HIT training and the mentality needed for completion of such a programme is actually more about being totally real with yourself rather than ‘flipping the switch’ or engaging ‘beast mode’. HIT training is not for everybody and you need to be honest with yourself when you try and select this as a viable way to add muscle onto your frame. When moving towards a low volume, low frequency style of training you have one thing to trade with, and that is intensity. A low volume workout performed just once a week at a normal level of intensity is just what your average Sharron from accounts is doing after work, and it seems she isn’t getting the results she wanted, and neither will you.

Extremely high intensity demands negative correlation to volume for the methodology to work, and with this in mind I would not begin by just dropping straight into what you THINK HIT training is before spending some time exploring slightly longer gruelling sessions where you would have had to perform multiple sets and many exercises for your to reach complete muscular failure. It is my opinion that HIT training is usually only beneficial for slightly more advanced gym users that have had those times in the gym where they were on a roll and the fire was lit below them, their mentality aligned with their training and they were able to move into a place past the pain and burning and block it all out to ‘go somewhere else’ in the words of Leroy Davis. Having experienced some of your best sessions in your build up to your journey into HIT training and getting stronger and stronger each week you can begin to imagine what needs to be harnessed to be allowed to trade all that volume and all those sets with what appears to be very little.

So how should you begin to build your own HIT training plan?

   1. If there is an exercise that you think ‘that’s OK, I just have that one
   to do’ CUT IT OUT! You are doing nothing but eating into energy reserves
   that will later hinder your recovery and, in turn muscle growth. It is also
   unlikely that this is the exercise that will be the one to stimulate enough
   intensity to actually break down the tissue. DO NOT WASTE TIME!

   2. Even though everything you have ever heard about is about squats they
   may not be what hits your legs as well as something else. As long as you
   are not backing out because an exercise is hard then it is OK to swap it
   with something that you really feel works for your biomechanics. I think
   times of Squat, bench and deads are very important to increase strength and
   progress but in pursuit of extra muscle over moving weight you should not
   restrict yourself so rigidly with lifts just because it is what you hear
   the most about.

   3. This sounds like a contradiction of number 2 but: Pick the hard stuff!
   Keep the things you worry about before you train, the things you dread
   before you start your session, the bits that make you nervous. (as long as
   they are helping you progress in the way you want)

   4. Try and get a training partner. A training partner is potentially your
   ticket to those wonderful gains you have always wanted and although your
   partner may not have exactly the same goals as you, as long as they want to
   train hard and they also want YOU to train hard then you will have the
   potential to maximise the productivity of the very little that you may end
   up doing volume wise.

   5. Extend your sets. Extension of sets beyond failure is the most important
   part of HIT training and the amount of intensity that is harnessed with
   breaking through where you imagined your failure point lies, is exactly
   what gives you the opportunity to work within a ‘one all out set’ formula.
   First you should consider the 3 points of strength: Concentric, static and
   eccentric in order from weakest to strongest. It is PARAMOUNT that you
   reach complete muscular failure in all 3 parts of each lift or you actually
   have not reached full muscular failure. If you cannot push a weight up any
   more then that does not mean you have failed, it means you have failed for
   the push part of the motion, but there is more left. This is where you can
   utilise your training partner to go BEYOND failure using forced reps and
   then negative reps until you can not even lower the weight during the
   eccentric part of the motion in a controlled fashion. Once you have failed
   through all 3 points of strength you can still extend the set further
   utilising drop sets, rest pause or supersets.

   6. Keep some big boy lifts in there too. (I know, another contradiction)
   but sometimes a drop set is not utilised and an exercise can be used for
   strength and still work effectively. The BB row for example is impossible
   to spot  and so you can extend a set by performing partial reps. Within
   your programming, some exercises should utilise the spot and complete
   muscular failure and others, a drop or rest pause. I think alternating drop
   sets etc with straight sets creates a good level of pace and volume to the
   overall workout.

   7. Stick to the basics. Gym equipment and what is inside a gym really has
   not changed a lot in recent times and I have seen nothing on instagram done
   on a ball, upside down with new booty building technology that will change
   what people have been doing for decades, it is unlikely you have cracked it

I advise that you introduce some of these steps slowly and work towards intensity that is so high that you can reward your workout with less volume. Usually after performing 1 set of my 1st exercise on legs I feel like I am ready to finish. Once you have brought your volume right down you can fuel your mentality with the knowledge that you need only do this exercise once, as long as you perform it with perfect form and furious intensity. You can also fuel it with the knowledge that if you pussy out then you have to wait a WHOLE WEEK until you can try and redeem yourself and do you really want to carry that around all week. You get ONE CHANCE to get it right and you will, in time learn the level of intensity needed to feel fulfilled and to make the gains that you deserve, but be real with yourself, not everybody can train like this and it would be better for you to accept this is not for you rather than waste your time performing this style of training without the most important factor: BALLS TO THE WALL, LIFE OR DEATH INTENSITY!!