H.I.T. proponents for some reason think that explosive weight training is dangerous.  One should know that explosive weight training should only be done after warming up past 25% of a 1-rep max.  Look at the percent charts by Ajan and Baroga, and then start at 30%.  Don't push super-light weights explosively until you reach 30%.  If you're going to criticize something, you should understand it first.  Finally I ask, is anything more dangerous than football itself?
         H.I.T. proponents also think that if you exercise slowly, you won't become slow.  Have they heard of exercise specificity?  A sprinter must practice sprinting to be successful.  A long-distance runner must learn to conserve himself to run a long distance; if a marathon runner was to start sprinting from the beginning, he or she would run out of gas long before the end of the race.  If you work slowly, you will become slow, and you will be watching the fast kids play while you develop splinters in your butt.  Remember that external force is directly responsible for speed.  A boxer may appear very fast with 8-ounce boxing gloves, but hand him a pair of 100-pound dumbbells and he can hardly move his hands at all. 
         Although I am not a proponent of the Olympic lifts, they certainly have a place in weight training.  However, I must say the term 'quick lift' applies only to the snatch and clean and jerk when sub-maximal weights are used.  With max weights they are no quicker than any other lift. That's why we devote one workout a week to the dynamic method, with weights close to 60% of a 1rep max, for multiple sets of 2 or 3 reps and with short rest periods, almost exactly duplicating the play time and rest time of football. 
         H.I.T advises you to work to failure, especially in the concentric phase, sometimes up to 10 to 15 seconds.  They call this an isometric rep.  Well, if you were to exercise for that length of time, which is much longer than a football play, it would be of absolutely no benefit.  A good friend of mine was at a football conference and watched a demonstration in the deadlift for reps. The person did 20 or 25 reps with 425 pounds.  Wow, what an effort!  But did he recover in 35 seconds, the time period the football game requires?  Absolutely not!  Wouldn't it be more beneficial to exercise for 7 to 8 seconds and repeat a set of weights?  That's how the game is played, right?  A workout like that described above is fine for a 2-week mini-cycle, but no longer.  A pro-boxer trains for a 3-minute round using training intervals of 3 minutes and a rest time of 1 minute. Football should do the same.  Active work should duplicate a play and rest cycle.  The friend I am referring to is a coach who is a two-time all American.  Using our program, he currently has over 68 men who can power clean 300 pounds or more, out of 90.
         I give credit to the recruiters for teams who use H.I.T.. They pick skilled people who can sometimes survive H.I.T., but the linemen cannot survive.  If you watch the Heisman Trophy winner who was on the H.I.T. program as a college athlete and is drafted by a pro-team who uses H.I.T., invariably he is nonproductive or injury- prone.
         Guys, if you want to play for pay, check out the weight facility. If there are more machines than weights and you're not in the snack room, think twice before entering.  The truth is the H.I.T. philosophy comes from companies that sell machines.  Even Arthur Jones realized that doing one set to failure was a mistake and retracted his statements years ago.  It was merely a ploy to run as many customers through a facility as possible.  It was later popularized by Mike Mentzer; a successful bodybuilder in the late 1970's and early 1980's.  His claim to fame was the one-set-to-failure system.  He was, I might add, the only one to use it successfully.
         It's not a good idea to try to be the exception to the rule.  Instead, follow the accepted methods of weight training by working on the many types of strength that are needed in a sport.  Just remember what Bill Starr said: only the strong will survive.
Westside Barbell
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