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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


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"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.

 

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HIT Tip 2: Check the Intensity of Your Exercise.
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HIT Tip 2: Check the Intensity of Your Exercise.

Intense exercise is an absolute requirement for muscular growth, yet many bodybuilders with their multiple-set routines seem to go to great lengths to avoid exercise intensity. The intensity of their workouts is seldom high enough to stimulate much in the way of muscle growth, but the amount of training is so high that they remain in a constantly rundown condition.

HIT and a large amount of training are mutually exclusive factors. You can have one or the other, but not both at the same time.

What exactly is HIT?

HIT is going all-out, not almost all-out. It is taking each set to your absolute limit, not almost to the limit.

HIT is a commitment to work as hard as possible while in the gym or weight room, without socializing, resting excessively between exercises, or falling prey to the latest champion?s routine.

HIT is serious business because it deals with the ultimate in muscular effort. Maximum intensity occurs when a muscle is pulling as hard as it possible can. This should happen during a range of repetitions between 8 and 12, assuming that the resistance has been accurately selected. By this time the involved muscles should be barely able to lift the resistance. When they are unable to do so, we say that they have reached momentary failure ? and that is what we are aiming for.

Performing an exercise to the point that you cannot lift the resistance one more time ? the point of momentary muscular failure ? is high intensity. When you feel you can?t do another repetition, try one more. Try until upward movement is simply impossible.

This maximum effort sends your body a signal that says, in effect, grow larger and stronger before this happens again. Intense exercise stimulates a compensatory buildup in the form of added muscle tissue, which aids the body in coping more successfully with similar stress in the future.

One of the basic rules of HIT is as follows: Look for ways to make your exercise harder, not easier, and your results will be vastly improved. Of course, hard exercise is much less fun than easy exercise, but that?s a necessary part of reshaping your body in the most efficient manner. You must learn to simply learn to tolerate the discomfort.

Do not make the mistake of confusing intensity with the amount of exercise. Long, endurance-type exercise cannot be in high in intensity. Maximum-intensity exercise, because it is so tiring, must be brief.

When an exercise is performed in a high-intensity manner, one set ? and one set only ? usually gives your body optimum stimulation. Multiple sets of the same exercise are not desirable.

So, examine closely the intensity of all your exercise. If it is not at the maximum level, up the intensity. Decide today that you want the best-possible results from your training. Make up your mind now to train harder, but briefer.

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Mark S

HIT is serious business because it deals with the ultimate in muscular effort. Maximum intensity occurs when a muscle is pulling as hard as it possible can. This should happen during a range of repetitions between 8 and 12,

WITH REGARDS TO THE QUOTE ABOVE,IN THE MASSIVE MUSCLES IN 10 WEEKS BOOK,THERE WERE STATEMENTS THAT EVERYBODIES REP RANGE WAS POSSIBLY DIFFERENT,IS THIS STILL THE BELIEF?
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Ellington Darden

After doing the rep-range testing procedures from the Massive Muscles book with hundreds of trainees, we found that approximately 70 percent of them require 8 to 12 repetitions for best results. Fifteen percent need higher repetitions and 15 percent need lower repetitions.

Generally, the big, strong men with fast-twitch fibers respond best to lower reps. The tall, thin people with predominately slow-twitch fibers require higher reps. And those typical, average trainees, with a mixture of both fast and slow fibers, need 8 to 12.

Usually I start most trainees with 8 to 12 repetitions on all their exercises. Then, I record what happens. After six weeks, I then make adjustments, which are dependent on their progress and my experience in training similar body types.

Ellington
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NeuroMass

Dr Darden,

When you say you utilize 8-12 reps with most of your clients I presume you are using the 2/4 rep cadence. If this is why don't you put them in a SUPERSLOW rep (10/10)which you beleive to be superior and more effective in stimulating the muscle?
PEACE.
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Ferrari

Quebec, CAN

Dr. Darden,

My question concerns intensity. Can the relative intensity with respect to the number of reps change over time?

What I mean is this. Years ago when I perfomed a set, the weight felt very light during the first rep then gradually felt heavier during rep 5 or 6 then suddenly felt very heavy during the last rep.

Lately as I have gotton much stronger I find that the first and last rep feel almost the same. Last week during the Nautilus leg press I could hardly lift the weight but once I started it moving I was able to grind out 10 slow reps.

Gradually all of my exercises are starting to feel morelike this.

Is it possible that I am starting at a higher intensity than I used to and now I am pushing past the point where previously I wouldn't have been able to continue to function?
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Ellington Darden

NeuroMass,

During 8 to 12 repetitions, I strive for an equal postive and negative stroke. It is around 3/3 or 4/4 on most exercises. Sometimes I apply SuperSlow 10/10 also.

Ellington
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Ellington Darden

Ferrari,

I understand what you're talking about. As your skill level improves, it does "feel" like the repetitions are all the same intensity. But they're not. There's a significant difference between the first and last repetitions in a set of 10.

I wouldn't be concerned by this feeling. It sounds to me like you've got a good grasp of your training.

Ellington
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BRUCELEEWANNABE

Florida, USA

When performing HIT training is it ok to almost go all out, reat 15- 20 secs. & then do a little more. Kinda like rest/pause except not w/ max wt? This to me sounds like a good thing to add to mix it up some. Your thoughts, thanks.
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ben demase

hi, i would like to know if you could possibly give me any advice on training to failure as i often work out without a spotter which makes this difficult. Also i have read in an arthur jones article that nothing in the way of a special diet is needed to produce good results, what is your opinion on this?
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Benrtx

Dr. Darden, is it possible to implement a high intensity regimen if I work 40 hours a week of construction? I know that days off are important and construction can be a physically demanding job. in addition working 4, 10-hour days (mon-thurs)what days would you recommend training on?
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