High Intensity Training (HIT): Maximizing the Muscle!
Made famous by the late Mike Mentzer, High Intensity Training (HIT) is an extreme bodybuilding method of shocking your muscles into growth by stressing them like they've never been stressed before.
This method includes using other bodybuilding principles like negatives, cheating, forced reps, and multi-sets (super-sets, tri-sets, and giant sets). You generally need a training partner to help you when your muscles are nearing failure.
The idea is something like this: When doing barbell curls, you do your normal 6-10 reps with a very heavy weight. As you near 8 reps, you begin to feel muscle fatigue. By rep 9, you're really struggling. On the way up for rep 10, you hit a sticking point. Your training partner helps you ever so slightly by applying a few pounds' worth of upward pressure (i.e., he helps you, but only a little bit).
As you finish the positive part of the curl (the “positive”), you lower the weight slowly, perhaps even stopping and raising the bar again. These mini-reps are killers. Your biceps will be screaming in hot-knife-through-butter pain! As you begin to lose control of the weight on the negative (the lowering of the bar), you try your mightiest to stop — or at least slow — the progress of the barbell.
At this point, you're ready to vomit. But your training partner implores your to do “ONE MORE!” So, you try. He helps. You succeed. You lower the bar, repeating the last rep.
Now, you're trembling. Your partner grabs the bar from you, sets it down, and you collapse in a heap.
Two minutes later, you're back at it with more weight!
Get the gist of it? This is EXTREME bodybuilding. It takes tremendous mental fortitude and concentration. You'll be sore for days. It is to be deployed only under special circumstances for only a couple of weeks max.
Here's an awesome site that defines some of the terms you'll need to understand in order to practice some High Intensity Training! Make sure you bookmark it!
Check the site often, as it is constantly being updated.