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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 5: Evaluate Your Progress.
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HIT Tip 5: Evaluate Your Progress.


Walk into any gym in the country and call a meeting of the regular trainees. Then assign them to do two things. First, have each bodybuilder bring you his workout-by-workout training records for the last three months. Second, have each bodybuilder figure out his percentage of strength increase on the basic exercises such as the leg extension, the bench press, and the biceps curl.

You?ll be surprised at what happens. The majority of the bodybuilders won?t be able to produce training records of their workouts. Why? Because they do not keep them ? at least, not accurate training records.

Next, the majority of bodybuilders who do have accurate training records will have strength increases of approximately 5 percent, at best, and closer to 0 percent, at worst.

In other words, most bodybuilders in this country have poor training records and, as a result, it becomes very difficult to evaluate their progress. And the bodybuilders who do keep training records are making little or no significant monthly progress in building strength.

Strength is important to a bodybuilder because it is the best way to determine progress. There is a direct relationship between muscular strength and muscular size. Very simply, a stronger muscle is larger, and a larger muscle is stronger. Furthermore, it?s easier to measure the strength of a muscle than its size.

The strength of a muscle is best measured, not by seeing how much you can lift one time maximally, but by seeing how much you can lift 10 times in good form. Thus, by comparing your 10-repetition sets for the same exercise to one another (separated by time), you should be able to calculate your percent increase on a weekly and monthly basis.

How much should your strength increases be on the leg extension, bench press, and biceps curl? Beginners should strive toward a 5 percent increase in each exercise per week, or approximately 20 percent per month. Intermediate trainees should work toward a 2.5 percent increase per week, or approximately 10 percent per month. Naturally, these increases will vary from exercise to exercise and from trainee to trainee, but the 5 percent increases per one-to-two week time period is a reasonable goal. I?ve worked with hundreds of trainees who have reached these goals consistently for as long as three to six months before they reach a plateau.

Progressive weight training ? that?s the name of the game. But in fact, there?s little that is progressive about the training of most bodybuilders.

Don?t let yourself get into a rut of performing the same number of repetitions with the same amount of weight workout after workout.

Be progressive.

Try to do one or two repetitions more on each exercise today than you did in your last workout. When you can do 12 or more repetitions on any exercise, then increase the resistance by approximately 5 percent at your next training session.

This process is referred to as double progressive training because you first add repetitions and then you add resistance.

Double progressive training is the backbone of all successful bodybuilding programs. As simple as the concept sounds, it?s often ignored.

Understand and apply double progressive training in all your workouts and your results will be more significant. And equally important, keep accurate records of all your workouts.

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Stephendalzell

i would like to hear your views on evaluating your cardiovascular condition and wether u see a need for that type of training
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Ellington Darden

Even before the West Point Study in 1975 (see chapter 8 in my new HIT book), I believed that with a proper strength-training program you could get high levels of cardiorespiratory endurance. The study, as well as others a year or two later, reinforced this concept.

Bottom line: You do not need a cardio plan to go with HIT. Just concentrate on doing HIT correctly.

Ellington
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anthonygallucci

I have incorporated the principles of Dr.Darden and Arthur Jones for over 10 years. I have made outstanding progress.I am five foot eight inches tall, I weigh about 208lbs. at about 10% body fat. I use to compete locally, but I don't have any time for that anymore. My goal is still to get bigger and leaner every year. The last routine that I have been usung was from the Arthur Jones interview by Dr.Darden entitled "I Would Have Trained Less". I am currently training two days a week on Monday and Thursday. My weight and reps have also increased, but within the past few months I have reached a plateau. I took about 15 days off from training a month ago and began training again but my weight has not increased in almost all of my exercises. Do you have any suggestions? Anthony Gallucci
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Ellington Darden

AG,

Make one of your 4 HIT workouts in two weeks a NTF session. I believe that will help get rid of your plateau.

Ellington
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Bombdogguy

Ohio, USA

Dr. D
I am curious about the preacher curl. It is supposed to be one of the best biceps isolation exercises, but it is not even mentioned in H.I.T.
Do you know something about it that we should know?
Nautilus machines were pretty much preacher format for biceps.
Cybex and Lifefitness machines use it as their biceps trainer. If we do preacher curls, should the pad be andgled to the floor or paralell to the floor?
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Ellington Darden

The preacher curl with a barbell is just a medium-type exericse for the biceps. With a typical 45-degree angled bench, there is too much resistance at the start and too little at the end. That's why I don't mention it in my new HIT book.

The best way to do it, however, is to have your upper arms almost perpendicular with the floor. In other words, your shoulders are at the top and your elbows are pointed straight down. This means the top of the bench should be vertical.

The above paragraphs do NOT apply to the so-called preacher curl machines, which have movement arms and cams. These machines can effectively redirect the resistance according to the design of the machine. As a result, the angle of the bench is just one factor that you must consider.

Ellington
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Ade2005

just wondering if you have a viewpoint on the cardio canabalizes muscle issue , as i enjoy doing a small amount of cardio around 3 times a week normally split into 2 10 minute sessions per day i'm hoping i wouldnt be killing any gains ( surely such a small amount of cardio wont do any harm ?? )
all the best - Ade
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cloutierj

Quebec, CAN

I am at 6'2" 215 lbs and 13% bodyfat. I am following your advice of 60 carbs 20/20 proterin and fats at 2300 calories daily. My goal is to stay at 215 and drop below 10% body fat. I'm a trader so always tied to my desk during day. Is 2300 calories too much? Please advise.

Best
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David_27

Tennessee, USA

Great post! But one thing you didn't mention is how to figure out your percentage increase. Maybe it's basic, but I had to puzzle over it for a few minutes. For others who might wonder, like I did, I think the formula is (weight lifted after) - (weight lifted before) % (weight lifted before). And that assumes you're comparing an X-rep set with an X-rep set.

Anthony: "The last routine that I have been using was from the Arthur Jones interview by Dr.Darden entitled "I Would Have Trained Less".
...can you post a link to that, please?

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Oreste

When you can do 12 or more repetitions on any exercise, then increase the resistance by approximately 5 percent at your next training session.</P><P>This process is referred to as double progressive training because you first add repetitions and then you add resistance.</P><P>Double progressive training is the backbone of all successful bodybuilding programs. As simple as the concept sounds, it?s often ignored.</P><P>Understand and apply double progressive training in all your workouts and your results will be more significant. And equally important, keep accurate records of all your workouts.</P></div>
And,If I improve only the wheigths without the reps?
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Elaikases

Double progressive training is the backbone of all successful bodybuilding programs. As simple as the concept sounds, it?s often ignored.


I'll be. I'm probably the only person at my gym who takes a folder from machine to machine to keep track. I'd kind of assumed that the other guys just remembered their weights and reps ...

Where I first started they gave us work-out cards and everyone picked one up as they came in the door, put them back (they had your name on them and the exercises listed in the correct order with a place to enter date/reps/weight) as they left.

The YMCA I went to after I moved and got married was the same.

However, I've noticed that "modern" health clubs don't have that kind of feature and even the older trainers seem to have never heard of it.

Good reminder.

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n.boica

Arizona, USA

I need help. i used to be an HVTer and after picking up The New HIT i have been doing HIT. problem is when i started i weighed 168lbs. with about 7% bodyfat, 5 ft. 8 in. to me all of the HIT concepts and ideas make sense. except for that i have been applying everything from the book and everything has actually gotten worse. my weight has decreased from 168 lbs to 152 lbs and my bodyfat has actually gone up to 10%. i know that i am doing something wrong but i can't figure out what it is. i work out 3x a week MWF.

i eat a high carb low protein low fat diet. i get about 7 hrs of sleep a night and try to sleep for about 1 hr or 2 during the day. i don't know if i need to reduce to 2x a week or reduce the total of exercises but keep 3x a week workouts? i try to take all of the exercises to failure where i can't perform another rep or can't perform it with good form. any information would be helpful. thanks.
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n.boica

Arizona, USA

I need help. i switched over to HIT after doing HVT. i am 20 yrs old. 152 lbs 10% bodyfat and 5 ft. 8 in. when i stopped doing HVT and switched over to HIT i weighed 168 lbs 7% bodyfat. since switching to hit all of my lifts have gone down and my physique has actually gotten worse.

i eat a high carb low protein low fat diet. i get around 60-80 grams of protein a day. i work out 3x a week MWF. i also get about 7 hrs of sleep at night and try to sleep for about 1-2 hrs during the day. i take all my exercises to failure; by which i mean that i do the exercises until i cant get stuck after contiually pushing or can't complete another rep in good form. the gym here only has basic free weights and i work out alone so i have to load and unload the weights myself. i don't know what i am doing wrong.

I NEED HELP. should i go to 2x a week or should i go 3x a week and cut down on some exercises or what i am clueless. any help would be appreciated.
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Thunnor

This sounds grim. Are you increasing the intensity during every workout, either raising the number of good form repetitions OR the weight that you're lifting?

If you're losing weight EITHER you're burning fat OR losing muscle mass. The latter can only happen if the muscles are being worked less intensely than before. Hope this helps.
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HIThaskett

I just got off of the Bigger Arms in 6 weeks routine and im not quite sure what I should do next. Should I go to one of the routines described in the new high intensity training book? And does creatine make you retain water?
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ppetranek

It sounds like you are not eating enough. Exercise and nutrition work together to build your body. As evidence look at your bodyweight. Your bodyweight should be increasing, but it went down. You should be eating about 170 grams of protein per day for your training.

Try the books Nutrient Timing by John Ivy PhD, and Power Eating by Susan Kleiner PhD. They recommend eating one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Also, they recommend protein carb fat ratio of 30% 40% 30%. Nutrient timing recommends drinking carb protein shake before and after exercise in the ration of 4 to 1 carb to protein.

Also try the book Macrobolic Nutrition by Gerard Dente. He uses the ratio of 35% 45% 20% for protein carbs and fats. Once again recommending one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. You are eating about half this amount.
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BeauMann

Iowa, USA

I am new to the forum so give me a break. I am 26 years old, 6'3 and weigh 225 with 18% bodyfat. I have been training off and on for 10 years and been fairly serious about HIT since I bought Dr. Dardens' last two books.

I'm on a 2 to 3 day-a-week training schedule. I'm trying to lose more bodyfat but I can't stick with a low calorie diet but I have been doing an hour cardio first thing in the morning on my off days. Any advice?
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kiilt_it

California, USA

Oreste wrote:
When you can do 12 or more repetitions on any exercise, then increase the resistance by approximately 5 percent at your next training session.</P><P>This process is referred to as double progressive training because you first add repetitions and then you add resistance.</P><P>Double progressive training is the backbone of all successful bodybuilding programs. As simple as the concept sounds, it?s often ignored.</P><P>Understand and apply double progressive training in all your workouts and your results will be more significant. And equally important, keep accurate records of all your workouts.</P></div>
And,If I improve only the wheigths without the reps?


I am a 5'6" woman and have been following the Bowflex routine for almost 6 months now, but I have not been able to substantially increase my leg curls. Is there another exercise which uses the same muscles? I have more than doubled the leg extensions and leg press exercises.

Additionally, for the seated ab crunch, I cannot go past 100 pounds as I cannot get into position without an initial assistance for someone else. Should I do more reps?
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