RTS Coaching: High Intensity Continuous Training (HICT)



In recent years, there’s been a ton of talk about energy systems development, and the best ways to prepare our athletes for their sport.

One method that has garnered quite a bit of attention is high intensity continuous training (HICT). This method is somewhat unique, in the fact that you will perform HICT for extended periods of time, yet it focuses on the fast twitch vs. slow twitch fibers.

Here’s a quick overview of the HICT methodology, along with an example of how we use it here at IFAST.

Now that you have a general idea of what HICT is all about, a few notes:

  • Methods you can use include: Step-ups, spin bike, versaclimber, Prowler pulling, etc.
  • Make sure that each rep is fast and/or explosive. If it starts getting slow and sloppy, shut it down.
  • Perform a rep, and then take a 3-5 second break before your next repetition. Ensure that quality is high.
  • Stay below your anaerobic threshold while utilizing this method. We’ll often throw a heart rate monitor on our athletes to make sure they’re doing it right.
  • We’ve used as little as seven minutes per set, and for our well conditioned/elite athletes, we’ll go as long as 20 minutes. The norm is two to three sets, but again, cater this to the athlete standing in front of you.
  • Last but not least, get ready to sweat! I’m not sure any conditioning method makes you sweat more than HICT.

If you want an awesome conditioning tool that will build endurance capacity in your fast twitch fibers, then HICT would make a great addition to your programming. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

All the best,


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  1. Thanks for the great tip Mike!
    To keep out of the anaerobic threshold, does that mean that we should stay in the 120-160 bpm zone?

    • Generally you’d use a spin bike and crank up the resistance on a bike. So you’d perform one rep, and then take 3-5 seconds before performing on the opposite leg.

      For the Prowler, it could just be one explosive push/step forward, 3-5 second break, and then opposite leg. We’ve also used a rope attached to the Prowler for pulling variations.

  2. I red Joel jamison his book and i was wandering if it could be performed like this. Can a weighted box jump with stepping of be used? I am currently jumping 20″ with a 20kg vest. As this is the only HICT thing i can do/think off in my own back yard. I am getting around 9-10reps per minute. And i do sweat a lot:p

    Thank you in Advance

  3. Curious on this. I have been using lunges, step ups and kbell swings on the afternoon after my morningsquat or deadlift strength sessions. And push up and rows on my upper body days.
    Is this smart or creating too much volume?
    Will there extra reps of explosive simple movement patterns over time effect my strength positively or negatively?

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