Sunday, October 31, 2021

Intensity vs Duration, A Mike Mentzer Seminar - Chris Lund (1985)


When you talk about an exercise session or performance of a single exercise there are two factors to consider: 

1) The Intensity Factor
2) The Duration Factor

Duration is the amount of time spent training, and intensity refers to the percentage of momentary effort. This term intensity tends to be misunderstood and most people think that by increasing the duration of their workouts they will be increasing the intensity, which is ridiculous! 

In fact, it's just the opposite. Every time you increase the duration you must decrease the intensity. These two things exist inversely over each other. They're mutually exclusive. You can't have a lot of one and a lot of the other. This is demonstrated by a very simple inverse ration graph which demonstrates the universal relationship between intensity and duration.

This is not a bran child of Mike Mentzer, this is a basic law of physics. It applies to all activities, not just weight training. Chopping down trees, studying books, sex, whatever.

The more intensely you do something then the duration of that activity must be decreased, and if you want big muscles fast then you've got to train as intensely as possible, because that is the one major factor in building muscular mass. And if you want to build mass then you've got to train for short periods so that you will be able to train intensely. That's the nature of the relationship.

You can either train hard, or you can train long, but you can't train hard and long at the same time. Not because I say so, because it's just impossible. Is there anybody here who can sprint for a mile? No, the longest sprint race is not the mile, not is it the 800 meters, but it's the 400 meters. So you see, trying to train intensely for two hours is just laughable. It's downright ridiculous! 

When I talk about hard I mean maximally or all out effort for two hours. If you train as hard as you possibly can each and every set then the majority of you in this room would be unable to work out any longer than 30 minutes. I'm talking about every set done to absolute failure with minimal rest in between sets.

Just enough rest rest in between sets so that you can work the next set into muscular failure as opposed to cardiovascular failure. You should not work so fast that you fail due to cardiovascular failure. 

I always use the example of the long distance runner versus the sprinter. The sprinter always has a large, muscular calf. Whereas the long distance runner always has a stringy little calf muscle because he's chronically overtraining, and I would venture to say that most of today's top bodybuilders who are regularly training more than two hours a day would look like distance runners if it wasn't for the drugs that they use. 

Remember, you must first stimulate growth and then you must allow enough time for recovery so that growth can occur. If you do those three things: number one stimulate growth, number two allow enough time for recovery because it does take time, up to 48 hours in some cases depending on the volume and severity of the exercise. Number three requires another period of time for that growth to manifest itself. 

GROWTH NEVER PROCEEDS RECOVERY, RECOVERY ALWAYS COMES FIRST. If you didn't continually recover from exercise obviously you would rapidly die.

If you train before recovery takes place then obviously the growth process can't take place, because now you've got to recover from that next workout again. If you allow enough time for recovery to take place but not enough time for growth to take place you still won't grow. It takes time to recover and it takes time to grow. 

So what I'm saying is you should rest anywhere from 48 hours up to 72 hours. That's 72 hours in between workouts. Six days a week training for the purpose of building muscular mass is always a mistake. If you want to build muscular definition then you can't be active enough. Train every day all day or whatever you want to do.

I'm talking about recovery of the physical system as a whole. Localized muscular recovery actually takes place very rapidly. But you do 10 sets of very heavy squats on Monday and your legs may well have recovered by Tuesday but try and do a heavy back workout on Tuesday. You will not feel the inclination because your WHOLE physical system has been called upon. Demands have been made upon the body's recuperative substances. Not just the legs but the whole system has been called upon. You've got to allow the whole body to recover, not just the legs.

I'm often asked about red and white muscle fibers. I was recently in Holland and talked to Dr. John Voss, an eminent exercise physiologist who was actually the first guy to ever do research on red and white muscle fibers, and claims the whole thing is just a bunch of HOKUM! Because your actual muscle fibers change color from minute to minute. He actually did muscle biopsies on his own leg when he was a distance runner 10 or 15 years ago. He would take biopsies from his calf muscle every day and he found that they nearly always were a different color each time. He believes they will change color from minute to minute depending on such things a temperature, activity, metabolic rate and so forth.

So there's no way you can devise an exercise program based on what you think is your predominant muscle fiber type.  

Even if you did have more fast twitch muscle fibers as opposed to slow twitch muscle fibers you still have to perform all your exercise movements in a slow and deliberate fashion. Slowly and under control at all times because once the speed of an exercise exceeds a certain rate then momentum takes over. Muscular involvement is therefore diminished.

Intensity refers to the percentage of momentary muscular effort. Anything that reduces momentary muscular effort reduces intensity and thereby reduces results. 

The biochemical changes leading to muscle growth in Mike Mentzer are the same in Robert Kennedy, Chris Lund and all of you. It follows from that, that the specific stimulus required to induce those biochemical changes leading to muscle growth in Mike Mentzer, Robert Kennedy, Chris Lund and you is the same. That stimulus is high intensity muscular contraction! 

What causes all the confusion is the fact that we all grow at different rates of speed. I might grow faster as a result of high intensity training but we will all grow faster when each of us trains more intensely. If you're not gaining much now you will gain faster when you train more intensely.

An individual will gain more rapidly when he trains more intensely although he may not gain as rapidly as me but then again he may gain more rapidly than me. We all have different adaptabilities to exercise. Age, existing physical condition, motivation, are all different factors. But the underlying muscly physiology is the same. So people who say we all have different training requirements are entirely wrong.

They're ignorant of the basic facts regarding muscle physiology. If we all had different physiologies medical science could not exist. A doctor would have to study each individual as a separate physiological entity and then learn all the intricacies of his physiology. Then he would have to devise medicine around this one individual. The very fact that we all share the basic principles of physiology and that it can be applied to the whole human race is what makes medical science a viable discipline.

I can't make it sound any simpler than that and even with all the theory and academic bullshit aside it's just common sense that the harder you train the faster you grow, but it's also true that the harder you train the less time you can spend training. It's just like the faster you run, the less distance you can run. Sure, you can train intensely for 30 minutes and then if you diminish the intensity you could train for another eight hours. But that's not going to result in anything except reduced progress.

Tom Platz trained extremely hard all year for the IFBB Mr. Olympia. He was the one guy at Gold's who trained hard all winter long. He just went to failure on every single set and I remember saying to my brother Ray that this guy is serious. I had no idea what he was looking like underneath his sweat suit but when I saw him by me poolside just before the contest I just couldn't believe my eyes. He had put 12 pounds of pure muscle onto his upper body alone. Now his delts, pecs and lats almost equal his incredible legs, which are among the greatest medical phenomena I've ever seen! 

A lot of people point out to me that many of today's top pro physiques spend hours and hours training in the gym and they still have great bodies. It's perfectly true that a guy like Roy Callender who has one of the world's most massively developed physiques trains anywhere up to eight hours a day, but you try training eight hours a day and see what happens. You'll end up looking like a jockey! 

You're really got to look back to the early careers of these guys when in fact they were actually making their biggest gains in muscular size. Arnold was a powerlifter in Austria and he had just about as much mass as when he came to America than he did when he was in Germany. What he succeeded in doing when he got here was getting rid of all of his baby fat. Which he did though sheer physical activity. If you do anything for four hours a day on a reduced calorie diet you're going to get ripped. You don't have to lift weights to get ripped. You don't have to do concentration curls to get defined biceps. You don't have to do thigh extensions as Arnold told Wide World of Sports and 30 million people, to get thigh definition. I couldn't believe that one. "Don't do squats," he said, because they'll make your thighs smooth." If anything, squats are by far the best definition exercise. Because they burn more calories. It is the burning of calories beyond what you take in the form of food that leads to the creation of definition. The more calories you expend the more likely you'll become defined. Thigh extensions don't burn anywhere near the amount of calories heavy squatting does. What's the logic anyway? Why should thigh extensions lead to the creation of more definition than squatting? What am I missing here? Can anybody explain it to me? 

Another bodybuilding wonder which we talked about before is wide grip chins. It's a long held traditional belief to quote the so-called science of bodybuilding that if you want to widen your lats and stretch your shoulder girdle then you should do wide grip chins. This was Arnold's advice to Tom Platz when in fact just the opposite is true. Picture your lats as a rubber band stretched between two points. Your lats attach right under the tricep and then onto the lower back When are those two points farthest apart and when is that rubber band stretched the greatest? Well, it's when your arms are stretched out overhead in a close grip position. It's a 180 degree angle When you go to a wide grip look what happens to that angle. It's closer and closer to a 90 degree angle and the stretch becomes reduced.

If you want to stretch your lats do close grip chins not wide grip.

More conventional training wisdom is that EZ curl bars are great for building biceps. The primary function of the biceps is not to flex the forearm but to supinate.

You can prove it to yourself by putting your arm in the goose neck position like this Then pull your arm back and put your other finger on the bicep and you'll feel it's not even tense, it's soft. Now supinate the head and see what happens. An EZ curl bar pronates the hand and takes the tension off the bicep. What you want to do is hyper-supinate the hand. You've got to use at least a straight bar to work the bicep. The EZ curl bar works the brachialis and the forearms. It practically doesn't work the bicep at all, and again this is conventional bodybuilding wisdom. You've got to use an EZ curl bar because Arnold uses one! 

One question that I'm regularly asked at my seminars is, "Do you need a training partner?" While it helps to have a training partner when using forced reps and negatives, etc., it is by no means an essential requirement. If you use a little innovation most exercises lend themselves to doing forced reps. For example, in doing dips you can stand on a small stool or chair and then lower yourself from the top position. If you don't have a training partner and you want to do forced reps for your arms you can do concentration curls using the free hand to assist.

If you're doing dumbbell laterals for shoulders and you want to continue doing forced reps or negatives after you can't do any more positive reps you can curl the dumbbells to your shoulders, extend the arms out and then slowly lower under control.

In chinning all you have to do is stand on a chair so that you reach the top position. But even if you can't do those things you should still train as hard as you can and at least go to positive failure.

It may be that you don't have to train with 100% intensity. It's never been proven exclusively that you have to train with 100% intensity in order to induce maximum growth stimulation. Maybe it's only 85% but there is definitely a threshold of intensity which you have to pass beyond to stimulate muscular growth. There's a certain threshold called the "threshold of intensity" beyond which you have to go to stimulate growth.

But I ask you this question. How do you measure 85% intensity? There are only two measurements of intensity you can measure accurately. Zero percent and 100%. When you're not exerting yourself at all, then that's zero percent intensity, and when you're exerting yourself maximally as hard as you possibly can and when you can't push any harder, that's 100% intensity. And when you're pushing with 100% effort and you can't work any harder then you know you've passed the threshold of intensity. 

Maybe you need 90% intensity, so as long as you pass over 90% then you know you're safe. You know you've stimulated growth. There are some people who simply don't want to train this way because it is only recommended for those interested in building maximum increases in size and strength. It's not for the casual enthusiast. It's for the serious bodybuilder! 

Enjoy Your Lifting!         




Saturday, October 30, 2021

Beyond Failure Training - Trevor Smith


Article Courtesy of Kevin Dye. 
Thank You, Sir! 

It seems every day someone comes along with anew and improved system of weight training scientifically designed to stimulate the muscle fibers unlike any other program ever could. 

I am so amazed that people are that stupid as to buy into this bullshit. 

The magazines don't help matters either. One month you read a fake training article on how your bodybuilding hero built his biceps (hopefully you realize by now that a lot of these articles are ghostwritten), the next month you get another routine from another pro that is even better. Those of you who save your magazines need only go back and glance at the last few years of your collection to realize that it is all the same **** with minor changes. 

Let's face it, a truly informative magazine that had unique articles each month would be about 25 pages max, so the editors feel compelled to go for quantity instead of quality.

To me, when it comes to reading an article that is talking about a new system of training or nutrition or steroid use, a general rule of thumb to follow is that if the article is layered with a lot of big, scientific terminology, then crumple it up and save it for the next time you run out of toilet paper. 

A good writer or teacher has the ability to speak to all facets of society at the same time, and a really good writer has has the ability to use very simple terms and examples to explain highly technical concepts and theories. A bullshit artist, on the other hand, likes to use these big words in an effort to confuse and baffle as many people as possible because people tend to give credibility to people who use big words. 

Let's give a quick example . . . 

Upon grasping the cylindrical carbohydrate, fat and protein source, the organism used its copious muscles of mastication along with sufficient  temporal mandibular locomotion to activate the digestive enzymes and begin the process of nutrient absorption which was to take place in the mucus lined pouch within the bowels of the creature. 

That's a bullshitter's way of saying the following . . . 

The guy picked up a cheeseburger and took a big bite, chewed it up and swallowed it. 

Keeping this in mind, I would like to explain a little bit about the way I train and how it might benefit you in your gym efforts. I call it beyond failure training, because the general rule of thumb is that when the body fails, the set just begins, and it is this philosophy that will cut through all the bull**** of slow twitch, fast twitch, rep speed, training for size, training for strength nonsense that people like to write about.

First and foremost it is imperative to understand that the body is capable of a lot more than we tend to give it credit for. Somewhere along the line in the past few years, people have been screaming OVERTRAINING to the point of making me want to vomit. 

Mike Mentzer's original heavy duty theories were rather unique and quite sound, but since the release of Heavy Duty 2, the theories have been in outer ****ing space. Training a bodypart once every 14 days!!??. Give me a break. The body is capable of handling large amounts of stress and it is true that it needs adequate time to recover, but 14 days is a bit extreme.

Past failure training is very simple and self-explanatory and few people will ever do it because it just hurts too damn much. Sooner of later one of the four demons comes along and claims another victim who attempts to travel down the path of past failure training. It is not fun, it is uncomfortable, it causes pre-workout anxiety and fear, AND IT PRODUCES MASSIVE RESULTS. 

The number one element that must be present in past failure training is 1000% maximal effort. No being a *****, no laughing and conversing during or between the sets. It's **** or walk time! 

The other thing that is a necessity is a training partner, one who knows how to spot CORRECTLY (sometimes I think I should offer a ****ing seminar on how to be a good spotter because every time I ask for one at the gym I invariably get a ****ing moron.)

Beyond failure training demands that when you are doing a set, as you begin to go to failure, where you cannot complete a full range of motion on your own and you are at momentary failure, your training partner assists you in completing an additional number of repetitions with the same weight (say 6-8) before you are allowed to stop. At this point you are in total agony and are pumped beyond belief and whimpering like a little girl who lost her dolly, yet it is not over yet! Your partner immediately drops the weight down around 40% and you continue with the set until you cannot get any more reps. Your partner again assists you to get an additional number of reps until you are fried. Then once again your partner drops the weight so you can continue your journey into no-man's land and once you begin to fail he again assists you in getting additional reps. Then and only then is your set complete. You are in tremendous pain, you are nauseous and dizzy and you want to go home. You feel like you cannot go home, and this is only after a short period of work, yet the workout has just begun . . . 

Next time we will delve deeper into this level of intensity and training and give examples of how one would train each bodypart using this style of training. 

Enjoy Your Lifting!     


Thursday, October 28, 2021

An Effective Training Progression for the 20-Rep Breathing Squat - Brooks Kubik


Much, much more from Brooks here: 

Squat RX Blog:

There's no doubt that many trainees have done very well on the 20-rep breathing squat program -- but it's also true that many trainees have failed miserably on the program.

I'm one who failed. I tried the program several times when I was younger, and I never had any luck with it. As I look back, it's easy to see why that was the case. I was starting far too heavy and training at far too high a level of intensity. I never adapted to the program. I just became sore, stiff, and severely over-trained. Before long, I was lifting LESS than I handled when I began the program.

Now, in fairness to me and everyone else who never had any success with the 20-rep breathing squat, there's a reason why we failed. We were following the conventional advice about how to do the 20-rep breathing squat. 

It goes like this: 

"Take a weight you can handle for 10 reps in the squat, and force yourself to do 20 reps!" 

That advice may have originated with John McCallum and his "Keys to Progress" series in Strength & Health [search this blog for more on that series], and certainly, he popularized it to the point where it became gospel truth for an entire generation of trainees. McCallum was right about a lot of things, and some of his articles are terrific -- among the best ever -- but not everything he said stands the test of time. Remember, he also came up with the Get Big Drink, and if you ever tried the concoction, you probably still have nightmares from it. 

Note: My hard copy of "Keys" still has Get Big Drink stains on a lot of the pages. Also, I found that it takes much more time and effort to scrape the blubber off than it does to slap it on too fast. 

In fairness to McCallum, he may have been encouraging trainees to train hard on their 20-rep squats. But skinny trainees who are frantic to add muscular bodyweight are highly impressionable -- and most of them interpreted his words to mean that you should begin the 20-rep squat program with a weight you could handle for 10 reps -- and then force out rep after rep until you make 20 reps. 

After that, you racked the bar, collapsed and lay on the gym floor for 10 or 15 minutes. That's what I did, and it's what almost everyone has done. It's what we thought we were supposed to do.

The next day, you're so sore you can hardly walk -- and the soreness is still there the next time you squat. For many trainees, the soreness never goes away. Each workout is an all-out, do or die effort that requires every last ounce of physical, mental and emotional strength in your entire body. For a skinny beginner, it's far too demanding -- and it almost never works. You simply can't stay with it. You burn out.

Here's a much better way to do the 20-rep breathing squat program. 

Take a weight you can handle for 20 reps in the squat, and do TEN reps in your first workout. If you're not sure what you can handle for 20 reps, be very conservative. Choose a weight that is not heavy and not demanding, and make it a relatively easy workout.

Don't worry about starting light. Starting light is good because it allows you to concentrate on doing your reps in good form. There's a special way to breath when you perform breathing squats, and you should practice it with lighter weights so that it becomes automatic. That way, you'll be able to breath the correct way when you're handling a heavier weight.

And remember this: it's not where you start, it's where you finish that counts. Peary Rader began the 20-rep breathing squat program with an empty bar. Two years later he was handling 350 pounds for 20 reps -- and he was almost 100 pounds of muscle heavier than when he began the program. If he had started with a heavy weight on the bar, he probably would have failed to gain a pound.

Getting back to our progression program -- the next time you train your squats do 11 reps with your 20-rep weight. 

The next time, do 12 reps.

Add one rep per workout until you are doing 20 reps with your 20-rep weight.

After that, gradually add weight to the bar. Your workouts will start to become heavier and harder. But now you will be ready for them. You will have built the foundation for success.

Here are some additional tips for the 20-rep breathing squat and how to use it with maximum effectiveness.

First, be sure that your squat form is perfect. If you have any squatting problems, they're bound to show up -- and to get worse -- as the reps get higher. This is one reason why the program works better for an intermediate trainee than a beginner. Beginners need to learn how to squat before they can do 20-rep sets safely. They also need to develop their upper back muscles so they can stand the weight of the bar for 20 reps. 

That leads us to an important tip from Joseph Curtis Hise, one of the pioneers of the 20-rep breathing squat. Your lower back has to be strong enough to handle the program. If your lower back isn't strong enough, you'll start rounding your back and leaning forward -- and that's a good way to hurt your back. Some trainees require a program of back specialization before they can handle the 20-rep squat program.

Hise also suggested that trainees do heavier squats before their 20-rep squats. For example, you might begin with 5 x 5 and finish the workout with 1 x 20 reps. The advantage of this is that you are well warmed up for the 20-rep set, and the weight feels "light" in comparison to the heavier weight used for 5-rep sets.

Consider using a cambered squat bar. 

They're easier on your back and shoulders when you do high rep squats. Hise was a huge fan of the cambered bar.

As you get stronger and your 20-rep squirts become more demanding, you should use some sort of cycling program so you're not working at your maximum in every squat workout. Some trainees have done well by alternating 5 x 5 one week and 20-rep squats the next week.

Another option would be to follow a simply cycling program where you start with 10 reps in the squat and build up to 20 reps -- then add weight to the bar, drop back to 10 reps, and build back up. The Hepburn one rep per workout progression system would work very well.

It's also a good idea to include some lighter squat workouts in your training cycle. In other words, include some deload weeks. These will help extend the length of your squatting cycle. 

In this regard, note that the Paschall Pause would work extremely well with the 20-rep breathing squat. 

Note: for more on the Pascuall Pause, see "Dinosaur Training Secrets Vol 3" - 

Here's another important point. The 20-rep squat program originated at a time when most trainees did total body workouts three times per week. Thus, the 20-rep squat program is usually presented as a three-times per week program. But Peary Rader believed that a twice a week squatting schedule was better for most trainees. Personally, I think it's best to use a divided workout schedule and then squat once every five, six or seven days. And remember that some trainees may have done best by squatting once every 10 days! 

Here's a final thought about the 20-rep squat, and about the value of beginning the program with aa light weight. It comes from a man named Joe Mills. Joe Mills was one of the best 132 pound lifters in the U.S.A. in the 1930's and early 1940's, and went on to become a legendary weightlifting coach at the Central Falls Weightlifting Club, Rhode Island.

I recall reading that Mills once went on a unique variation of the 20-rep squat program. (I don't remember where I read this, and I may have the details a bit wrong, but this is the gist of what I remember). Mills started with 125 or 135 pounds in the squat, trained every day, and added 5 pounds to the bar in every workout. He finished the 30-day squat program by handling 275 or 285 for 20 reps.

That kind of program would be far too demanding for most trainees, but it's an excellent example of the idea of starting with a relatively light weight and gradually working up to a much heavier poundage.

Caution! The Mills program might work well for many trainees, but you'd probably do better by training your squats two or at most three times per week. The key point is starting at 125 or 135 pounds and working up to 275 of 285 pounds. 

Again, it's not where you start, it's where you finish that counts. 

Similar points apply to any other program where you perform high reps. Start light and easy, and add weight slowly and progressively. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was any strongman.

Enjoy Your Lifting!  



The Best Form of bodybuilding, Part Five - Dennis Weis

And now, for your learned criticism and historical assessment . . . Part Five. 


More often than not the question will arise: How often should I train each bodypart? I am going to take some time here and briefly review some comments and suggestions that I have made thus far in this text. This may seem a bit repetitious, but it is rather in line with the above question. 

One fact we are sure of is that when an exercise is carried to absolute failure on each set (2 to 3 sets max), very brief amounts of exercise ARE best for rapid results. 

We find also that if we do brief amounts of exercise and do not work to the maximum effort, the muscle fibers will be STIMULATED into further size and strength.   

LIkewise, if we perform long workouts consisting of 12-15-20 sets per bodypart, and do not carry these to maximum failure (which would be literally impossible for this huge amount of sets), we find that the recovery ability of the body will EXHAUST itself from trying as hard as possible to replace the energy expenditure caused from this extreme volume of exercise.

Concluding from the above comments we find that we are either stimulating the muscle fibers enough from too little exercise not carried to failure, or we enter a state of being overtrained from too much exercise, thus, little or no gains are registered. 

Now, we know for a fact that one exercise per bodypart carried to its absolute limit for 2 to 3 sets maximum is approximately right for gaining size and strength while remaining within the bounds of the recovery ability. This applies to most beginners and intermediate bodybuilders. I mentioned earlier that the recuperative abilities of an individual will reach new levels of tolerance. In this case one could probably perform as many as 2 to 3 exercises (2 to 3 sets each, max effort) per bodypart. Now this would be the absolute LIMIT without overtraining by doing TOO MANY exercises per bodypart. 

Recovery from workouts requires 48 hours rest (between workouts) in the smaller muscle areas and as much as 72 hours to 5 days in the larger ones. From this last comment we find part of the answer to our original question, "How often should I train each bodypart?" Three times per week would be the absolute maximum for the smaller muscle areas (using only one exercise per bodypart), and one and no more than two workouts per week for the larger muscles such as the thighs, lower back and chest. Applying this point of fact, we will be able to maintain a good energy level and the body reserves of chemicals (created by proper nutrition) will continue to gain more output for gaining in size and strength. 

However, you must take into consideration  -- You can't do justice to a workout that incorporates all bodyparts in one workout. This practice invariably causes a standstill in progress due to the enormous drain on the body's reserves (recovery ability, etc.) even if your diet and rest are adequate. 

The "amount intensity" of the workout and the "time limit" are important here. If your desire is to work out 3 times per week, consider this sample routine.

Sample Workout

Six day per week schedule. Work 4 or 5 different bodyparts every other day.
Do only one exercise per bodypart (3 sets each, max effort).
* indicates bodyparts worked only twice per week *

Delts, *Thighs*, Biceps, Forearms, Triceps

*Chest*, Lats, *Lower Back*, Traps


Delts, Thighs, Biceps

Chest, Lats, Lower Back

Traps, Forearms, Triceps

On this type of schedule you could possibly use two exercises per bodypart.
Calves and Abs -- These areas could be exercised (max effort) 6 days per week with result producing effects, because there is very little energy expenditure lost from the recovery ability of the body from these two movements. 

A training session properly performed should never take much more than 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. This should be adhered to regardless of the training endeavors (bodybuilding, powerlifting, or training for a specific sport, etc.) 

This time factor for training will allow a maximum of 2 to 3 minutes rest between sets, two minutes rest between different bodyparts and the average time of 1 minute (6 seconds to perform 1 rep) to properly perform a set of 10 reps. 

Also taken into consideration is the time needed for sufficient warmups preceding the various exercises. Following brief and intense workouts in the manner we have discusses thus far will allow you to do as much as possible in the shortest amount of time, and you can fully recuperate while almost certainly STIMULATING your muscles into growth. 

Next: Types of Injuries and Preventative Measures

Enjoy Your Lifting! 



Tuesday, October 26, 2021

What Scientific Studies Really Mean to You - Stuart McRobert


Hardgainer 2.0 - 
Original 89-Issue Run of Hardgainer Magazine: 

Training magazines have many advertisements for food supplements. Scientific studies are often referred to, to try to add credibility to the advertisements. Advertising copy sometimes includes statements along the lines of "Proven to add 26% more muscle!" "Studies show 58% increased fat loss!" "Proven to boost testosterone production by 212%!"

What the advertisements don't tell you is that the studies may have been carried out on mice, geriatric women, convalescents, or other population samples that have nothing to do with healthy trainees engaged in vigorous exercise; and perhaps the population samples were tiny, and there was no control group. In some cases the "research" is fictitious, or real but misrepresented

Similar comments apply to training methods. Studies without peer review (evaluation of a person's work by a group of people in the same profession), or without publication in reputable journals, are sometimes selected to support a given method of training. Pseudo scientists and even some holders of of Ph.D. degrees, distort test results to "prove" what they or their sponsors want.

A line can be pulled out of a study or its abstract, and taken out of context to produce a conclusion that's at odds with what the study really indicates. Some quoted studies may not exist, and even legitimate studies may be interpreted incorrectly. Writers of advertising copy -- including advertorials -- know that hardly anyone will follow up on a quoted study.

When reading a study, or seeing a reference to one, what isn't know is the number of studies that refute the one being focused on. The whole of the area of research needs to be seen, not an isolated study.

The foregoing concerns the misuse of science, but there is good science. Good science has a valuable contribution to make toward understanding resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, nutrition, and recuperation in general. Here's how to find good science and help protect yourself from those who abuse science: 

1) Be suspicious when you hear or read of "incredible" results and claims, whether or not they are backed by science. Anything that seems to good to be true, is usually precisely that. The word "prove" shouldn't be used. Science doesn't prove anything, although it can disprove much. 

2) Be skeptical of advertisements that cite science. Some writers of articles and books are also guilty of citing pseudo science, or citing good science in a distorted manner. Follow up yourself, or find someone who can follow up on your behalf, and see if the reality matches with what was cited in the advertisement, article, or book.

3) Check that the studies are published in reputable journals. Studies that are unpublished, or not published in a reputable journal, haven't been through the process of rigorous peer review that usually sifts out the unreliable material. Although being published in a reputable journal isn't a guarantee of good science, it's a good sign, but not being published in a reputable journal is almost always a mark of poor science.

4) Look beyond a single study. Although one selected study may support whatever it is that's being promoted, the consensus of studies in that area may support a counter view. Science is a continuous process, with lots of checks and balances. The existence of many studies with good methodology in an area accumulates a web of evidence about certain mechanisms, associations, and relationships. One study doesn't change the entire field.

5) When possible, read a study in its entirety. Summaries and abstracts don't give the whole story. Sometimes the data in a study is at odds with the abstract of summary, possibly because the researcher didn't like the outcome, and preferred to present a different opinion. The different opinion may be reflected in the summary of abstract more than the actual results of the data. It's also possible that the researcher made a genuine mistake with the interpretation of the data. Check that the data agrees with the results claimed for the study. This takes discipline and experience. 

6) The internet provides free tools for research . . . 


Note: The monthly research review "Mass" (Monthly Applications in Strength Sports) may be of interest to some of you: 

A few sample articles for free: 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 


Monday, October 25, 2021

Every Other Day Training - Boyer Coe


Article Courtesy of Kevin Dye
Thank You, Sir!

Q: I find that it is difficult to get to the gym every day of the week, like when I was younger. I now have a family and a  business which takes up most of my time. How can I still make progress? 

A: Well, basically in asking your question, you have also found the solution. To continue to make progress you MUST train less. By this I mean less time spent in the gym, not less intensity.

I suggest that your workouts take no longer than 45 minutes or one hour at the maximum. One thing that I have found that has helped me to progress in my workouts and about the only concession I have made to getting older, is to take one complete day of rest between my lifting sessions. As you get older, it will naturally take you a little longer to recover from workout to workout. Therefore I advise you to take a day off in between each session. 

By doing this you will recover properly and come back to the gym full of energy and enthusiasm for your next workout. By following this type of routine, you will train the whole body once every eight days and this waay you will have time for your other obligations and still get your workouts in and MAKE PROGRESS! 

 Here is the approach Boyer is currently using: 

Day 1: Hamstrings, Quads, Abs
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: Back, Rear Delts, Abs
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Chest, Biceps, Forearms, Abs
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Front and Side Delts, Traps, Triceps, Abs.
Day 8: Rest. 

Note: Here's something from Frank Calta on what he calls 
Rotation for Recuperation: 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 


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