The Conan HIT Program

This program is a variant on the Conan Program.

This one being on a three day split.

Let me give you the base work here then get into the HIT (high intensity training) for the building work as I call it.

The base strength moves are:

  • Day 1 – Bench Press and Dead Lift
  • Day 2 – Shoulder Press
  • Day 3 – Squat

Now each week is a different variation of the strength move, rotated over three weeks, so:

For Bench

  1. Rack Bench Thick Bar
  2. Incline Bench Press
  3. Floor Press

For Dead Lift

  1. Rack Dead Lift from Just Below the Knee
  2. Trap Bar Dead Lift
  3. Stiff Leg Dead Lift

For Shoulder Press

  1. Rack Press Thick Bar Bench 80 Degree
  2. Hammer Press Behind Neck
  3. Push Press

For Squats

  1. Rack Squat Off Pins at Bottom
  2. Front Squat
  3. Box Squat

These main moves are worked to a single for the day.

I may add a perfect non-grinder rep that is a perfect rep, hard, and your max – but a strict max.

I start at 5 reps after warm-ups and do set after set until I reach 3 reps, then 2 reps, then a few 1 reps until I think ‘enough’.  This could be 7 to 10 sets.

Make a note of your max – three weeks later, beat it.

After the main move I do some building work.  Hard stuff – and I work hard and fast.

Here is where the HIT work comes in – you may ask why?

Well, I felt I needed a shake up –and some tissue growth and I know of nothing better for short bursts. I do some HIT every year and have done for around 25 years. I am not a HIT purist – but take something from all forms of training and do what I enjoy and gain from.

I suggest you do the same – after all these years you know what to do – all you need are ideas to keep you motivated and progressing, so you can train ’til they pop the lid on ya box.

As you will be able to tell from the journals, the HIT work is mostly one set per exercise.

I don’t worry about how many exercises there are per body part as there is invariably a cross over movement that covers lots of different areas at once, a compound exercise. In fact, most I do is just that.

I do as many moves as I feel I need to trash the body part, don’t make this ‘not’ simple – just do and work it hard.

Day 1

  • Chest and Back

After the main moves of the day, I move right into this block:

  • Hammer Chest Press
  • Pull Over
  • Chin
  • Dip
  • Row Machine

One after the other no rest

The order here is so the Pull Over pre-fatigues the Chins, also the Pull Over stresses the chest too, so the block is harder.

Drills done at the start of the session or the finish.

Drills as you now know are agility work for fitness and function.

Day 2

  • Shoulders and Arms

After warming up and main move of the day to a max single, I move into this block:

  • Lat Raise
  • Press Hammer Machine
  • Lat Raise – again but lighter
  • Bent Over Lat Raise

Four moves, again non-stop.


  • Thick Bar Curl


  • Underhand Chin Up (pausing top and bottom)


  • Triceps Extension


  • Push Down or Dip

Main move done plus the HIT – we will do some Drills.

Same as in the Conan Program.

  • Prowler – Sled – Farmers Walk etc

Day 3


Main move – you got this


  • Leg Extension
  • Machine Squat or Leg Press, depending on Gym that day
  • Hack Squat

I have missed out leg curls here because hams get a huge amount of work Dead Lifting and Squatting.

Drills wrap up the day.


I am trying to work towards 12 reps per upper body move and 15 to 20 reps on lower body, I found this works well on this type of training.

When I beat those reps the weight goes up next session – simple.

I will include forced reps at times and drop sets, depending on the feel at the time and mindset.

The reps are bang on – body set right and there is a pause on some if I feel the need to bring in the mind more and feel what I’m doing.  This is mostly on pressing work, as for me this is an area I have to concentrate more on.  The pausing really works the muscles into the ground

So there you have it, give some, or all, of the ideas here a try.

Let me know how you get on.

Be Old But Strong of Mind and Body – Ian