course there’s the question of whether a lifter has the ability to actually do a set to all out failure (or beyond a la Yates) - that’s not a given for many but is a whole other topic.


  2. Can any of you point me in the direction of a modern HIT routine for a natural/semi-natty lifter?
    bang and your gains are gone
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by Whisky View Post
    Ok, valid points (and I agree completely that being on cycle allows you to recover way quicker)........however, with what we know about the impact of aas and protein synthesis plus the frequency of training needed to elicit a maximal natural anabolic response to resistance training I personally don’t think for many that a 3 day a week program can be optimal (of course if you look at mentzer who I believe was more a full body 3x a week proponent as opposed to Yates who was a 1-2 body parts a session guy then the situation is better with 3x full body a week but I still don’t believe optimal). We know natural lifters need to hit a muscle with more frequency than those who are enhanced, and whilst you are right in that recovery is important, I’d suggest that for those on cycle the ‘recovery’ doesn’t need to be as long but that doesn’t mean that time isn’t spent growing, being able to train with greater frequency doesn’t mean that actually training with more frequency is optimal.

    Most of the big boys used to train 3-4 days a week and they were on cycle more often than not. Most coaches I’ve read suggest 5 or 6 days for natural lifters.

    Massive caveat to the above though, this is hugely individual. Ones ability to recover varies hugely in my experience. A good lifter will try a variety of programs and establish what works best for them. Just from my experience most nattys benefit from greater frequency despite less ability to recover than someone on cycle who trains less but will grow more through increased protein synthesis.

    Of course there’s the question of whether a lifter has the ability to actually do a set to all out failure (or beyond a la Yates) - that’s not a given for many but is a whole other topic.
    Valid points as well, and I agree that most people do see benefits in the manner you are suggesting...but...


    I truly, truly believe thile bolded portion is the key here. It isn't that natural lifters benefit from more frequency - it is that most lifters benefit from more volume and frequency because they are not truly using 100% intensity. It is kind of cheating by doing more to make up for a lack of effort. This is not a knock either...I find myself doing this myself. Sometimes I would just rather do 3 sets than leave it all on the table in 1 set. Sometimes I just give up too soon.

    Mentzer actually recommended a split with lifters starting of training 1x every 4 days...you would train your entire body about 1x every 2 weeks. This was the starting point.

    The premise, which just about everyone seems to overlook - but once you fully accept it it is like a switch going off - is that you train for ONE reason. The only reason you train today is to be better the next time. You need to stimulate a response that leads to super compensation when you train, and if you have done this, then you should be stronger in the next workout.

    And the process is to stimulate ---> recover ---> grow (super compensate/adapt)

    Ine key to note here - it isn't recover AND grow. It is recover THEN grow. They are two separate steps and you cannot perform step 2 (recover) until you have created a need for recovery in step 1, and you cannot perform step 3 (grow) until AFTER you have fully recovered.

    And if you KNOW you have stimulated a response by training to 100% failure - and you come back next time and you are not stronger, then this can ONLY mean one thing. You are training too frequently...you have not finished steps 2 and 3. Maybe you have not even started step 3.

    Now, this assumes that 100% intensity is the signal for growth (you have pushed the muscle to its absolute limit), and while this is logical it may not be necessary and doesn't appear to be. Volume can also trigger this response/adaptation. And if you are training with less than 100% intensity and not driving yourself into the ground, you may be making a trade off where you are stimulating a much smaller response, but also recovering sooner and allowing for growth in less time...which would mean frequency can and should be modulated up. In other words, you can make smaller gains in less time so making those gains as often as possible is ideal. (This is also true of high intensity - making bigger gains as often as possible would be ideal, but recovery/growth requires more time).

    Mentzer's point was, start with 1 set and with very little frequency and all put intensity - this way, you can always add volume/frequency if needed because you are starting at the bare minimum prescription...but if you start at 10 sets 3x per week and don't see gains, where do you go? Do you need to do more or less volume? More or less intensity? More or less frequency?

  4. Quote Originally Posted by HIT4ME View Post
    Valid points as well, and I agree that most people do see benefits in the manner you are suggesting...but...


    I truly, truly believe thile bolded portion is the key here. It isn't that natural lifters benefit from more frequency - it is that most lifters benefit from more volume and frequency because they are not truly using 100% intensity. It is kind of cheating by doing more to make up for a lack of effort. This is not a knock either...I find myself doing this myself. Sometimes I would just rather do 3 sets than leave it all on the table in 1 set. Sometimes I just give up too soon.

    Mentzer actually recommended a split with lifters starting of training 1x every 4 days...you would train your entire body about 1x every 2 weeks. This was the starting point.

    The premise, which just about everyone seems to overlook - but once you fully accept it it is like a switch going off - is that you train for ONE reason. The only reason you train today is to be better the next time. You need to stimulate a response that leads to super compensation when you train, and if you have done this, then you should be stronger in the next workout.

    And the process is to stimulate ---> recover ---> grow (super compensate/adapt)

    Ine key to note here - it isn't recover AND grow. It is recover THEN grow. They are two separate steps and you cannot perform step 2 (recover) until you have created a need for recovery in step 1, and you cannot perform step 3 (grow) until AFTER you have fully recovered.

    And if you KNOW you have stimulated a response by training to 100% failure - and you come back next time and you are not stronger, then this can ONLY mean one thing. You are training too frequently...you have not finished steps 2 and 3. Maybe you have not even started step 3.

    Now, this assumes that 100% intensity is the signal for growth (you have pushed the muscle to its absolute limit), and while this is logical it may not be necessary and doesn't appear to be. Volume can also trigger this response/adaptation. And if you are training with less than 100% intensity and not driving yourself into the ground, you may be making a trade off where you are stimulating a much smaller response, but also recovering sooner and allowing for growth in less time...which would mean frequency can and should be modulated up. In other words, you can make smaller gains in less time so making those gains as often as possible is ideal. (This is also true of high intensity - making bigger gains as often as possible would be ideal, but recovery/growth requires more time).

    Mentzer's point was, start with 1 set and with very little frequency and all put intensity - this way, you can always add volume/frequency if needed because you are starting at the bare minimum prescription...but if you start at 10 sets 3x per week and don't see gains, where do you go? Do you need to do more or less volume? More or less intensity? More or less frequency?
    Ok, genuine question (I need to work this through and check some stuff myself but figured you may already have some idea) - if we come back to the question of on/off cycle impact, would one set at 100% intensity elicit growth (I agree with your two stage process) for a duration past 36 hours when the anabolic response/increased protein synthesis drops (I know there is a different views on the timeframe but 36 hours has been shown in several studies as virtually back to baseline in trained individuals) for a natural lifter?

    My thinking is it would elicit a greater adaptation within that time frame but nothing additional afterwards, thus the additional benefit within 36 hours has to outweigh the culmination of several bouts of training, recover, grow to be optimal.

    In an enhanced lifter that window is significantly longer and more effective, thus one set at 100% intensity is all that is needed.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Whisky View Post
    Ok, genuine question (I need to work this through and check some stuff myself but figured you may already have some idea) - if we come back to the question of on/off cycle impact, would one set at 100% intensity elicit growth (I agree with your two stage process) for a duration past 36 hours when the anabolic response/increased protein synthesis drops (I know there is a different views on the timeframe but 36 hours has been shown in several studies as virtually back to baseline in trained individuals) for a natural lifter?

    My thinking is it would elicit a greater adaptation within that time frame but nothing additional afterwards, thus the additional benefit within 36 hours has to outweigh the culmination of several bouts of training, recover, grow to be optimal.

    In an enhanced lifter that window is significantly longer and more effective, thus one set at 100% intensity is all that is needed.
    That is an interesting question. I actually just wrote an entire post about some thoughts on this...but it is such an interesting question I am not really sure.

    I will say I think we put too much emphasis on windows and elevated MPS, etc. It is more about cumulative effects than spikes perhaps?

    I also know that many people have had the experience of taking 2+ weeks off of training and go back with the expectation that they will have to build up again, only to find that are actually much stronger. Not sure this proves much, but worth considering.

    I like the angle you are taking on gear extending the window - I need to ponder it. Again, leaning on Mentzer, he stated that stimulating muscle growth was like an on/off switch. This is contrary to how I have viewed working out, and I think how most view it.

    We think - if doing 3 sets will stimulate 4 grams of growth, then 6 will stimulate 8 grams! I am not saying precisely, but deep down this is the type of thinking or feeling I have caught myself having and seen in others when working out.

    Mentzer's point was, if you subject your body to a load that triggers adaptation, then you have flipped the switch "on" and you are done. Doing twice the sets does not stimulate twice the growth. Just like switching a light switch on and off and on and off doesn't make the light any brighter.

    With this in mind - steroids do appear to increase the adaptive response, and with your angle, maybe they can do very little and get much more. But I guess we would all agree on this...Steroids will allow you to grow more with less work. They will also help you grow more in spite of additional work.

    Maybe it is more of a case of people looking at the wrong end of the equation? Maybe it is not that HIT works with steroids. Maybe it is that EVEN with steroids, our tolerance for truly intense exercise and ability to adapt to it is more limited than we think?

    Sorry if I am rambling with this post...you have me thinking out loud...I don't have a coherant answer.
    "I've never seen anyone change his mind because of the power of a superior argument or the acquisition of new facts. But I've seen plenty of people change behavior to avoid being mocked." -Scott Adams
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by HIT4ME View Post
    That is an interesting question. I actually just wrote an entire post about some thoughts on this...but it is such an interesting question I am not really sure.

    I will say I think we put too much emphasis on windows and elevated MPS, etc. It is more about cumulative effects than spikes perhaps?

    I also know that many people have had the experience of taking 2+ weeks off of training and go back with the expectation that they will have to build up again, only to find that are actually much stronger. Not sure this proves much, but worth considering.

    I like the angle you are taking on gear extending the window - I need to ponder it. Again, leaning on Mentzer, he stated that stimulating muscle growth was like an on/off switch. This is contrary to how I have viewed working out, and I think how most view it.

    We think - if doing 3 sets will stimulate 4 grams of growth, then 6 will stimulate 8 grams! I am not saying precisely, but deep down this is the type of thinking or feeling I have caught myself having and seen in others when working out.

    Mentzer's point was, if you subject your body to a load that triggers adaptation, then you have flipped the switch "on" and you are done. Doing twice the sets does not stimulate twice the growth. Just like switching a light switch on and off and on and off doesn't make the light any brighter.

    With this in mind - steroids do appear to increase the adaptive response, and with your angle, maybe they can do very little and get much more. But I guess we would all agree on this...Steroids will allow you to grow more with less work. They will also help you grow more in spite of additional work.

    Maybe it is more of a case of people looking at the wrong end of the equation? Maybe it is not that HIT works with steroids. Maybe it is that EVEN with steroids, our tolerance for truly intense exercise and ability to adapt to it is more limited than we think?

    Sorry if I am rambling with this post...you have me thinking out loud...I don't have a coherant answer.
    It’s interesting.

    I agree that steroids allow you to grow from less work whilst also negating the negative impact of too much training (especially via cortisol control).

    I guess I view the adaptation as more of a dimmer switch, as in you could work a muscle a little and create a smaller response or a moderate amount to create a moderate response or you can take it to a point where it can elicit the maximum response (obviously assuming the presence of appropriate nutrients). Once you hit that maximal point then more work has no additional benefit.....

    So, in theory you could turn the dimmer fully on with one balls out set or multiple sets of lower intensity (which would explain why both methods work).

    Just in context of this thread I was trying to dig out some of the studies I’ve seen around the increase in protein synthesis (both timeframe and rate) as that would start to add some rationale behind whether it was optimal. Was short on time but the article below summerises the points, just doesn’t link any evidence rather annoyingly..

    https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-lo...tein-synthesis

  7. I have heard talk of natural lifters needed to lift more often. For most of my time in the iron game i was natural and to an extent still am as all i take is clomid for hormone replacement ( I will be starting test the clomid was because we were trying to have a baby) and I have gotten results from 3 or 4 day per week workouts training each muscle group once. Maybe i am unique, but it seems to work well. I was actually debating if i need to change my training once i am on test. Also i was wondering guys any interest in guys posting ideas of sample workouts they do here for critique?

  8. Quote Originally Posted by jtbull View Post
    I have heard talk of natural lifters needed to lift more often. For most of my time in the iron game i was natural and to an extent still am as all i take is clomid for hormone replacement ( I will be starting test the clomid was because we were trying to have a baby) and I have gotten results from 3 or 4 day per week workouts training each muscle group once. Maybe i am unique, but it seems to work well. I was actually debating if i need to change my training once i am on test. Also i was wondering guys any interest in guys posting ideas of sample workouts they do here for critique?
    For sure there is no ‘one size fits all’ with any of this, way too many variables. Really where I’m coming from is what’s optimal (Progress can be made on nearly any program but optimal progress maybe not) and what’s likely optimal for ‘most’.

    But yeah, there will always be outliers for sure.

    Lots of people post up routines bro, go for it. You get good food for thought

  9. For me, I do best doing two full body lifting sessions per week and a bit of cardio. 3 full body sessions is too much for me, I get worn down two quick. Always felt like I did best on full body routines. Just gotta be careful with the cardio. Some is good but easy to go overboard and work into overtraining.

    Interesting part is I’m an endurance athlete by nature, but can overtrain extremely easily. Was a distance runner in high school, ran half marathons and such but could never sustain higher than about 32 miles a week- which is nothing for distance running, especially when my long run every week was 10 miles or more.

    According to Drew Baye, people like me are supposed to recover quickly from exercise and be able to sustain a higher training volume, but I’ve always struggled bigtime with it. Guess I’m a real oddball.


    One note to make about the 1 set vs 3 that often gets missed. With the rep cadence and emphasis on time under tension, you’re actually doing a comparable amount of more actual work in one set than you would be in 3 in conventional methodology. All sets aren’t created equal.
    High Intensity Training log, wedding prep:
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/305228-wedding-preparation-next.html
  10. The Official HIT thread


    The differences noted between the two ideas in OP and first reply are the differences between HIT and HIIT. The latter of which is considered a form of cardio, and is also part of that CrossFit crap people do. I think. I donít pay much attention to cucky training plans. Like Tae Bo. No idea what that **** was.

    Anyway, I employ more of the method Dorian used by himself (pyramid weight up to one all out set to failure, 5 work sets total per exercise) and less what was done by mentzer (one all out set per exercise)

    The only cardio aspect to HIT is that you want to rest under 90 seconds between every set no matter what.
    Do as I say, not as I do.
  11. The Official HIT thread


    Personally, I find I can do four full body HIT routines per week, one cardio day with an ab feeder workout (could call it PT for back), feeder workouts for arms, shoulders, chest and back nightly, and one forearm day (long arms need this I swear to you) without overtraining.
    Do as I say, not as I do.

  12. Quote Originally Posted by Old Witch View Post
    Personally, I find I can do four full body HIT routines per week, one cardio day with an ab feeder workout (could call it PT for back), feeder workouts for arms, shoulders, chest and back nightly, and one forearm day (long arms need this I swear to you) without overtraining.
    Long arms are the worst......apart from for deads, then I like them. Rest of the time they sadden me lol

  13. Yes, having long arms sucks bigtime.
    High Intensity Training log, wedding prep:
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/305228-wedding-preparation-next.html

  14. I might try the 90 seconds. I have been doing 1 minute most times

  15. Quote Originally Posted by jtbull View Post
    I might try the 90 seconds. I have been doing 1 minute most times
    I actually never time my rests. Whatever time it takes me to move to the next apparatus and set the weight is my rest.
    High Intensity Training log, wedding prep:
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/305228-wedding-preparation-next.html

  16. I recall that way back when ( over 20 years ago) it seemed much of conventional wisdom was 30 seconds between sets and a minute between exercises , but then again 4 sets per exercise and 4-5 exercises for bodypart was also common

  17. Well, for Vince gironda that was true definitely, but his idea of intensity was more like how condensed a routine could get. So he invented 10x10, 8x8 etc and his own style of supersets and only 15-30 seconds rest no matter if between set or exercise and no more than 45 minutes, aimed for 4 exercises per routine.
    Do as I say, not as I do.
  18. The Official HIT thread


    How I thought you were supposed to train was how Arnold trained as outlined in his Muscle & Fitness articles from the 70s. Full body push pull split six days a week with around a dozen sets per exercise and tree to five exercise per muscle group.

    Did I mention it was the most grueling thing ever imagined. This man is Satan.

    ďBut the pec isnít going to expect to do twenty sets of heavy bench press followed by heavy flyes, incline dumbbell press, and pullovers. So when youíre done the muscle is screaming. Itís twitching and shaking because itís been tortured. And you have now shocked the muscle.Ē - Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Do as I say, not as I do.

  19. So coming up soon I am going to be doing something like an HIT version of GVT with progressive overload and all compound movement sets to failure. See if that does what I expect.
    Do as I say, not as I do.

  20. Can you guys give a program outline on what is being discussed?
    I am trying to put together something similar as I wrote in my last thread in this section but I'm not sure where to start.

  21. Quote Originally Posted by ybg View Post
    Can you guys give a program outline on what is being discussed?
    I am trying to put together something similar as I wrote in my last thread in this section but I'm not sure where to start.
    Options vary on programming. You can do full body or a split routine. Generally, it’s one set per exercise performed to failure, though, as guys said above some people do 2 sets.

    It’s more a methodology than an exact program. Key aspects are:
    1. Exercises are performed to failure, meaning you get to the point you can’t budge the weight even with a gun to your head.
    2. Rep cadence is very slow, generally 4 up/4 down, and holding the contraction for a second or two. This eliminates momentum and puts emphasis on time under tension rather than number of reps.
    3. Workouts are brief and infrequent. Generally 2-3 workouts per week, with workouts maxing at 40 minutes- many times less.
    4. The goal with the workout is to stimulate growth then give time for recovery and growth. If you’re not consistently beating the log book, something is wrong

    There’s more info on the Baye blog, Ellington darden’s website, or you can find YouTube videos from those guys along with Mentzer and Marcus Reinhardt on YouTube.
    High Intensity Training log, wedding prep:
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/305228-wedding-preparation-next.html

  22. Quote Originally Posted by jrock645 View Post
    Options vary on programming. You can do full body or a split routine. Generally, itís one set per exercise performed to failure, though, as guys said above some people do 2 sets.

    Itís more a methodology than an exact program. Key aspects are:
    1. Exercises are performed to failure, meaning you get to the point you canít budge the weight even with a gun to your head.
    2. Rep cadence is very slow, generally 4 up/4 down, and holding the contraction for a second or two. This eliminates momentum and puts emphasis on time under tension rather than number of reps.
    3. Workouts are brief and infrequent. Generally 2-3 workouts per week, with workouts maxing at 40 minutes- many times less.
    4. The goal with the workout is to stimulate growth then give time for recovery and growth. If youíre not consistently beating the log book, something is wrong

    Thereís more info on the Baye blog, Ellington dardenís website, or you can find YouTube videos from those guys along with Mentzer and Marcus Reinhardt on YouTube.
    This.

    Personally I have more of a Yates approach where I do a couple of pump up sets before I do the big one. Then I take a slightly more old school approach and ADD MORE WEIGHT and try to hit one or two reps.

    Now, Iím trying to do something insane, and repeat the failure set ten times over with decreasing weights. We will see how it works.
    Do as I say, not as I do.

  23. Iíve mostly done ramping warm up sets for the first/main exercise, building to 1-2 ďrealĒ sets to failure. Like for DB incline Iíd warm up with 25s,50s,70s, then maybe 80s, and do a real set with 90-100s, then another real set with probably 5-10lbs more than the last set for a few less reps.
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  24. Do you guys go to failure all the time or just some of the years? I usually do failure for 6-8 weeks then the next 6-8 weeks ill leave one in the tank or go to positive failure ( last rep i can complete). I might start varying that workout to workout.

  25. Always failure, or as close as i can come that day.
    High Intensity Training log, wedding prep:
    http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/305228-wedding-preparation-next.html
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