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What’s Wrong with HIT Workouts?!

sandbag workouts

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Want to lose fat fast? Use HIT workouts!

Want to get in great shape? Use HIT workouts!

Don’t have a lot of time for your workouts? Use HIT workouts!

Seems like anything that gets popular in fitness, we use it to solve all our needs. Yet, like everything in fitness that also becomes popular we lose a lot of the original intent and what made something great!

HIT (high intensity training ) workouts are definitely powerful. There is research that says they can raise our metabolism for up to 36 hours post training! That’s huge and when you consider the positive hormonal impact of HIT workouts there is no wonder why they SHOULD be popular.

This article isn’t trying to sell you on using HIT workouts, rather, what we screw up about getting the benefits from HIT workouts. Trust me there is A LOT, but we are going to focus on three ideas.

You don’t go hard enough!

I’m fortunate to be able to reference great coaches in different areas of fitness. There are few that are better in getting people in great shape, strong, and lean than Strength Coach, Robert Dos Remedios. You probably heard me talk a lot about Coach Dos here because he has a big influence on us as well as the fact he has a record of getting phenomenal results in a no b.s. way!

One of the early lessons I learned from Coach Dos when it came to HIT workouts was that people really don’t use “high intensity”. They often use, “kinda harder than normal” intensity. Is that good enough? Unfortunately, the research says probably not!

For example, the classic Tabata protocol that so many people reference to what HIT workouts can do even in 4 minutes of training misses some key points. Like what you ask? For one, the study was done on HIGHLY trained athletes. The intensity the highly trained athletes can reach and maintain is far different than most of us.

sandbag workouts

They also went to 170% of their VO2max for the 20 second interval. If you are wondering what that means or is like, these athletes were getting almost sick doing such an intensity. Add in they performed this five days a week you can see we aren’t quite doing high intensity right!

We pick crappy exercises

I can’t tell you the number of HIT workouts I’ve seen posted online that use biceps curls, sit-ups, and the like. Why can’t we use those? They aren’t exercises that stimulate the intensity in our body that we want. It isn’t just about going for 20 or 30 seconds hard and then resting on an exercise. It IS about selecting full body exercises that stimulate a lot of the body at once.

This also means we don’t need to create bad workout programs by being redundant in our movements. For example, trying to do the following overloads the hip hinge pattern and wears out our core where we can’t do great work, but chances are you have seen something likes this before…




-Bent Row

Yea, those exercises could drive your heart rate up but there isn’t good balance in them and it would be very limiting to your performance because of the core fatigue.

What do we do? Focusing on these types of movements work well and keep it easy.

-Squat (single or bilateral)

-Hip hinge (single leg or bilateral)

-Push (vertical or horizontal)

-Pull (vertical or horizontal)

-Time Under Tension Drill (i.e. carries, crawls, even jump rope and such)

You don’t rest!

This one probably throws people off the most because a lot of people make HIT workouts into aerobic workouts. One of the reasons HIT workouts are so effective is because what is stimulated by our anaerobic systems. Think of sprinting has hard as you can for 15-20 seconds and that feeling you get. This isn’t so much you aerobic, but anaerobic systems kicking and what stimulates a lot of the positive changes of HIT workouts.

As Coach Dos has told me on many occasions, most people turn HIT workouts into aerobic because they really don’t follow the first two ideas. They don’t go hard enough so you don’t feel like you need to recover. If you use the RIGHT intensity, you are VERY happy to have a rest interval.

If you select less than ideal exercises you also feel like you can jump from exercise to exercise without much rest at all.

So, what do you really do for your HIT workouts?

DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training works so well and Coach Dos has been such a strong supporter because it adapts to HIT workouts so well. Meaning we can change our body or load position easily to use just one or two Ultimate Sandbags to have a great HIT workout.

Also, many of the DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training drills give you feedback if your movement is being compromised. You will often fail in the lift if the load is right!

That is where Coach Dos’ suggestions really come into play. For example, try this workout. It is 15 seconds of work followed by 45 seconds of rest in a circuit manner. You are going to aim for 4-6 rounds of this training with aiming to hit 6-8 repetitions each interval. When you see a one arm or one legged exercise you do just the one side per interval and cycle the other next round (you can also rest in between and do the other side after your required rest).

What does it look like?

Try Coach Dos REAL HIT workout style….


-Single Leg Deadlifts

-MAX Lunge

-Grip Bent Rows

-Fist Loaded Squats

You will never look at HIT workouts the same way again after this! If you love training science and smarter fitness programs don’t miss saving 25% on our DVRT workout programs HERE with coupon code “father” and check out CoachDos.com for more great information.

hit workouts