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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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Increased Volume and Got Sick
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gmw5

New Zealand

I have been performing 8-10 exercises with one set to failure - twice a week with good results. However I have stagnated and haven't been able to get any visible muscle size increases. I usually hover between 3-6 reps per exercise. I get good strength results - but maybe the reps are too low for muscle hypertrophy.

I just tried adding an extra set (making it into two sets of 8 exercises). The next day (yesterday) I immediately came down with the flu and my body is wasted. It must be too much. It amazes me how much sorer I am from adding the extra set to each exercise. I am going to stick with one set. Should I persist with the low reps - or drop the weight to keep the reps between 8 and 12?
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kata14

Just alike you. Now I have the flu with cold along of a WO experiment I did last week, Ken's 50% sets with all 6 exercises. And then bad night's sleep.
Wake up for 3 days at 3:30am with all muscles soreness. What a BS! I won't make that mistake anymore.
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kata14

IMO the particular solution is:
-One week of absolute rest.
-Choose the weights/reps of two weeks ago...and start again avoiding mistakes.
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M Lipowski

New York, USA

gmw5 wrote:
I have been performing 8-10 exercises with one set to failure - twice a week with good results. However I have stagnated and haven't been able to get any visible muscle size increases. I usually hover between 3-6 reps per exercise. I get good strength results - but maybe the reps are too low for muscle hypertrophy.

I just tried adding an extra set (making it into two sets of 8 exercises). The next day (yesterday) I immediately came down with the flu and my body is wasted. It must be too much. It amazes me how much sorer I am from adding the extra set to each exercise. I am going to stick with one set. Should I persist with the low reps - or drop the weight to keep the reps between 8 and 12?



It's highly unlikely that ONE workout of increased demands caused you to get sick but it does bring up some questions.

1) Could it just have been the straw that broke the camels back? Meaning you may habe been going down this path anyway and this just took over the top sooner but it would have happened anyway.

2) Is the additional soreness and "wasted" feeling really such a bad thing? You obviously went above and beyond what you're body is accustomed to and this type of disruption and "break in manotony" may be just what the body needs to right now to take your conditioning and development to the next level. The only thing you need to be sure of is that you allow enough time to overcompensate before going back to training.

3) There are many who train with much more volume and frequency than you who don't get sick so (as per #2) could it just be that you're lack of exposure to these demands has suppressed your conditioning up to this point? If you trained like this a few more times--and I'm not suggesting you should or should not--I'd bet you'd adapt to it and NOT get sick from it again unless you didn't occasionally have periods of absolute rest or at least cycle your demands properly.

Just some thoughts.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Hey G,

Go with some higher reps to break the status quo of what you've been doing for so long. It doesn't have to be 8-12, even 6-10 would be a significant change.

After you get used to the higher range, throw in some exercise modifiers on 2-3 exercises per workout. Maybe some drop sets or rest-pause. You could also do some stage reps or maybe even some partials at the end of the set.

After you've amped it up for 4-6 weeks, you can back down for about 2 weeks of your 3 to 6-rep basics.

Good Luck,
Scott

P.S. Wait until your flu passes before jumping back in. ;-)
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Acerimmer1

People get the flu, and when they do thats how they feel. People who don't train atall can still get the flu.

A barbell is also a good way to pick up germs. Assuming you wash your hands after training a higher volume gives a greater window of opportunity for those germs to go from hand to mouth or nose or tear duct.
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Loutwinl

This is to weird just last week i thought it was time to add to my workout(stupid) and like most of you said I was whiped out and felt as though I had the flu,with no desire to train and could not sleep well at all.The next day I got sick to my stomach and just felt like hell all around.Needless to say after a good rest I'm back at it and you would think nothing ever happened,a big lesson for me and a few others it sounds like.Thanks for sharing.
Lou
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Ciccio

Loutwinl wrote:
This is to weird just last week i thought it was time to add to my workout(stupid) and like most of you said I was whiped out and felt as though I had the flu,with no desire to train and could not sleep well at all.The next day I got sick to my stomach and just felt like hell all around.Needless to say after a good rest I'm back at it and you would think nothing ever happened,a big lesson for me and a few others it sounds like.Thanks for sharing.
Lou


I can relate to that. Intense training with too high volume can do that easily. But it's not a real flu (albeit it can become one) and should be good after 2-3days.

Franco

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gmw5

New Zealand

Cheers guys,

Yeah funnily enough- I am fine now. It took two days to get over it. It was like a mini flu. I am convinced it was a result of that one training session. I agree with Drew- in that i think it could be just what my body needs.

One of the reasons that I like training with lower volume is that I don't feel like absolute crap the following day (which is how i felt when i trained higher volume). I still feel sore- but not like absolute crap. I think I will up the reps a little and put my ego aside and drop the weights.
cheers
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Crotalus

As someone who absolutely loved Leistner's 50% sets , I'd never be able to do 8 exercises ... 50% sets of four compound mov'ts was it for me, twice a week.

When I'd do five exercises with 50% sets , I'd do every other exercise as 50% , the others as single sets. The following weeks I'd reverse it.

50% sets on 8 movements ... I admire the fact you could even type the day after that. I'd never be able to finish 16 sets !

50% sets was my favorite way to train years ago, but like anything else it can be overdone.
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Acerimmer1

Crotalus wrote:
As someone who absolutely loved Leistner's 50% sets , I'd never be able to do 8 exercises ... 50% sets of four compound mov'ts was it for me, twice a week.

When I'd do five exercises with 50% sets , I'd do every other exercise as 50% , the others as single sets. The following weeks I'd reverse it.

50% sets on 8 movements ... I admire the fact you could even type the day after that. I'd never be able to finish 16 sets !

50% sets was my favorite way to train years ago, but like anything else it can be overdone.


What are 50% sets?
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gmw5

New Zealand

yeah i aren't familiar with 50% sets?
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kata14

50% Ken Leistner's Sets:
Selecting a weight for a particular exercise that will allow the performance of 10-12 reps to absolute failure with good form. Rest exactly 1 minute and do a second set to absolute failure with the same weight.

Fail on second set with one half of the number of reps completed during set one. Strive to exceed 50% during set 2 while maintaining perfect form.
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mufasta

I've done something like that 50% sets for years. I usually don't rest for a minute though, maybe 20-30 seconds tops. Same weight. Usually can eek out 5-6 more reps.

I was always a fan of forced reps, but I started doing this when I didn't have a spotter around. I always prefered it to stripping down the weight and hitting again quickly.
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M Lipowski

New York, USA

mufasta wrote:
I've done something like that 50% sets for years. I usually don't rest for a minute though, maybe 20-30 seconds tops. Same weight. Usually can eek out 5-6 more reps.

I was always a fan of forced reps, but I started doing this when I didn't have a spotter around. I always prefered it to stripping down the weight and hitting again quickly.


This is EXACTLY what I do and I started doing for the same reason (no workout partner). I sometimes keep the rest even shorter. More like 10-15 sec. I cannot say that doing this has hurt my progress in the least bit.

In fact I would attribute it to why I have made continuous gains ITO muscle growth/development. 1 straight set just doesn't cut it for me...too easy...and I DO train balls out on the first set...always.

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