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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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AJ's Views
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st3

How did AJ's views change as far as exercise recommendations from his early years to his later years? For example, how long should one workout/ how often etc.
Just curious if anyone would know.
Steve

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Michael Petrella

Ontario, CAN

I can't find the exact quote but he talked about how long it took him to learn to only train 3x per week fullbody. He then spoke of how many years after that it took him to learn 2x per week is better then 3x. He later followed that up with how many years it took him to realize that even 1x per week may be superior.

Michael
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hdlifter

This was reported to me late 90's after a guy I knew spent a weekend with Arthur...

Arthur Jones told McGuff and Terry Carter, maybe 2 years ago, that if he were to do it all over again (referring to training), he would train once per week and only train to positive failure every other week. He would shy back 1 or 2 reps to failure on the other weekly workout. So, in essence, Jones would train to failure on 2 workouts per month. On the other 2 monthly workouts, he would shy back 1 or 2 reps.
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tompuderbaugh

Hi gang,

From my (somewhat limited) personal conversations with AJ over the years, I CAN confirm that his overall trend was to reduce the number of exercises per workout and to reduce the number of workouts per week.

He mentioned that even he was guilty (early on) of trying to see how much exercise a person could STAND, rather than trying to determine how much exercise a person actually NEEDS.

And over the years he came to understand that the answer is "not too much"....IF (and this is a big if) the exercise is applied correctly.

Good training to all!
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Acerimmer1

hdlifter wrote:
This was reported to me late 90's after a guy I knew spent a weekend with Arthur...

Arthur Jones told McGuff and Terry Carter, maybe 2 years ago, that if he were to do it all over again (referring to training), he would train once per week and only train to positive failure every other week. He would shy back 1 or 2 reps to failure on the other weekly workout. So, in essence, Jones would train to failure on 2 workouts per month. On the other 2 monthly workouts, he would shy back 1 or 2 reps.


Surely what he means is he'd try that and continue if it worked.
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db144

AJ doing NTF? Does that mean he isn't a HIT trainee like us that use NTF training have been accused?

d
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Mega-duty

"Determine how much exercise a person actually needs" sounds like a Mike Mentzer to me.But he maybe went too far too quickly,but this was his main goal.
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crazeeJZ

hdlifter wrote:
This was reported to me late 90's after a guy I knew spent a weekend with Arthur...

Arthur Jones told McGuff and Terry Carter, maybe 2 years ago, that if he were to do it all over again (referring to training), he would train once per week and only train to positive failure every other week. He would shy back 1 or 2 reps to failure on the other weekly workout. So, in essence, Jones would train to failure on 2 workouts per month. On the other 2 monthly workouts, he would shy back 1 or 2 reps.


The extension of this is to just push for as many complete reps as possible and not going to systemic-fatiguing failure. Slow and steady wins the race. Faster accumulated systemic fatigue through failure makes you hit the wall faster. Some might not think there's much systemic fatigue difference between just completing as many reps as possible and going to failure, but I think Mentzer painted a good picture of it when he described just shy of failure as a sine wave staying on a sheet of paper, and failure as a sine wave abruptly going off of the sheet of paper.
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AndyMitch

I believe Big Jim shares the same view
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crazeeJZ

db144 wrote:
AJ doing NTF? Does that mean he isn't a HIT trainee like us that use NTF training have been accused?

d


Correct db, but the HIT police will ignore it, just like they have Dr. D's past NTF suggestions.

I think the NTF term needs to be done away with, though. It implies easy training. Pushing for as many complete reps without going to failure is not easy training.

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michael

db144 wrote:
AJ doing NTF? Does that mean he isn't a HIT trainee like us that use NTF training have been accused?

d


if its true, the only theory i can think he might have had was that slow fibers respond better to a higher frequency then fast fibers, by not going to failure every second workout you can give the slow twitch fibers some stimulation while still resting the fast twitch fibers. because a muscle fiber is either getting stronger or weaker, NTF every second workout may give quicker results because of a more optimal frequency of rest and stimulation for the fast and slow fibers.
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HeavyHitter32

michael wrote:
db144 wrote:
AJ doing NTF? Does that mean he isn't a HIT trainee like us that use NTF training have been accused?

d

if its true, the only theory i can think he might have had was that slow fibers respond better to a higher frequency then fast fibers, by not going to failure every second workout you can give the slow twitch fibers some stimulation while still resting the fast twitch fibers. because a muscle fiber is either getting stronger or weaker, NTF every second workout may give quicker results because of a more optimal frequency of rest and stimulation for the fast and slow fibers.


That's an interesting point not to mention every other session NTF gives the system a break too.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

A recommendation would be to train less often rather than intersperse easier (and possibly higher volume) training. A problem arises for bodybuilders... training to optimize strength is different than training to optimize and maintain muscle mass.

This is why Mentzer' consolidation training had an adverse effect on many trainees... they kept getting 'more functional' at their chosen exercises, but the muscle started to look 'flat' and eventually started to reduce.
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

As always I think it's individual. There is sense in the low frequency NTF/TF scheme. We don't grow from every set or workout thus aiming to make a positive adaptation twice a month is very reasonable. That's 24 adaptations a year and for the experienced lifter that would be a lot. I however get way to sore from such training but not everyone would be the same. I find a very low frequency deconditions me over time.

Regards,
Andrew
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Turpin

AShortt wrote:
As always I think it's individual. There is sense in the low frequency NTF/TF scheme. We don't grow from every set or workout thus aiming to make a positive adaptation twice a month is very reasonable. That's 24 adaptations a year and for the experienced lifter that would be a lot. I however get way to sore from such training but not everyone would be the same. I find a very low frequency deconditions me over time.

Regards,
Andrew


Id agree.

T.
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Tomislav

New York, USA

Brian Johnston wrote:
A recommendation would be to train less often rather than intersperse easier (and possibly higher volume) training. A problem arises for bodybuilders... training to optimize strength is different than training to optimize and maintain muscle mass.

This is why Mentzer' consolidation training had an adverse effect on many trainees... they kept getting 'more functional' at their chosen exercises, but the muscle started to look 'flat' and eventually started to reduce.


I disagree with this explanation but I can see the basis for it. The athletes had previously been doing direct arm work and so lost arm size just as happened with my experiment dropping the isolation exercises from my CT routine.

Jones placed a lot of emphasis on arm size and he wasn't alone in this view; athletes losing arm size tend to have the illusion they are losing size all over. In fact it's the opposite or they wouldn't be getting stronger.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

A person can get 'stronger' (able to lift more weight) due to neuromuscular efficiency and not due to obtaining larger muscles (a greater cross-sectional area)... basic muscle physiology that dates back in the 1950s. Investigate skill performance and how it occurs. Dr. Darden wrote about this as well.
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Dennis Rogers

New York, USA

Interesting. Leads me to ask - so one work out to failure one NTF, to make sense that would mean the same workout each time?
If an alternating 'a' and 'workout were used obviously the 'b' workout exercises would suffer-no?
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

I do not commit to a 1-2-1 ratio, nor needing to repeat any particular workout. If you are FIXATED on how muc you can lift for any particular workout, then repeat.
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Dennis Rogers

New York, USA

Brian Johnston wrote:
I do not commit to a 1-2-1 ratio, nor needing to repeat any particular workout. If you are FIXATED on how muc you can lift for any particular workout, then repeat.


Thanks for responding Brian, but my question was not directed specifically to your comment just to the thread in general
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st3

Brian Johnston wrote:
A person can get 'stronger' (able to lift more weight) due to neuromuscular efficiency and not due to obtaining larger muscles (a greater cross-sectional area)... basic muscle physiology that dates back in the 1950s. Investigate skill performance and how it occurs. Dr. Darden wrote about this as well.


Found this to be true on the Mentzer consolidated routines. Benched 275/9 and trap bar deadlifted 400/10 yet lost size. Actually I looked terrible.
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st3

Dennis Rogers wrote:
Interesting. Leads me to ask - so one work out to failure one NTF, to make sense that would mean the same workout each time?
If an alternating 'a' and 'workout were used obviously the 'b' workout exercises would suffer-no?


I would think the 'b' workout could suffer.

However, in looking at AJ's views I don't think he always repeated the same workouts. It seems in the experiment he did at West Point workouts were changed regularly.

Which leads me back to how your body adapts to exercise. For example, if I'm just trying to get strong at particular exercises then I repeat those exercises and I can stronger/more efficient at those exercises. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm getting stronger in a functional sense or I'm looking better.

So the NTF 'b' exercises might suffer and the 'a' workout exercises could improve but that might not mean a thing unless my goals are just improving exercises. he real experiment is to see how your body adapts and go from there.

So I guess I'm saying its not always black/white.

hope this helps in answering the question Dennis.

Steve
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

I understand... I was volunteering my 2 cents :-)
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Mega-duty

st3 wrote:
Brian Johnston wrote:
A person can get 'stronger' (able to lift more weight) due to neuromuscular efficiency and not due to obtaining larger muscles (a greater cross-sectional area)... basic muscle physiology that dates back in the 1950s. Investigate skill performance and how it occurs. Dr. Darden wrote about this as well.

Found this to be true on the Mentzer consolidated routines. Benched 275/9 and trap bar deadlifted 400/10 yet lost size. Actually I looked terrible.


Maybe it would work with increased frequency?

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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

To what point? As frequency increases there 'can' be an improvement in appearance, but then the ability to optimize lifting ability will decrease. It's about deciding what is most important to you and what tradeoffs must exist to focus on a particular area of training.

Some people think they can have it all, and that by optimizing strength (lifting proficiency in select exercises) that optimum muscle will develop. Conversely, I don't know of anyone who thinks that by optimizing muscle (by way of bodybuilding type workouts) that strength will optimize accordingly.
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