Scott Shetler wrote:
Rob - how much time under tension is the muscle under in a given "HIT" set? Probably a heck of a lot more than the typical 3-10 seconds required to perform a typical work set in an Olympic Lifter's or Powerlifter's training set. Keep in mind the definition of intensity is the correlation to one's rep maximum or RM. Therefore a set performed at 95% 1RM is much more intense than a set of 10 performed at 80% 1RM. Often times people refer to a set that requires a tremendous amount of effort to perform as "intense". That being said there are many ways to increase a muscle's time under tension. Poliquin likes to use specific tempos that accentuate the eccentric phase of a lift to accomplish this. And while he's often been a critic of Mentzer's work (and many other physical culture authors) he's never said it isn't effective-but once the physical organism adapts to that specific methodology it's time to change the stimulus. If you look at his entire GVT program (most do not get past the first phase which is the 10x10 phase) you'll see a dramatic reduction in volume and increase in intensity (as defined as RM). In fact he's often fond of saying "the best program is the one you are currently not doing".
Ultimately for most people a higher volume approach is going to be the easiest way to gain mass. Not saying people wouldn't benefit from HIT training - but look at the programs of the majority of competitive bodybuilders and you'll see moderate to moderately heavy weights and a high number of sets and reps interspersed with periods of higher intensity training (similar to a powerlifter's approach) to develop inter- and intra-muscular coordination. There are those who've thrived on super heavy weights all the time (i.e. Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates, etc.) but going balls to the wall all the time can also lead to many injuries, Dorian in particular had quite a few. The most effective programs are going to utilize all of the above with smart periodization to maximally benefit each individual (undulated periodization is a fantastic means for balancing volume and intensity). It's always best to have multiple tools to get the job done than to rely on one all the time, IMO.
I think its obvious i'm not talking about one rep max's.
However if were talking about 1 set to failure vs lets say 5-10 sets of 10 reps with the same weight using moderate resistance, then i would say not only i and everyone i've ever trained found one set to failure training to be more productive, thousands upon thousands of others have too. And since i and they achieved our goals by spending far less time in the gym, that makes Hit a much more efficient way to train.
Back in the day Scott, bodybuilders used full body workouts 2-3 days per week, then steroids came reared their ugly head, before long bodybuilders were in the gym training 4 hours a day, 6 days a week and performing 20 sets per bodypart. Overtraining and volume training is the very reason why most natural bodybuilders fail to ever achieve their goals.
Listen to the video i posted Scott, you'll hear that indeed Poliquin does actually state that H.I.T doesn't work year round, of course the evidence would suggest otherwise as Mike point's out. Indeed as you point out other authors have criticized MM's work, that said, many other world class highly experienced trainers do agree with him, Arthur Jones and the theory of H.I.T.
Btw, Dorian's has since explained that his injuries all happened during pre-contest, he never suffered an injury in the off season while lifting the heaviest resistance. He admitted, using high stress techniques was not a good idea during pre-contest, he said he would have been better just training to mere failure. Dorian also admitted that if it wasn't for H.I.T, he would never have been Mr O, this efficient training style is what made him, while hes then chief competition (Flex Wheeler, Kevin Leverone, Shaun Ray, and Nasser EL Sonbaty) all volume trained 6 days a week.
I agree with what your saying with regards to adaption, in fact i posted a thread here called adaption and variation (seems to have went right over everyone's head).
Just like when trying to achieve a sun tan, the present's of intense sun light stress is always required. Yes their are those who can tolerate exposure to intense sunlight stress better than others, however that does not contradict the fact that in every case intense sunlight stress is an absolute requirement for stimulating a sun tan. The same is true with exercise. Intense exercise is a absolute requirement for building muscle year round. This can be achieved be simply regulating volume and frequency.