LESS IS MORE? THE SCIENCE OF HIT
When you first come across the idea of “less, but intense is more” training you can hardly be blamed if you have some initial skepticism. I know I did, after being nearly raised on a diet of bodybuilding magazines that generally pushed ideas that were nearly exactly opposite to HIT.
Seeing is believing, but it’s good to know that there is science that backs up the results we see from this training in the gym. Let’s take a look. Afterward we’ll browse some of the many benefits of this training lifestyle!
HIT is the Science of Bodybuilding
* The Science Behind Intensity. HIT advocates define intensity as training to failure, which is a definition that’s not always accepted and used by science and strength training journals. Frankly, our HIT definition makes much more sense than the various ones used by these egg head types. Training to failure as a means towards building muscle mass quickly has been studied in a series of Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research articles by JM Willardson.
Willardson found himself surprised to end up in agreement with the HIT training theories of Jones and Metzner when he saw a 9.5% increase in power compared to a 5% increase in the same time period by those following more traditional training programs! This backs up exactly what we’ve seen in the gym! And in the mirror.
* The Science Behind Low Volume. The HIT idea of very low sets for each exercise is an area that is most often attacked by HIT’s critics. It’s also an area that has returned some of the most promising scientific studies. The Journal of Sports Medicine and the Journal of Exercise Physiology, which are two of the highest regarded journals in the sports and fitness fields both have turned out articles supporting HIT’s very low set protocol as being optimal for athletic development!
* The Science Behind Rest. Extended rest days between training sessions has been a key principle we’ve seen behind the success of HIT over the years. The Journal of Sports Medicine has featured a series of acclaimed articles by M.J. Cleak that laid out in great detail the fact that when muscles are rested 96 hours between sessions they make strength progressions at a much quicker pace. This is HIT theory confirmed.
Find this intriguing? Mike Mentzer famously wrote a book titled “Science of Bodybuilding” which I’d highly suggest for further HIT reading after our Guide here, of course. It expertly breaks down the science behind HIT principles in great detail. Check it out!
Benefits of HIT
Now that we’ve seen the science behind high intensity training, let’s finish up this chapter with some of the proven benefits of HIT. We enjoy them and you can too!
* Workout Times are Slashed. You spend much less time in the gym training HIT style. A few hours a week as compared to what seems like a part time job with other bodybuilding training methods. This gives us lots more time to devote to other important things, to relax or even
to have fun!
* Over training is Never an Issue. Nothing will stunt your muscle growth, strength gains or injure you quicker than over training! With high intensity training you will almost never over train when the principles are followed correctly.
* Joints Stay Protected. Many joint (knee, elbow, shoulder) injuries are from high rep grinding over the years. With HIT training your joints don’t receive this type of grinding day in and out. This equals less injuries.
* You Grow and become more Powerful Quickly. This is the primary reason most of us follow HIT. Try HIT and you will become a believer!
Science and real world results. It doesn’t get much better.