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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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Episteme

Pennsylvania, USA

I thought I would post about my decision to reduce my training frequency considerably so as to re-ignite progress that has seemed to stall. For the past two years I made considerable progress using an every-other-day training frequency whereby I would alternate between two different workouts each session such that each exercise was worked once every 4 days.

On this routine, it seems that after 3 or 4 weeks of training every other day, I would get burnt out. I've decided to try a twice per week, full body routine to get my body growing again. It looks like this:

1)Trap-bar Squat 3x5
2)Bench Press 3x5-8
3)Barbell Row 3x8
4)Overhead Press 3x8
5)Barbell Curl 3x6
6)Lying Tricep Ex. 3x10
This workout is performed Mondays and Thursdays, and it takes about 60-70 minutes to complete.

Questions: Would this type of program be suitable for a twice per week frequency? Has Arthur Jones or Dr. Darden ever advocated a training frequency as low as twice-per week? Lastly, I'd like to hear some ideas regarding frequency, set schemes, and workout duration in regards to a routine like this one.
Regards,
Mike
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Larry T

North Carolina, USA

Episteme wrote:
I thought I would post about my decision to reduce my training frequency considerably so as to re-ignite progress that has seemed to stall.

For the past two years I made considerable progress using an every-other-day training frequency whereby I would alternate between two different workouts each session such that each exercise was worked once every 4 days.

On this routine, it seems that after 3 or 4 weeks of training every other day, I would get burnt out. I've decided to try a twice per week, full body routine to get my body growing again. It looks like this:

1)Trap-bar Squat 3x5
2)Bench Press 3x5-8
3)Barbell Row 3x8
4)Overhead Press 3x8
5)Barbell Curl 3x6
6)Lying Tricep Ex. 3x10
This workout is performed Mondays and Thursdays, and it takes about 60-70 minutes to complete.

Questions: Would this type of program be suitable for a twice per week frequency? Has Arthur Jones or Dr. Darden ever advocated a training frequency as low as twice-per week?

Lastly, I'd like to hear some ideas regarding frequency, set schemes, and workout duration in regards to a routine like this one.
Regards,
Mike


Mike,

Twice per week is certainly approved in most HIT circles. You could also do an upper/lower split, continuing your 3x weekly schedule. You would alternate the workouts, doing each one every 4 or 5 days - still frequently enough.

As for your workout above, you're doing 18 sets in 60 to 70 minutes. How much rest are you taking between sets? Have you considered pairing the exercises in groups of 2 and alternating them - i.e. squat - BP, squat - BP, squat - BP then do the same with rows/OHP and curls / tricep?

That will keep you moving and keep your workout time shorter while still giving you rest between sets of the same exercise. Ideally, I would pair the BP and row, curl and tricep, and maybe leave the squat and OHP unpaired. Good luck.
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fbcoach

Episteme wrote:
I thought I would post about my decision to reduce my training frequency considerably so as to re-ignite progress that has seemed to stall.

For the past two years I made considerable progress using an every-other-day training frequency whereby I would alternate between two different workouts each session such that each exercise was worked once every 4 days.

On this routine, it seems that after 3 or 4 weeks of training every other day, I would get burnt out. I've decided to try a twice per week, full body routine to get my body growing again. It looks like this:

1)Trap-bar Squat 3x5
2)Bench Press 3x5-8
3)Barbell Row 3x8
4)Overhead Press 3x8
5)Barbell Curl 3x6
6)Lying Tricep Ex. 3x10
This workout is performed Mondays and Thursdays, and it takes about 60-70 minutes to complete.

Questions: Would this type of program be suitable for a twice per week frequency? Has Arthur Jones or Dr. Darden ever advocated a training frequency as low as twice-per week? Lastly, I'd like to hear some ideas regarding frequency, set schemes, and workout duration in regards to a routine like this one.
Regards,
Mike


Hi Episteme,
Although not exact, your routine looks great (I'm biased:) is somewhat similar to my own. Just something you may want to ponder:

If you find yourself stalling or feeling burnt out, you may want to split your routine up to where you perform 3 sets for half the exercises on one day, and 1 set per exercise on the other training day.

This helps to balance out both issues of the CNS....keeping the muscle and CNS stimulated, while avoiding the build-up of too much fatigue. This should help prolong your progress.
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fbcoach

fbcoach wrote:
Episteme wrote:
I thought I would post about my decision to reduce my training frequency considerably so as to re-ignite progress that has seemed to stall.

For the past two years I made considerable progress using an every-other-day training frequency whereby I would alternate between two different workouts each session such that each exercise was worked once every 4 days.

On this routine, it seems that after 3 or 4 weeks of training every other day, I would get burnt out. I've decided to try a twice per week, full body routine to get my body growing again. It looks like this:

1)Trap-bar Squat 3x5
2)Bench Press 3x5-8
3)Barbell Row 3x8
4)Overhead Press 3x8
5)Barbell Curl 3x6
6)Lying Tricep Ex. 3x10
This workout is performed Mondays and Thursdays, and it takes about 60-70 minutes to complete.

Questions: Would this type of program be suitable for a twice per week frequency? Has Arthur Jones or Dr. Darden ever advocated a training frequency as low as twice-per week? Lastly, I'd like to hear some ideas regarding frequency, set schemes, and workout duration in regards to a routine like this one.
Regards,
Mike

Hi Episteme,
Although not exact, your routine looks great (I'm biased:) is somewhat similar to my own. Just something you may want to ponder:

If you find yourself stalling or feeling burnt out, you may want to split your routine up to where you perform 3 sets for half the exercises on one day, and 1 set per exercise on the other training day.

This helps to balance out both issues of the CNS....keeping the muscle and CNS stimulated, while avoiding the build-up of too much fatigue. This should help prolong your progress.


I wasn't sure if I was clear.....for example, if you perform 3 sets of trapbar squats on Monday, only perform 1 set on thursday. Better yet, it mat be of benefit to perform 1 set of 10, instead of 5 reps. Hope this helps....it's only a suggestion.
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Episteme

Pennsylvania, USA

These are all great ideas, most of which had never crossed my mind before. I greatly appreciate the advice.

-Mike
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Thinkingthought

Uh, seems like you are doing 18 sets on 6 exercises, and spending at least an hour in the gym.

This is not high intensity no matter how much you want to argue it is.
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coomo

Get the reps up to 12/20 on the squats.
Cut back to one set. per movement. You cant be working hard enough if you can do three sets of each, Perhaps use, negative movements, once a week, drop sets, or other ways to up the intensity.
If you using a trap bar for squats, going to failure isnt a safety issue.
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Larry T

North Carolina, USA

Thinkingthought wrote:
Uh, seems like you are doing 18 sets on 6 exercises, and spending at least an hour in the gym.

This is not high intensity no matter how much you want to argue it is.


That's helpful.
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fbcoach

Episteme wrote:
These are all great ideas, most of which had never crossed my mind before. I greatly appreciate the advice.

-Mike


I have many other ideas that may help in the future. Just so you know my background:

-Worked for Nautilus Fitness Center at it's inception

-Competitive bodybuilder in the 80s winning several local titles as well as the "STATE" title and "National Qualifier"

-Head Football Coach at Div. I Highschool....I train and observe athletes every day

I am always glad to help and learn as much as I can. I started off here a little on the negative side due to interaction with a member on another site. Again, I am here to add insight from my experiences, observations, and educational background. Hope we can be of help toeach other!
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Hitit

I thought HIT was 1 set to muscle failure - not 3 sets. What's going on here?
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Larry T

North Carolina, USA

Hitit wrote:
I thought HIT was 1 set to muscle failure - not 3 sets. What's going on here?


The OP didn't claim it was a HIT routine. Hold the phone - I suppose he did with the title of the thread. But nonetheless, he asked for help regarding the workout he posted. No need to go into a panic because the routine isn't true HIT. If he had asked "how does this routine compare to traditional HIT" then we would be having a different discussion.
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McNultyEssex

I wouldn't split, but I would reduce the length of your workouts, first, instead of reducing frequency.

If you're working hard enough, you shouldn't want, or be capable of doing as much as an hour. I'm not necessarily saying you must do 1 set, but up the intensity, and work on being progressive each and every workout.

The exercises look great! I think your strength on these will improve much faster from less work, and harder work.
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Hitit

Larry T wrote:
Hitit wrote:
I thought HIT was 1 set to muscle failure - not 3 sets. What's going on here?

The OP didn't claim it was a HIT routine. Hold the phone - I suppose he did with the title of the thread. But nonetheless, he asked for help regarding the workout he posted. No need to go into a panic because the routine isn't true HIT. If he had asked "how does this routine compare to traditional HIT" then we would be having a different discussion.


Hey now, I'm certainly not trying to get anybody's panties in a bunch here. LOL Maybe I mis-understood something as I thought there was only one HIT, not "traditional HIT" or "true HIT", just HIT. After all he did mention Darden and AJ in his post and I thought that was all they advocated "1 set to failure" and "when done properly, no other sets are required". That's how I understood things.

Don't misunderstand me here, my intent is NOT being critical and certainly my comments are only meant light heartedly. I am here to learn as well and this Forum has helped me. I will support anyone else here to learn as well and maybe there is something different for me to learn here?
Regards, Brian :o)
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Larry T

North Carolina, USA

Hitit wrote:

Hey now, I'm certainly not trying to get anybody's panties in a bunch here. LOL Maybe I mis-understood something as I thought there was only one HIT, not "traditional HIT" or "true HIT", just HIT. After all he did mention Darden and AJ in his post and I thought that was all they advocated "1 set to failure" and "when done properly, no other sets are required". That's how I understood things.

Don't misunderstand me here, my intent is NOT being critical and certainly my comments are only meant light heartedly. I am here to learn as well and this Forum has helped me. I will support anyone else here to learn as well and maybe there is something different for me to learn here?
Regards, Brian :o)


I see your point. HIT has a core definition that I think of as "traditonal", and then there are specialization routines that migrate away. There are set extenders such as rest-pause that fall outside of "one set to failure". If you want to learn the HIT method, Dr. Darden's books cover it from A to Z.
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fbcoach

Just to be clear. I train in an abbreviated manner and train my players in this manner as well. I use traditional HIT in my training cycle, and yes, EVERYBODY cycles their workouts. I am not here to start any flame throwing..just here to share what I have found to work for myself and hundreds of others. You can take it or leave it....makes no difference to me.

I don't follow anybody's agenda or have anything to sell. I could care less if I have to break from tradition (be it HIT or multi-set training). I want what most of us here want....RESULTS!! If I see something that is way out of touch with reality, I will call you on it. It's nothing personal, but no sense in giving ridiculous advice and having people waste time and energy and getting frustrated.

I have a good handle on what works for the masses, and what doesn't work. Have I seen it all....NO, but probably more than most. That isn't me being cocky, it's just that I have spent my life participating in athletics and fitness. It's what I do and who I am.

So....with that said, you can take what I have to say with a grain of salt (I promise I won't begrudge you:) or if I have something that helps you, I would be more than glad to be of service with my limited time right now. Hope everybody's training is bringing them closer to their training and fitness goals.
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Hitit

Larry T wrote:
Hitit wrote:

Hey now, I'm certainly not trying to get anybody's panties in a bunch here. LOL Maybe I mis-understood something as I thought there was only one HIT, not "traditional HIT" or "true HIT", just HIT. After all he did mention Darden and AJ in his post and I thought that was all they advocated "1 set to failure" and "when done properly, no other sets are required". That's how I understood things.

Don't misunderstand me here, my intent is NOT being critical and certainly my comments are only meant light heartedly. I am here to learn as well and this Forum has helped me. I will support anyone else here to learn as well and maybe there is something different for me to learn here?
Regards, Brian :o)

I see your point. HIT has a core definition that I think of as "traditonal", and then there are specialization routines that migrate away. There are set extenders such as rest-pause that fall outside of "one set to failure". If you want to learn the HIT method, Dr. Darden's books cover it from A to Z.


Cool.....I actually have a few of Dr. Darden's books and am looking for a couple more. It seems I still keep learning new things about HIT and this Forum has diffently helped!
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Hitit

fbcoach wrote:
Just to be clear. I train in an abbreviated manner and train my players in this manner as well. I use traditional HIT in my training cycle, and yes, EVERYBODY cycles their workouts. I am not here to start any flame throwing..just here to share what I have found to work for myself and hundreds of others. You can take it or leave it....makes no difference to me.

I don't follow anybody's agenda or have anything to sell. I could care less if I have to break from tradition (be it HIT or multi-set training). I want what most of us here want....RESULTS!! If I see something that is way out of touch with reality, I will call you on it. It's nothing personal, but no sense in giving ridiculous advice and having people waste time and energy and getting frustrated.

I have a good handle on what works for the masses, and what doesn't work. Have I seen it all....NO, but probably more than most. That isn't me being cocky, it's just that I have spent my life participating in athletics and fitness. It's what I do and who I am.

So....with that said, you can take what I have to say with a grain of salt (I promise I won't begrudge you:) or if I have something that helps you, I would be more than glad to be of service with my limited time right now. Hope everybody's training is bringing them closer to their training and fitness goals.


Maybe you should write a book....
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fbcoach

Hitit wrote:
fbcoach wrote:
Just to be clear. I train in an abbreviated manner and train my players in this manner as well. I use traditional HIT in my training cycle, and yes, EVERYBODY cycles their workouts. I am not here to start any flame throwing..just here to share what I have found to work for myself and hundreds of others. You can take it or leave it....makes no difference to me.

I don't follow anybody's agenda or have anything to sell. I could care less if I have to break from tradition (be it HIT or multi-set training). I want what most of us here want....RESULTS!! If I see something that is way out of touch with reality, I will call you on it. It's nothing personal, but no sense in giving ridiculous advice and having people waste time and energy and getting frustrated.

I have a good handle on what works for the masses, and what doesn't work. Have I seen it all....NO, but probably more than most. That isn't me being cocky, it's just that I have spent my life participating in athletics and fitness. It's what I do and who I am.

So....with that said, you can take what I have to say with a grain of salt (I promise I won't begrudge you:) or if I have something that helps you, I would be more than glad to be of service with my limited time right now. Hope everybody's training is bringing them closer to their training and fitness goals.

Maybe you should write a book....


Maybe I will when I retire, but then I would have something to sell like many here. Then I would have to be very closed-minded and dogmatic in my views, and become very cynical towards those that have the same opnions; On second thought, I think I may just freelance some articles, but I already know that damn Stuart McRobert and John Christy and Bill Starr will say I stole all of their ideas. But Hey,,,,that si=ounds pretty good:)
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MDieguez

Hey fbcoach
How is your bench and deadlift coming along?
Mike
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fbcoach

MDieguez wrote:
Hey fbcoach
How is your bench and deadlift coming along?
Mike


I hadn't hit a 300lb bench since my cervical lamenectomy (1992) until last May. I am now heading towards 320lbs. You know what that means....3 BIG PLATES!!!! :) We use power bars. Maybe not much to write home about, but it gives me that feeling I had when I first started lifting. As for deadlifts, I am just re-introducing them. Over the summer, I had some setbacks and began neck therapy again. I appreciate your asking Mike. You have always been one of the HITters that gave good sound advice. Plus the physique to back it up! Hope all is well with you and again, thanks for asking. You're a true professional!
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manzo

fbcoach wrote:
Just to be clear. I train in an abbreviated manner and train my players in this manner as well. I use traditional HIT in my training cycle,


Fbcoach,
If you dont mind, could you show what an example cycle may look like? Id be interested in seeing what you have found to work with a lot of athletes.

Thanks.
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Bill Sekerak

California, USA

Arthur suggested twice weekly workouts as far back as the early seventies. He also became convinced that two sets were as good or better than three , and finally settled on one set as opposed to two., with about 8 - 10 exercises total.

With that info , which is the " core " of HIT methodology as devised by Arthur Jones . Your workout should be about 20 minutes in time tops.

Using these " core " principles of HIT you should be able to devise your own schedule and program.

Again these are Arthur Jones ideas originally , not mine.
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fbcoach

alan1 wrote:
fbcoach wrote:
Just to be clear. I train in an abbreviated manner and train my players in this manner as well. I use traditional HIT in my training cycle,

Fbcoach,
If you dont mind, could you show what an example cycle may look like? Id be interested in seeing what you have found to work with a lot of athletes.

Thanks.



I will show you an example of MY training. The difference between mine and my players is they train 3x/week and may use different exercises. Also, I do no squats or legs except for deadlifts which give them plenty of stimulation.
Example
MONDAY
Bench Press
5x2
Chest Press
2x10-12
Curls
5x2
Lat pulls
2x10-12

THURSDAY
Deadlifts
5x2
Seated Cable Rows
2x10
Closegrip Benches
5x2
Pushdowns
2x10-12


Before you say, "hey..this isn't HIT! Let me explain my training cycle and and how I implement HIT into it.

Example Training cycle for Bench Press (BP) and Chest Press (CP)based on 300LB BP :
Week 1
BP 5X2 270LBS CP 2X10-12
WEEK 2
BP 5X2 280LBS CP 2X10-12
WEEK 3
BP 4X2 290LBS CP 2X10-12
WEEK 4
BP 4X2 295LBS CP 2X10-12
WEEK 5
BP 3X2 300LBS CP 2X10-12
WEEK 6
BP 3X2 303LBS CP 2X10-12
WEEK 7
BP 2X2 305LBS CP 1X10-12
WEEK 8
BP 2X2 308LBS CP 1X10-12
WEEK 9
BP 2X2 310LBS CP 1X10-12
WEEK 10
BP 1X2 313LBS CP 1X10-12
WEEK 11
BP 1X2 315LBS CP 1X10-12
THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE OF MY WORKOUT. AS YOU CAN SEE, I DECREASE VOLUME WHILE INCREASING WEIGHTS AND INTENISTY UNTIL THE LAST FEW WEEKS I AM TRAINING ON A CONSOLIDATED ROUTINE HIT STYLE, MILKING MY GAINS DRY UNTIL THE VERY END. I THEN, TAKE A FEW DAYS OFF, RE-SET WEIGHTS AND BEGIN AGAIN. THE WORKOUT TAKES ABOUT 20 MINUTES, AND HAS ALLOWED ME TO GET PAST PLATEAUS I REACHED. IT ISN'T EXACTLY TRADITIONAL HIT, BUT IT IS ABBREVIATED AND HAS ALLOWED FOR PREDICTABLE AND CONTINUOUS PROGRESS. THERE ARE SOME DETAILS I LEFT OUT, AND WILL ANSWER AS ASKED. AGAIN, THIS ISN'T TO RUFFLE FEATHERS, JUST SOMETHING I HAVE FOUND TO WORK WELL.

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manzo

fbcoach wrote:
The difference between mine and my players is they train 3x/week and may use different exercises. Also, I do no squats or legs except for deadlifts which give them plenty of stimulation.



Thanks fbcoach,
So you find your athletes get enough out of deadlifts for their lower body? Is this barbell DLs or trap bar DLs?
Do your athletes train 3x/wk during the in-season?
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fbcoach

alan1 wrote:
fbcoach wrote:
The difference between mine and my players is they train 3x/week and may use different exercises. Also, I do no squats or legs except for deadlifts which give them plenty of stimulation.



Thanks fbcoach,
So you find your athletes get enough out of deadlifts for their lower body? Is this barbell DLs or trap bar DLs?
Do your athletes train 3x/wk during the in-season?



Sorry for not being clear. All my players squat. The format is usually 3x5 or 1x20. I do not squat due to having a cervical lamenectomy (broken neck), it decompresses my spine. I love heavy deadlifts (barbell) and they really increase the growth of my quads, buttocks, hamstrings, and calves. During season, my players train heavy 1x/week and light-medium to get the blood flowing and soreness out. I train and train my players like from the HIT background I come from. It's just that I have found some of the tenants of HIT not to work for me, So I apply what I can use and modify it to suit my needs,
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