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  1. #1
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    Serious Discussion On HIT/Heavy Duty/Abbreviated Training

    To start this discussion off, I would like to give some background info about myself, the ask and discuss some questions about HD/HIT/abbreviated training. I invite others to do so as well just to get an idea of who and what we may bring to the table. My intention is not to start arguments with those either for or against HIT, but learn from your experiences and discuss my own. Here is my training background:

    -I have been training over 30 years

    -I worked for Nautilus Fitness Centers in the mid 70's to late 80's while in HS and college. I was privy to a lot of the original Nautilus/HIT principles and personell

    -Won a few local BB titles, a State Title, and National qualifier in the mid-late 80's

    -a very short stint of semi-pro football

    -competed in athletics most of my life and attribute weight training to my successes

    -broke my neck in 1992..had a cervical lamenctomy..have chronic pain 24/7..and was told I couldn't lift weights again

    -At this time in my life I am a Divsion I HS football coach

    Here are my questions to start with about HIT/HD: (remember..these are questions for learning..not to start arguments)

    1) In discussions/writings about HD, why did Mike use training to failure (intensity of effort) as a measurement? The reason I ask is because Mike was an objectivist and this was subjective. Why didn't he use a more quanitative measurement? such as 1rm or 3rm 5rp 10rrm etc.?

    2)On training frequency and the adaptive reserves: If a muscle adapts to increasing intensity by growing bigger, then why would you need to decrease frequency since the hypertrophied muscle compensated for the increased stress. For example: Let's say I bench press 200lbs for 10 reps to failure and 1 year later I bench press 300lbs for 10 reps to failure. Since in both scenarios I trained with the same effort (failure)..why would I need decrease frequency? It was the same intensity as prescribed by Mike (training to failure).

    These are just several questions I have about HIT/HD. I looked forward to everyone's responses.
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  2. #2
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    IMO mentzer took rest time too far. I use less volume and higher intensity to allow me to train MORE frequently meaning more chances for me to create a growth stimulus
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    Originally Posted by olinerules87 View Post
    IMO mentzer took rest time too far. I use less volume and higher intensity to allow me to train MORE frequently meaning more chances for me to create a growth stimulus
    I tend to agree with you somewhat at this point. However, I do think Mike was right in needing more recovery than most programs call for. At least in my case. Perhaps he was right when he said, "Precise I s Best".
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    Ttt
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    Arthur Jones's HIT
    While it is not necessary to measure the time required to perform a set of an exercise ? so long as it is
    performed at a reasonable pace ? it is necessary to consider the time involved for the performance of all the sets
    included in the workout. A first set should be followed by a second set of the same exercise at an interval of
    exactly four minutes, and a third set should be performed four minutes later ? thus the total time for all three
    sets will be eight minutes plus the time required to perform the third set, a time somewhat over eight minutes
    and probably well below nine minutes, depending upon the type of exercise being performed and the number of
    repetitions employed.
    With well-conditioned, experienced subjects it is not necessary to actually measure this time factor; such
    subjects will almost always perform second and third sets at very nearly the exact time specified ? having
    become accustomed to working at a particular pace, they will "feel" when they are ready for another set, and the
    variation in time will usually be less than ten seconds.
    But inexperienced trainees must be timed ? and must be informed when to perform the next set of an exercise; if
    meaningful results for charting progress are desired.
    Apart from the above described significance of speed as a factor for measuring strength, it is of even more
    importance for producing the best results from training. Every repetition of every set of most exercises should
    be performed as fast as possible ? consistent with proper form and safety considerations; which latter point can
    be disregarded if the selected resistance is proper for the movement being performed.Insofar as safety is concerned, no additional element of risk will be introduced if the weight is heavy enough ?
    but if the weight is too light for the movement being performed, then some danger of injury will be added. For
    example; in performing standing presses with a barbell ? or any other kind of presses ? if the weight is too light,
    and if the lift is performed with maximum possible speed of movement, then the elbow tendon attachments may
    be damaged seriously. Exactly similar injuries occur with rather great frequency in baseball ? when a pitcher
    "throws his arm out."
    But while one such example proves almost nothing by itself, this personal experience was enough to trigger my
    thinking into a new direction; since then, almost all of my interest has been directed towards attempts to
    determine the exact length of training time that is required for the production of best possible results in most
    case. Twenty years later, the weight of evidence is simply indisputable; "in almost all cases, best results from
    heavy exercise will be produced by the practice of a very limited number of compound exercises that involve
    the major muscular masses of the body, and such training should be limited to not more than five hours of
    weekly training in any case and to about four hours in most cases."
    In practice, best results are usually produced by three weekly workouts of less than one and one-half hours each.
    Most of our trainees never perform more than two sets of any one exercise ?and none of our trainees ever
    perform more that three sets of an exercise ?and some of our trainees use only one set of each exercise.
    http://arthurjonesexercise.com/index.html

    Primary focus on compound exercises. 1-3 sets, 2-3 times per week. Lift the weight as fast as possible. Don't always train to failure. 4-6 reps for strength. 8-12 reps for general conditioning. 15-20 reps for endurance.
    This is HIT as designed by Arthur Jones. Anything else written by anyone else IS NOT HIT.
    I find it hilarious that all of Bill Starr's, Mark Rippetoe's, Glenn Pendly's and Charles Staley's programs qualify as HIT and NON of Mentzer's do.

    Abbreviated training for the win.
    Last edited by all pro; 02-06-2008 at 06:02 AM.
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    All Pro,
    Nice post..very interesting. I have also noticed that Staley, Starr, etc. recommendations are very similar to Jone's. Also, Mentzer's original HD was more inline with Jone's. Are these workout time allotments based on hormone levels (testosterone, cortisol, insulin,? neurotransmitters? One thing I have noticed in my own experience that has helped is loading and deloading parameters, while still training in an abbreviated fashion. Thanks for your input. I look forward to more!!
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    Originally Posted by fbcoach View Post

    1) In discussions/writings about HD, why did Mike use training to failure (intensity of effort) as a measurement? The reason I ask is because Mike was an objectivist and this was subjective. Why didn't he use a more quanitative measurement? such as 1rm or 3rm 5rp 10rrm etc.? .
    Because it was an accurate means of measuring progress. If I'm training with maximum intensity consistantley, and making improvements in both strength and physique, it's working. And I know that it's my intensity levels that are key to my gains because I'm pushing myself as hard as I can each workout. I'm sure you'll pick up on the point I'm trying to get accross but it's early and my daughter was up all night so I didn't sleep much...:P

    Originally Posted by fbcoach View Post
    2)On training frequency and the adaptive reserves: If a muscle adapts to increasing intensity by growing bigger, then why would you need to decrease frequency since the hypertrophied muscle compensated for the increased stress. For example: Let's say I bench press 200lbs for 10 reps to failure and 1 year later I bench press 300lbs for 10 reps to failure. Since in both scenarios I trained with the same effort (failure)..why would I need decrease frequency? It was the same intensity as prescribed by Mike (training to failure).

    .
    Good question but it isn't the same intensity. Pushing 300lbs requires more effort than pushing 200lbs when using maximum intensity. If you are using the same effort and you have grown bigger and stronger, then you are not using maximum effort when pushing the 300lbs. My maximum intensity is far greater now than it was 3 years ago. I am bigger, stronger and more powerful and therefore able to generate a greater intensity. On that same note, as you grow and train with more intensity, you need to recover more and that means cutting back a bit on the volume and frequency.
    I eat to failure.
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  8. #8
    Powerbuilder all pro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fbcoach View Post
    To start this discussion off, I would like to give some background info about myself, the ask and discuss some questions about HD/HIT/abbreviated training. I invite others to do so as well just to get an idea of who and what we may bring to the table. My intention is not to start arguments with those either for or against HIT, but learn from your experiences and discuss my own. Here is my training background:

    -I have been training over 30 years

    -I worked for Nautilus Fitness Centers in the mid 70's to late 80's while in HS and college. I was privy to a lot of the original Nautilus/HIT principles and personell

    -Won a few local BB titles, a State Title, and National qualifier in the mid-late 80's

    -a very short stint of semi-pro football

    -competed in athletics most of my life and attribute weight training to my successes

    -broke my neck in 1992..had a cervical lamenctomy..have chronic pain 24/7..and was told I couldn't lift weights again

    -At this time in my life I am a Divsion I HS football coach

    Here are my questions to start with about HIT/HD: (remember..these are questions for learning..not to start arguments)

    1) In discussions/writings about HD, why did Mike use training to failure (intensity of effort) as a measurement? The reason I ask is because Mike was an objectivist and this was subjective. Why didn't he use a more quanitative measurement? such as 1rm or 3rm 5rp 10rrm etc.?

    2)On training frequency and the adaptive reserves: If a muscle adapts to increasing intensity by growing bigger, then why would you need to decrease frequency since the hypertrophied muscle compensated for the increased stress. For example: Let's say I bench press 200lbs for 10 reps to failure and 1 year later I bench press 300lbs for 10 reps to failure. Since in both scenarios I trained with the same effort (failure)..why would I need decrease frequency? It was the same intensity as prescribed by Mike (training to failure).

    These are just several questions I have about HIT/HD. I looked forward to everyone's responses.
    All right, I guess I should follow your lead. I started weight training in H.S. for power lifting and football. I was 1 of those kids that was "strong for his size" and as 1 coach put it "lightning in a bottle". At 5'8" 150 pounds nobody was looking at me as scholarship material and I didn't have the money or the grades to consider college. After HS I became a softball and flag football junkie. Everything I knew about weight training I learned from power lifting. Unfortunately that wasn't cutting it on the field and the programs weren't as sophisticated as they are today. I started reading bodybuilding mags and tried a few of the routines they printed. On the field they were a dismal failure. Then they started printing articles about a brand new weight training system called HIT. In fact the current super bowl champion was using it. The local YMCA was running a 6 month special. For a mere 300 dollars you got to use their brand new nautilus machines and receive personal instruction in HIT. I couldn't get to the YMCA fast enough. 6 months later I was smaller, weaker, slower and severely over trained. I was frustrated. As a side note they weren't following Jone's instructions. As luck would have it I was out shopping and spotted a large paper back book with a blue/green cover entitled The Strongest Shall Survive by Bill Starr. I haven't looked back. The problem isn't Jones's HIT. The problem is that it's been commandeered by the HIT Jedi. All that any of the old school programs need to keep them working is to modernize them with the application of dual factor programing. Non of the HIT Jedi understand it and it would seem that only a hand full of today's bodybuilders use it. Back in the day Reg Park was using it instinctively. When He wrote about his 5x5 he stated that when it stopped working he simply changed it to sets of 10 and when that stopped working he simply changed it back to 5s. The reason that Mentzer needed more and more recovery is because his method, like all other modern HIT programs is old school single factor and results in CNS and systemic over training. Duel factor periodization totally avoids this.
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    Awnold,
    Yes, I do understand what you are saying, but I also know that neurotransmitters control your senses such as energy, pain, etc. Since the change constantly, wouldn't your perception of how intense you train change also.....making it more subjective?

    On the second part, please explain how training to failure on different occassions is more intense than at other times? Wouldn't that contradict the first part of the question in subjectivity?
    Thanks
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    WOW....All Pro. My experiences were very similar. It must had been the era Through Starr's, McRobert's, etc. writings in the 80's I came to the same conclusion and developed my own philosophy. I didn't do it out of just blindly following their applications, but out of using my own intelligence and necessity to continue progressing. With that said, I do agree wholeheartedly with Mentzer's view's on recovery, just not to the extreme of resting weeks before training again. Also, I can appreciate your understanding and articulation CNS and muscular stimulation as being 2 separate, yet integral parts of training.
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    Can any HIT advocates answer the 2 questions posed to help give me a better understanding?
    Again, Thanks
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    ttt
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    Thumbs up

    HIT is stupid. Most people who advocate HIT have gained most of their mass through traditional high volume and/or high frequency training. You can't get a good workout in 15 minutes, I don't care what current nattie former druggie bodybuilders tell you.
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    Originally Posted by fbcoach View Post
    1) In discussions/writings about HD, why did Mike use training to failure (intensity of effort) as a measurement? The reason I ask is because Mike was an objectivist and this was subjective. Why didn't he use a more quanitative measurement? such as 1rm or 3rm 5rp 10rrm etc.?

    2)On training frequency and the adaptive reserves: If a muscle adapts to increasing intensity by growing bigger, then why would you need to decrease frequency since the hypertrophied muscle compensated for the increased stress. For example: Let's say I bench press 200lbs for 10 reps to failure and 1 year later I bench press 300lbs for 10 reps to failure. Since in both scenarios I trained with the same effort (failure)..why would I need decrease frequency? It was the same intensity as prescribed by Mike (training to failure).
    It seems like we've had discus 2-3x already, but here are the same answers I gave then.

    1. Mentzer said train to failure because he felt it is the only objective way of measuring intensity. If I am only using a 5RM weight for 4 reps to avoid failure, how do I really know that it is a 5RM, if I never attempt that 5th rep and see if I really have enough in the tank for that 6th rep. But if I use what was previously a 5RM, I get all 5 reps and then manage to struggle through a 6th nearly impossible rep, then I know I worked out to maximum intensity.

    2. Mentzer felt that we only have a finite amount of reserves to recover from a workout and then induce growth. Sure it was just his way of simplifying a number of actual process that occur during recovery and eventual hypertrophy. So every set done in the gym taps into those reserves. The lighter the weight used, the less those reserves get tapped in to during the workout and the more frequently you can work out. So your guy above benching 200 lbs taps into fewer recovery resources during his set to failure, than he will when he benches 300 lbs. Which, as Mentzer said, we have to recover those resources before hypertrophy can take place. To take it just one step further, I think it is Arthur Jones that said you can increase your strength 300%, but only increase your recovery ability by 50%.
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    If you curl 50lbs in one hand and 25lbs in the other, it will require more effort to lift the 50lbs than the 25lbs.....even if done at the same time.....AND even if you do them at different times.
    I eat to failure.
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    Originally Posted by gixxer2184 View Post
    HIT is stupid. Most people who advocate HIT have gained most of their mass through traditional high volume and/or high frequency training. You can't get a good workout in 15 minutes, I don't care what current nattie former druggie bodybuilders tell you.
    And most intelligent post of the day goes toooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

    But then again what do I know....I'm just a noob.
    I eat to failure.
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    Originally Posted by LightCrow View Post
    It seems like we've had discus 2-3x already, but here are the same answers I gave then.

    1. Mentzer said train to failure because he felt it is the only objective way of measuring intensity. If I am only using a 5RM weight for 4 reps to avoid failure, how do I really know that it is a 5RM, if I never attempt that 5th rep and see if I really have enough in the tank for that 6th rep. But if I use what was previously a 5RM, I get all 5 reps and then manage to struggle through a 6th nearly impossible rep, then I know I worked out to maximum intensity.

    2. Mentzer felt that we only have a finite amount of reserves to recover from a workout and then induce growth. Sure it was just his way of simplifying a number of actual process that occur during recovery and eventual hypertrophy. So every set done in the gym taps into those reserves. The lighter the weight used, the less those reserves get tapped in to during the workout and the more frequently you can work out. So your guy above benching 200 lbs taps into fewer recovery resources during his set to failure, than he will when he benches 300 lbs. Which, as Mentzer said, we have to recover those resources before hypertrophy can take place. To take it just one step further, I think it is Arthur Jones that said you can increase your strength 300%, but only increase your recovery ability by 50%.

    You may have written a response to this question before, but you still haven't answered the question. Again..going to failure is subjective. If I use my 5 rep max for 4 reps, then next workout I add 2 lbs and do 4 reps, then next workout add 2lbs again for 4 reps, etc. wouldn't that be more quanitative and objective? I realize I would eventually have to go to failure (maybe) then plateau, but wouldn't that be why you would use the dft or cycle workouts?
    Or what happens if I complete my 5 rep max, then come back next workout after resting, let's say 10 days, I use the same weight and go to failure, but only get 3 reps? This happened to me after using the CR for a while.



    Awnold,
    What you stated was the obvious..curling 2 different weights in each hand. What I am asking is if the muscle hypertrophies as a defense mechanism expecting to be worked again, why wouldn't the effort be the same? Didn't the muscle enlarge to compensate for the added resistance? As a muscle enlarges it is obvious the muscle increases it's adaptive reserves by increasing glycogen, water, electrlytes, nerves, bones, etc. It is also obvious the CNS increases it's reserves. Otherwise the muscles would be become uncoordinated.

    Just curious about these ascertations of HIT.
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    I love HIT threads! So interesting.

    I have a question i've been dying to know about HIT; Why are HITT'ers the only body builders who believe you need a high carbohydrate/moderate protein diet in order to gain the most muscle mass? Jones, darden, mentzer, all believe carbs are the key to gaining muscle. Is it something to do with the training?

    Awnold, do you follow the high carbohydrate diet recommended by mentzer or do you follow the standard bodybuilding 200+ high protein diet?
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    fbcoach.....

    If you keep your intensty levels the same and NEVER raise the bar, you won't grow. You get to a point where you're benching 300lbs and you want to get to 400. If you do not raise your intensity levels, you won't get there.....If your body does not see a need to overcompensate, it won't. So when you start telling it not to overcompensate, it will stop.......

    in a nutshell.


    Stanco......

    I eat high everything.......moderrate to high fats, high carbs, high protein.
    I eat to failure.
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    Awnold,
    I'm not sure if I am making my question clear. This may be a better way of approaching this so I can understand. How do YOU measure your intensity? By going to failure every workout (feeling like you are training hard)? By using intensity techniques? or quanitatively by the amount of weight lifted?
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    Can anyone answer these questions? I would like to hear from some of those with more experience.
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    Originally Posted by Awnold79 View Post
    fbcoach.....

    If you keep your intensty levels the same and NEVER raise the bar, you won't grow. You get to a point where you're benching 300lbs and you want to get to 400. If you do not raise your intensity levels, you won't get there.....If your body does not see a need to overcompensate, it won't. So when you start telling it not to overcompensate, it will stop.......

    in a nutshell.
    No one has ever said NEVER train to failure. If you don't do it then you won't ever get any wear. The argument has been that it isn't required to make progress and it isn't required to make maximum progress. This is a set up I got from Slippy over at I.A.R.T. IART is HIT.
    week 1, 8 reps
    week 2, 9 reps
    week 3, 10 reps
    week 4, 11 reps
    week 5, 12 reps
    If you get all of the reps, increase the weight 5% and start back at 8 reps. Simple enough and the first week or 2 are easy enough that you get more complete recover and therefore more super compensation. I have 5x5 routines set up on the same simple principle. Duel factor periodization.
    Last edited by all pro; 02-07-2008 at 03:04 PM.
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    Originally Posted by all pro View Post
    No one has ever said NEVER train to failure. If you don't do it then you won't ever get any wear. The argument has been that it isn't required to make progress and it isn't required to make maximum progress. This is a set up I got from Slippy over at I.A.R.T. IART is HIT.
    week 1, 8 reps
    week 2, 9 reps
    week 3, 10 reps
    week 4, 11 reps
    week 5, 12 reps
    If you get all of the reps, increase the weight 5% and start back at 8 reps. Simple enough and the first week or 2 are easy enough that you get more complete recover and therefore more super compensation. I have 5x5 routines set up on the same simple principle. Duel factor periodization.
    Hey All Pro,
    Yes, I understand completely what you are saying, and to be honest, it is the only thing I have seen that works long term. Of course you have to train to failure at times, but to do so consistently would overtrain your CNS. I have been trying to get an answer to why this is used as a measurement when it is so subjective. I can't understand why I never get a clear answer here. It is usually very simplistic without regard to how the muscular system and CNS are integrated to produce lean mass and strength gains. Perhaps more of the experienced trainers will reply and shed some light. Anyway, thanks for your input. It is obvious you have a good grasp on training principles. By the way, a really knowledgeable HD/HIT advocate is John Heart at intenseheart.com He is a straight shooter without all the regurgitated BS you get from the neophytes. He can explain and articulate the HIT theory. I just hate bugging him when that is how he makes his living. He does have an e-book ("Get Lean First") for $15 that I bought and was very good.
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    go to mikementzer.com , go to the bookstore and read his books, join highintensity.net or go to the yahoo group Heavy_Duty, All you hear in here is myths and wrongs answers about hit training.
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    I love abbreviated training but I also don't feel that training to failure is neccessary or advisable. That's IMO of course. The more you train to failure the more rest you need due to CNS overload, not muscle overload. I can train abbreviated yet train the same muscle group 3 times a week and still make gains (i.e. HST).

    So yes there are several ways to skin a cat and one needs to decide which way they prefer to do it. Train more often, lower volume of course, or train less often and go to failure.
    "Franco is pretty smart, but Franco's a child, and when it comes to the day of the contest, I am his father. He comes to me for advices. So it's not that hard for me to give him the wrong advices." - Arnold Schwarzenegger - Pumping Iron
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    ive never had one client ever need extra rest because of cns on hit training especially when using pre exhaustion.
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    Originally Posted by Overload View Post
    I love abbreviated training but I also don't feel that training to failure is neccessary or advisable. That's IMO of course. The more you train to failure the more rest you need due to CNS overload, not muscle overload. I can train abbreviated yet train the same muscle group 3 times a week and still make gains (i.e. HST).

    So yes there are several ways to skin a cat and one needs to decide which way they prefer to do it. Train more often, lower volume of course, or train less often and go to failure.
    I agree and train in the same manner. Interested in what you have to offer here.
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    Originally Posted by m_risinger View Post
    go to mikementzer.com , go to the bookstore and read his books, join highintensity.net or go to the yahoo group Heavy_Duty, All you hear in here is myths and wrongs answers about hit training.
    I have all his books..even the journals from the 70s. I was banned from highintensity.net for saying that doing 1 set every 7-21 days was crazy and only for the lazy. Talk about myths....I'd just like to know what them thar boys are smoking
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    Originally Posted by fbcoach View Post
    Awnold,
    I'm not sure if I am making my question clear. This may be a better way of approaching this so I can understand. How do YOU measure your intensity? By going to failure every workout (feeling like you are training hard)? By using intensity techniques? or quanitatively by the amount of weight lifted?

    I train to failure every workout. I will add extra rest days here and there if I need them. I don't have a set training frequency as I work a very physical job as well. If I am adding weight and/or reps consistantley, I would say I'm making progress.

    I don't buy the train once every 3 weeks crap either. But when my numbers go up I do know that I'm progressing........and if they stall then I throw in different training techniqes such as forced reps, negatives, forced negatives rest pause etc.........and that gets the ball rolling again. My nutrition is always growing too so to speak....I'm alsways checking diet and seems like I eat more and more every day.

    I don't know if I' answering your question or not but that's sort of how I do it in a nutshell. I'm not one for all the science mumbo jumbo....I just do what works. I've learned thru tirial and error and am still learning about my body.
    I eat to failure.
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    Originally Posted by fbcoach View Post
    I have all his books..even the journals from the 70s. I was banned from highintensity.net for saying that doing 1 set every 7-21 days was crazy and only for the lazy. Talk about myths....I'd just like to know what them thar boys are smoking
    Hey bud - I am not sure to agree with 1 set every 7 to 21 days either - When I worked with Mike we never trained that infrequent. However, dont worry about the highintensity.net boards - the people that are on these boards claim to know Mikes true words - they dont.

    MR
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