Hardcore HIT Workout Routine

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If you have ever heard about HIT training you will probably know two things; Its Old School and Hardcore. It was a favourite training method of classic body builders like the Mentzer’s and Casey Viator who loved the short intense workouts for their time efficiency and mind blowing results….

HIT stands for High Intensity Training and that is exactly what is it is. Workouts are short and quick but it comes at a cost. Hard work. Each set must be done in a slow controlled manner with no momentum or swinging to push through sets and you must push yourself to absolute failure for one set only. Approach the workouts after a thorough warm up and go

—-> The Hardcore HIT Routine <—-

How to do the Hardcore HIT Routine?

1. Squats with barbell

(immediately followed by)

2. Pullovers with one dumbbell

3. Squats with barbell

(immediately followed by)

4. Pullovers with one dumbbell

5. Leg curls or leg extensions (alternate)

6. Lateral raises with dumbbells

7. Dips

8. Chin-ups

9. Negative dips

10. Negative chin-ups

Squats with Barbell

With the recommended slow, smooth style (ten-second positive and five-second negative), you’ll need 30-40% less resistance than you normally use for ten repetitions. Position the bar on your shoulders and go for it. The front squat is far more safe than normal squats but allows for awesome control and burn, You won’t be able to use much weight at first, thats fine just go for the burn and work the muscles slowly but steadily.

Because of the intensity of slow squatting, breathing can be a problem for some. For best results, especially during the lifting phase, you need to practice taking a series of short, rapid breaths with emphasis on blowing out rather than taking in large gulps of air. Doing so keeps your focus on the working muscles. After the final repetition, move immediately to the pullover.

Pullovers with One Dumbbell

Lie crossways on a bench with your shoulders in contact with the bench and your head and lower body relaxed and off the bench. Hold a dumbbell on one end in both hands and position it over your chest with your arms straight. Take a deep breath and lower the dumbbell smoothly in five seconds behind your head. Stretch in the extended position. Try to keep your elbows straight. Raise the dumbbell slowly in ten seconds. Repeat for maximum repetitions.

Squats with Barbell

I rarely have trainees perform a second set of an exercise. This routine, however, breaks that rule. Use the same weight on the second set of squats that you used on the first set. Also, try to do the same number of repetitions on both sets. Again, after the final repetition, get the squat bar back into the racks, lie across the bench, and start doing pullovers.

Pullovers with One Dumbbell

You’ll be breathing like a freight train on your pullovers, and that’s good. That’s no excuse to slack off on the intensity or the repetitions. Afterward, grab a big drink of water and walk around for approximately two minutes.

Leg Curls or Leg Extensions

Do not do both of these exercises on the same day. Alternate with each every other workout. For instance if you did Leg Curls on Monday do Extensions on Wednesday and Curls again on Friday.

Lateral Raises with Dumbbells

Be sure to keep your elbows and wrists locked as you perform this old school deltoid-building exercise.


Smooth, slow, Eliminate all momentum from each repetition.


If dips are a bear, then 10-5 chin-ups are a dinosaur. You’re plenty strong if you can accomplish four good repetitions.

Negative Dips

Climb up fast and lower your body slowly in eight to ten seconds. Make sure you go real slow on the negative to really work the muscles deeply but safely with strict form.

Negative Chin-Ups

This is a great closing exercise for the HIT Routine. You can certainly work your biceps, lats, and abdominals to a deep level of fatigue. Remember to climb up fast, and lower yourself smoothly and slowly. Stop when you can no longer control your negative speed. And don’t be afraid to belt added weight to your hips when the movements become less difficult. I also featured this in my Rockstar Abs article as its one of the best ab builders around!

Perform the routine 3 times a week for two weeks.

“For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.” Jim Rohn

Use as much resistance as you can on each exercise. The workout should not take longer than 10-15 minutes. Finish it off with some light stretching and a long walk or a quick 5 minutes on one of the gym cardio machines to get blood flowing and repairing the body….

This is a great workout which will iniate great results in little time. On off days 20 minute jogs/swims or a few sets of sprints thats all (only if you feel like it though), plus as much walking as you can and Stretching each evening.

Simple but unbelievably effective if done right!


  1. funkright says

    yes, this may be asking allot, but maybe videos inline showing the actual exercises would be great.. I am sure youtube must have some. I am unsure of some of the exercises. thanks.

  2. Michael - The Fat Loss Authority says

    This is a nice change of pace for people who feel bored doing there usual 3 sets of 10 reps.

    I think I’ll do this routine next week just to change things up. Thanks for the post.


    @ Michael: It is a great routine and a huge difference from a conventional BB routine. It feels more like a CrossFit workout if you have ever done one…

  3. mikeshealthycaveman says

    At Crossfit everyday is a new HIT workout. I love incorporating the Olympic lifts into this regimen. To me nothing is more intense than Clean & Jerk and Snatches! Perhaps tabata sprints, but that’s on a level of it’s own. BTW HIT exercise won’t make you look like the dudes in the picture above, only multiple cycles of steroids can do that :)

  4. fitnessbuff1 says

    This workout sounds intense. I would definitely need to be listening to a playlist that gets me motivated to push myself. I just found this great site that has all different kinds of workout playlists according to genre and type of workout. Check it out:


  5. Ink says

    It’s a good HIT-routine. However, I feel that going to failure ten times (twice on squats, even) three times per week is asking for trouble, unless one is a) superbly conditioned, or b) a total beginner. Even for such a short period as 3 weeks, most people would either run themselves into the ground, or (more likely) not be able to apply sufficient intensity to their training sessions.

    Also, I wonder about the reasoning behind a 10 second positive when the negative is 5 seconds? Seeing as one is stronger in the negative phase, wouldn’t it make sense to make this the slowest?

    Hope that didn’t come across as overly critical. Just curious. I enjoy your site!

  6. Jerry says

    I know that there are different approaches that one can take to the HIT program. I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t emphasize two things that are very important about the HIT program. ( I have the HIT Program book)

    First, it’s best to remember that you want to start off from the bottom up with your exercise, meaning you want to work out muscles in that order.For example: do calves, Hamstrings ( leg press), squats, Back (lat pulls), Chest, shoulders,tricep, bicep.

    The second thing you want to remember is that the HIT program emphasizes negative repetitions. So most of your muscle gains are supposed to be based on the fact that you’re taking your time on the negatives ( bringing the weight down).Remember that it’s the weight resistance that helps build muscle, not necessarily how fast you can bring the weight up. So you want to use a 2:5 count. Basically pick a good speed in bringing up the weight ( about 2 seconds, but take your time in bringing down the weight (about 5 seconds) as this is where the resistance is.

    The longer you held that negative rep on the way down the more in pain you’re going to be before you hit the 4th exercise. I through up 2 days in a row.

    Also a good HIT routine doesn’t last more than 50 minutes.

    Have fun guys.


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