Sergio Oliva HIT Training

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Sergio Oliva High Intensity Training Workouts

sergio oliva hit training

The above picture shows Sergio at the 1972 Mr. Olympia after being trained by Arthur Jones using HIT training, many say that he was in the best shape of his life at this contest.

When you think of Sergio Oliva you think of a massive muscle monster, one of the early Mr. Olympia winners, and a mythical persona. You don't often think of high intensity training when considering Sergio. Didn't Arnold once chide him for training too slow? Sergio, however, spent some time with Arthur Jones (almost half a year) preparing for his showdown with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the 1972 IFBB Mr. Olympia contest.

Jones put Sergio through some super tough high intensity workouts with machines. Sergio gained some quick size on his already massive body and was impressed with the results that high intensity training could spark.

Sergio largely ditched the machines that Jones used, but he did incorporate the HIT to his free weight training. But what exactly went on during Jones training for Oliva that transformed Sergio. Sergio once stated it was far different from any other exercise approach he had ever used. Much more powerful, and intense. And of course it was one of the early days of high intensity training.

Oliva was big and strong before training with Jones (he reportedly put 200 pounds overhead the first time he ever picked up a weight), but bigger afterward.

For the Jones high intensity training routine that Jones used on Sergio, it all started with the legs. Jones attacked the body’s biggest muscle group – hard. Squatting to muscular failure. And then later in the routine, more squatting to top the workout off.

Here is how the HIT leg workout looked that was employed on Sergio:

Leg Press 480 pounds for 20 repetitions
Leg Extension 200 pounds for 18 repetitions
Full Squats 420 pounds for 12 repetitions
And a Drop Set of 300 pounds for 6 repetitions
(note – the squats were full squats – deep style).

Making it even tougher, there was no rest allowed. That is, these exercises were completed with no rest allowed between them, and took Sergio to complete failure. In fact he ended up having to sprawl out on the floor, dropping down right under the squat rack. He couldn't even crawl.

And then it was on to the upper body.

Interestingly, this training program with Jones actually made Sergio's arms grow bigger as well as his legs. Sergio fueled his training with incredible liquid intake, telling one interviewer "I would drink a gallon of milk every day, and I would drink two gallons of water a day."

Sergio eventually rotated back to a higher volume training approach, but looking back, he said he wished he would have stayed with Jones and his incredible HIT training style.

Note: For more information on on the best form of High Intensity Training see The Colorado Experiment Workout

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