Where to begin: New HIT or…?

Hi, great to see this thread is active. I bought Dr. Darden’s New High Intensity Training book recently and am beginning Phase I. In threads here, I see there are more recent programs. @Ellington_Darden @pettersson and anyone else, which is now recommended? I’m 46, 6’, 215 (need to lose about 30 lbs fat, then want to add muscle), experienced lifter but am returning after a few years away. Thank you and great to be here.

Welcome @Dchainz! Good to have you here and thanks for the invite. Not Dr Darden, but a devoted HIT trainee, open for experimentation with various techniques.

I found “The new HIT” to be a good start, when I first discovered HIT. You learn the background and basics. It seems reasonable you stick to one HIT protocol/program for 2-3 months, or as long as progress is decent. “The new HIT” is the way to go/start, in my opinion. For variation and added stimulus you can shift between machines and free weights every other workout.

I do recommend a timer to keep the reps strict, as well as keeping a logbook - to keep track of progress (and know where to start next workout). Personally, I planned/noted my workouts in advance, in order to limit the time spent at the gym. Stick to the recommended excercises, but be open for trying out some excercises that better suits you.

After “The new HIT” regimen, I highly recommend the 30-10-30 technique as featured in Dr Darden’s “Killing fat” book. Or - You could go bananas, like me - And shift in between “The new HIT” reps, 30-10-30 and 30-30-30 (as featured in “The bodyfat breakthrough”) every other workout. A word of caution though, as my splintered approach requires discipline in planning/logging. I found it to be a fresh approach, which lead to continued progress. Please find my previous threads on the matter.

Feel free to ask any further questions. Dr Darden is usually not that far away in this forum. He has truly helped me understand and develop my personal expression of HIT.


I would suggest the KILLING FAT book…i think its one of Darden’s best

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You can reference Advanced HIT Programs. There is an option: The Ultimate 8-Week Workout for Advanced Lifters. This program provides a challenging split routine over 8 weeks, targeting muscle building. It includes compound lifts, isolation exercises, and core work. You’ll train 6 days a week with increased frequency, volume, and intensity. I see it’s good. uno online

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‘The New HIT’ is a great place to start. Follow Dr. D’s programs, as written. IF you’ve never done HIT before, start from the Beginning. If you have done it before, you can either start at Intermediate OR start from Beginner, but spend less time in the early workouts.

At your age, perhaps doing alternating A and B routines on M-W-F should work well. **I know of no current Dr. D protocols that prescribe 6 days/week! ** The A and B workouts may have perhaps 8 to 10 exercises each.

His current recommended rep speed is 2 secs up /4 secs down. Do not resort to timers and stopwatches on this, just do a rep that is not jerked up and make sure the eccentric (lowering) portion of the rep is under control. If you can stop for 1 sec at the bottom, but only if there is meaningful resistance in that position. From there, initiate the rep slow and accelerate (a relative term) to the top.

DO use a stopwatch to determine your breath rate. A moderate (and not deep breath); in through the nose and out through the mouth. For example, mine are 3 breaths/10 secs. After you figure this, ditch the stopwatch and use your breaths to gauge your rest periods between sets.

Do these standard HIT programs for 3-4 months before you start experimenting with advanced protocols. Best Regards, Scott

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Thank you, everyone, for all the advice and insights! Very helpful. Yes, this is my first time doing HIT. I’m moving ahead with the New HIT 6-month program. I see there are also different Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced programs in the book but this looks like a good place to start. Day 1 was yesterday. Good overall. Biggest challenge was machine availability, so I worked through in a different order than listed in the book. I’ll have to start earlier to get through that gallon of water! Thanks, again, for being welcoming and for helping me get started here.


Hey there — As I mentioned , I’m following the 6-month program in “New HIT”. In the book, Dr. Darden writes that “[y]ou can find several long-term eating programs that are adaptable for 6 to 12 weeks in my previous book, The Bowflex Body Plan.” For Phase II Eating in New HIT, he mentions the Bowflex book, and for Phase III doesn’t mention the book or specify where the added calories came from. Does Men’s Health Killing Fat contain his most current advice on eating?

Dr. Darden’s nutritionally sound eating advice has been consistent for many, many years. To lose fat use the plans in “The Bodyfat Breakthrough” and / or “Killing Fat.” If you want to gain muscle stick to the plans in “The New HIT”, “Bigger Muscles in 42 Days” or - if you want a recent publication - “Still Living Stronger Longer.” Hope that helps.

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Thanks @Jeff60, That’s exactly what I was looking for.