Fitness Articles

High Intensity Strength Training

Achieve Better Results in Less Time

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If you’re getting bored with your normal strength training routine, or if you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, think about trying HIT: High Intensity Training.

HIT is a specialized approach to strength training that was originally developed in the 1970’s by trainers and coaches who worked with professional athletes in various sports. Compared to traditional forms of strength training, evidence suggests that HIT provides better results; requires less time in the gym; and has a lower risk of injury and overuse problems.

These perks make HIT suitable for many people, including non-athletes and those simply trying to lose weight and become more fit, regardless of age or gender.

First, a General Caution
As with any form of high intensity exercise, you need to be in good basic health and free from any significant cardiovascular risk factors and muscle/joint problems that could limit your capacity to exercise safely at a high intensity level. If you have any doubts or concerns along these lines, you need to consult your doctor before trying any of these techniques. HIT is demanding—both physically and mentally.
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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

Member Comments

  • Some of these techniques also apply to cardio. - 11/22/2015 11:40:08 PM
  • I keep wanting an article about plateauing as that always seems to happen to me. - 9/5/2015 8:22:58 PM
    Thank you for a clear and informative article on high intensity strength training. It was a good read and I recommend it to those who are just getting started doing HIT. - 10/21/2014 7:27:36 PM
  • This writer is the best. - 5/2/2014 7:22:10 AM
  • Well written and easy to understand. This is my gym day for weights and I am certainly going to slow it down and see what happens. - 2/5/2014 1:14:27 PM
  • This is something I should do since I'm getting bored with the usual way of lifting with weights. - 10/21/2013 4:10:27 PM
  • Great article. - 7/27/2013 6:04:11 PM
  • I do ST with Chalean Extreme by Beachbody and this is the principle that those videos go by. Each exercise is only one set, but depending on which phase you are in, they range from 6-8 reps to 10-12. Perfect form, slow controlled movement, and heavy weights to reach fatigue. LOVE IT. - 7/10/2013 8:23:16 AM
    I read the book "Body for Life" by Bill Philips, and he also mentions this kind of strength training -I found it really does work. The trainer at the gym helping me out to switch my routine every couple of months also helps a lot.

    Awesome article, and very well-written, thank you! - 6/26/2013 12:08:27 PM
  • I do the slow controlled movements all the time. Lifting heavier isn't a goal of mine beyond doing it to build muscle. Besides - I have an old creaky body and using momentum to lift something would surely wound that spine of mine. - 5/14/2013 6:32:41 AM
    I tried the HIT principle today when I was at the gym and I really felt my muscles working. I couldn't even do the regular 20reps/set that I usually do but I felt more burn in the muscles. I will definitely keep up with this new technique and see how it works for me. - 6/16/2011 6:06:05 PM
  • KLR0319
    Coach Dean, this would be awesome to incorporate into a Challenge somehow, especially for those who are trying to build muscle. GREAT ARTICLE - 6/16/2011 3:37:39 PM
    This is something I will most certainly try in the weight room next time I strength train. My old routine was getting boring and stale, not producing the results I wanted no matter how long I was in there. This sounds like the ticket! - 6/16/2011 2:14:46 PM
  • Wow. Just came back from the gym and trying out this slow-motion lifting. Incredible. It takes concentration to slow down. Really feeling the control and having good form is something! I am so impressed. This is amazing. - 6/16/2011 10:09:07 AM
  • I really wish there were some workout plans with this as a goal. - 3/13/2011 3:14:19 PM

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