High Intensity Strength Training Fundamentals – Drew Baye

Drew Baye
Drew Baye speaking at the 21 Convention (photo courtesy of http://www.the21convention.com/)

Drew Baye is one of the top high intensity training experts. He’s also a prolific writer, researcher, an elite level personal trainer and the founder of Baye.com, the most popular high intensity training blog.

In this episode, Drew and I go right back to basics. If you are a beginner to high intensity strength training and/or a little confused about how it differs from conventional resistance training, you will find this really valuable. However, even advanced HIT trainees or trainers will find this a very helpful reminder on how to make the most of a HIT workout.

In this episode, we cover:

  • What is HIT?
  • How to construct workouts
  • How to perform exercises
  • How to measure progress
  • How to manage volume and frequency
  • … and much more

I had an epiphany during the conversation: improvements on paper are not the goal. Mastering the workout is the goal. Improvements in the numbers on the paper are a by-product and not a goal directly.

In The 4-Hour Body, the author, Tim Ferriss featured Drew to demonstrate how it’s possible to get to 3-4% body fat with no “cardio”. Check it out:

Drew Baye
Drew Baye looking shredded (photo from Baye.com)

Listen below:

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Would you like to hear more from Drew Baye? Check out all of our podcasts below or see blog posts with resources here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

This episode is brought to you by Hituni.com, providers of the best online courses in high intensity training that come highly recommended by Dr. Doug McGuff and Discover Strength CEO, Luke Carlson. Course contributors include world-class exercise experts like Drew Baye, Ellington Darden and Skyler Tanner. There are courses for both trainers and trainees. So even if you’re not a trainer but someone who practices HIT, this course can help you figure out how to improve your progress and get best results. Check out Hituni.com, add the course you want to your shopping cart and enter the coupon code ‘CW10’ to get 10% off your purchase! 

Subscribe to my emails to get a FREE HIT workout progress sheet and eBook with 6 podcast transcripts with guests like Dr. Doug McGuff, Drew Baye, and Skyler Tanner – Click here

Selected Links from the Episode

People Mentioned

  • Andrew May

    I’m a big fan of Drew but I felt this episode fell short of the mark. It just didn’t really convey what HIT is to the uninitiated imho. I’m going to listen again though, give it another chance.

    The other stumbling block here is unfortunately the issue of “exercise”. While I don’t necessarily disagree with Drew tbh I think he’s taken completely the wrong approach to stating his case. If you’re going to use a term differently to let’s face it: the rest of the entire world then no one is going to to understand you. Clearly explaining your dogma will get some folk on board sure but you’re alienating 99% of the population.

    It’s a tricky thing to tackle. Either you state your case at length every time and bore everyone or you invent your own terminology and sound like a crank….um, good luck.

    • Greg P.

      That was kind of my reaction too. You covered a lot of standard HIT teachings, but It just didn’t seem like it was done in a way that would be that helpful to the uninitiated listener. Starting with a long exposition about the definitions of training versus exercise didn’t help that impression. It was too much ‘inside baseball’ (which might not mean much to Lawrence).

      When you got into the discussion of the protocol, a lot of the stuff he talked about would have been interesting to those training others, but to the uninitiated, it might make the process seem excessively complex and difficult.

      Plus, the ‘angry’ Drew seemed to present himself too often, which I thought was a distraction, if you were pitching to the uninitiated.

      • enlite

        He does seem to have that reputation of being a little rough around the edges .

    • Drew Baye

      We definitely should have covered more basic information, but before you can talk about exercise or any other important subject it helps to first define your terms.

      I’m not going to help anyone by accommodating their wrong thinking by using words incorrectly.

      • Andrew May

        Fair enough, I totally understand. This is a complex subject with fundamentals that are very difficult to pin down using terminology as it is understood by the lay person.

  • marcrph

    My wife overheard this podcast and remarked that “I totally disagree with that man,” while Mr. Baye was elaborating on HIS definition of exercise.

    • Drew Baye

      When people say this it’s usually because they don’t want it to be true because of what it implies, rather than because they’ve given much serious thought to what exercise is and how to define it or actually have any valid counterarguments.

  • Kamen Stranchevski

    Listened to that one very carefully! I really enjoy listening to Drew Baye, talking about exercise! IMO this episode is useful for beginners, and advanced trainees. I also did my weekly Tai Chi workout session today : D That one was very cool Drew, really. So I decided to share my “post workout ramblings” and I have two questions for Drew.
    When I first started HIT training, one of the most difficult things for me was to wrap my head around the idea, that gripping, grimacing, squeezing etc. is actually deloading the muscles. It was really hard to master Tai Chi after 20 years of Boxing, especially trying it on my own. But I must agree, that it makes workouts a totally different experience. To fix gripping and breathing was fairly easy for me. I actually observed, that when the grip is not focused on, it dies at a much slower rate, even in hard pulling movements, such as chin ups. Or at least, that’s been my experience. Now, grimacing and making noise was much harder to avoid. It happens tome still. Although it is much more related to feeling pain, rather than “theater”in my case. It happens to me involuntarily, but I try to stay conscious and to keep things the right way. When I manage to do a workout really consistent with what Drew explained as proper form, and this does not happen every time, I get a cool feeling, that the muscles trained are really shot, but that the systemic fatigue is much lower. I guess that’s normal too, but it somehow is not evident, before you try it.
    Now, I have two questions for Drew :
    1. As I understand, there has to be a degree of mechanical tension in order things to be properly working. Have I understood correctly, that according to you Drew, if an exercise is done as you prescribe, for 60-90 sec. to failure, that translates to sufficient resistance /mechanical tension for the particular trainee? Could it be, that for most people, trying to be that precise for 60+ seconds may open the door for a “discomfort failure”, rather than “muscle failure”? I hope I made myself clear with these “terms”.
    2. You said that if people can not or rather will not comply with your, I’d say very high standards, you ‘d rather fire them as clients. Does that mean, that you prefer in your practice, to really focus on a limited few and do no care much for the rest. Having tried doing all correctly myself, I figure out, that there will not be quite so many people “tough enough”… or I maybe wrong.
    Thanks to you and Lawrence for the good job!

    • https://corporatewarrior.co lneal87

      Thanks Kamen. I’ve let Drew know.

    • Drew Baye

      1. It varies between individuals. A broad range of reps or time can be effective for most people if effort is high enough but some will do better with shorter or longer ranges.
      2. I don’t expect everyone to be able to do everything perfectly all the time but I expect them to try and to follow directions when given. I fire people if they don’t follow directions or give their best effort.

      • Kamen Stranchevski

        Thank you Drew! 😀

  • titusmonger

    Great podcast,like always!

    One thing I’ve been wondering is the skill-specific training and HIT. I will run 12 min cooper test in 12 weeks against my friend. We did a little bet 😀

    I was thinking how to train for that. I was thinking to keep doing my HIT routine 1-2 times a week. Should I add skill-specific training, like running intervals in my goal pace, once or twice a week?

    Thanks and have a nice weekend! 😀