High Intensity Training (HIT) is simply put the safest, most efficient and effective method of attaining all the benefits that exercise has to offer.

An effective HIT workout will usually consist of between five and eight exercises each of which will target a chain of muscles or a specific muscle. When put together the exercises performed in any one workout will also address the body as a whole unit.

Here is an example High Intensity workout:

These five exercises (Low Back, Leg Press, Pulldown, Chest Press and Abdominal) work all the major muscles of the body including the postural muscles like the abdominals and low back muscles.

All the exercises are performed in a smooth and controlled manner. This means performing the exercises slowly and not rushing through the movements. The speed of movement will be about 6-10 seconds up and 6-10 seconds down. This deliberate speed of movement eliminates momentum from the exercises, ensuring that your muscles do all the work.

The aim is to do each exercise until the targeted musculature is fatigued and you can no longer move the resistance. The resistance or weight selected for each exercise is chosen so that you will be able to perform the movement for between forty-five seconds and two minutes. For example, on your first workout, you may manage to get these times with an appropriate weight for each exercise:

  • Low Back/Hip—one hundred seconds
  • Leg Press—one hundred-fifteen seconds
  • Pulldown—one hundred-ten seconds
  • Chest Press—ninety-eight seconds
  • Abdominal—one hundred-two seconds

You will perform only one single “set” of each exercise.

A stopwatch is used to record your time for each exercise and I will record these times—this way, we can track your progress from workout to workout. Even five seconds’ increase in each movement from one session to the next can show improvement in your body. Once you can perform an exercise at a given weight for longer than two minutes that is a sign for us to to increase the weight used on that exercise at your next scheduled workout.

You may take a brief rest break between each exercise of up to a minute, but once you’ve started an exercise, you will continue that particular exercise until physically you cannot perform another repetition with good technique. You will not stop for a rest, then start the same exercise again—once the stopwatch has been started and you initiate movement, you will keep going on that exercise until you can do no more; then you will move on to the next movement.

You will be performing this workout once or twice a week, leaving a minimum of three days between workouts. So if you perform your first workout on a Monday the earliest you will perform your next workout is Thursday—or you could just wait until the following Monday.

The recovery time between workouts is when your body will actually be making the positive changes the workout has stimulated, so it is important that we leave at least three days between your workouts.

High Intensity Training is focused on maximizing the physical benefits of exercise whilst minimizing or eliminating any risk factors common with typical approaches to exercise. It is the current state of the art and science in optimizing the human physiology.

By performing only bio-mechanically correct movements that track muscle and joint function at slow and controlled speeds of movement to the point of momentary muscular fatigue, we are able to stimulate maximal positive physiological changes with relatively brief and infrequent workouts (doses of exercise).

     © Simon Shawcross

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