"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."
This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.
To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.
Thanks for helping to bring more respect to HIT prinicples. I coach high school kids and athletes. It is so hard to fight the establishment on volume and quick lifts. Your efforts, along with others have really helped me to establish a solid coaching philosophy. Keep up the good work.
Pembroke Hill School
Kansas City, Missouri
Great book. I was anxious for it to come out. I think I have owned 15-20 of your books over the years, and while it covers many of the same areas, this is by far the best one.
I have used HIT, SuperSlow, McGuff's 7-14 day training, even Mentzer's 17-day Consolidation, but never high volume training. I've been training for 9 years with some degree of success (darn genetics!)
Your books and my experience prompt three main questions:
Would you recommend the same exercises, volume, and order if machines are used? I worry that Hammer Strength (as promoted by one of your books), Nautilus machine (ditto), or others, like Cybex, may be more efficient/effective at targeting the muscles than free weights, especially with regards to pullover-type exercises or lateral raises.
Is there any convenient way to determine what training category a person should be in? I remember the Nautilus book (or bodybuilding book) gave average strength levels as a guide to 'beginner', 'intermediate', etc. I have trained for a long time, but because I have had mixed success (due in part to overtraining sometimes, to be sure), I am not sure where to classify myself. I'm more in David Hudlow's beginning condition than in any of the others, I can say that much!
With such a wide variety of opinions, from Hutchins to Andrew Baye to McGuff and Mentzer over the years, it is difficult to tell how much training a person needs/wants. I am currently on the A/B workouts Baye.com recommends beyond the beginning level. Is it safe to assume that a person, if they are properly regulating rest, exercise, volume, etc., will increase in every set of every exercise every workout, and if not, how long should one stick to a workout after the first signs of a slowing point?
Thanks for any input you can provide. Great book. I hope others have enjoyed it also.
As a 68 y/o, I think your advice is right on. Previously I had always used strength training as an adjunct to either my running or cycling. However, one of those "weekend misadventures" lead to a mountain bike crash and a hip fracture 8 years ago and then a total hip replacement 7 months ago. I have used a Bowflex Power Pro 3X weekly for the past 6.5 years, primarily for strength maintenance. However, I got interested in HIT after reading your BF Body Plan and more recently your latest book on HIT. I think it will better suit my current situation with my new hip. I have cut my cycling in half to 50-60 miles a week; thereby, reducing wear and tear on the hip prosthesis, and have started working out on the Bowflex with greater intensity, in a circuit training type fashion. I work out 3 non-consecutive days weekly.
At my age, I can still see some muscle growth, but I am trying to be realistic considering my ectomorphic type build with short muscles/long tendons, being 70.5 inches in height and weighing only 154 lbs.
Also, I'm still working three 14 hour night shifts weekly as a hospitalist and adequate rest and recovery is always an issue. I think the elder HITer has to set realistic goals, probably performing more workouts in the NTF fashion, rather than trying to push to failure during every session. Personally, I also use a Total Trainer(similar to a Total Gym) about every 3rd or 4th workout. This adds some variety to my workouts and just feels different than the BF power rods, and exercises such as the bench press force you to use lower weights since you are performing the exercise with an unsupported back.
My orthopedic surgeon recommends limiting leg presses to 80 lbs. with my new hip! I'm still trying to develop a realistic leg workout, currently preexhausting with leg extensions/curls, then doing very slow leg press reps with about 220 lbs. on the Bowflex.
I was glad to read that you are working on a new project for older strength trainers. As a physician working in a veteran's medical center, I deal predominantly with a geriatric population and have observed that the major reason for most elderly entering a nursing home is not just medical illness, but generalized muscle weakness, such that they can no longer perform their usual activities of daily living. I don't expect the general population to all become HITers, but if we could convince more of our population to perform 20-30 min. of higher intensity strength training 3 times a week, we could perhaps alleviate the pressure on our health care system and the looming economic disaster that is facing this nation as our baby boomers come of age. Right now, I think there is too much emphasis on "aerobic" exercises and spot reducing, rather than a more realistic approach to diet and a greater emphasis on stength training.
Thanks for all your work and writings and thanks for listening.
If you are over 65, and have been applying HIT for a long time, then I'll make a few generalizations that will be helpful.
1. Try a few more exercises per workout and a little less intensity.
2. Think maintenance more than getting stronger.
3. Consider more frequency . . . say from twice a week to three times per week.
4. Pay particular attention to doing slow, smooth repetitions on all your exercises.
5. Focus on working around problem areas, which harbor old aches and pains.
6. Don't try to compete with the younger guys in strength tests or performance feats.
7. Avoid risk-taking adventures on the weekends, unless you are fully prepared for the consequences.
8. Pay attention to your diet and be lean.
9. Stay hydratd.
10. Keep busy, but welcome spells of doing nothing.
I'd like to hear what other HITters over the age of 60 have to say.
I think the advice prescribed above can also be strategically applied to advanced trainees who may need a break from training (mentally and physically) but don't actually want to take too much time off. Time off here and there is good but if you need to "back off" a bit vs. taking an extended period of time off, these suggestions you've made IMO are very sound and work well.
I did something similar for about 2 months this summer. My mind just needed a break from the intensity. I worked out pretty hard still, but not at my usual intensity, a bit more often and I lost nothing from the lower intensity. In fact, I chose to run on the beach for those 2 months instead of doing direct leg work, directly training my legs maybe a half dozen times total and lost nothing in the way of strength. My upper body strength did not suffer either and I used higher repetitions and didn't always go all out.
Since September I've been back "to normal" and the workouts are extremely intense, fun and productive....even with the higher rep scheme I use. :)
The concept of NTF is hard to digest for anyone who has been training in a high intensity fashion for some time. You almost feel like you are abandoning your roots. Not that it isn't a solid concept, it just is more an emotional thing that you go through and acceptance or "reprogramming yourself" takes some time. I have found that training to failure has different degrees and knowing yourself lets you dictate your effort.
That's what happended to me for a short period of time when I turned down my intensity and I was totally unaware of the NTF concept Dr Darden was espousing so without directly knowing about his thought process, I can attest to periods of a couple weeks of NTF (or maintanence training) can be helpful to the advanced/older lifter.
I have learned to pick and choose my battles, go with the flow of what my body and mind needs (not what it wants) and enjoy my training.
I just finished reading you newest book and I must say it was fantastic. Thank you. The book was informative, inspiring and educational.
I've decided to embark on the "Body Transformation, A 6 month Hit Course for Explosive Growth" program outlined in the book. I have about 25 pounds (or more) to lose so I will obviously be staying in Phase 1 until that goal is accomplished. I am utilizing the "The Body Leanness Plan" (diet and Bowflex routines) from the Bowflex Body Plan book. However, I have a few points I was hoping to clarify before proceeding.
1. I notice that the Body Leanness Routines incorporate many more exercises than the 5 exercise routine outlined in Phase 1. Should I utilize the 5 exercise routine from Phase 1 or is it acceptable to follow the routines outlined in the Body Leanness Plan?
2. When I move into Phase 2, "Loading and Packing: Volumizing with Creatine", how long do I remain in this Phase? Is this a 14 day phase or do I/can I remain in this phase for a longer duration?
3. I'm utilizing a Bowflex Extreme for my resistance training which shouldn't pose a problem. The only alternate exercise that I can't seem to figure out is the negative chin-up. Do you have any suggestions on a good alternate for that exercise?
Once again thank you for the wonderful information provided in the book and here on this site.
Thank you for writing this book. I have always wondered if there was a better way to work out. I am confident your method will bring better results then I have experienced. Before I begin, I have a couple of questions:
In the past I have enjoyed working out everyday during lunch. Like many people, I found this helped me focus. I often solved some business problems while lifting or riding a bike. I work out with my boss and this also a good time for us to bounce ideas off of each other or read lengthy proposals.
My question is on off days can we still do easy riding on the bike, or walking on a track? I know someone posted something similar to this earlier, but I want to be clear on the issue. The riding would be easy and for no longer then 30 minutes. What are you thoughts? I would hate to give up the relaxing time in the gym.
Once again, thank you for writing this book and taking the time to respond to all of these posts.
I wanted to thank you for you response to my post. I've incorporated your suggestions and the program is underway. I'm finally confident that I will see the results that I desire.
I have one more question though and I apologize in advance if you have addressed this in the book or another post and I have overlooked it.
How does one know when they have become lean enough? (sounds like a stupid question now that I have actually wrote in down). Is there a criteria or set level that you personally use as a measuring stick to determine that one has reached their optimum level? I note that David Hudlow dropped his bodyfat from 28.5 to 5 percent before moving on to Phase 2.
I don't believe I have the genetics to go that lean so I was curious as to when I know it's time to move to Phase 2.
Once again, great book and thanks for all your assistance.
The squat and deadlift on the Bowflex Ultimate are not included in my top-rated exercises. The reason is that adding that extra set of redirectional pulleys increases the friction and weakens the effect of the movements. Plus, the squat is awkward to get in and out of.
On the other hand, if you like doing both movements, then you can certainly work them into your routines.
Nautilus machines still have advantages over most Bowflex and free-weight exercises . . . especially if you do not consider the cost factor.
I managed to get my New HIT book last weak in germany and couldn't longer resist to congratulate you to this masterpiece!
It came just right to motivate me even more to continue HIT after my extended break of 3(!)years from weight training.
Maybe you don't know but there are quite a few people over germany who know your work and appreciate it. There are even 2 older books available in german language. I own one of them but prefer to read you in english.
And I'm glad to find this forum which gives me the possibility to get in direct contact with you.
Well, that's all for now. I will place my questions/thoughts in the discussion forum later.
What advantage(s) does Nautilus have over the Bowflex? The reason I ask, is I have been training on the Bowflex for several months now, but I don't think I look quite as good as when I used free weights and other kinds of machines.
Most of the Nautilus machines are individually designed around the major function of a specific muscle, such as the biceps, latissimus dorsi, and pectoralis major. Thus, using a Nautilus machine correctly you can better isolate, and more thoroughly involve, a specific muscle.
A Bowflex machine, on the other hand, is designed to work no specific body part, but multiple muscles. A Bowflex machine does a lot things in a medium manner, but it doesn't do any one thing expertly.
So, you can choose to pay $3,000 a piece for 10 Nautilus machines (or $30,000 in total to work your entire body), or $3,000 or less for a single Bowflex machine. Naturally, if you can afford to apply Nautilus, you'll get the best-possible results. But you can still get a good workout and acceptable results from a Bowflex machine. And, I'm impressed with the safety factors of the Bowflex.
Or you can sort of split the difference:
In my home gym, I have 6 Nautilus Nitro machines (leg press, leg curl, pullover, vertical chest, compound row, and multi-exercise) and a Bowflex Ultimate. I can do all the major and minor exercises from this arrangement.
In your book you talk about creatine usage. You state that it should be mixed with water and sugar in the morning and then taken throughout the day. I've read elsewhere that once you mix it with water its properties don't last long and you should drink all the water with the creatine in it within 10 minutes. Is this true?
So what is the best way? Have real studies been done to see what methods cause the best uptake or is it just guess work and nobody knows? How do we know if it is creatine doing anything or just the workouts/diet?
Be careful : I suspect that the "article" is actually an advert. This is a clever advertising strategy which has appeared in recent years in mainstream mags. Who pays for such a full colour three or four page advert, you do my friend everytime you buy the overpriced product.
I,ve trained for a lot of years, been mug enough to fall for the ad mans hype on more than one occasion: my conclusion, there are no magic bullets, just hard work (although creatine, without the hype, is the the best of the rest). I would go for a standard creatine monohydrate. You should be able to pick up 500 gr for about ?15.00 which would see you through Dr Dardens 2 week cycle. I would recommend European manufactured by SKW Germany under the trade mark "Creapure". This is very clean creatine.