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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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Gavin Irby

Dr. Darden,

I am a new HIT enthusiast who picked up your "The New High Intensity Training" book a few months ago. I've made really impressive gains in a short period of time thanks to HIT and couldn't be happier about it. However, I've recently begun to suffer from headaches during my workouts and hoped you could help me figure out why. It's doubly frustrating because not only does it hinder my workouts but also really hurts! It almost always occurs during large muscle group exercises like the leg press, squat, or bench press. The headaches are so bad that I must immediately stop my workout and it often hurts the rest of the day. Currently, I am doing the second beginner routine from chapter 14 - Basic routines for beginners and intermediates. Some information about me:

I am 6' 1" 160lbs and almost no fat. I am on no medications, although occasionally drink and smoke some pot. I have no physical problems other than these headaches and get plenty of sleep and rest. However, I do currently live in Sri Lanka - a hot, humid tropical country and the air pollution from diesel and petrol vehicles is pretty terrible. My diet consists of a whole lot of rice along with fish and chicken.

If you have any suggestions about what the cause might be, please let me know. I'm very excited about the progress I've made with HIT and want to continue as soon as possible.

sincerely,
Gavin
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CoastyFighter

Florida, USA

Hello, I would appreciate your opinion on this issue.

I am 22 years old and have been lifting weights for about 3 years trying to gain muscle and strength while gaining that desirable atheltic appearance as well. I am 75 inches and weigh around 160 lbs, up from 140 when I started at the same height. I am looking to increase my strength and muscle mass, reaching around 185 lbs, but I still want to be lean with visible abs. I also need to be able to do pull-ups 10 reps no rest, for qualifying in training as an officer in the Coast Guard. I used an upper-body lower body split, every other day, but now have a split that goes{ Day 1-legs, Day 2-cardio, Day 3- Chest,Shoulders,Traps, Day 4-cardio, Day 5-Back, arms, Day 6- Cardio and repeat.}

On the days in between lifting I do cardio consisting of a four mile run in 28-30 min's with four minute-long sprints with 50 seconds rest in between, for the first two miles, followed by 15-20 minutes kickboxing (heavy Bag) muy-tai, or I will swim one + mile( 80 laps) non stop freestyle, also I do some martial arts just about every day (20mins). I ride a bicycle for 45 minutes to one hour every day,about 20 miles, some times a half hour to a location and then a half hour back. My speed is usually around 12-17 miles per hour. I eat really only whole foods and use a whey protein supplement after lifting. I can not stop cardio due to OCS school I have to make times for the running and swimming ,as well as match the endurance needed just to finish. My calories are around 3100-3400 with over 1 gram of protein per pound body weight spread over 4-6 meals (big breakfast and dinner then 2-3 small meals). I have eaten whole pizzas in the past but am afraid of getting to soft, although everyone constantly says I have no fat. My workouts consist of lifting to failure using some rest pause and beyond failure reps for hacks, bench, leg press, and some others. On my lifting days in the morning I do abs ( about 9 sets of weighted decline situps and crunches) then do my 20mins of martial arts on the heavy bag. I then eat breakfast and go to the gym about 2 hours later. My workouts have been total body, split, etc.. and seem to always last over 90mins. They are as follows:

Chest/Shoulders/traps

Bench: 4-5 x 4-8
Incline Bench: 2 x 6-8
Dips: 3 x 4-8 (machine assisted last 2 sets for 8 reps)
Incline Dumbell Press 2 x 8
Military press 4 x 6-10
upright rows 3 x 8
lateral raises 3 x6-8
rear laterials 3 x 8
shrugs 3-5 x 10-15

Back/ arms

(deadlifts) ? 3-4 x 6-12
Barbell rows: 4 x 6-8
Chins (machine assisted) 3 x 6-10
Pull downs overhand 3 x 8-10
Pull downs Close grip underhand 2 x 8
Barbell curls 4 x 4-8
Dumbbell Curls 3 x 6-10
Close Grip bench 4 x 6-8
lying skull crushers 3 x 6-8
push-ups to exhaustion
sit-ups 2 sets of 60 on decline bench w/ 10 lbs.

legs:
Squats/smith machine? 3-4 x 7-12
stiff leg deads 3-4 x 6-12
hack squat machine 2-3 x 6-8
leg press 3-4 x 6-8
leg extensions 4 x 8-10
leg curls 4 x 6-10
calve raises 3 dumbbell + 3 smith machine x 8-15
sit-ups 2 x 60 reps W/10 lbs decline

Abdominals: Trained workout day prior to gym in morning+ 15 minutes martial arts:
1)superset of 2 reverse crunches 30 reps+ 2 decline weighted sit ups 60 reps 10 lbs
2)superset of 2 weighted regular crunches 60 reps 10 lbs+ 2 sets 60 reps bicycle crunch
3) 1 set 30 rep weighted 25 lbs sit up decline + 1 set regular crunch 60 reps.

I have yet to see much in the way of increases in strength or size. I have "no body fat" to quote some who see me and have a visible six pack. I guess my body fat to be around 10% or less then. Any advice, should keep the split, go back to upper/lower body, not go to failure, not use rest-pause and strip sets, or just eat more. Also do to my height of 6' 3 " i find it dificult to do squats and deadlifts with enough weight that I can fail with but use any reseblance of good form. On squats my knees always come together and I lean to far forward, on deads my hips come up and my back always rounds. I have been told to cut them from my routine and do smith squats, no deads or only partial deads, any suggestions on whether I need these two exersises to make the same gains or should i just replace them with, smith squats, leg press, hyperextentions, etc...Thanks for the info. Brandon
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CoastyFighter

Florida, USA

Hello Dr. Darden , great advice colomns and I would appreciate your opinion on this issue.

I am 22 years old and an officer in training for the US Coast Guard. I have been lifting weights for about 3 years trying to gain muscle and strength while maintaining that desirable atheltic "CUT" appearance as well. I started at 140lbs same height and my doctor told me to gain wieght, and as a "LE officer to be" I needed to be stonger and larger. I am 75 inches and weigh around 158-160 lbs, up from that 140 when I started at the same height. I am looking to increase my strength and muscle mass, reaching around 185 lbs, but I still want to be lean with visible abs. I also need to be able to do pull-ups 10 reps no rest, for qualifying in training as an officer in the Coast Guard. I used an upper-body lower body split, every other day, but now have a split that goes{ Day 1-legs, Day 2-cardio, Day 3- Chest,Shoulders,Traps, Day 4-cardio, Day 5-Back, arms, Day 6- Cardio and repeat.}

On the days in between lifting I do cardio consisting of a four mile run in 28-30 min's with four minute-long sprints with 50 seconds rest in between, for the first two miles, followed by 15-20 minutes kickboxing (heavy Bag) muy-tai, or I will swim one + mile( 80 laps) non stop freestyle, also I do some martial arts just about every day (20mins). I ride a bicycle for 45 minutes to one hour every day,about 20 miles, some times a half hour to a location and then a half hour back. My speed is usually around 12-17 miles per hour. I eat really only whole foods and use a whey protein supplement after lifting. I can not stop cardio due to OCS school I have to make times for the running, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and swimming ,as well as match the endurance needed just to finish. My calories are around 3100-3400 with over 1 gram of protein per pound body weight spread over 4-6 meals (big breakfast and dinner then 2-3 small meals). I have eaten whole pizzas in the past but am afraid of getting too soft, although everyone constantly says I have no fat. My workouts consist of lifting to failure using some rest pause and beyond failure reps for hacks, bench, leg press, and some others. On my lifting days in the morning I do abs ( about 9 sets of weighted decline situps and crunches) then do my 20mins of martial arts on the heavy bag. I then eat breakfast and go to the gym about 1-2 hours later. My workouts have been total body, split, etc.. and seem to always last over 90-120mins. They are as follows:

Chest/Shoulders/traps

Bench: 4-5 x 4-8
Incline Bench: 2 x 6-8
Dips: 3 x 4-8 (machine assisted last 2 sets for 8 reps)
Incline Dumbell Press 2 x 8
Military press 4 x 6-10
upright rows 3 x 8
lateral raises 3 x6-8
rear laterials 3 x 8
shrugs 3-5 x 10-15

Back/ arms

(deadlifts) ? 3-4 x 6-12
Barbell rows: 4 x 6-8
Chins (machine assisted) 3 x 6-10
Pull downs overhand 3 x 8-10
Pull downs Close grip underhand 2 x 8
Barbell curls 4 x 4-8
Dumbbell Curls 3 x 6-10
Close Grip bench 4 x 6-8
lying skull crushers 3 x 6-8
push-ups to exhaustion
sit-ups 2 sets of 60 on decline bench w/ 10 lbs.

legs:
Squats/smith machine? 3-4 x 7-12
stiff leg deads 3-4 x 6-12
hack squat machine 2-3 x 6-8
leg press 3-4 x 6-8
leg extensions 4 x 8-10
leg curls 4 x 6-10
calve raises 3 dumbbell + 3 smith machine x 8-15
sit-ups 2 x 60 reps W/10 lbs decline

Abdominals: Trained workout day prior to gym in morning+ 15 minutes martial arts:
1)superset of 2 reverse crunches 30 reps+ 2 decline weighted sit ups 60 reps 10 lbs
2)superset of 2 weighted regular crunches 60 reps 10 lbs+ 2 sets 60 reps bicycle crunch
3) 1 set 30 rep weighted 25 lbs sit up decline + 1 set regular crunch 60 reps.

I have yet to see much in the way of increases in strength or size. I have "no body fat" to quote some who see me and have a visible six pack. I guess my body fat to be around 10% or less then. Any advice, should keep the split, go back to upper/lower body, not go to failure, not use rest-pause and strip sets, or just eat more. Also do to my height of 6' 3 " i find it dificult to do squats and deadlift with enough weight that I can fail with but use any reseblance of good form. I have been told to cut them from my routine and do smith squats, no deads or only partial deads, any suggestions on whether I need these two exersises to make the same gains or should i just replace them with, smith squats, leg press, hyperextentions, etc...Also is it ok to miss a day, say to not do anything on one day that you were suppoed to train, then train on the next day? Should you eat the same on those days? Thanks for the info. Brandon
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Ciccio

CoastyFighter wrote:
Hello Dr. Darden , great advice colomns and I would appreciate your opinion on this issue.

I am 22 years old and an officer in training for the US Coast Guard. I have been lifting weights for about 3 years trying to gain muscle and strength while maintaining that desirable atheltic "CUT" appearance as well. I started at 140lbs same height and my doctor told me to gain wieght, and as a "LE officer to be" I needed to be stonger and larger. I am 75 inches and weigh around 158-160 lbs, up from that 140 when I started at the same height. I am looking to increase my strength and muscle mass, reaching around 185 lbs, but I still want to be lean with visible abs. I also need to be able to do pull-ups 10 reps no rest, for qualifying in training as an officer in the Coast Guard. I used an upper-body lower body split, every other day, but now have a split that goes{ Day 1-legs, Day 2-cardio, Day 3- Chest,Shoulders,Traps, Day 4-cardio, Day 5-Back, arms, Day 6- Cardio and repeat.}

On the days in between lifting I do cardio consisting of a four mile run in 28-30 min's with four minute-long sprints with 50 seconds rest in between, for the first two miles, followed by 15-20 minutes kickboxing (heavy Bag) muy-tai, or I will swim one + mile( 80 laps) non stop freestyle, also I do some martial arts just about every day (20mins). I ride a bicycle for 45 minutes to one hour every day,about 20 miles, some times a half hour to a location and then a half hour back. My speed is usually around 12-17 miles per hour. I eat really only whole foods and use a whey protein supplement after lifting. I can not stop cardio due to OCS school I have to make times for the running, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and swimming ,as well as match the endurance needed just to finish. My calories are around 3100-3400 with over 1 gram of protein per pound body weight spread over 4-6 meals (big breakfast and dinner then 2-3 small meals). I have eaten whole pizzas in the past but am afraid of getting too soft, although everyone constantly says I have no fat. My workouts consist of lifting to failure using some rest pause and beyond failure reps for hacks, bench, leg press, and some others. On my lifting days in the morning I do abs ( about 9 sets of weighted decline situps and crunches) then do my 20mins of martial arts on the heavy bag. I then eat breakfast and go to the gym about 1-2 hours later. My workouts have been total body, split, etc.. and seem to always last over 90-120mins. They are as follows:

Chest/Shoulders/traps

Bench: 4-5 x 4-8
Incline Bench: 2 x 6-8
Dips: 3 x 4-8 (machine assisted last 2 sets for 8 reps)
Incline Dumbell Press 2 x 8
Military press 4 x 6-10
upright rows 3 x 8
lateral raises 3 x6-8
rear laterials 3 x 8
shrugs 3-5 x 10-15

Back/ arms

(deadlifts) ? 3-4 x 6-12
Barbell rows: 4 x 6-8
Chins (machine assisted) 3 x 6-10
Pull downs overhand 3 x 8-10
Pull downs Close grip underhand 2 x 8
Barbell curls 4 x 4-8
Dumbbell Curls 3 x 6-10
Close Grip bench 4 x 6-8
lying skull crushers 3 x 6-8
push-ups to exhaustion
sit-ups 2 sets of 60 on decline bench w/ 10 lbs.

legs:
Squats/smith machine? 3-4 x 7-12
stiff leg deads 3-4 x 6-12
hack squat machine 2-3 x 6-8
leg press 3-4 x 6-8
leg extensions 4 x 8-10
leg curls 4 x 6-10
calve raises 3 dumbbell + 3 smith machine x 8-15
sit-ups 2 x 60 reps W/10 lbs decline

Abdominals: Trained workout day prior to gym in morning+ 15 minutes martial arts:
1)superset of 2 reverse crunches 30 reps+ 2 decline weighted sit ups 60 reps 10 lbs
2)superset of 2 weighted regular crunches 60 reps 10 lbs+ 2 sets 60 reps bicycle crunch
3) 1 set 30 rep weighted 25 lbs sit up decline + 1 set regular crunch 60 reps.

I have yet to see much in the way of increases in strength or size. I have "no body fat" to quote some who see me and have a visible six pack. I guess my body fat to be around 10% or less then. Any advice, should keep the split, go back to upper/lower body, not go to failure, not use rest-pause and strip sets, or just eat more. Also do to my height of 6' 3 " i find it dificult to do squats and deadlift with enough weight that I can fail with but use any reseblance of good form. I have been told to cut them from my routine and do smith squats, no deads or only partial deads, any suggestions on whether I need these two exersises to make the same gains or should i just replace them with, smith squats, leg press, hyperextentions, etc...Also is it ok to miss a day, say to not do anything on one day that you were suppoed to train, then train on the next day? Should you eat the same on those days? Thanks for the info. Brandon


Brandon,

My respect that you can even stand this workout schedule with going to failure(?) on all this sets(?).
But it will bring you nowhere.

You urgently need to purchase The NEW HIT and read through all articles and most threads on this site at least once!


Regards,

Franco


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JasonZ

Ell Darden,
I bought your New HIT book. Very good so far. Have you done any in depth research on isometric overload. I tried another program that definitely mimics HIT with static contraction and I think that if you combined HIT and some measurable static contraction you might be on to a new chapter in bodybuilding, however the ease of overtraining is imminant. Alas, I have not the resources to do such. Your description of Mike Mentzer was pretty accurate. He was certainly manic as I had the oppurtunity of speaking to him in the early '90's. Also what is your workout protocal nowadays? Thank you for your time
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MAJORSNAKE

El,

I am 37 and stationed in Afghanistan. While we are in a remote location we got a copy of your new book and have a pretty good gym. We have a group of 4 that are all trying HIT for the first time. We are in week three and are inpressed at how much the workout kicks our butts. We are not seeing any results yet though, I am sure it is too early but the results quoted in the book had us hoping. We don't have access to a leg press. Is it okay to substitute squats for that?

We have a lot of time on our hands over here and it is very hard to not workout everyday. Before we started HIT we were working out 6 days a week for 2 hours a day and feeling guilty for taking Sunday off.

MAJ Steven Shepherd
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Ellington Darden

Jason,

I've discussed this subject previously. Go into the "search" section and you'll find several threads that are related.

Ellington
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Ellington Darden

Majorsnake,

Yes, you can substitute squats for leg presses. I know it's difficult to go from 6 days to 3 days per week. That's one reason I wrote the book. Keep reading and experimenting. If you're patient, the plans will work.

Ellington
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MAJORSNAKE

El,

Thanks so much for the quick response, we are gonna stick it out. We have also gotten a lot more of the guys to start the program. We may start the revolution here in Afghanistan and bring it back to the states next year. Thanks for the great book.

Snake
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madmaniac

ive recently bought your NEW H.I.T. book and i want to start your routine. my question though is that i am only available to workout on thursday-sundays. monday-wednesday are totally out of the question. how would you implement a workout schedule on these days?

if it matters i also have a 15-20 minute walk to work and home in the AM and PM M-F (work in NYC)(deskjob)

27yrs old. 5'8" 185lbs ~20% bodyfat.
"lifetime of fitness" up until 2 years ago and looking to get back in shape. been lifting w/ the standard 3 day volume splits since i was 16yrs old on and off.

im also a hypoglycemic and wondering if you have a book that touches on this subject?
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Ellington Darden

madmanic,

Do your workouts on Thursdays and Sundays. Twice a week should work fine.

And eat small meals more frequently.

Ellington
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CoastyFighter

Florida, USA

DR. Darden :

I was wondering if you could address my issue previosly posted. I appreciate others responses and have read as directed the post and some of your older text regarding slow-rep schemas. Any advice on how to get up from 158 at 7-8% bodyfat to about 175-180 at roughly the same PFB would be great. I am being deployed on orders to OCS in June, so I hope to make progress before that. Also I don't know if it matters but my resting pulse was recenly measured at 39BPM. I guess all that endurance does something. Thanks for your help.
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Andrew42

Coasty:

If you want to come even close to those goals you need to buy and read (twice!) Dr. Darden's newest book (The NEW HIT).

The way you are exercising is so far removed from what Dr. Darden recommends, to ask him to outline everything you are doing wrong (and provide a plan of action) in a forum post is unreasonable.

That's why he wrote the book...

The amount of time and frustration you would allieviate in the first week alone is worth the price.
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MAJORSNAKE

Well, we just finished week four of HIT and I have maintained my weight but incresed all my measurements except waist. I added 1-3/4" to my thighs and an inch to my biceps and 2 inches to my chest. My amount of weight has increased as well. So we are gaining muscle and losing fat. Very exciting stuff!

As Army guys we have to run 2 miles as part of our physical fitness test. My question is by not doing any cardio or running are we shooting ourselves in the foot on this? Can we run and still get results? How about running intervals for fat loss?
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Ellington Darden

Majorsnake,

My advice is to keep your running to the bare minimum. I'm not sure exactly what that would be for you, especially if you are required to run two miles sooner or later. Just do less than you think you need. And do it on the same days that you strength train.

Ellington
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elecjet

New York, USA

Hi Dr.Darden

i would like to say that the new H.I.T. book is amazing. I bought the booka while ago and read it in a day, i couldnt put it down. Im going to do lose fat with it first. My question for you is, SHould i do the diet in the book or another diet from either 32/32 or the bowflex body plan. I got both of these after your new H.I,T. book. I go on bikes rides about two or three times a week and am moving a decent amount during the day too. I was wondering if 1800 calories like in the hardbody plan would be better then having the 1500 calories a day. I also really only sleep for about 6 and a half hours thats all i ever needed so 5 meals might not be enough i thought 6 would be better. I was wondering what your take on it is because i would have to go longer then three hours to fill in the 5 meals a day.

thanx again for a great read
mark
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elecjet

New York, USA

sorry one more question for ya. Do you reccomend calorie cycling on days you don't train? Like having a few hundred calories less on those days. I was wondering if you had an success with this from people?
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Ellington Darden

elecjet,

I recommend that you apply the Hard-Body Challenge diet in the Bowflex book. It should work well for you.

Also, consistency is more important than calorie cycling. Try to make your calories exactly the same on most days and you'll achieve the best results.

Ellington
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elecjet

New York, USA

thanx for the quick reply dr. much appreciated. Keep up the good work with the books i there great.
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elecjet

New York, USA

Dr. Darden one more question for you. I can only do about 3 or 4 reverse grip pull-ups should i keep doing them until i get stronger or maybe do negatives for now. Also if i do do them should they be before biceps or after? thanx again for a great book.
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Deputy95

Dr. Darden,

Loved the Hits book and also the Bowflex body plan. One question I have from the Hits book. You say to use barbells for working chest and arms. Why not use dumbells? How does this translate to the Bowflex since it works right and left independantly?
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elecjet

New York, USA

i had that same question
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timmya

Dr. Darden,
I've been using your HIT and it has been working great. I have lost 2lbs. per week, by reducing calories, and maintaining muscle size and strength. (The only negative I haven't stopped is caffeine).

My question is at what point will I finally see my stomach shrink? It still seems as if my stomach is distended, I can just now see some ab muscle definition. Is this truly the last 10lbs. before getting the stomach to shrink and I should just be patient? Currently I am 177 at 5'11', I was 200.
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OSUBuckForLife

Hi Dr. Darden,

I have just finished your new book and I absolutely loved it! You mention that HIT can work very well for beginner, intermediate, and advanced weight lifters, but I'm curious if the actual size (both height and weight) of the person matters.

I am 19 years old and a rather small man at 5'6'' 135 lbs. I have a very low body fat percentage (last time I checked it was about 3.5%) and an extremely high metabolism (I could eat 50 donuts in a day and not gain a pound). I suppose I would consider myself to be something of an advanced-beginner when it comes to weight lifting; I know what to do and how to do it (thanks in-part to your new book), but I have only been seriously lifting for about 8 months now.

I plan on applying HIT to my workout right away, but I'm just concerned that lifting for less than 3 hours a week using HIT (and with my small stature) will end up giving me slow and minimal results. I would greatly appreciate any advice that might be specifically useful to a man with a smaller stature. Thanks very much.

Sincerely,
David
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elecjet

New York, USA

Yet another question for ya Dr. Darden lol. Ive been reading through your books and im going to do the hard-body plan from the bowflex body plan book. My question is i know they did the reduced calorie diet, strenght training with bowflex and superhydration but did they do anything else? Since they are athletes what sort of work out did they do besides this because they did the water skiing thing. The reason i was wondering is because im young only 24 but im not an athlete and i like to get out for a walk sometimes ride my bike with the fellas like i was saying and the 1500 wouldnt be enough i dont think. But did the water ski team just do this program that you made for them and not any other program for the water skiing?

thanx again
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