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Thread: HIT - how slow is SLOW?

  1. #1
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    HIT - how slow is SLOW?

    So, I`ve never read Mentzer`s book nor anyone else`s about HIT, but I`ve always trained with stunning intensity, and as long as I can remember I`ve used less than 3 sets per excersice (usually 2 for my preferred mass builder and 1 for the rest) and preferred rep range from 5 to 8. However, I do not have profound understanding of the principles of the different aspects of high intensity training.

    Now, how am I to find the optimal intensity? The slower I lower the bar, the less reps I manage to squeeze with X weight. Could someone experienced give me any tips?

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    To follow HIT you should do only one set of high intensity meaning using a weight which enables you to achieve a certain amount of reps ( depending on which muscle group, 6-10 reps for deadlifts for instance ) that must lead you to positive , static and negative momentary failure .

    For the timing i personally use something like 3-2-6 . Iīm working out with HIT for 2 years now and itīs the only system which is logically working for me . Prior to HIT i used the usual volume approach but didnīt progress at all .

    I strongly recommend Mike Mentzersī last book which just hit the market , i just received my copy the other day and think its great .
    Think first, act later!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gavan's Avatar
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    Dan Dragon how strong and big are you after 2 years of High Intensity Training ?
    Gain Muscles ? Overload !
    Lose Fat ? Input < Output
    Genetic determines your potential
    Chins : 10x106kg Dips 10x109kg

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    Dan, thanks for your response.

    3-2-6? Could you elaborate on that? Keep in mind I haven`t yet read anything (I`ve read articles, but yet to pick up a book). Can you recommend any good sites that carry Mentzer`s material?!

    So, do legs, for instance, respond to higher reps than, say, pecs? Does Mike`s book discuss this?

    Sorry for all these ?'s.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gavan's Avatar
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    Mike believe in a 4 positive 2 top 4 negative cadence

    his adivce for rep range : 6-10 for upper body 12-20 for lower
    but nearly everything is done in pre-exhaustion style.

    for example flyes 6-10 reps immediately follow by Dips 1-3 reps
    or straight arms Pulldown 6-10 immediately follow by close grip Pulldown 6-10 reps
    Gain Muscles ? Overload !
    Lose Fat ? Input < Output
    Genetic determines your potential
    Chins : 10x106kg Dips 10x109kg

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    How do you guys count the secs, or do questimate?! Damn, most of the time I`m so shocked and shaking, there`s no way I`m counting while lifting.
    "And if that doesnt work, bend her over, tear off the stretchpants, and go wild on the little slut. When you're done, drop her like a missed rep. When she's regained her senses, complain that she was making too much noise. She will then realize the error of her ways, and give you her number." - Budiak

    "I have a girl that i have ride around with me everywhere, just cuz she's a ditz and amuses me. its great." - Ace Dogg

  7. #7
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    its been discussed before.
    from what most people say, its more important to control the weight.

    personally i do my fisrt sets heavy. then on each last per body part i normally do a high TUT sets. eg aim for about 60 secs tension will slow negatives.
    however i always explode on the postive as this recuits more fibres.
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

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    Body, thanks for your reply - but in Dorian`s book, which I bought yesterday, he advices to switch into raising the bar with the same tempo as you`re lowering it, because, according to him and Mentzer, this activates more fibres, and results to "more finished look".

  9. #9
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    there is plenty of evidence out there, that by exploding you recruit more fibres.
    some post on here have discussed it in more depth.

    the quicker you move, the greater number of fibres are required to keep the weight accelerating, plus you get more reps this way so you end up doing more work as well.
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

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    Body, if I wanted more reps, I`d definitely go for 20 sets like Lee Priest does

    However, this is confusing. Why was Mentzer all for 4 secs in the positive, then? I bet him and Dorian had some science there, too?!

  11. #11
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    yep there is science reasons for mentzer and yates as well.
    you have to control the weight, you keep strict form, you can't bounce the weight etc.

    when i said you can get more reps by moving the weight quickly, you have got the other option of increasing the weight moved as well. which creates more tension.
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

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    Oh, that clears it up. So, once again - different strokes for different people?!
    "And if that doesnt work, bend her over, tear off the stretchpants, and go wild on the little slut. When you're done, drop her like a missed rep. When she's regained her senses, complain that she was making too much noise. She will then realize the error of her ways, and give you her number." - Budiak

    "I have a girl that i have ride around with me everywhere, just cuz she's a ditz and amuses me. its great." - Ace Dogg

  13. #13
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    though i do not do HIT.

    I do both fast and slower movement.
    for the last set per body part, I will often do a high TUT with slow reps for that continuos tension.

    this way i cover both concerns, but if you doing one set that be harder to do.
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

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    Would super setting be considered HIT? IE when i do my incline bench ill immediately head over and do flat flies, and after about two workouts im sweating like crazy.

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    The principle of HIT is to eliminate all outside force (ie momentum) so as long as you are doing this then you are ok. If you get a chance pick up a copy of Menzters last training video filmed with Markus Reindhart (sp?). It is an excellent video and will show you exactly what his principles are about and how he used them to train individuals.

    He advocates a count of 1000's. So if you do the lift you count 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004. hold at the top of the contraction for the same and then lower the same.

    He did not however advocate momentary negative failure, only concentric and static failure.

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    Concentric and static? I`m not familiar with the terminology. Can you break it down?

    I know a vid and one of his books would be a fine way to dive deeper.

    So far I've lowered and raised the bar with the same speed, guess it takes about 3 or 4 seconds for each, and held it for 1 sec, 2 at most.

    Why, exactly, do legs respond better to higher reps?

    Thanks.

  17. #17
    Wannabebig Member medevac's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ask
    Concentric and static? I`m not familiar with the terminology. Can you break it down?
    Concentric is the shortening of the muscle by contraction (the positive, the lift itself). Eccentric is the lengthening of the muscle (the negative). Static means to hold the still (refers to any hold durning the lift but to most it means the full contraction point at the end of the positive).
    Originally posted by ask

    I know a vid and one of his books would be a fine way to dive deeper.
    I have all of his books and actually just watched the video again. Mike's goal (like Jones') was to toally stop momentum. In the vid he usually has the guy doing 4 sec. negative and a slight pause with a 4 sec. positive. He never wanted him to stop at the begining of the rep again, except during the "rest-pause" where the subject stopped for a few seconds and the lifted again for singles. The only exceptions he gave for this cadence was the deadlift and the squat, which Mike says it was too risky to go so slow. He said to allow the body to use a natural speed (it looked like 2-3 down and 1-2 up give or take).
    Originally posted by ask

    So far I've lowered and raised the bar with the same speed, guess it takes about 3 or 4 seconds for each, and held it for 1 sec, 2 at most.
    Sounds right but the guy working out didn't seem to pause that long on all the exercises -except for leg extensions and rear/lateral raises. Most of the time the subject stopped for only a second.
    Originally posted by ask

    Why, exactly, do legs respond better to higher reps?
    You asked the exact same thing as I did, as I do not remember that from his books. In the video he says this but explains it no further (which is rare for Mike). I look at my books again and get back to you.
    Originally posted by ask

    Thanks.
    You're welcome.

  18. #18
    Wannabebig Member medevac's Avatar
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    Originally posted by sonik
    Would super setting be considered HIT? IE when i do my incline bench ill immediately head over and do flat flies, and after about two workouts im sweating like crazy.
    Super setting in and of itelf is not HIT...but super setting is a part of the HIT program. In other words, the program for pre-exhausting the chest calls for pec flys to be immediately followed by the incline press. The theory is to eliminate the "weak link" in the triceps by pre-exhaustion and then finish off the chest using a regular movement.

    Now, it is pure HIT (meaning Mentzer's HIT training) not just because it is super setting...but rather because of the pre-exhaustion. If you just super setted random bodyparts then it would not be pure HIT (but I bet you would sweat just the same).

  19. #19
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    How does one go about removing momentum from an exercise?
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

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    Wannabebig Member medevac's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PowerManDL
    How does one go about removing momentum from an exercise?
    Ah, you busted me!

    ...you can't remove momentum from any movement in and of itself (are you picking on the new guy?) Obviously you have to move the weight. Zero momentum means no movement at all.

    What I meant was exterior momentum (like swinging the back and using your body weight on a curl). HIT wants you to go slower and force the muscle to cause the motion of the weight moving to force it to total muscle failure.

    You also have to understand that Mike was a big believer in Jones and Nautilus equipment. Total isolation of the target muscles, etc. to overload that muscle, rather than getting the muscles to work in concert to make a movement more economical (like plyometrics to increase your vertical jump).

    This wouldn't apply to say, a powerlifter who needed to move the most weight or a lineman pushing a sled.

  21. #21
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Oh I know. I just enjoy picking on the new guy

    But really, since mechanical tension in the muscle is the stimulus to grow, more momentum (cheat reps, ballistic reps, et al) could have its place even in a program designed for size.

    Not that Mentzer's methodology wouldn't work; I just think he had a bad case of tunnel vision.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
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    Y2A 47: thats why you get outta tickets, and into panties

    galileo: you're a fucking beast and I hate you
    galileo: hate

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    Powerman, cheat reps and ballistics? How would one aiming for size benefit more from compromising on the technique and strict pathways instead of employing descending sets, forced reps etc. instead?

    medevac, it's strange, because Dorian doesn't explain it either! Damn these guys. Did Jones write any books? He's dead by now, isn't he?

    So, which of Mike's books do you recommend first? I've understood the second Heavy Duty book is an extended version of the same ol' thing.

    So far I've been extremely pleased with the results. I spend merely 50 minutes at the gym, 3 times a week, and my gains have been exceptional when compared to my old ways, 3-4 excersises, each with 3-4 sets per muscle.

  23. #23
    Wannabebig Member medevac's Avatar
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    The only mention of it that I can find from Mentzer so far is on the video. I still need to check his newest book, "High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way" because I let a friend borrow it.

    In the video, he only says something like, "I have found, as many other HIT trainees have found, that most of my clients respond better to higher reps when training legs" or something like that.

    I need to check up on it, but maybe there is something about the cross-section of muscle fiber in the legs. I know that in most people, the calves have a different percentage of fast-slow twitch muscle fiber. I have not heard the same about the quads/hams though. I'll keep looking around for you because I would like to know as well. (and yes, Jones is dead BTW)

    Of all of his books, I would recommend the latest (if you already have an idea of how HIT works-and it sounds like you do). It was co-written by John Little (the guy who wrote many Bruce Lee books if you remember) so it doesn't come off as heavy-handed as "Mind and Body" did. According to Little, every last page was scrutinized by Mentzer before his death, but the style is so different I can't imagine Mike not saying to Little, "Hey, John, can't we add another chapter on how the average bodybuilder is a self-arrested chimp?"

    Another bonus of the book is the pictures (something lacking from the first two). And I mean tons of them. Even if you are not into HIT or think Mike is full of it would enjoy the old-school pics of Mike and Casey on the original Nautilus machines. Since Mike pretty much dropped out (or was blackballed, depending on your point of view) you hardly ever get to see pics of him back in bodybuilding's golden age. If Little is good at one thing, it is researching and digging up the most obscure photos of his subjects.

    Any way the thing is only like $18 so I highly recommend it. As for HIT as a program itself....I'll keep you posted. I am on my 4 th week of HIT and my strength on all of my exercises went up at least 20% (except my leg press which actually went down, mainly because after watching the video I realized how much momentum I was using. After slowing down, I managed less reps but felt it MUCH more). I took baseline measurements before the start (bodyweight, bodyfat, tape circumference, etc) so I'll let you know.

    I really needed a program that would allow me the recovery needed to train martial arts again. Plus I have pretty bad genetics and piss-poor recovery. At this point, if I gained 5lbs in under a year then I would be thrilled.

  24. #24
    Hungry BCC's Avatar
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    Does anyone ever actually go through with HIT training in totality? Everyone always says they train in a high intensity manner, but does anyone apply Mike's principles of rest?

    No one ever comments on only training every 4-7 days.

    So to me it seems everyone performs it half assed and never looks into the principles of stress.
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    Wannabebig Member medevac's Avatar
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    I am training currently every Tuesday and Friday only, so that's 2 days between one workout and 3 between the next. If I feel tired I will skip and add a day. I'm just begining HIT so I am still feeling it out. After years of volume training I still find myself holding back to finish my imaginary one hour workout. Last night really went for it and I can't move today, so I bet Tuesday is out. Maybe Wednesday or Thursday.

    Half-assed? I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean following the HIT program to-the-letter? If that is what you mean, then you are right as my routine is more set on my work schedule than anything. As I get the feel of it, though, I think I will have to increase the days. I'll let you know.

    Also Mike absolutely hates- no despises- cardio training. In the context of bodybuilding he has a point. But, I also like to train martial arts so I have to work on endurance at least a little or I will gas very quickly during sparring and grappling. In that instance I am dipping into my reserves for muscle growth with my cardio.

    But like I said my goals are modest. If you ever looked at my frame you would know that my Olympia contender status is a total fantasy. I'm realistic with my goals...175-180 lbs and I would be a total mass badass.....FOR ME!

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