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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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Michael Petrella

Ontario, CAN

There is no question in my mind that this post is very valid and really was overlooked in the HIT community.

Recently I have allowed some of the people who train at my gym to do there own training. They are still doing HIT and they are still training harder then most but it is not the same as when I push them to there upper limits.

I can consistently take a person and take pictures that are 30-45 days apart that would impress most people. As long as they do what I tell them to. (includes no drinking, lots of sleep and lots of eating)

The results I was getting for people seemed to taper right off and in most cases just stop when I allowed them to do there own thing. Lots of times I would see someone terminate a set and I would go over to them at tell them to do 4-5 more which they could do in most cases.

However I was loseing people who just didn't want to train that hard and it seems like everyone gets drunk on weekends so I only personally help a select few now.

In some of AJ's early writings though he discussed becoming your own personal trainer and becoming your own guru. I believe this should be the eventual step as you move from an intermediate trainer to an advanced one.

One day I will venture down to Florida to take you up on your workshop Dr. Darden. I had one question though. Who was training AJ when he went through a session?

Michael

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Ellington Darden

Michael,

Who trained Arthur? He needed no one.

I watched him train maybe ten times. His focus was unbelievable. There was little expression on his face and all his reps were smooth as silk.

Ellington
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bengt

Sweden

Ellington Darden wrote:
bengt wrote:
? I don?t think I really understod the article! Are Hvt a better way to train? Because you can train yourself that way, econtrario conclusion. Are all the books I have bought worthless? I hope not.

I can see the point in your article and should like to go to Florida, but not all of us can do that, I envy those who can, but I wish theres is some hope for the rest of us.

HIT is the best way to train. But my point is, whatever way or system you are applying, you won't be able to train yourself correctly -- not for long and not consistently. There are too many distortions.

Ellington



I totally agree! That hands on instruction is superior, but my point is(was), that a good way to train, is just (almost) as good in any way you have oppurtunity to train" A rose smell just as sweet with any other name", so i agree, but want to maintain confidence in myself and your way to train!

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admnautilus

Washington, USA

Dr. Darden is correct-in fact, I am banking on it. I have 2 training studios for the 40 year old crowd and above. These studios are not about bodybuilding but fighting aging(fat gain-bone loss etc.) we are seeing great changes in our clientsin only 30 minutes a week, Why? Because of great machines or protocol? No way! It is about the trainer who holds the client accountable.

Great change takes place when you hold these peoples feet to the fire. How about 16% increases in bone density in less than a year? Training and equipment help but nothing can take the place of "THE SECRET".That is someone standing there keeping you motivated, safe and focused.

Ellington, this is probably why HIT training works so well. You can't do it by yourself.You have HIT the nail on the head!!Pun intended
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Bill Sekerak

California, USA

Ellington Darden wrote:
Michael,

Who trained Arthur? He needed no one.

I watched him train maybe ten times. His focus was unbelievable. There was little expression on his face and all his reps were smooth as silk.

Ellington


I think focus is of paramount concern when training.
When I went to a commercial gym I wore earplugs and did everything I could think of to diminish any possible distraction , including pain. Up until I was about 50 I could easily pump my upper arms , well over an inch , from one set of Nautilus curls , and one set of tricep extension on the old dou plate loader.

Bill
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karma50

admnautilus,
I think you have HIT the right market. (Bad pun) Us over 40, and specially over 50 types are often not interested in bodybuilding, but maintaining function.
Bone density increases of 16% Wow! How do you sructure your workouts for your clients? Assuming one has no access to nautilus equipment, what would you recommend using freeweights?
Thanks,
Griff
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cmg

Sounds great Dr. D. Keep us apprised of the details!

Regards,

Ron
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admnautilus

Washington, USA

Karma50,
Thanks! We have had 2-3 of our women gain almost 16% bone density in less than a year of training. You are right- Its not about old, its about strong!!
Even though we use Nautilus and Medx for our studios, truthfully your body does not care how it receives the stimulus. The stimulus just has to reach a certain threshold of intensity. Remember it is based on the stimulus-organism- response model. Hard, brief workouts then lots of rest. So using freeweights(as long as you work intensely) will work well.
The best part is that most of our clients spend less than 2 hours of exercise per month. Not a bad return on investment. Jeff
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st3

Dr Darden,
This sounds interesting.
What would a 3 hour workshop include? Are they private or group?
Thanks
Steve
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Ellington Darden

st3 wrote:
Dr Darden,
This sounds interesting.
What would a 3 hour workshop include? Are they private or group?
Thanks
Steve


Steve,

All the details will be posted next week, probably on Tuesday or Wednesday. Generally, however, what I have in mind involves only one participant, or two at the most. It would be a concentrated workshop centered around the trainee's primary goal.

Ellington

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a.adams

South Africa

Hi All.

I do agree with you Dr Darden that having someone there with you to observe and encourage you is beter than on your own. I find books and articles good for referrence but helps motivate me to take training to exteme levels for shorts periods only.

a.adams
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Professor Chaos

Dr. D,

Question:

I practice jiu-jitsu 3X per week for about an hour and a half (one hour technique, half hour sparring). By the end, I'm pretty tired metabolically (red in the face, real sweaty, slight muscular fatigue).

How often do you think I should train in the gym HIT style?

Thanks much!



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Ellington Darden

Professor Chaos wrote:
Dr. D,

Question:

I practice jiu-jitsu 3X per week for about an hour and a half (one hour technique, half hour sparring). By the end, I'm pretty tired metabolically (red in the face, real sweaty, slight muscular fatigue).

How often do you think I should train in the gym HIT style?

Thanks much!



Probably twice a week.

Ellington

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admnautilus

Washington, USA

Karma50'
By the way, to answer your question how I would structure a freeweight routine for those 45 years old and above? I would do what I do with the equipment that we use. Look for a full body program(8-10)exercises that stresses the large muscle groups to fatigue. Nothing really special for older or younger people.

Just need to be aware of physical limits or injuries. According to research, 80-90 year old men and women gain muscle and bone like that of 20 year olds. Its about the stimulus not really about the tool. We train very slow, with low force HIT training. Works very well!!

My advice is to seek out some of Dr.Dardens books and use his routines. He has a number of great books with plenty of freeweight programs. As Arthur always said find ways to make your exercise bouts harder and more brief.Hope this answers your question. Jeff
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karma50

admnautilus,
Thanks. I do have three of Dr. D's books, the last two, and "Living Longer Stronger" which for me is still the best. I have read some of the articles in the other books, but have no interest in the bodybuilding stuff really.

I do about 7-8 exercises every 3-4 days, and if I miss a workout now and then, it doesn't seem to effect my strength at all, sometimes I do better. I tried 3X/wk for a few months and after a while I started losing ground and had some joint problems. (I have arthritis, crappy knees especially)
I'm gratified to hear of your results with your clients. I still believe that the future of sensible strength training is not bodybuilding. It seems AJ figured this out, and got more interested in rehab and general fitness later in his career.
Regards,
Griff
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jacao

Ellington Darden wrote:
Professor Chaos wrote:
Dr. D,

Question:

I practice jiu-jitsu 3X per week for about an hour and a half (one hour technique, half hour sparring). By the end, I'm pretty tired metabolically (red in the face, real sweaty, slight muscular fatigue).

How often do you think I should train in the gym HIT style?

Thanks much!



Probably twice a week.

Ellington


nice to hear that also from dr.darden twice a wk. because im also doing jiujitsu and i was thinking maybe i might lose wt. which i dont want it to happen i like to maintain my present BW or increase my BW ,NOT FAT .DR.DARDEN what do think i should do increase my calorie intake ,which is right .but not getting fat on my stomach.pls.help .i been doing HIT for a yr. now. 5'8 172 lbs. thanks so much dr.darden ariel
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admnautilus

Washington, USA

Karma50,
If you have been training awhile twice a week is plenty. In fact,I am 47 years old and train just once a week. Our mission is for clients to live stronger,longer. Your are correct when you look at the market. In my city alone the over 50 population has grown 167% in last ten years. Greater than any group. What has to happen out there is to start to educate people with the idea that our "Youth is defined by our Strength"-its not about being a little overweight but being weak!!. Jeff
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Gerkin

Indiana, USA

This point is a harsh reality. It makes sense in every way, but it kind of gave me a reality check. It confirmed that I can't do everything on my own, even though I can bring the intensity when I train.

Thank you for revealing the secret. Maybe it will unite some fellow bodybuilders to help each other out to achieve better results. I know that the world could use some more comradery.
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Rolf

Home gym in Orlando? I thought that you had moved to Jackson, Tennessee.

/Rolf
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Ellington Darden

Rolf,

We stayed in Jackson about 18 months. It just wasn't our cup of tea, so we moved back to Orlando in July of 2006. Then, we purchased an older home and spent a year remodeling it. We moved into it a month ago.

Ellington
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Rolf

Nice,
then, perhaps, it is possible to see photos of both your new home and the home gym?

/Rolf
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pyro13g

Ohio, USA

I feel the good Dr. definitely has a point. Often during my workouts I wonder, is my form correct at the moment? How's my timing?, How's my turnarounds? Was that the point of failure or do I really have 1 or 2 left in me? If I do pump out one more squat, who's gonna help me to the bench or should I just craw? I'm sure there are many times I've lost count of reps in my lifetime and that means bad/inaccurate information fed back into the workout.

All that thinking is wasted energy and takes away from my concentration. You really can't watch yourself in the mirrors, keep form, adjust, breathe count, etc. Video after the fact is nearly pointless.

An affordable solution to personal training would be great, but hey, it's a one on one deal and the trainer has bills to pay and overhead to manage, so it's anything but cheap.

Dr. Darden,

Do you think communication technology would be of any benefit and provide that one on one experience. Simply an audio/video conference over the internet where trainer can see, hear, and offer immediate feedback? Granted it's impossible to assist directly with things requiring your hands, but is there some beneficial potential.

There is technology, abundant really, to provide plenty of cameras in the home gym that can be simultaneously viewed on a monitor thousands of miles away if adequate bandwidth is available for the number of desired cameras.

The workshops sound wonderful. A three hour seminar, hopefully a workout, and off to the beach or whatever for a nice vacation.
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timwolf

Dr. Darden,

Since I live in Pennsylvania, coming to Orlando would be out of the question.

I live about sixty miles from Main Line Health and Fitness in Bryn Mawr. Would you recommend Roger Schwab or one of his staff to help me with the four elements you stated? I have always wanted to have someone very knowledgeable take me through a true HIT workout. Having someone accurately assess what I truly need would be even better.

Thanks!

Tim
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spud

Ellington Darden wrote:
Michael,

Who trained Arthur? He needed no one.

I watched him train maybe ten times. His focus was unbelievable. There was little expression on his face and all his reps were smooth as silk.

Ellington


Dr Darden,

Why is it that Arthur needed no one to train him or encourage him and yet the rest of us do?

Physically, everybody is capable of training hard and consistently, it's the mental fortitude that is lacking.

In The New HIT and in past articles you have written you have focused on what you consider to be the basics of High Intensity Strength Training. Form, progression, intensity, duration, frequency, order, exercises, recovery, and sleep.

There are 9 different elements there. I believe that only 2 of them are difficult to grasp. But they are the 2 that are most important. They are the 2 that people struggle with most.

Progression
This is simply the act of adding more weight to an exercise once you feel that you comfortable equaled or bettered your target rep count. This is the one thing that all training methods have in common. It's easy to do this. More or heavier plates on the barbell or plate loaded machine, heavier dumbbells, or moving the pin further down the weight stack on selectorised machines.

Duration
This is about understanding that you don't need to be in the gym for very long to get results. It's about not performing too many exercises (volume), and not resting too long in between sets.

Frequency
You don't need to train too often. Too much training is bad. The maximum frequency you recommend is 3 non-consecutive days, or less, per week, and the lowest frequency he has used with anybody is 3 times every 2 weeks. Somewhere between those 2 will suit the vast majority of people.

Exercises
This is just about knowing how to write down a routine on paper using both single joint and multiple joint exercises. Simple.

Order
Generally speaking you should perform the big movements that use the most muscle early on in your routine when you have the energy. Think squats, deadlifts, rows etc before curls and shrugs. There are exceptions to this rule such as specialization routines.

Recovery
This slots in with both volume and frequency of training. This is about resting properly and maximizing your recovery time away from the gym and not doing anything too strenuous. It's not just about training brief and infrequent. You need to make sure that you're not killing yourself between these brief, infrequent sessions.

Sleep
This is goes hand in hand with volume, frequency and recovery. Sleep lots and often. It's about decreasing stress levels and cortisol production and increasing growth hormone production etc.

None of these 7 things are difficult to do. They are all really easy. Some folks may have a hard time understanding the reasons behind WHY you do them and the difference they make to your results, but generally speaking understanding WHAT you do, even if they don't understand why.

The final 2 elements are the most important in my opinion. They are both as important as each other. They are of course FORM and INTENSITY.

What separates them from the other 7 elements?

Together they actually contribute to rep and set performance. They ARE the physical act of training.

Whilst actually performing reps, which in turn make a set, the elements of progression, duration, frequency, exercises, order, recovery and sleep are irrelevant. Many of those 7 elements are things that can be sorted out on paper, and although the may require a fair bit of discipline in order to be consistent, the don't actually require anything in the way of physical or mental EFFORT whilst doing them.

Form and intensity however are not things that can be sorted on paper. They are the 2 variables that are far less theoretical, and far more tangible, physical and REAL.

These are the 2 elements, that, in my experience, you can only truly learn once you have been taught face to face by a highly experienced HIT trainer, and physically practiced them for some time under the guidance of a highly experienced HIT trainer.

These 2 elements when in good order will suddenly give you a "Eureka!" moment as far as your understanding of the other 7 elements of training is concerned. When training hard in good form, you suddenly understand why you can't train for too long, why you can't train too often, why it's best to do the big exercises first and why you need to rest, sleep and recover properly between workouts.

It is the performance of reps (FORM) and the effort that you put into any given set (INTENSITY) that are the hardest things to grasp unless you actually get trained/taught/coached on how to do it by someone who knows what they are doing.

Drew Baye's writings allude to how difficult the physical act of training can be:

"Proper high intensity training is not only one of the most physically demanding activities a person can perform, it also requires considerable mental effort. In addition to focusing on intensely contracting the target musculature throughout each exercise, one must concentrate on numerous aspects of form such as maintaining proper body positioning and/or alignment, proper breathing, slow and controlled speed of movement, etc., all while experiencing rapidly intensifying physical discomfort. It's not easy to focus on one thing, much less two or three or more, when your muscles are burning, you're breathing hard and your heart is pounding through your chest."

So of the 9 elements, the 2 that are crucial and hold the key to truly understanding the other 7, are form and intensity. Simple to understand, but hard to actually LEARN.

These are the 2 elements that Jones had well and truly nailed.

Would you agree?
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Ellington Darden

timwolf wrote:
Dr. Darden,

Since I live in Pennsylvania, coming to Orlando would be out of the question.

I live about sixty miles from Main Line Health and Fitness in Bryn Mawr. Would you recommend Roger Schwab or one of his staff to help me with the four elements you stated? I have always wanted to have someone very knowledgeable take me through a true HIT workout. Having someone accurately assess what I truly need would be even better.

Thanks!

Tim


Tim,

Yes, Roger Schwab could help you with those four elements. Give him a call.

Ellington

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