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High intensity training (HIT): short but intense

High Intensity Training: This training method is supposed to help you build muscle mass faster in as little time as possible. But is it really true? You can find out everything about high intensity training in today's blog post.

What does high intensity training mean?

High Intensity Training (HIT for short) is a training concept from the bodybuilding and weight training sector. The foundation stone for the development of high intensity training was laid by sports equipment manufacturer Arthur Jones in the 1970s. Arthur Jones' concept idea was based on observations in the animal kingdom, particularly in male animals. They rested and slept for most of the day, but when hunting, the males showed tremendous strength during short, fast sprints. As a result, he developed the HIT training concept with short but very intensive training sessions followed by a rest phase lasting several hours, which serves to regenerate the muscles.

The training concept was popularised by bodybuilder Mike Mentzer, who worked closely with Jones. Mentzer published numerous publications, one of his best-known works is the book "Heavy Duty".

How does high intensity training work?

The HIT training method is based on achieving absolute muscle fatigue. The muscle should burn properly. HIT is therefore exactly the opposite model to the volume training often practised in bodybuilding, which is characterised by long training sessions with high loads.

According to Mentzers, the seven-second rule has become established. This states that the contraction should last three seconds, the weight should be held for one second and the weight should be released for a further three seconds. This means that about six to ten repetitions are possible. The point of absolute muscle failure is reached during the last exercise. Each exercise should contain a maximum of two sets. With several exercises, this results in an approximate training time of 45 minutes.

The well-known Freeletics training programme is also a form of high-intensity training. Here, the training consists of dynamic full-body exercises.

Advantages of high intensity training

HIT leads to faster and more efficient muscle growth compared to many other training concepts; at the same time, more fatty tissue is broken down. In addition to muscle growth, there are also other positive aspects such as increased hormone release, improved oxygen uptake and stabilisation of the tendons and ligaments. Another important benefit is the time saved with this training method.

Can I easily incorporate the concept into my training plan?

HIT is primarily suitable for advanced athletes. This is because the risk of muscle injury is enormous if exercises are performed incorrectly. Older people in particular should be careful, as the immune system is put under strain and the heart rate and blood pressure increase.

Beginners should therefore start the exercises slowly so that the muscle can get used to the strain. In addition, a reliable training partner is almost mandatory if you want to train with free weights.

A protein-rich diet is sensible

Especially during intensive muscle-building training, our body needs a sufficient supply of protein dependent. This is the only way you can effectively build muscle mass.

Our various protein powders provide your muscles with all the necessary amino acids that are important for building muscle. Our other sports supplements also provide you with all the important nutrients you need before, during or after training to fulfil your athletic requirements. Our BCAAs are particularly useful for reducing the recovery time after training.

High Intensity Training vs High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): What's the difference?

Many athletes mistakenly equate HIT and HIIT - but the two training concepts are completely different. As already mentioned, high intensity training is a strength training method that focuses on increasing muscle growth.

The HIIT is - as the name suggests - an interval training programme in the endurance area. Short, strenuous sprint units alternate with slow, regenerative units. Initially, the primary aim of this training concept was to achieve a higher level of performance in sport. However, it is now known that patients with cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological diseases also benefit from HIIT.


HIT is suitable for all athletes who are fit and looking for new challenges. This makes the training method a useful addition to normal training for advanced athletes to build up more muscle mass. However, beginners should be careful and prepare for the strain by slowly increasing the intensity, ideally under expert guidance.