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The New High Intensity Training: The Best Muscle-Building System You've Never Tried Paperback – September 9, 2004

3.6 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ellington Darden, Ph.D., is the leading disciple of the HIT training methods of Arthur Jones, the inventor of Nautilus exercise equipment. Darden, for 17 years the director of research for Nautilus Sports/Medical Industries, is the author of such enormously popular books on high-intensity workouts as The Nautilus Book, High-Intensity Bodybuilding, and 100 High-Intensity Ways to Build Your Body, along with 40 other fitness books. He currently resides in Windermere, Florida.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594860009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594860003
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.5 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I think I've read every single book Ellington Darden has written, and there really isn't anything "new" in this book. I preface this review by saying that I credit Darden with helping me realize over 20 years ago that "less is more" and I do thank him for that. The general principles he has espoused - "train less, work harder" - have definitely helped me over the years.

However, I'm a little put off by the book description here where it states: "there still are no major HIT books in stores". Huh? That's a false statement. Other authors have written excellent HIT books. For example, "Maximize your Training", by Matt Brzycki, contains advice from the most prominent HIT advocates in the world including Dr. Ken Leistner, Dr. Ted Lambrinides and a plethora of other strength coaches and other strength training experts. Stuart McRobert's books have been around for quite awhile. Others have also written books on HIT. Yet Darden would have you think that there's nobody else out there in the HIT training world other than him (and Mike Mentzer). I'm also surprised that when he mentions internet resources he makes no mention of the most popular HIT site on the web - Cyberpump - which has been around for over 10 years.

But back to this book. I enjoyed the historical tidbits that I had never read before. In my opinion, however, the author goes into a bit too much detail about Arthur Jones' non-training endeavors. Perhaps this interests others, but not me. I have zero interest.

As far as the training advice goes, I couldn't find a single piece of advice - excluding the part on creatine which I'll get to in a bit - which hasn't been published in one of Darden's previous books. The "NTF" (Not-To-Failure) workouts are detailed in his Nautilus book back in the 1980s.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book presents information and training programs using high intensity training (HIT). This book follows Arthur Jones' HIT training principles, as opposed to Mike Menzer's way. This translates to 2-3 whole body training sessions each week, using slow rep cadence.

The book starts with history of HIT training. Although this information is interesting, it takes some 75 pages, before the stuff on actual training starts. The training information is presented as a complete training program that is intended for beginners on HIT training. It takes about one year to go through this training program, and after that you are considered as an advanced trainer. This approach is the book's major strength and weakness at the same time. For a beginner, it is very easy to start training, as you have a complete training program ready for use. For a more experienced trainer, however, it can be somewhat difficult to find all the information to construct your own training program. For example, all of the core principles of HIT training are collected in a box, that is for some reason hidden in the middle of section that covers the correct form of some key exercises.

The main question is, does HIT training work? Well, I have been training with weights for almost 15 years, and I have reached a long-lasting plateau in bench press. I trained using the workouts in this book (although I trained only two times each week instead of three) for less than 4 months. After that, I went back to my conventional training program. At the beginning of the renewed conventional training, I noticed that I had lost quite lot of explosive strength I had prior to HIT training. However, I continued the conventional program using lighter weights.
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Format: Paperback
This latest book, by Ellington Darden, who has written more than three dozen books, including The Bowflex Body Plan, is perhaps one of his best. It is a unique treatment in that it provides a provacative background (with many surprising stories and insights) of high intensity training (HIT), a term that he coined about thirty years ago, together with training direction that is unparalleled in the philosophy and discipline of HIT. Dr. Darden begins by explaining the training methods that Arthur Jones established, to help revolutionize the exercise industry, his initial machine creations that led to the advent of Nautilus, his work with Casey Viator, The Colorado Experiment, the West Point Study, and Jone's experiences with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Boyer Coe, Frank Zane, the Mentzer Brothers, and Sergio Oliva. Apparently some of these "hard core" bodybuilders were not so hard core (Mike Mentzer and Arnold fans may be surprised)!

Dr. Darden provided this entertaining and educational background to explain Jones' reasoning and the HIT philosophy (relative to the then current dogma) that then merges nicely into the fundamental principles and how they support HIT, including intensity, lifting form, progression, duration, frequency, and exercise order, as well as issues of recovery, layoffs, and sleep. As a side note, it may surprise the reader as to how many strength and conditioning coaches actually apply HIT training with their athletes, including Superbowl winners. As Dr. Darden explains through experience, explosive, ballistic training is unnecessary to develop a strong, muscular body in the average person or a star athlete, although it is ideal if you want to increase the risk of injury.

Thereafter, Dr.
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