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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."

 

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Gironda on Intensity
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gdm


Intensity Training
(Musclemag Magazine February 1985)

How much intensity do you recommend your advanced pupils use in their training? This has got to be the most asked question of all. I would like to know your opinion.

Intensity, once you are past the beginners stage, must be over 85 percent. Anything less is a waste of time. 100 percent effort only works for the genetically gifted bodybuilder on steroids. Exactly how much intensity you should use, allowing for your being in top health would be somewhere around 85.90 percent, depending on workout length and frequency. Obviously a 4 hour long workout cannot be completed using maximum intensity on every exercise. Try to get the feel of your body's feedback system. Most muscles need 72 hours to fully recuperate. Better to undertrain than overtrain.

Comments.
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farhad

Massachusetts, USA

how does he or anyone else know what constitutes 85% intensity? is that 1 rep short of failure? 2? 3? what constitutes 93.7% intensity?
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Tony Williams

gdm wrote:

Intensity Training
(Musclemag Magazine February 1985)

How much intensity do you recommend your advanced pupils use in their training? This has got to be the most asked question of all. I would like to know your opinion.

Intensity, once you are past the beginners stage, must be over 85 percent. Anything less is a waste of time. 100 percent effort only works for the genetically gifted bodybuilder on steroids. Exactly how much intensity you should use, allowing for your being in top health would be somewhere around 85.90 percent, depending on workout length and frequency. Obviously a 4 hour long workout cannot be completed using maximum intensity on every exercise. Try to get the feel of your body's feedback system. Most muscles need 72 hours to fully recuperate. Better to undertrain than overtrain.

Comments.


How on Earth would you measure 85.9 percent intensity?

Tony
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gdm

Probably referring to 85-90% of max reps.
My guess would be about 8-9 reps on 10 rep multiple set routines and about 5 reps on 6 set routines.
I assume he was referring to NTF training.
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winbear

I think he means 85 or 90%
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Tony Williams

Well, he says don't give 100 percent.

So how would you know what percentage of effort you were giving if you did not first give a 100 percent effort?

Guess?

Tony
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

farhad wrote:
how does he or anyone else know what constitutes 85% intensity? is that 1 rep short of failure? 2? 3? what constitutes 93.7% intensity?


Just as a fun point of argument - HITters often think they can measure 100% intensity by hitting muscular failure. Not only do they rarely actually fatigue any particular muscle so much that it temporarily cannot move the weight but they usually just burn out and cannot cheat out another rep...and have been cheating for several reps to that point. I don't just mean loose form I mean off loading/out roading as it were. Even at slow careful cadence the result of pushing to MMF is just a lame strip set.

Thorough muscular fatigue often means more than guts it takes leaving the ego at the door.

Regards,
Andrew
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Tony Williams

AShortt wrote:
farhad wrote:
how does he or anyone else know what constitutes 85% intensity? is that 1 rep short of failure? 2? 3? what constitutes 93.7% intensity?

Just as a fun point of argument - HITters often think they can measure 100% intensity by hitting muscular failure. Not only do they rarely actually fatigue any particular muscle so much that it temporarily cannot move the weight but they usually just burn out and cannot cheat out another rep...and have been cheating for several reps to that point. I don't just mean loose form I mean off loading/out roading as it were. Even at slow careful cadence the result of pushing to MMF is just a lame strip set.

Thorough muscular fatigue often means more than guts it takes leaving the ego at the door.

Regards,
Andrew


Opinion, not science.

Tony
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HeavyHitter32

AShortt wrote:
farhad wrote:
how does he or anyone else know what constitutes 85% intensity? is that 1 rep short of failure? 2? 3? what constitutes 93.7% intensity?

Just as a fun point of argument - HITters often think they can measure 100% intensity by hitting muscular failure. Not only do they rarely actually fatigue any particular muscle so much that it temporarily cannot move the weight but they usually just burn out and cannot cheat out another rep...and have been cheating for several reps to that point. I don't just mean loose form I mean off loading/out roading as it were. Even at slow careful cadence the result of pushing to MMF is just a lame strip set.

Thorough muscular fatigue often means more than guts it takes leaving the ego at the door.

Regards,
Andrew


Absolutely agree.
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Turpin

Perform multiple sets of 8 reps with your 10-12 rep maximum until a maximum pump is achieved. 4-8 sets at this `intensity` should realise this.

T.
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Tony Williams

HeavyHitter32 wrote:
AShortt wrote:
farhad wrote:
how does he or anyone else know what constitutes 85% intensity? is that 1 rep short of failure? 2? 3? what constitutes 93.7% intensity?

Just as a fun point of argument - HITters often think they can measure 100% intensity by hitting muscular failure. Not only do they rarely actually fatigue any particular muscle so much that it temporarily cannot move the weight but they usually just burn out and cannot cheat out another rep...and have been cheating for several reps to that point. I don't just mean loose form I mean off loading/out roading as it were. Even at slow careful cadence the result of pushing to MMF is just a lame strip set.

Thorough muscular fatigue often means more than guts it takes leaving the ego at the door.

Regards,
Andrew

Absolutely agree.


In reading the writings of Darden, Mentzer, McGuff, Jones, Brzycki and many others who advocate MMF, I have yet to read that you need to bring your ego into the gym to work your muscles to MMF.

Some days, mental, physical and emotional factors may limit your effort. That does not mean you have not given your total effort at the moment you are exercising.

Instead of MMF, why not call it total effort or absolute total effort instead of the negative term "failure".

Further, I do not buy the notion that you can for months know when you reach one rep or two short of MMF -- unless you sometimes reach total effort or MMF. That's called feel, and is at best a guess.

I concede that the ideas behind muscle strength and physique building by working most exercises to failure are theories -- but no more invalid than the many studies showing the futility of working less than your MMF.

Weight training is, and always probably will be, more of an art than a science. And, I always say, "Do what works for you."

However, it is amazing to me that one of the basic tenets of HIT -- MMF or total effort -- on a forum by a man who coined the term HIT, is so blithely dismissed as ineffective.

Sometimes I think it is not a problem of leaving your ego at the gym door, but rather parking your guts there.

Tony
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Hitit

I think maybe it's left to self interpretation by the trainee's "feel" for the intensity.

I think maybe as we get more advanced and become more aware (conscious and sub-conscious efforts to be), we can come to a better conclusion to "our own" intensity efforts.

I for one am getting a better feel for this now because I've been paying more attention to it.

May sounds strange but I've been trying to really listen to my own body physiological response. This tells me whether I want to push further or not and it's time to terminate a set. What I've seen are at times I can feel muscle failure/exhaustion before I feel my CNS exhaustion during the set.

Sometimes it seems I can feel the opposite if I'm doing too much and I'm pushing through a set with pure adrenaline. I think maybe usually during lower rep sets.

There seems to be a fine line and balance and I can feel muscle failure before CNS failure. I've actually been experiencing this by staying at my top end of my rep range instead of heavier low end reps where you are using seemingly more CNS energy (for me) to get through the set.

I've been making good gains as of late with this in mind. Set extenders and special techniques seem to push me more into CNS fatigue so since I've stopped trying those, I'm gaining again.

I think I may just have a sensitive nervous system and maybe 100% effort would be exhausting muscle failure and CNS fatigue. Maybe 85% is focusing on the feel of the muscle failure/exhaustion and not extended CNS efforts.

At least that's how I see it now.

Brian
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Tony Williams

Hitit wrote:
I think maybe it's left to self interpretation by the trainee's "feel" for the intensity.

I think maybe as we get more advanced and become more aware (conscious and sub-conscious efforts to be), we can come to a better conclusion to "our own" intensity efforts.

I for one am getting a better feel for this now because I've been paying more attention to it.

May sounds strange but I've been trying to really listen to my own body physiological response. This tells me whether I want to push further or not and it's time to terminate a set. What I've seen are at times I can feel muscle failure/exhaustion before I feel my CNS exhaustion during the set.

Sometimes it seems I can feel the opposite if I'm doing too much and I'm pushing through a set with pure adrenaline. I think maybe usually during lower rep sets.

There seems to be a fine line and balance and I can feel muscle failure before CNS failure. I've actually been experiencing this by staying at my top end of my rep range instead of heavier low end reps where you are using seemingly more CNS energy (for me) to get through the set.

I've been making good gains as of late with this in mind. Set extenders and special techniques seem to push me more into CNS fatigue so since I've stopped trying those, I'm gaining again.

I think I may just have a sensitive nervous system.

Brian


Sprinters run one heat after another before the finals ... then they often best their times in the finals and run again in a week.

I've never once heard sprinters complain of Central Nervous System problems in Track & Field News and other sprinting newsletters. And sprinting, after all, is simply HIT while running ... with your maximum effort.

How does your CNS feel as opposed to your muscles? Could it be that your "feelings" are a result of too much volume rather than too much intensity?

Some of this CNS fatigue is overplayed and seems to be used on this forum as an excuse for not working hard ... after proper rest which I believe is probably the most individual factor in weight training.

Tony
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Hitit

Tony Williams wrote:
Hitit wrote:
I think maybe it's left to self interpretation by the trainee's "feel" for the intensity.

I think maybe as we get more advanced and become more aware (conscious and sub-conscious efforts to be), we can come to a better conclusion to "our own" intensity efforts.

I for one am getting a better feel for this now because I've been paying more attention to it.

May sounds strange but I've been trying to really listen to my own body physiological response. This tells me whether I want to push further or not and it's time to terminate a set. What I've seen are at times I can feel muscle failure/exhaustion before I feel my CNS exhaustion during the set.

Sometimes it seems I can feel the opposite if I'm doing too much and I'm pushing through a set with pure adrenaline. I think maybe usually during lower rep sets.

There seems to be a fine line and balance and I can feel muscle failure before CNS failure. I've actually been experiencing this by staying at my top end of my rep range instead of heavier low end reps where you are using seemingly more CNS energy (for me) to get through the set.

I've been making good gains as of late with this in mind. Set extenders and special techniques seem to push me more into CNS fatigue so since I've stopped trying those, I'm gaining again.

I think I may just have a sensitive nervous system.

Brian

Sprinters run one heat after another before the finals ... then they often best their times in the finals and run again in a week.

I've never once heard sprinters complain of Central Nervous System problems in Track & Field News and other sprinting newsletters. And sprinting, after all, is simply HIT while running ... with your maximum effort.

How does your CNS feel as opposed to your muscles? Could it be that your "feelings" are a result of too much volume rather than too much intensity?

Some of this CNS fatigue is overplayed and seems to be used on this forum as an excuse for not working hard ... after proper rest which I believe is probably the most individual factor in weight training.

Tony


"Sprinting" is a very short time lapse (seconds) compared to a full body HIT workout of say 12 minutes.

Excuse for working hard? If you think this maybe my case then Tony you really have no idea how hard I work. If you trained with me you would not question my intensity or effort. I always reach MMF the rest I described with regards is something I don't have time to try and explain. It's just a "feel" for my CNS at this time and it's something that I have, maybe you don't.

I do a full body workout of 8-9 exercises every 4 days. Is this too much volume to you?

BTW, I was a track and field "Sprinter" in high school. 100-200M and I was quite quick compared to the average.
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Tony Williams wrote:
AShortt wrote:
farhad wrote:
how does he or anyone else know what constitutes 85% intensity? is that 1 rep short of failure? 2? 3? what constitutes 93.7% intensity?

Just as a fun point of argument - HITters often think they can measure 100% intensity by hitting muscular failure. Not only do they rarely actually fatigue any particular muscle so much that it temporarily cannot move the weight but they usually just burn out and cannot cheat out another rep...and have been cheating for several reps to that point. I don't just mean loose form I mean off loading/out roading as it were. Even at slow careful cadence the result of pushing to MMF is just a lame strip set.

Thorough muscular fatigue often means more than guts it takes leaving the ego at the door.

Regards,
Andrew

Opinion, not science.

Tony


Read your other post...I said leave your ego at the door. And of course it's opinion smart a**... opinion from experience, experimental repeated conditions with many different types of people over years through thousands of sessions...
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HeavyHitter32

Tony Williams wrote:
HeavyHitter32 wrote:
AShortt wrote:
farhad wrote:
how does he or anyone else know what constitutes 85% intensity? is that 1 rep short of failure? 2? 3? what constitutes 93.7% intensity?

Just as a fun point of argument - HITters often think they can measure 100% intensity by hitting muscular failure. Not only do they rarely actually fatigue any particular muscle so much that it temporarily cannot move the weight but they usually just burn out and cannot cheat out another rep...and have been cheating for several reps to that point. I don't just mean loose form I mean off loading/out roading as it were. Even at slow careful cadence the result of pushing to MMF is just a lame strip set.

Thorough muscular fatigue often means more than guts it takes leaving the ego at the door.

Regards,
Andrew

Absolutely agree.

In reading the writings of Darden, Mentzer, McGuff, Jones, Brzycki and many others who advocate MMF, I have yet to read that you need to bring your ego into the gym to work your muscles to MMF.

Some days, mental, physical and emotional factors may limit your effort. That does not mean you have not given your total effort at the moment you are exercising.

Instead of MMF, why not call it total effort or absolute total effort instead of the negative term "failure".

Further, I do not buy the notion that you can for months know when you reach one rep or two short of MMF -- unless you sometimes reach total effort or MMF. That's called feel, and is at best a guess.

I concede that the ideas behind muscle strength and physique building by working most exercises to failure are theories -- but no more invalid than the many studies showing the futility of working less than your MMF.

Weight training is, and always probably will be, more of an art than a science. And, I always say, "Do what works for you."

However, it is amazing to me that one of the basic tenets of HIT -- MMF or total effort -- on a forum by a man who coined the term HIT, is so blithely dismissed as ineffective.

Sometimes I think it is not a problem of leaving your ego at the gym door, but rather parking your guts there.

Tony


Regardless of what Darden, Mentzer, etc. said, if you have been in enough gyms and have a lot of experience with trainees, you'll see there is a lot of ego when it comes to certain things - especially in regards to the amount of weight used and especially HOW it is used. A lot of these people are not sufficiently working/fatiguing/inroading a muscle as a result - even when they "think" the muscle is reaching failure - there's merely other factors at play. Poor form, excessive bracing from too much resistance, poor technique and lack of method, etc. are just a few of the things which takes the "stress" off the target muscle which is one thing that differentiates bodybuilding/hypertrophy training from other sorts of lifting. There is a lot more to training that just "going to failure" for one set. Yeah, that will give a result (as almost ANY sort of training will). However, depending on your goals and if you are trying to optimize, it goes deeper than that. I seem to recall you do a consolidation routine every 7-10 days and if you're happy with that, stick with it. But, there is another (more productive) world outside of that and I am speaking from experience as I used to do a consolidation routine every 7-14 days for several years.
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Tony Williams

Hitit wrote:
Tony Williams wrote:
Hitit wrote:
I think maybe it's left to self interpretation by the trainee's "feel" for the intensity.

I think maybe as we get more advanced and become more aware (conscious and sub-conscious efforts to be), we can come to a better conclusion to "our own" intensity efforts.

I for one am getting a better feel for this now because I've been paying more attention to it.

May sounds strange but I've been trying to really listen to my own body physiological response. This tells me whether I want to push further or not and it's time to terminate a set. What I've seen are at times I can feel muscle failure/exhaustion before I feel my CNS exhaustion during the set.

Sometimes it seems I can feel the opposite if I'm doing too much and I'm pushing through a set with pure adrenaline. I think maybe usually during lower rep sets.

There seems to be a fine line and balance and I can feel muscle failure before CNS failure. I've actually been experiencing this by staying at my top end of my rep range instead of heavier low end reps where you are using seemingly more CNS energy (for me) to get through the set.

I've been making good gains as of late with this in mind. Set extenders and special techniques seem to push me more into CNS fatigue so since I've stopped trying those, I'm gaining again.

I think I may just have a sensitive nervous system.

Brian

Sprinters run one heat after another before the finals ... then they often best their times in the finals and run again in a week.

I've never once heard sprinters complain of Central Nervous System problems in Track & Field News and other sprinting newsletters. And sprinting, after all, is simply HIT while running ... with your maximum effort.

How does your CNS feel as opposed to your muscles? Could it be that your "feelings" are a result of too much volume rather than too much intensity?

Some of this CNS fatigue is overplayed and seems to be used on this forum as an excuse for not working hard ... after proper rest which I believe is probably the most individual factor in weight training.

Tony

"Sprinting" is a very short time lapse (seconds) compared to a full body HIT workout of say 12 minutes.

Excuse for working hard? If you think this maybe my case then Tony you really have no idea how hard I work. If you trained with me you would not question my intensity or effort. I always reach MMF the rest I described with regards is something I don't have time to try and explain. It's just a "feel" for my CNS at this time and it's something that I have, maybe you don't.

I do a full body workout of 8-9 exercises every 4 days. Is this too much volume to you?

BTW, I was a track and field "Sprinter" in high school. 100-200M and I was quite quick compared to the average.


In comparing sprinting to HIT, I was simply trying to state that to run your fastest times, you must sometimes run your fastest.

Otherwise, how would you know how fast you could be.

If you thought I was personally talking about your training, I was not. Also, I did not understand that you trained to MMF. Perhaps I missed that in the original post.

As far as your exercise routine, is it too much ... too little? That is for you to answer.

As for me, if I were experiencing physical problems of some nature, I would not think that an extra day or two of rest would hurt my progress in the least and probably might improve my development.

I was a sprinter in high school also. My feeling was the coaches 40 years ago had a one-size-fits-all approach -- running too much endurance as opposed to your speciality, absurd stretching drills, vast overtraining and withholding water to make you tough.

The worst teachers were undoubtedly coaches.

Were you quick ... or fast ... or both?

Tony
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Tony Williams

AShortt wrote:
Tony Williams wrote:
AShortt wrote:
farhad wrote:
how does he or anyone else know what constitutes 85% intensity? is that 1 rep short of failure? 2? 3? what constitutes 93.7% intensity?

Just as a fun point of argument - HITters often think they can measure 100% intensity by hitting muscular failure. Not only do they rarely actually fatigue any particular muscle so much that it temporarily cannot move the weight but they usually just burn out and cannot cheat out another rep...and have been cheating for several reps to that point. I don't just mean loose form I mean off loading/out roading as it were. Even at slow careful cadence the result of pushing to MMF is just a lame strip set.

Thorough muscular fatigue often means more than guts it takes leaving the ego at the door.

Regards,
Andrew

Opinion, not science.

Tony


Read your other post...I said leave your ego at the door. And of course it's opinion smart a**... opinion from experience, experimental repeated conditions with many different types of people over years through thousands of sessions...


Yeah, and I said I don't know many people who leave their ego at the door, but many do seem to leave their guts there.

No one has brought their ego to the forum, Andrew, except for your self declaration of training excellence as you state, "opinion from experience, experimental repeated conditions with many different types of people over years through thousands of sessions."

Obviously, your ego needs no pumping, but your need for profanity and the word "haters" never ends, Andrew.

Tony
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Tony Williams

HeavyHitter32 wrote:
Tony Williams wrote:
HeavyHitter32 wrote:
AShortt wrote:
farhad wrote:
how does he or anyone else know what constitutes 85% intensity? is that 1 rep short of failure? 2? 3? what constitutes 93.7% intensity?

Just as a fun point of argument - HITters often think they can measure 100% intensity by hitting muscular failure. Not only do they rarely actually fatigue any particular muscle so much that it temporarily cannot move the weight but they usually just burn out and cannot cheat out another rep...and have been cheating for several reps to that point. I don't just mean loose form I mean off loading/out roading as it were. Even at slow careful cadence the result of pushing to MMF is just a lame strip set.

Thorough muscular fatigue often means more than guts it takes leaving the ego at the door.

Regards,
Andrew

Absolutely agree.

In reading the writings of Darden, Mentzer, McGuff, Jones, Brzycki and many others who advocate MMF, I have yet to read that you need to bring your ego into the gym to work your muscles to MMF.

Some days, mental, physical and emotional factors may limit your effort. That does not mean you have not given your total effort at the moment you are exercising.

Instead of MMF, why not call it total effort or absolute total effort instead of the negative term "failure".

Further, I do not buy the notion that you can for months know when you reach one rep or two short of MMF -- unless you sometimes reach total effort or MMF. That's called feel, and is at best a guess.

I concede that the ideas behind muscle strength and physique building by working most exercises to failure are theories -- but no more invalid than the many studies showing the futility of working less than your MMF.

Weight training is, and always probably will be, more of an art than a science. And, I always say, "Do what works for you."

However, it is amazing to me that one of the basic tenets of HIT -- MMF or total effort -- on a forum by a man who coined the term HIT, is so blithely dismissed as ineffective.

Sometimes I think it is not a problem of leaving your ego at the gym door, but rather parking your guts there.

Tony

Regardless of what Darden, Mentzer, etc. said, if you have been in enough gyms and have a lot of experience with trainees, you'll see there is a lot of ego when it comes to certain things - especially in regards to the amount of weight used and especially HOW it is used. A lot of these people are not sufficiently working/fatiguing/inroading a muscle as a result - even when they "think" the muscle is reaching failure - there's merely other factors at play. Poor form, excessive bracing from too much resistance, poor technique and lack of method, etc. are just a few of the things which takes the "stress" off the target muscle which is one thing that differentiates bodybuilding/hypertrophy training from other sorts of lifting. There is a lot more to training that just "going to failure" for one set. Yeah, that will give a result (as almost ANY sort of training will). However, depending on your goals and if you are trying to optimize, it goes deeper than that. I seem to recall you do a consolidation routine every 7-10 days and if you're happy with that, stick with it. But, there is another (more productive) world outside of that and I am speaking from experience as I used to do a consolidation routine every 7-14 days for several years.


With all due respect, that evades my premises -- that many post opinions on here that are diametrically opposed to Darden's and many other HIT advocates.

Also, I totally disagree with stating that "there is another (more production world) outside that ... "

I have always said that a person should do what works for you.

As a fact, I work out 3 times every two weeks. Not consolidation as Mentzer would define it, but perhaps close. But consolidation training, however you define it, is only a small slice of the HIT pie -- quite a small piece.

I don't know your age HH. However, I doubt when you are 60 as I am ... or 70 ... that you will be doing the exact same workout. One size does not fit all.

My points: the tenets of HIT are being ignored by many, if not most, on this forum. And I believe intensity (MMF) trumps volume.

Tony
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Hitit

Tony,

Yes coaches of the past and I'm sure many present had/have no real clue to proper training.

With regards towards the sprinting, I guess I might say that when we ran we were taught to relax. The best performance was when one was relaxed but with maximum effort. This could be what I feel and refer to as my nervous system when weight training.

Maybe that's what I'm saying with training as this is still a new sense to me. The additional tension or unnecessary stress/tension adrenaline pushing inhibits muscle contraction. And also using other muscles to assist (bracing, etc.) during the end reps when the muscle is really already exhausted we can push further to get through a range of motion (cheating) and feels at this time unnecessary. I feel now this takes me too far beyond specific muscle exhaustion. And rest doesn't seem to make a difference for gains. I do better now with just a simple relaxed basic set TTF and that's it. I "feel" the muscle more exhausted.

I was quick. I didn't have the muscle strength to be fast at that time to go beyond 40 yards or so I was already topped out. This I think was more from other sports (basketball/football/baseball) when I only needed shorter bursts of speed.

Track was an after thought my last year of high school just to experience something different.
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Tony Williams

Hitit wrote:
Tony,

Yes coaches of the past and I'm sure many present had/have no real clue to proper training.

With regards towards the sprinting, I guess I might say that when we ran we were taught to relax. The best performance was when one was relaxed but with maximum effort. This could be what I feel and refer to as my nervous system when weight training.

Maybe that's what I'm saying with training as this is still a new sense to me. The additional tension or unnecessary stress/tension adrenaline pushing inhibits muscle contraction. And also using other muscles to assist (bracing, etc.) during the end reps when the muscle is really already exhausted we can push further to get through a range of motion (cheating) and feels at this time unnecessary. I feel now this takes me too far beyond specific muscle exhaustion. And rest doesn't seem to make a difference for gains. I do better now with just a simple relaxed basic set TTF and that's it. I "feel" the muscle more exhausted.

I was quick. I didn't have the muscle strength to be fast at that time to go beyond 40 yards or so I was already topped out. This I think was more from other sports (basketball/football/baseball) when I only needed shorter bursts of speed.

Track was an after thought my last year of high school just to experience something different.


Now I have an idea what you mean.

I find the pushing against the weight after TTF counterproductive. Maybe one second of that ... but continuing for five to ten seconds always left my muscles shaking and left me whipped.

For me, once MMF has been reached absolutely, I end the particular exercise immediately.

Although difficult for many, including myself, you should try to relax your mouth instead of gritting your teeth just as a sprinter would do.

Relaxing while sprinting is the best tip I never got from my coaches.

Tony
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Hitit

Tony Williams wrote:
Hitit wrote:
Tony,

Yes coaches of the past and I'm sure many present had/have no real clue to proper training.

With regards towards the sprinting, I guess I might say that when we ran we were taught to relax. The best performance was when one was relaxed but with maximum effort. This could be what I feel and refer to as my nervous system when weight training.

Maybe that's what I'm saying with training as this is still a new sense to me. The additional tension or unnecessary stress/tension adrenaline pushing inhibits muscle contraction. And also using other muscles to assist (bracing, etc.) during the end reps when the muscle is really already exhausted we can push further to get through a range of motion (cheating) and feels at this time unnecessary. I feel now this takes me too far beyond specific muscle exhaustion. And rest doesn't seem to make a difference for gains. I do better now with just a simple relaxed basic set TTF and that's it. I "feel" the muscle more exhausted.

I was quick. I didn't have the muscle strength to be fast at that time to go beyond 40 yards or so I was already topped out. This I think was more from other sports (basketball/football/baseball) when I only needed shorter bursts of speed.

Track was an after thought my last year of high school just to experience something different.

Now I have an idea what you mean.

I find the pushing against the weight after TTF counterproductive. Maybe one second of that ... but continuing for five to ten seconds always left my muscles shaking and left me whipped.

For me, once MMF has been reached absolutely, I end the particular exercise immediately.

Although difficult for many, including myself, you should try to relax your mouth instead of gritting your teeth just as a sprinter would do.

Relaxing while sprinting is the best tip I never got from my coaches.

Tony


Exactly what I'm saying. That extra effort seems counterproductive.

Same as me doing specialized techniques. At this time I've also found that doing anything other than a single set for any large muscle groups (chest, back, legs) counter productive.
I've tried this as pre-exhaust, post-exhaust and just as an extra separate set after doing an opposing muscle group. I have been able to alternate smaller muscles such as bi, tri and lateral raises in every other workout to my advantage but that's it.

I do know that rest did not cure this either when I tried "extra" techniques. I don't know if it pushes the muscles so far into fatigue that it releases some type of inflammation chemical or otherwise that inhibits muscle growth and pump. When I did these I gave myself extra days rest and still never came back with more strength or size when compared to doing what I described now.

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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Not sure if I mentioned this (did not read through), but most people will find training pretty darn hard as opposed to 'as hard as possible' no different, and in many respects better when compared objectively. I say this with reserve... it works nicely to train as hard as possible some of the time, as opposed ot most of the time. There is a place for training as hard as possible here and then, but it becomes a negative when done all the time.
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Turpin

Brian Johnston wrote:
Not sure if I mentioned this (did not read through), but most people will find training pretty darn hard as opposed to 'as hard as possible' no different, and in many respects better when compared objectively. I say this with reserve... it works nicely to train as hard as possible some of the time, as opposed ot most of the time. There is a place for training as hard as possible here and then, but it becomes a negative when done all the time.


Spot on ! ... periodisation of intensity is the only way to realise ongoing progress.

T.
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HeavyHitter32

Tony Williams wrote:
HeavyHitter32 wrote:
Tony Williams wrote:
HeavyHitter32 wrote:
AShortt wrote:
farhad wrote:
how does he or anyone else know what constitutes 85% intensity? is that 1 rep short of failure? 2? 3? what constitutes 93.7% intensity?

Just as a fun point of argument - HITters often think they can measure 100% intensity by hitting muscular failure. Not only do they rarely actually fatigue any particular muscle so much that it temporarily cannot move the weight but they usually just burn out and cannot cheat out another rep...and have been cheating for several reps to that point. I don't just mean loose form I mean off loading/out roading as it were. Even at slow careful cadence the result of pushing to MMF is just a lame strip set.

Thorough muscular fatigue often means more than guts it takes leaving the ego at the door.

Regards,
Andrew

Absolutely agree.

In reading the writings of Darden, Mentzer, McGuff, Jones, Brzycki and many others who advocate MMF, I have yet to read that you need to bring your ego into the gym to work your muscles to MMF.

Some days, mental, physical and emotional factors may limit your effort. That does not mean you have not given your total effort at the moment you are exercising.

Instead of MMF, why not call it total effort or absolute total effort instead of the negative term "failure".

Further, I do not buy the notion that you can for months know when you reach one rep or two short of MMF -- unless you sometimes reach total effort or MMF. That's called feel, and is at best a guess.

I concede that the ideas behind muscle strength and physique building by working most exercises to failure are theories -- but no more invalid than the many studies showing the futility of working less than your MMF.

Weight training is, and always probably will be, more of an art than a science. And, I always say, "Do what works for you."

However, it is amazing to me that one of the basic tenets of HIT -- MMF or total effort -- on a forum by a man who coined the term HIT, is so blithely dismissed as ineffective.

Sometimes I think it is not a problem of leaving your ego at the gym door, but rather parking your guts there.

Tony

Regardless of what Darden, Mentzer, etc. said, if you have been in enough gyms and have a lot of experience with trainees, you'll see there is a lot of ego when it comes to certain things - especially in regards to the amount of weight used and especially HOW it is used. A lot of these people are not sufficiently working/fatiguing/inroading a muscle as a result - even when they "think" the muscle is reaching failure - there's merely other factors at play. Poor form, excessive bracing from too much resistance, poor technique and lack of method, etc. are just a few of the things which takes the "stress" off the target muscle which is one thing that differentiates bodybuilding/hypertrophy training from other sorts of lifting. There is a lot more to training that just "going to failure" for one set. Yeah, that will give a result (as almost ANY sort of training will). However, depending on your goals and if you are trying to optimize, it goes deeper than that. I seem to recall you do a consolidation routine every 7-10 days and if you're happy with that, stick with it. But, there is another (more productive) world outside of that and I am speaking from experience as I used to do a consolidation routine every 7-14 days for several years.


With all due respect, that evades my premises -- that many post opinions on here that are diametrically opposed to Darden's and many other HIT advocates.

Also, I totally disagree with stating that "there is another (more production world) outside that ... "

I have always said that a person should do what works for you.

As a fact, I work out 3 times every two weeks. Not consolidation as Mentzer would define it, but perhaps close. But consolidation training, however you define it, is only a small slice of the HIT pie -- quite a small piece.

I don't know your age HH. However, I doubt when you are 60 as I am ... or 70 ... that you will be doing the exact same workout. One size does not fit all.

My points: the tenets of HIT are being ignored by many, if not most, on this forum. And I believe intensity (MMF) trumps volume.

Tony


Dr. Darden has repeatedly stated he is open to training views different than his on this forum. However, I would say 99% of the people on this forum perform some form of abbreviated training (training 1-3 times per week, relatively short sessions, hard effort whether it's failure or not). No one is doing 30-40 sets per muscle 6-7 days per week. Most agree training should be relatively hard (not easy) and that recovery is important. Remember, all training programs contain the same fundamental variables - it's just the amount or degree that varies.

I have been training for 22 years and I am 40. I trained pure, hardcore HIT for about 7 years since then doing other forums of abbreviated training with better results. I never actually do the exact same workout twice. One size does not fit all and that was my point earlier about another world out there. My training is always customized to my wants and needs as well as what I can recover from. I am not married to any dogmatic ideals.
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