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Rant against HIT !!!

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Gavin Laird
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2004/03/02 13:43:40 (permalink)
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Rant against HIT !!!

As I'm new here I thought I'd post up an old post in the hope of starting some discussion. This is my HIT rant....


In simple scientific terms HIT training violates the following universally accepted principles of training science:

1. Principle of individual differences - violated.
2. Principle of overcompensation - may / may not depends on the lifter.
3. Principle of overload - usually violated in HIT programs.
4. SAID (specific adaptation to imposed demand) - Violated.
5. Use / Disuse - Violated.
6. Specificity Principle - Violated.
7. GAS (general adaptation syndrome) principle - Violated.

In short the HIT guys are so concerned with pushing what they incorrectly call "intensity" (what they call intensity is actually correctly referred to as RPE or Rating of Perceived Effort) as the means to gains in size / strength that they blinker themselves to factors such as rep speed, load, volume, density, intensity (correctly defined - the % of a 1RM at which one works), rest times between sets, specificity of adaptation to different means of stimulation etc.

The HIT has such a shameful grasp of basic physiology that I am amazed anyone would actually follow their lead. In their anti-Weightlifting, anti-speed , anti-specificity of adaptation stance they alienate themselves not only from modern scientific rigour but from the respect of athletes who have even a gross knowledge of muscle function.




A few quick examples...

As noted in “Science and Practice” hypertrophy occurs in response to total work done. So, a hypothetical Newbie seeking a basis of size and strength could squat 140Kg for 2 sets to failure of 5 reps each = 1400Kg load. Or he could squat 125 Kg for 6 sets of 6, never going anywhere near failure and squat a load of 4500Kg.Which do you think has the greater potential for causing adaptation? Is fatigue accepted as a primary driver of adaptation? Nope. Is the amount of work done? Yes. So why would anyone train to maximise fatigue and minimise the work done?

HIT Jedi claim that Olympic lifting or any other lifting involving "fast" bar speeds preclude development as the lifter relies on "momentum" to "carry" the bar and that there is "insufficient muscular tension" to illicit an adaptive response. I have one question that so far none of the good disciples of Mentzer have been able to answer. Where did the momentum come from? Did the lifter pull it out of a special pocket in his singlet? Or did he create it by exerting so great a force on the bar that its speed increased greatly...the latter right? So if the lifter applied this huge amount of force to the bar then isn't that a stimulus for further adaptation? Of course it is.

This claim of the bar being “carried” by momentum during quick lifts also shows a gross misunderstanding of weightlifting (and even speed squatting / benching) technique. Anyone who has ever executed a full clean or snatch properly would be aware that the lifter has to push him / herself under the bar AS the bar is rising. The HITers seem to think that after the 2nd pull begins the weight takes on a life of its own allowing you to waddle off the platform and take a hot shower before coming back to ease yourself under the magically hovering bar! Hands up if you have ever stopped trying to accelerate the bar on your speed squats just after the bottom position but had the bar continue of off your back to lockout height? This is what the HITers are saying is happening - the bar is moving by itself and you are producing no muscular tension after the first few inches, just standing up.

The super-slow idiots are the worst for this, but the HIT Jedi get a close second place. The relationship between bar speed, length of moment arm and mechanical stress is a complex and ever changing one. To simply state that fast bar speeds preclude adaptive stress from being placed on tissues is moronic.

The 2nd point they make on Olympic lifting totally contradicts the first one. Some HIT Jedi like to say that OL and “fast” bar speeds put such a massive magnitude of stress on muscles, tendons etc that they will inevitably rip or tear. “Olympic lifting is dangerous”, “Speed squats are dangerous” etc. So lets get this straight - moving a bar fast reduces muscular stress, but it also increase musculotendonal forces so much that injury MUST eventually occur? Will somebody call these guys up and make them pick one argument or the other? Thanks!




My response to this 2nd piece of anti - quick lifting babble is simple. Anyone with a force plate can show you that the forces experienced by a human being jumping, running and rapidly changing directions are of similar (sometimes greater) magnitude than those experienced by an Olympic lifter. So if your going to stop OL or speed lifts in WSB cause the forces involved make it dangerous then you better stop running, jumping and rapid changes of direction - along with every sport that involves such things. Does this seem sensible?

HIT guys are now working a lift or bodypart once every 7 - 10 days, with each workout usually involving training to concentric “failure” for 1 set. They claim that this allows them to "fully recover" from the miniscule workloads they put themselves through. They also talk of how "sore" they get after every session and so forth. I hate to be the one to poop on the parade but training a muscle group once in 10 days absolutely ensures you will be sore every time you train because you will be so detrained by the time your next session comes along. Secondly, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) has very little to do with gaining size or strength. By ten days post workout HITers will have lost much of the tiny adaptive response offered by 1 set to “failure” and will be almost back to where they started.

This is why it feels "hard" every time you train...because you are detrained and have lost the benefits of your previous training session by the time you reach the next one. Train a muscle group every 48 - 72 hours. If you "cant" do this then its simply because you are not in sufficient condition and will need to SLOWLY increase your volume and frequency in order to raise your work capacity to the point where you can train each muscle twice a week at least. Incidentally, most world-class track athletes, powerlifters, weightlifters, throwers and strongmen train between 4 and 30 times per week without any problems. This is because they actually have a high level of strength fitness and are capable of enduring great workloads, which in turn leads to higher training frequencies as it is not possible to do all that work in one or two sessions a week.

This leads me to another point. Fatigue is specific to the means by which it is induced. HIT guys like to ignore this one coz to admit it is to admit the possibility of training more than 3 times in your lifetime.

To take an extreme example, say you had a very heavy leg training session on Monday, how does this impact on your pectoral training session on Tuesday? Very little if at all. In a similar way, differing motor qualities can be trained very effectively even if they affect the same muscles. For example it is possible to train jumping and bounding exercises 2 days after squatting with near maximal weights with little or no decrease in performance despite their utilising the same muscles. However, if you were to attempt a maximal squat on this day you would obviously find that your performance would drop substantially. This specificity of fatigue allows an athlete to train one motor ability whilst still fatigued from the training of another. It is this factor that allows for the frequency of training that is often seen in strength training circles.


Most low calibre athletes baulk at training a body part more than once or at the most twice a week, but if they realised that fatigue is specific then they would realise that it is perfectly possible to train most muscles several times a week as long as the workouts utilised are not overly similar in terms of motor qualities utilised or neural patterns of activation used. This enables the athlete to more or less simultaneously train several qualities ASSUMING that enough attention is paid to monitoring residual fatigue effects, avoiding overtraining and keeping tabs on total training volume. As many of you will know this approach to training is called the conjugate method and it seems to work pretty well for a certain Barbell club or two. HIT doesn’t allow for different means to be used - it demands the means is the same at all times and only allows for changes (increases!) in load - and therefore precludes the use of conjugate training or indeed almost any other way of training.

These facts alone tell us that HIT will not be a particularly effective training means but they do not render HIT “useless”. Nothing that provides a training stimulus is “useless” it all depends on the context in which it is utilised. What irritates me most about the “HIT Jedi” is they insist on HIT being the “best” way for all people to train, all the time. That is nothing short of moronic. There is no one best way to train. At each given instant in time there may be a best way for each individual to train but the chances of that being the same means, all the time, for all people, is practically non-existent. It is like betting on the same horse every time - even when it is isn’t running in that particular race - sure it might win eventually but you are going to lose out big time in the long run.

HIT and other extremely low volume routines can be utilised at times WHEN IT IS APPROPRIATE but it is POINTLESS to use HIT as an exclusive system of sports training. Some say a “medium” level of volume will be most suited for most athletes seeking hypertrophy. Id rather state that most athletes will get the best results by making use of the widest possible variety of stimulus over a long (many years) period of time - one of these stimuli might well be very low volume work taken to the point of muscular fatigue with low frequency of training i.e. HIT. Equally one of the stimuli might be a very high volume of work with very high training frequencies. So rather than say a "medium" level of volume used at all times will be most appropriate to maximise gains I’d rather say that most time should probably be spent training with moderate training volume. Almost all levels of volume / intensity / fatigue should be utilised but never at the total exclusion of one another from the overall training plan. Following HIT protocols as laid out by Mentzer et al automatically excludes all other set / rep / bar speed / frequency / rest period etc combinations and why would anyone want to do that?


So why is it that so many folks like HIT (at least for a while) ?

I think the gains made by HIT converts are down to a few factors that can be found in any training methodology as follows:

Change in volume / load / fatigue / some other parameter which results in temporary progress by change of means.

Change in work rate through mental change. "This is it! I’ve finally found the secret - now I am going to work my ass off" and Voila - the belief gives rise to hard work which in turn brings the progress via change in WORK ETHIC. Suddenly all is good in the world and you eat better, train stricter, sleep more etc.

HIT is good for generating both of these things. Low volume training is an unusual stimulus for most athletes.

Most athletes will work pretty hard on something they believe in. HIT, like all other marketed "systems" of BBing is well hyped, slickly marketed and well backed by anecdotal evidence...which generates belief before it is even tried so the trial is "biased".

After a while of this particular stimulus the athlete will become stale and HIT “stops working”. At this point if you believe Mentzer you need “more rest” or you must “call on reserves of deep energy” or some other pseudo-philosophical claptrap. The simple truth is you will have to mind a different training stimulus and it will undoubtedly involve greater training volume.
#1

22 Replies Related Threads

    bruceflea
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/02 14:42:41 (permalink)
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    so what system/rotuine do you use or proposie?
    #2
    Gavin Laird
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/02 15:52:37 (permalink)
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    J5,

    Ummm....when did i say about low reps mate?

    As for what system I'd propose, if training for hypertrophy I'd shoot for a dual factor scheme, loading volume (work done) and or some combination of lactate buildup / microtrauma / force production over several weeks before deloading. Id try to do this against a background of ever increasing load, so rep ranges would probably have to come down as the cycle went on.

    Cheers,

    Gav.
    #3
    Robert
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/02 16:24:29 (permalink)
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    you a westsider by any chance?
    rob
    #4
    Gavin Laird
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/02 16:35:45 (permalink)
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    Robert,

    No mate I'm not, although I do think Louie has done a damn fine job of dragging PL forward.

    cheers,

    Gavin.
    #5
    Robert
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/02 16:38:34 (permalink)
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    likewise, although [selfish moment] i'm not all that bothered about him dragging PL forward, more, he has dragged me forward. i take it you have read some of the articles on elitefts too then!?
    rob
    #6
    JayavarmanVII
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/02 18:12:42 (permalink)
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    The problem with HITers is they're so wrapped up in the idea that you must train to momentary muscular failure and beyond. Once you go down that road the voume and frequency have to be kept extremely low in order to avoid catastrophic overtraining of the CNS/PNS. They seem to conveniently ignore the fact that a muscle completely recovers in about 2-3. The problem with training to failure is that PNS recovry can take over a week. It makes sense, to me at least, to hold back on the intensity just a little so that you increase the volume and frequency. I'm not saying that intensity isn't important, but I reckon that 3 sets at 90-95% intensity twice a week is far more productive than 1 set at 100% intensity once every 10 days. Mike Mentzer (RIP) bangs on about GAS in his latest book and draws analogies with how the body adapts to stress.

    Consider this analogy:

    If I were to bathe in gentle sunlight for 2 hours every day for a week, I'd get a tan.
    If I could somehow increase the intensity of the sun by 100% and bathed in it for 20 minutes once a week, I'd get cancer and die.
    #7
    jon_weymer
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/02 18:13:18 (permalink)
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    Not to be bad or anything on you guys who know the ins and outs of everything you do but doesn't it a) rely on what is working for you and b) what you want to train for. In such i mean some people enjoy having to put in alot of effort into large weight compound movements and others like to concentrate on maybe a few muscles each seesion. Also if you are a bodybuilder it is going to pay to isolate certain muscle groups for definition and such while say you are training for a sport you want dynamosity and gains in real life actions which aren't in such controlled situations such as are often present in the gyms.
    #8
    ap
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/03 14:20:31 (permalink)
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    Yeah thats a good one Tuffnutt. The analogies are something I noticed as well in Mentzer's latest book. In one chapter he criticises people for cross contexting such things as socio-economic principles (e.g. the more money, the more success, the more love etc, the better off we are) with bodybuilding principles (e.g. the more sets/exercises we do, the better off we are). Then, in a later chapter, he himself is guilty of cross contexting by applying such analogies as the one you pointed out to bodybuilding, and this to me leaves little credibility in his arguments. I personally see far too many contradictions in Mentzer's writings to credit them with any degree of validity.



    #9
    Marso70
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/03 16:33:14 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Gavin Laird

    As I'm new here I thought I'd post up an old post in the hope of starting some discussion. This is my HIT rant....


    In simple scientific terms HIT training violates the following universally accepted principles of training science:

    1. Principle of individual differences - violated.
    2. Principle of overcompensation - may / may not depends on the lifter.
    3. Principle of overload - usually violated in HIT programs.
    4. SAID (specific adaptation to imposed demand) - Violated.
    5. Use / Disuse - Violated.
    6. Specificity Principle - Violated.
    7. GAS (general adaptation syndrome) principle - Violated.

    In short the HIT guys are so concerned with pushing what they incorrectly call "intensity" (what they call intensity is actually correctly referred to as RPE or Rating of Perceived Effort) as the means to gains in size / strength that they blinker themselves to factors such as rep speed, load, volume, density, intensity (correctly defined - the % of a 1RM at which one works), rest times between sets, specificity of adaptation to different means of stimulation etc.

    The HIT has such a shameful grasp of basic physiology that I am amazed anyone would actually follow their lead. In their anti-Weightlifting, anti-speed , anti-specificity of adaptation stance they alienate themselves not only from modern scientific rigour but from the respect of athletes who have even a gross knowledge of muscle function.




    A few quick examples...

    As noted in “Science and Practice” hypertrophy occurs in response to total work done. So, a hypothetical Newbie seeking a basis of size and strength could squat 140Kg for 2 sets to failure of 5 reps each = 1400Kg load. Or he could squat 125 Kg for 6 sets of 6, never going anywhere near failure and squat a load of 4500Kg.Which do you think has the greater potential for causing adaptation? Is fatigue accepted as a primary driver of adaptation? Nope. Is the amount of work done? Yes. So why would anyone train to maximise fatigue and minimise the work done?

    HIT Jedi claim that Olympic lifting or any other lifting involving "fast" bar speeds preclude development as the lifter relies on "momentum" to "carry" the bar and that there is "insufficient muscular tension" to illicit an adaptive response. I have one question that so far none of the good disciples of Mentzer have been able to answer. Where did the momentum come from? Did the lifter pull it out of a special pocket in his singlet? Or did he create it by exerting so great a force on the bar that its speed increased greatly...the latter right? So if the lifter applied this huge amount of force to the bar then isn't that a stimulus for further adaptation? Of course it is.

    This claim of the bar being “carried” by momentum during quick lifts also shows a gross misunderstanding of weightlifting (and even speed squatting / benching) technique. Anyone who has ever executed a full clean or snatch properly would be aware that the lifter has to push him / herself under the bar AS the bar is rising. The HITers seem to think that after the 2nd pull begins the weight takes on a life of its own allowing you to waddle off the platform and take a hot shower before coming back to ease yourself under the magically hovering bar! Hands up if you have ever stopped trying to accelerate the bar on your speed squats just after the bottom position but had the bar continue of off your back to lockout height? This is what the HITers are saying is happening - the bar is moving by itself and you are producing no muscular tension after the first few inches, just standing up.

    The super-slow idiots are the worst for this, but the HIT Jedi get a close second place. The relationship between bar speed, length of moment arm and mechanical stress is a complex and ever changing one. To simply state that fast bar speeds preclude adaptive stress from being placed on tissues is moronic.

    The 2nd point they make on Olympic lifting totally contradicts the first one. Some HIT Jedi like to say that OL and “fast” bar speeds put such a massive magnitude of stress on muscles, tendons etc that they will inevitably rip or tear. “Olympic lifting is dangerous”, “Speed squats are dangerous” etc. So lets get this straight - moving a bar fast reduces muscular stress, but it also increase musculotendonal forces so much that injury MUST eventually occur? Will somebody call these guys up and make them pick one argument or the other? Thanks!




    My response to this 2nd piece of anti - quick lifting babble is simple. Anyone with a force plate can show you that the forces experienced by a human being jumping, running and rapidly changing directions are of similar (sometimes greater) magnitude than those experienced by an Olympic lifter. So if your going to stop OL or speed lifts in WSB cause the forces involved make it dangerous then you better stop running, jumping and rapid changes of direction - along with every sport that involves such things. Does this seem sensible?

    HIT guys are now working a lift or bodypart once every 7 - 10 days, with each workout usually involving training to concentric “failure” for 1 set. They claim that this allows them to "fully recover" from the miniscule workloads they put themselves through. They also talk of how "sore" they get after every session and so forth. I hate to be the one to poop on the parade but training a muscle group once in 10 days absolutely ensures you will be sore every time you train because you will be so detrained by the time your next session comes along. Secondly, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) has very little to do with gaining size or strength. By ten days post workout HITers will have lost much of the tiny adaptive response offered by 1 set to “failure” and will be almost back to where they started.

    This is why it feels "hard" every time you train...because you are detrained and have lost the benefits of your previous training session by the time you reach the next one. Train a muscle group every 48 - 72 hours. If you "cant" do this then its simply because you are not in sufficient condition and will need to SLOWLY increase your volume and frequency in order to raise your work capacity to the point where you can train each muscle twice a week at least. Incidentally, most world-class track athletes, powerlifters, weightlifters, throwers and strongmen train between 4 and 30 times per week without any problems. This is because they actually have a high level of strength fitness and are capable of enduring great workloads, which in turn leads to higher training frequencies as it is not possible to do all that work in one or two sessions a week.

    This leads me to another point. Fatigue is specific to the means by which it is induced. HIT guys like to ignore this one coz to admit it is to admit the possibility of training more than 3 times in your lifetime.

    To take an extreme example, say you had a very heavy leg training session on Monday, how does this impact on your pectoral training session on Tuesday? Very little if at all. In a similar way, differing motor qualities can be trained very effectively even if they affect the same muscles. For example it is possible to train jumping and bounding exercises 2 days after squatting with near maximal weights with little or no decrease in performance despite their utilising the same muscles. However, if you were to attempt a maximal squat on this day you would obviously find that your performance would drop substantially. This specificity of fatigue allows an athlete to train one motor ability whilst still fatigued from the training of another. It is this factor that allows for the frequency of training that is often seen in strength training circles.


    Most low calibre athletes baulk at training a body part more than once or at the most twice a week, but if they realised that fatigue is specific then they would realise that it is perfectly possible to train most muscles several times a week as long as the workouts utilised are not overly similar in terms of motor qualities utilised or neural patterns of activation used. This enables the athlete to more or less simultaneously train several qualities ASSUMING that enough attention is paid to monitoring residual fatigue effects, avoiding overtraining and keeping tabs on total training volume. As many of you will know this approach to training is called the conjugate method and it seems to work pretty well for a certain Barbell club or two. HIT doesn’t allow for different means to be used - it demands the means is the same at all times and only allows for changes (increases!) in load - and therefore precludes the use of conjugate training or indeed almost any other way of training.

    These facts alone tell us that HIT will not be a particularly effective training means but they do not render HIT “useless”. Nothing that provides a training stimulus is “useless” it all depends on the context in which it is utilised. What irritates me most about the “HIT Jedi” is they insist on HIT being the “best” way for all people to train, all the time. That is nothing short of moronic. There is no one best way to train. At each given instant in time there may be a best way for each individual to train but the chances of that being the same means, all the time, for all people, is practically non-existent. It is like betting on the same horse every time - even when it is isn’t running in that particular race - sure it might win eventually but you are going to lose out big time in the long run.

    HIT and other extremely low volume routines can be utilised at times WHEN IT IS APPROPRIATE but it is POINTLESS to use HIT as an exclusive system of sports training. Some say a “medium” level of volume will be most suited for most athletes seeking hypertrophy. Id rather state that most athletes will get the best results by making use of the widest possible variety of stimulus over a long (many years) period of time - one of these stimuli might well be very low volume work taken to the point of muscular fatigue with low frequency of training i.e. HIT. Equally one of the stimuli might be a very high volume of work with very high training frequencies. So rather than say a "medium" level of volume used at all times will be most appropriate to maximise gains I’d rather say that most time should probably be spent training with moderate training volume. Almost all levels of volume / intensity / fatigue should be utilised but never at the total exclusion of one another from the overall training plan. Following HIT protocols as laid out by Mentzer et al automatically excludes all other set / rep / bar speed / frequency / rest period etc combinations and why would anyone want to do that?


    So why is it that so many folks like HIT (at least for a while) ?

    I think the gains made by HIT converts are down to a few factors that can be found in any training methodology as follows:

    Change in volume / load / fatigue / some other parameter which results in temporary progress by change of means.

    Change in work rate through mental change. "This is it! I’ve finally found the secret - now I am going to work my ass off" and Voila - the belief gives rise to hard work which in turn brings the progress via change in WORK ETHIC. Suddenly all is good in the world and you eat better, train stricter, sleep more etc.

    HIT is good for generating both of these things. Low volume training is an unusual stimulus for most athletes.

    Most athletes will work pretty hard on something they believe in. HIT, like all other marketed "systems" of BBing is well hyped, slickly marketed and well backed by anecdotal evidence...which generates belief before it is even tried so the trial is "biased".

    After a while of this particular stimulus the athlete will become stale and HIT “stops working”. At this point if you believe Mentzer you need “more rest” or you must “call on reserves of deep energy” or some other pseudo-philosophical claptrap. The simple truth is you will have to mind a different training stimulus and it will undoubtedly involve greater training volume.



    Spoken like a true ISSA man........[V]
    #10
    Marso70
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/03 17:19:16 (permalink)
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    I have done many times and see no need to be drawn into another pointless debate....

    As far as insults go, so it's okay for you to insult me and him for him to say slow advocates are idiots...mine was merely an observation...not an insult but your over sensitive ego picked up on this...grow up jonny boy and stop spitting your dummy out...
    #11
    Marso70
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/03 17:43:31 (permalink)
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    What I do find strange is that Gavin states that it violates the principles of exercise science, then goes on to say that HIT has SOME merit?
    It's either a vaild theory or it isn't othewise it's not a theory merely a hypothesis.

    Paul.
    #12
    Gavin Laird
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/03/04 11:43:06 (permalink)
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    Ok,

    Let me clear this up real quick.

    HIT (a training methodology which involves the lifting of weights in a [hopefully] progressive manner) can in and of itself have some value. However, given that the tenets of HIT exclude the use of any other training methodologies other than HIT several of the basic priciples of exercise science are violated as noted above.

    J5 states that we are looking for a methodology that is more efficient, but I think we are looking for an overall philosophy of training that gives us the freedom to do whatever it takes (in terms of training style etc) to get results. HIT does not allow one to stray from the path of it's scriptures of volume, perceived exertion, intensity and training frequency and it is in this that it is so misguided.

    So, is HIT worthless? No. At some point in ones training very low volume, low frequency training may be appropriate (I have trouble thinking of where, but it must be the case somehwere for someone) Would I counsel any trainee to use the same volume, RPE, intensity etc for their entire training career? Never. Are there "better" ways for the majority of trainees to get bigger / stronger? Yes.

    Cheers,

    Gav.



    #13
    gwaipor
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/06/18 12:49:34 (permalink)
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    where's gavin
    #14
    JayavarmanVII
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/06/18 14:08:27 (permalink)
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    He's gone on an anger management course with johnny, marso and robert
    #15
    lou667
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/06/19 15:44:52 (permalink)
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    Ok, so I find this thread very interesting, and I must say that although the original post is very well written and seems to make some good points I feel I need to disagree. I am disagreeing on the basis of experience and not on “theory” (and by all means, I’m not trying to say I’m an expert or anything; actually I’m a novice). This is what I mean:

    Several years ago I joined a gym and began a work out program with a buddy of mine. He was serious about working out and had been working out for years before I started with him so he showed me the ropes. We worked out several times a week working out isolated muscle groups with different exercises for each with the nice quick movements of 3x10 sets. Well needless to say I worked out with him for the greater part of the year to the point I got bored because of the lack of gains I was experiencing. My muscles got a bit tighter but were growing at a very slow rate. I dismissed the results, as “this is how my body just is”.

    Now, it has been several years since I stopped going to the gym; and recently I decided to go back. I used my first week at the gym to do some cardio and some light generic exercises to get my body used to moving and doing stuff again (I work at a desk). While I was doing my “warm up week” I was also doing research into how I should work out (different exercises, muscle groups, etc). Well I stumbled upon a post on this forum actually describing the benefits of HIT; I read all that I could on this forum then I found a book by Mike Mentzer explaining some of his theories. To make this long story short I found them interesting so I decided to put together a program and give it a shot.

    Its only been a few weeks that I have been doing my HIT program and let me tell you; in these few weeks of doing this program I have seen more gains in strength and size than I did in a few months of the other programs. In just a few weeks I have visible changes in size all over my body (and this is with no juice, just eating correctly like in the past, taking vitamins, protein, and creatine).

    In addition, the comment about working out a muscle once a week with HIT is a mistake. From what I read (and do) you end up working out each muscle more than the other method. I work out each muscle 2 times every 5-6 days depending on the weekends. To give an example I have my routine broken down into two sessions: session 1 is… Chest, shoulders, triceps, back width, back thickness. Session 2 is… biceps, forearms, quads, calves, and hamstrings. I do session 1 on Monday the session 2 on Wednesday then session 1 on Friday then session two on the following Monday and so on… so in 14 days I have worked out each muscle 3 times. Furthermore, each time I do a session, I change the exercise (up to 3 times) for example the 1st session one I do bench for chest… then the second session 1 I do incline… then the 3rd session 1 I do butterflies… then on the fourth session 1 I would start all over on my pattern and I increase my weights.

    So maybe HIT is not the best method for everyone… but my arms are bigger, my chest is bigger, my legs are bigger and I’m increasing the weight so fast that I don’t understand how I can lift it.

    Well I just wanted to contribute my two-cents into this topic; and just a disclaimer I’m not saying anyone is right or wrong, I’m just saying what my experience is.
    #16
    Slyblackdragon
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/06/20 04:55:05 (permalink)
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    I can't read all that at one time...lol
    #17
    gwaipor
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/07/10 12:33:30 (permalink)
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    that's too much to read dude
    #18
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/07/10 14:11:47 (permalink)
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    Lou667 - so you lifted weights for years previously and then returned to weight training after a long lay off using hit and you have had excellent gains? You don't think that muscle memory is playing a big part in your gains?
    #19
    Superman84
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    RE: Rant against HIT !!! 2004/07/10 15:07:31 (permalink)
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    Has Gavin ever tried HIT , and if so i take it he didn't get very good results . I use HIT myself and mentzer was right when he said it is the only way to train . In the future we may find a better way to train but until then its hit all the way . Why is gavin so interested in this method of training anyway , i don't go around talking volume training down . Somebody said that sets at 90-95% intensity twice a week would be better, how do u propose we measure this percentage of itensity . The only way i can think of is to a weight for example that allows for 10 reps to be done (the tenth being the one you fail on ) and then the next session do only 9 to 9 1/2 reps, true ? This would be 90- 95 % intensity in mentzers terms but the problem of this is that how do u know when u can increase the weight and/or reps to keep it at 90-95%, you could guess . We cannot measure any type of intensity accurately except for 0% or 100%, 0% being lifting no weights for 0 reps and 100% lifting a givin weight until failure . Let me also state that you do not stop after you think you might not manage 1 more rep you try it and if you don't manage it then its failure . Eg on squats you DO NOT stand up on your last rep and rack the bar cause you don't think you'll manage 1 more you go down and try to come up again and if you can't thats failure, you let the safety rack at the bottom take the weight or have someone lift the weight of off you. The next time you do sqauts the body has over compensated and you will know manage this rep ( and probably a few more ). To try and explain to a six year old i would say HIT is like doing an infinite number of sets , just with about 14 days ( for the same movement ) in between . Gavin also said that "HIT Jedi claim that Olympic lifting or any other lifting involving "fast" bar speeds preclude development as the lifter relies on "momentum" to "carry" the bar and that there is "insufficient muscular tension" to illicit an adaptive response. I have one question that so far none of the good disciples of Mentzer have been able to answer. Where did the momentum come from? Did the lifter pull it out of a special pocket in his singlet? Or did he create it by exerting so great a force on the bar that its speed increased greatly...the latter right? So if the lifter applied this huge amount of force to the bar then isn't that a stimulus for further adaptation? Of course it is.

    This claim of the bar being “carried” by momentum during quick lifts also shows a gross misunderstanding of weightlifting (and even speed squatting / benching) technique. Anyone who has ever executed a full clean or snatch properly would be aware that the lifter has to push him / herself under the bar AS the bar is rising. The HITers seem to think that after the 2nd pull begins the weight takes on a life of its own allowing you to waddle off the platform and take a hot shower before coming back to ease yourself under the magically hovering bar! Hands up if you have ever stopped trying to accelerate the bar on your speed squats just after the bottom position but had the bar continue of off your back to lockout height? This is what the HITers are saying is happening - the bar is moving by itself and you are producing no muscular tension after the first few inches, just standing up."

    This mentzer deciple will explain , the momentum from the olympic lift eg clean and press (i think this is what it is called , if not please correct me) is generated at the bottom of the movement cos we are very strong from this position ( it starts like a deadlift but you could not do it with your best DL weight , it is a lot lighter) therefore we can create a lot of momentum to help us carry (not float or hover with our jedi powers) the bar to a military press like position. So far we have strongly contracted the muscle fibers at the bottom from this quick movement however we have not fully contracted the fibers (through the positive range of motion) that brought the weight to the milt press like position, in comparison with the contraction we would have had, had we done this slowly . Then to get the bar above our heads we use our legs (because these are very strong compared to the weight and our shpoulders /arms )to produce momentum from the quick push to heavily assist the arms/ shoulders in getting the weight above our heads and locking out our arms . So yes we heavily relied on momentum but not completely (and mentzer knew this). So he was simply stating ( in a way you didn't understand but i did ) that a strong contraction would take place but not through a full range of motion . However if you where to do a rep on a butterfly machine and quickly pushed the weight from the start of the movement (which we are again very strong at)into the fully contracted position and then held for 2 seconds like mike says you would fully contract the muscle, but the muscle was not being completely used during the phase that the momentum was being relied on . And seeing as we want to lift the weight( and not throw it ) through the positive part of the rep this would be no good as there would not be any positive muscle contration .Had you lifted it slowly you probably wouldn't have managed it . Mentzer also said the olympic lifts had their uses.
    And this better way to get" bigger/stronger" please tell me what it is (after you come up with this) .
    I just had to clear this up .
    #20
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