High Intensity Stimulation Training (H.I.S.T.)

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High Intensity Stimulation Training (H.I.S.T.) is a new method of training that many in the fitness community have embraced. H.I.S.T. was developed by 3x All-American College Wrestler Jaret Grossman (Creator of MP45 Workout Program), and is one of the premiere workout plans today followed by many athletes and fitness enthusiasts. We are going to talk about the principles of H.I.S.T. and give an MP45 review.

Where did H.I.S.T. come from

First, H.I.S.T. uses the principles of Mike Mentzer’s High Intensity Training. For those of you who are relatively unfamiliar with Mike Mentzer, he was one of the most successful bodybuilders of all time. He won numerous competitions, notably the 1978 IFBB Mr. Universe contest. This contest gathered a lot of attention because he became the first bodybuilder to ever receive a perfect 300 score from the judges. Mentzer perhaps is most popular for introducing fellow bodybuilder Dorian Yates to high-intensity training, and putting him through his first series of intense workouts in the early ’90s. Yates went on to win the Mr. Olympia six consecutive times, doing so from 1992-1997. Mentzer took the bodybuilding concepts developed by exercise pioneer Arthur Jones and attempted to perfect them.

Through years of study, observation, knowledge of stress physiology, the most up-to-date scientific information available, and careful use of his reasoning abilities, Mentzer devised and successfully implemented his own theory of bodybuilding.

His philosophy focuses on making someone achieve his full genetic potential within the shortest and quickest amount of time. He believed that weight training had to be brief, infrequent, and intense, in order to attain the best results in the shortest amount of time. When it came to his specific training, he would do (or make others do) fewer than five working sets each session, and rest was emphasized, necessitating 4–7 days of recovery before the next workout. All in all, Mentzer got better results in a fraction of the time compared to his bodybuilding foes who were spending hours a day in the gym.

He would focus mainly on compound exercises because it incorporates more muscle groups and can build muscle quicker. However, Mentzer would incorporate more isolation exercises in his routines later in his career as he saw increased benefits with these types of exercises. However, there was one thing that was constant: INTENSITY.

Check out this video to get a better understanding of Mentzer and his philosophies:

The thing Mentzer neglected, however, was that he didn’t base his philosophy solely on all-natural fitness enthusiasts and their lower levels of testosterone and human growth hormone. His philosophy is proven to work successfully, but there has been speculation that many of his test subjects were known to use anabolic drugs. Since you are doing it the all-natural way without the use of performance enhancing drugs, you need slightly more than just one set to failure per body part (but not too much more).

Doing a few sets to absolute failure will most definitely get you strong and build mass, but it won’t necessarily give you the lean look you want and it won’t condition you to be a superb athlete.

Along with Mentzer’s High Intensity Training, athletic training makes up the final ingredient in H.I.S.T. Mike Mentzer’s training is going to complete failure on each body part for one set doing predominantly compound movements. However, this type of training doesn’t account for proper cardiovascular conditioning. Yes, doing a set to absolute failure will get your heart rate going and will condition you to train through muscular failure and exhaustion. However, it will not condition you like an elite athlete. Will it help you sprint back and forth up that football field or basketball court? No. This is where athletic cardiovascular training is necessary and comes into place. Also, weightlifting will release tremendous hormones to burn fat, but the proper cardio is irreplaceable when it comes to burning fat through activity.

H.I.S.T. focuses not only on complete muscular failure designed specifically for all-natural guys, but also focusing on interval sprints and other forms of cardiovascular training to make you that dynamic athlete and get you that chiseled look. Your heart is a muscle and Mentzer’s philosophy often negates training the heart like a muscle.

You need both pieces of the puzzle to turn you into the ultimate cardiovascular and muscle building machine, but the whole concept is predicated around intensity.

Intensity, in the sense of the word that I’m referring to, means contracting every muscle fiber in a specific bodypart to the point of complete failure. So what is complete failure? Great question.

By reaching failure, you exhaust the muscle to the point of stimulation for it to grow. However, if you lift beyond that point of failure, you overtrain. “Stimulate , not annihilate” is the name of the game. 8x Mr. Olympia Lee Haney got it right years ago!


Overtraining is not just overdoing it for the sake of itself, but is actually detrimental. Overtraining doesn’t mean that you just won’t benefit yourself any more by doing more sets and more reps, but it actually means that you are irreparably harming the muscle to the point where you are damaging it so it cannot grow back stronger or larger. You take a step back! Why go to the gym at all if you plan on overtraining?

I’m sure you think to yourself that you’re doing yourself a favor by going to the gym 7 days a week and lifting set after set. Yet, I can bet that every time you go to the gym, you haven’t increased the amount of weight you’re doing for months!

You bust your ass in the gym, yet see no progress in your body development or the amount of weight you are doing.

Odds are you are either not going with intensity to reach failure or you are overtraining. Listen…if you do not come back into the gym any stronger than last week, you have been wasting your time.

So how do you reach failure? Many people think that failure means the point that you cannot complete another rep for the weight you are doing. For instance, if you have 225 pounds on the barbell bench press and you can’t get it up for #6, people constitute failure as being rep #5.

However, this is not failure.

Lazar Angelov

After you complete 5 reps of 225 pounds, you can probably do another rep of 215 pounds, and then 200 pounds, and then 190 pounds, etc…all the way down the line. So, theoretically, failure occurs at the point when you cannot do another rep of 1 pound for that particular bodypart. Now, if you can envision this properly, then you’d understand how incredibly intense of a set this is. But that is what true failure is.

Now there is a difference between volume and intensity. Most people who are heavy gym goers (and I’m talking about guys who go in 5 days a week or more, yet see no progress) are of the volume nature. These people do an incline dumbbell press with 80 pounds, let’s say and do them for the amount of times that they can complete the process (about 10 reps or so). Then they rest 60 seconds and perform the set again until they can complete the process (probably 9 reps or so this time). Then they move from exercise to exercise and do the same thing, yet never reaching the point of true failure and overkilling the muscle by trying to partially tear down fibers that have already been partially torn. The volume guys basically just incorporate their slow twitch muscle fibers, and intermediary twitch fibers; however, most volume trainees fail to implement their fast fatigue-resistant twitch fibers and their fast twitch glycolytic fibers for extended periods of time in their exercise.

Have you ever looked at a sprinter vs. a marathon runner? If you watched the 2012 Olympics you want to look like anyone who was racing in the 100m dash, not the 26 mile competition. So who do you think has the better body when it comes to the weightroom: training for intensity or training for volume? You betcha! The intensity guy!

Sprinter Marathon

By being intense, you activate your super-fast twitch muscle fibers. Those are the fibers that are largest in diameter and require the most amount of energy to fire rapidly and repair. That means you’re burning far more calories than the person who just activates his small, slow twitch fibers.

Volume trainees are the marathon runners, going for long periods of time in the gym using minimal weight throughout their routine for a longer period of time. The intensity training guys are the sprinters, compacting an incredibly intense session in a shorter period of time; and yes, they have the better bodies too.

Powerlifters take a similar approach. If you look at powerlifters, their method of training allows them to get stronger every single week. They focus on super-fast twitch muscle fibers. Their sole purpose is to increase the poundages that they can handle and that means dealing with maximal weights, mainly in the rep range of 4-6 reps through each of their sets. Most professional 200 pound powerlifters, who do not partake in performance enhancing drugs, can lift more weight than 300 pound bodybuilders (even those who are at significantly lower body fat percentages). Most people who lift regularly very rarely increase their strength week-to-week, yet powerlifters do it on a week-to-week basis. How else would they be able to bench press 800 pounds? This type of training works to help you grow stronger without the use of performance enhancing drugs or steroids. A lot of professional bodybuilders perform volume training, but when you have anabolic steroids doing a large portion of the work for you outside of the gym, practically the slightest form of stimulation will work.

It is true that most powerlifters that you are thinking of don’t have the bodies of a sprinter. Nevertheless, there is a recognizable difference here that creates the difference in physique between powerlifters and sprinters: Body fat percentage. Powerlifters have just as much muscle mass as their counterparts. However, A) their diet is conducive to getting strong, not staying lean; and B) their training consists of intense sets, but not intense workout sessions.

H.I.S.T. or High Intensity Stimulation Training combines the intense training of a powerlifter and a sprinter. It takes the best of both worlds and replicates a modification of a sprinter’s intensity workout and a bodybuilder’s volume stimulation workout together in one to provide awe-inspiring results in the shortest period of time to build strength and power while getting you ripped in the process.


If you don’t believe this works just look at the H.I.S.T. developer himself.

H.I.S.T Developer Pictured Right

Using these unique training and nutrition secrets, Jaret packed on 110 pounds of muscle and got to 6% body fat in just 4 years. If you want to follow H.I.S.T. and receive a detailed eating plan telling you exactly what to do, go here: http://www.mp45.com