High Intensity Training
High Intensity Training, also abbreviated as HIT, is a routine of progressive high intensity workouts. It is characterized by relatively infrequent and brief workouts based on a high level of effort. High Intensity Training (HIT) was popularized by Nautilus founder, Arthur Jones in the 1970′s. Arthur philosophically summarized HIT by coining popular phrases such as “…train harder, but less often” and “…train harder, but train briefer”.
HIT training mainly focuses on carrying out high quality weight training repetitions such that you momentarily attain a point of virtual muscular failure. It basically banks on the amount of weight, number of repetitions and the period of time the targeted muscles are exposed to tension; this is meant to increase the number of muscle fiber activation/recruitment.
Fundamental principles of HIT
Overload is the most crucial principle. In order to stimulate increase in muscular size and strength, you must impose a greater demand on the muscles than they are used to. The more intense or harder the exercise, the greater the level of overload and so is the effect of the exercise. During HIT, high intensity workouts are performed with full effort until it becomes impossible to perform any further repetitions in good form. It is theorized that this is what stimulates an increase in muscle size and strength, as well as resistance to overload for improvement. HIT methods may vary depending on the speed, specific style, number of repetitions carried out and the number of exercises
There exist an inverse relationship between the volume of exercise and intensity of exercise a person can carry out. Consequently, the greater the effort used in a workout, the shorter the workout should be to minimize stress on the body. The typical High intensity workouts can take anywhere between 25 to 35 minutes.
Train Less Often
High intensity workouts subject a lot of stress on the body. Performing such workouts at a high frequency without enough rest leads to lack of progress and over-training. Typical HIT programs emphasize single-set per exercise, three times a week, but there are many variations on the number of sets, volume and frequency of training. A general recommendation is to train not more than three non-consecutive days per week.
Bottom line: Go hard, be brief and do it less often.