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John Robert Cardillo

John Robert Cardillo

John travelled the world to learn the best training and nutrition principles and trained alongside top pro bodybuilders at Gold's Gym California. He was a student of Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus and Medx Fitness machines, and the pioneer of hi-intensity training. John developed the HIT3 Training System, which transformed his physique to win countless bodybuilding competitions at just 18 years of age! He was also the first bodybuilder to utilize Faradic Electric Muscle Stimulation in his training and intermittent fasting during his competition prep. John’s SHREDDED Nutrition Diet helped him build one of the most shredded physiques of all time. His diet program incorporates fasting and nutrient timing to help athletes build lean muscle while losing body fat.

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Principles of HIT3 Training with John Robert Cardillo

Unlike other training programs which are easier to perform because they demand less intensity of effort, the HIT3 system of high-intensity exercise is challenging and requires extreme commitment. There’s nothing leisurely about a HIT3 workout. Every set must be performed with total concentration and to the point of total muscular exhaustion which is a state that even experienced bodybuilders seldom experience. The fact is, HIT3 training is the hardest training anyone can perform. 

In my 30 plus years of putting bodybuilders and other athletes through HIT3 workouts, I’ve observed bodybuilders with simply a mixed understanding of the program. An athlete experiencing a HIT3 workout loves the intensity and muscle response of the workout. However, the question I most often get asked is: “How am I supposed to push that hard every workout?”. The answer I give them is always the same. If you want extraordinary results, you have to want to perform extraordinarily intense workouts. There are trainees who understand what HIT3 training is and have followed the program for years achieving incredible results. However, many trainees have ended up going back to their 2 hours a day, 6 days a week, high-volume training routines because, according to them, they’re easier and it’s what they’re used to.

Anything less than this type of HIT3 training will not stimulate the fastest muscle growth possible. To train with the greatest amount of intensity, the following principles must be followed:

  1. Workout Frequency: HIT3 Workouts should be performed 3 times per week, working each body part once per week. 
  2. Workout Duration: Each HIT3 workout must not take more than one hour to complete.
  3. One Set: A trainee must never perform more than one set of each exercise in a HIT3 body part sequence. (Editor’s Note: This does NOT include your warm-up set(s). 
  4. Intensity of Effort: To create maximum intensity, a trainee must strive to get stronger on each HIT3 exercise and increase the weight when the prerequisite repetition goal has been reached. The weight should be increased in the next workout session. An increase in strength is always followed by increase in muscular size. 
  5. Exercise Form: HIT3 exercises must be executed in perfect form, regardless how many repetitions you are performing. The final hard to complete repetitions should be performed in the same form as the previous repetitions. 
  6. Concentric Muscular Failure: HIT3 training requires a trainee to perform each exercise until the muscle being exercised cannot perform any more positive (concentric) repetitions. Muscular failure means total muscular exhaustion. 
  7. Eccentric Muscular Failure: After positive muscular failure has been reached, a minimum of 2 negative (eccentric) 10 second repetitions must be performed. 
  8. Static Muscular Failure: After completing 2 negative repetitions, the set should be finished with 2 static repetitions holding the mid exercise position for a minimum of 10 seconds. 
  9. Time Under Tension: To create the highest intensity possible, repetitions must never be stopped at the extension point for resting. Repetitions must be continuous in order to induce the greatest amount of muscular growth. Likewise, there should be no rest between sets when performing a HIT3 sequence of exercises for a body part. The muscle being worked needs to be under continuous tension from start to finish. Resting between sets is counterproductive to creating high intensity stimulus. 
  10. Charting Progress: Recording the workout performance of each HIT3 workout will keep you motivated to steadily improve your strength level. Over the course of a year of HIT3 training, if you can double the resistance you are using while performing the same number of repetitions (at least 10 reps), your muscular size will also have doubled. Muscular size increase always follows strength increase. 
  11. Muscular Adaptation Syndrome: Muscular adaptation is one of the most common reasons why trainees become stagnant and make little progress over long periods of time. Regardless of intensity, when performing the same exercises, the neuromuscular pathways get accustomed to the exercise movement causing muscular adaptation syndrome. HIT3 sequence training is specifically designed to avoid this by changing the exercise sequence every 8 weeks. 
  12. Recuperation: HIT3 workouts provide the greatest amount of stimulus possible for muscular and strength increases. Growth cannot take place unless the neuromuscular system is given the rest required for recuperation to take place. Without proper recuperation, growth is not possible.

For more info on John Cardillo, check out his website at johnrobertcardillo.com or right here at Muscle Insider at John Cardillo.

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