The History of HIT (High Intensity Training)

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It’s amazing to me how many so called HIT (High Intensity Training) programs are out there these days. Everyone claiming to have developed a NEW HIT training program. Everything from Cross Fit, Boot Camps, Training with weights, & with your body weight only. The list could go on and on, and be pretty endless.

However, the intention of this article is not to bash the various HIT training programs that exist today, but to clarify some of the confusion that may exist today.

First of all HIT is nothing new. HIT has been around since the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, through the 2,000’s, and continues to evolve today.

Of all the name’s in the bodybuilding, health and fitness world, the one name that always sticks out to me when I think HIT is Mike Mentzer.

He has probably wrote more, spoke more, and practiced the principles more than anyone in the industry. He not only used HIT principles in his own training to win the Mr. Universe title, with the only perfect score of 300 in history. He also practiced the principles with the 1,000’s of personal training client’s he worked with, with great results. Perhaps the most recognized name of his client’s being the former Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates.

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In fact if you have ever ventured to watch training videos by Dorian Yates, you will most definitely witness True HIT in action. What Dorian has evolved into his Blood & Guts Training.

Dorian applied the HIT principles he learned from Mike, and Mike applied the principles he learned from Arthur Jones.

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For those who don’t know, or are too young to remember, Arthur was the Inventor of The Nautilus Equipment, and very much an advocate of HIT. His legacy continues to live on in many ways. Walk into practically any gym across the country, or around the world, and you will likely come across some piece of Nautilus equipment. If not Nautilus you might come across some Hammer Strength Machines. To no surprise, guess who the creator of the Hammer Strength machines is? No, not Arthur, but his son Gary Jones. Although, I do recall seeing some plans of these machines in an old magazine that were sketches from Arthur. Not a bad family business, and legacy to pass down.

Though Arthur may have left a tremendous legacy in the machines we see in many gyms today. He also left another legacy, that which we call High Intensity Training. He passed that on to Mentzer, who passed it on to Yates, who continues to pass those principles down through generations.

There are many other names in the bodybuilding and fitness world who also applied and practiced the HIT principles, but those are the three biggest names (Jones, Mentzer, & Yates) that set the standard.

You can throw around kettle balls all day long, do a 1,000 squats with your body weight, and try to do as many reps as you possibly can of any given exercise with explosive, lose and sloppy form, and get some results. Lets face it, 100 sloppy reps, will still get better results, than no reps at all. But if you truly want to understand what HIT is, you cannot understand it without studying the principles of Jones, Mentzer, and Yates. Happy HIT!

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