How to build muscle even faster with High Intensity Training

One sentence is enough: High Intensity Training saves time and sets the risk of injury to zero – without losing any effect. That’s how HIT works

The classic: In the job, overtime beats somersaults. The last time you thought of free time for training the day before yesterday. You have not been really active for much longer. The 2 to 2.5 hours you just can not lose weight, certainly not 5 times a week, as your training plan once planned. Back when you had time. Do not worry, there is light in the appointment tunnel. Its name is High Intensity Training or High Intensity Training, HIT for short.

What is HIT and what does it bring?

No, we’re not talking about Andrea Berg’s next blockbuster here. Much more is the HIT to a form of training that drives you in a different way than Ms. Berg to the extreme. “High-intensity training aims at maximizing muscle strain,” explains Prof. Dr. med. Dr. Jürgen Gießing, sports scientist and author of the University of Koblenz-Landau (“HIT – Fitness”, Riva-Verlag, around 20 euros). And that has consequences. Positive to be precise, especially for your muscle growth. For the more intense the stimuli that fall on a muscle during a workout, the bigger the increase will be.

At the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT for short) the scraps fly, at the High Intensity Training (HIT for short) at least the pace is comfortable.

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At the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT for short) the scraps fly, at the High Intensity Training (HIT for short) at least the pace is comfortable

Are HIT and HIIT the same training methods?

Definitely not. Nevertheless, some trainers even use HIT and HIIT in one breath. Error! Even if it looks as if a letter just fell under the table, HIT and HIIT differ enormously. High-intensity training (= HIT) can only be implemented via the strength aspect. The second I in the HIIT, however, stands for “interval” and thus for the Kardioanteil within a high-intensity training. HIT and HIIT are also different in speed. With high-intensity weight training, every movement should take 7 seconds, while high-intensity cardio training can not be fast enough. The best example of a HIIT is a Tabata unit. Here is exactly how long the full throttle intervals and the breaks are, in addition, the whole does not go longer than 4 minutes.

Think Big - in high-intensity training, you can raise your goals.

What must men pay attention to in High Intensity Training?

A HIT unit scores with only a single set of 8 to 10 cleanly executed (!) Repeats per exercise. A single sentence can never lead to a solid muscle success? He can! First, you control the effect on the execution speed. Allow yourself 7 seconds per repetition alias per exercise and proceed according to the following pattern: Lift the weight for 2 seconds, hold it for one second and lower it for 4 seconds. “That way you can be sure that you work without any momentum that would support the movement,” says the expert. Say, the muscles are on their own and are under maximum tension for longer than a classic workout. This means: HIT requires more muscle fibers and they have to work harder. ”

On the other hand you reach the effect plus on the right weight. Although you may be thinking of huge weight-plate towers, you’ll need 10% less weight than you usually use in an exercise. So if you normally press 100 kilos while benching, you only train with 90 kilos at the HIT. Now you doubt even more how this concept should work? The highlight lies in the HIT next to the slow-motion training speed at the intensity plus after the sentence. Do not lose weight after 8 to 10 reps, but use an intensity technique (examples below) to squeeze the last spark of power out of your muscles. For example, by only doing half the way when benching or having a training partner help you.

925 grams more muscle mass

The last concerns were to eliminate the following study result: Gießing compared classic 3-set training with high-intensity training for 10 weeks. The HIT group grew an average of 925 grams more muscle and at the same time around 620 grams of body fat. For all residual doubters: This result has been confirmed by several other studies.

Really strong: High Intensity Training protects you from too much body fat.

For whom is HIT training suitable?

“Anyone with more than a year of training experience and a good command of strength exercises can incorporate High Intensity Training into their training plan,” says Gießing. How many times you land a HIT is a matter of taste. “Some men run high-intensity units for more variety over several weeks, while others – especially those who are tight-lipped – rely solely on HIT.” One of the best arguments for high-intensity workouts is the 50% time savings over a classic 3-set workout. Therefore, among the high-intensity training advocates especially the men who are in their jobs time-consuming, but still want to train effectively.

High Intensity Training is not for beginners

Say: Who likes to lift the dumbbell often, is wrong at the HIT and prefers a volume training. And there is another group that does not train very intensively: “Beginners require at the beginning of training their muscles, which have not been used for a long time, already sufficient, this stimulus alone is already quite strong, there is no need for further high-intensity”, so the expert. In addition, you should be quite sure, as an exercise must be performed clean. Those who still focus on the technique, stay better with a classic training method.

No Newbies: When HIT is a year of training experience is required.

What does High Intensity Training bring?

In addition to the gifted hours, the risk of injury in high intensity training goes to zero. “Due to the slow pace, strains or even injuries simply do not occur, I have already done a lot of studies with countless test persons and never before has there been only one injury”, explains the research manager. Surprisingly, overtraining is not an issue, as only one sentence is executed and should take at least 2 to 3 days off until the next session. “I can work my way out of high-intensity training and yet do not have to be afraid of overtraining, as the size is small and several days of recovery are required.” Even for men with a lot of training experience, 3 HIT units per week are an absolute maximum, “emphasizes Gießing.

Incidentally, the motivation also easier up there, if you prefer high-intensity training sessions. The prerequisites are terrific: “The competition idea is extremely inspiring – men like to test how far they can go and want to top the result next week,” says the expert.

Do high intensity training and the goal of losing weight fit together?

“HIT delivers exactly what weight training can do to help lose weight – it keeps the greatest energy consumers, or even increases muscle mass,” Gießing explains. However, high-intensity training is not a license for unrestrained feasting. The calorie consumption during a unit is simply too low. However, a High Intensity Training trumps with an enormously high afterburning effect. Generally speaking, the bigger the muscle involvement, the bigger it is. “In the HIT, the afterburning effect is huge, the muscle glycogen stores are drained and carbohydrates eaten right after training go straight into the muscle,” says the professor. And not in the waist roll or the belly approach.

Despite tight schedule tighter - HIT makes slim.

What does an optimal HIT unit look like?

A high-intensity full-body workout should consist of no more than 12 exercises – would you do more, you’ve done something serious in terms of HIT wrong. Ideally you choose 2 movements per muscle group. If you have really little time, you can do the exercises for the arms and shoulders during a full-body workout. They will be trained anyway. On the other hand, it is important not to forget the abdomen and the lower back, as these are only involved isometrically in most of the procedures. 3 exercises are the absolute minimum for a whole body unit. “Depending on a pressure and train movement and an exercise for the legs and trunk, it must be at least for balanced muscle conditions,” advises the sports scientist. If all 8 to 10 repetitions are done, the HIT idea really comes into its own. Because now it’s about squeezing out the tired muscle again completely. Namely, by extending each exercise by a self-selected intensity technique (see below).

How do I heat up for High Intensity Training?

It is very important to warm up sufficiently for a High Intensity Training. “The body core temperature indicates when I’m warm enough, which is when you start sweating easily, so I recommend a minimum of 10 minutes of cardio training,” says Gießing. In addition, you should perform a light warm-up per exercise. The can only be done with the bare dumbbell bar or little weight, for example, when bench presses and push-ups are conceivable. To increase the intensity, it is possible to skip the break between warm-up and actual training set. “The order of the exercises depends on your goals: sprinters and cyclists start with movements for the legs, bodybuilders with their weakest muscles. For everyone else, Gießing’s recommendation is to train the big muscles in front of the little ones. “If I start with the biceps, later on the back exercise it is too weak to do, even though the back muscles could have done it.”

Rest break during training

How long does a High Intensity Training take?

“For a full-body unit, you should count 30 to 45 minutes.” Who executes HIT in the split – which is quite conceivable – with less time, “said Gießing. On the other hand, those who train for much longer than an hour will block themselves. After this time window, the “good”, aka the hormone level that supports muscle building, sinks and makes room for the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone has a muscle-degrading effect, so hours-long sessions are simply nonsense.

How do I regenerate properly after a HIT workout?

By eating high – protein – rich for 2 to 3 days, drinking a lot and doing nothing. At least no strength training for the appropriate muscle group when working in split training. You already know why: The actual muscle buildup takes place in the sense of supercompensation after training. And for that the body needs silence. However, the perfect pause length depends not only on the level of fitness, but also on stress factors in everyday life. Anyone who is strongly involved in work or private life or who sleeps badly should listen to his body feeling. “If you think after 3 to 4 units that you are getting worse than getting better, you’d better take another day off,” advises the expert. If you can not keep your feet steady, put in a light cardio training session.

During a high-intensity workout, squeeze the last out of your muscles - in just one set.

5 intensity techniques that men need to know for massive muscle growth

Ok, you can do it, repeating a power exercise in just one set 8-10 times. Once you’re familiar with this HIT-based approach, you’ll go one step further. Namely, by using one (never more, should you even think about it, you better increase the weight) of the technique mentioned below at the intensity screw. “So you draw the last spark of strength from your muscles, which contributes to their total fatigue and thus to the maximum structure,” explains author Gießing ( “The Best Intensity Techniques for Maximum Muscle” , Books on Demand, by 25 euros).

1. Cheating

No, this is not about eating as much unhealthy as possible in one day. Much more the fraud is directed to the execution of the movement. If you have delivered 8 to 10 repetitions in perfect technique, you may cheat at the next one. For example, by working the biceps curl with some swing from the hip. However, you must be aware that the risk of injury in cheating is high. That’s why cheating should not mutate into your favorite intensity technique.

2. Negative repeats

Most exercises consist of 2 phases: a positive or concentric and a negative or eccentric phase. To illustrate, think of the exercise Dips. The push up is positive, the fall negative. Even if you can not manage to push yourself up, you will most likely be able to sink yourself a few more times. In the concentric phase, simply level with your feet by squeezing off on a step or something similar.

After just 8 to 10 clean reps, calmly take dips once more condescendingly.

3. reduction rates

As soon as you have broken down your strength, you do it with the weight. Either you put less weight on the studio equipment or you remove weight plates or grab light dumbbells. Ideally, the reduction should be 10% less resistance each. Then do as many more clean reps as possible. If you can, you will lose 10% weight again in the next step and keep on training. If something else works, you’ll need more take off weight next time.

4. Intensive repetitions

You need a training partner for this technique. Once you feel that the exercise is not working, it will help you to do one, two, or three more reps. For example, by pushing you slightly up during the pull-ups. Often it is enough if the Buddy touches you with the fingers on the lower shoulder blades. After all, you must not be deprived of work, the execution must be intense despite the support.

5. Partial repeats

If you want to be on the safe side with the increase in intensity and want to create as many more repetitions as possible, you should rely on partial repetitions: You no longer carry out the entire range of motion, but only the one you can do. For example, in the leg press you push the weight less far away from you, so it only uses half the way. In this way, there are up to 10 additional repetitions in it.

The perfect high-intensity training plan for men

Here you can find a whole body training plan over 5 weeks according to Prof. Dr. med. Dr. Gießing. Use so much weight in the studio exercises that you can not do any more after 8 to 10 clean (!) Repetitions. Do not forget to adjust the weight from unit to unit. Fill in the one sentence to be executed by the mentioned intensity technique to really get everything out of the muscles. After the session you can rest for 3 to 4 days.

After about 4 to 6 weeks you should optimize your muscle building workout plan

Conclusion: One set is enough for maximum muscle gains

High Intensity Training allows experienced strength athletes to record muscle gains in 50% less time. Finally, one set of 8 to 10 repetitions per exercise is sufficient. In addition, the training technique reduces the risk of injury to zero due to the slow execution speed. Before the benefits sound too good to be true, you have to work hard during the session. HIT is all about maximizing muscle strain, which is achieved through additional intensity techniques at the end of a sentence.