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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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hutch57

I did a chest and back workout 3 days ago and dropped all my weights and went 4-2-4 speed or a little slower and I can still fell it everywhere. Also my arms went up from just that workout 1/8. I've been using higher reps at a normal speed but this has me re-thinking. Got a leg workout tomorrow gonna do the same for it. I think the key is really drop the weights and focus on the muscle at hand. What do you think? anyone else find this to be true?
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Hitit

Seems most would say now that it was simply the change in from what you're used to that did it.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Changing up is good, but I would state emphatically that it's the slightly faster movement that permits more repetitions per unit of time, along with the higher rep count that is producing a positive effect.
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hutch57

But I only did 6-8 reps at this speed. Do you think the higher rep way at a faster speed will be better?
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Experiment and YOU tell us. Different people respond to different things. In fact, you will find different body parts can respond differently to the same protocol. One size does not fit all. But my previous response already answers your question, does it not?
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hutch57

yes,thank you.
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HeavyHitter32

Brian Johnston wrote:
Changing up is good, but I would state emphatically that it's the slightly faster movement that permits more repetitions per unit of time, along with the higher rep count that is producing a positive effect.


Totally agree. Either way I cut it in a training session, there MUST be enough muscle contractions to get a good effect. Even in my current "lower volume" phase there are still a number of reps being employed.

I've also always found slower reps not to be as productive as faster reps. Perhaps it's because of the greater amount of contractions per unit of time as well as the better pumping & blood flow effect of slightly faster reps. I just cannot get that same effect with slower reps.
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spud

I can tell you this from my recent training experience.

Rep speeds that die hard HITers would consider too fast are perfectly safe and very productive.

What speeds? 2/2 over a full range of motion or 1.5/1.5 if you shave a small portion off the top and bottom of the range of motion.

3/3 is now the slowest I will ever go over a full range of motion.

Do some pushups at 2/2 with reasonable turnarounds and tell me if you sense impending doom in you elbows or shoulders.

Superslow warped people's perceptions of rep speed and sent them in the wrong direction.

I now find cadences like 4-2-4 too slow and I trained at around that pace for about 6 years.
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HeavyHitter32

During my "Heavy Duty" years I used 4/4 exclusively focusing on 6-10 reps.

I've used just about every rep cadence imaginable.

Today, I just go by feel but always keep control of the resistance while focusing on the muscle doing the work staying safe at the same time. Using moderate to higher reps allows this to happen more readily, as well.

I think if I were training really, really heavy I would move a bit more slowly. 4/4 or even 3/3 works well with that.
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hutch57

Thanks guys,good feedback!
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Hitit wrote:
Seems most would say now that it was simply the change in from what you're used to that did it.


I second that motion. If one has been doing ONLY the faster, higher reps schemes for a while and then switches to slower & lower, a jump shall occur.
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hutch57

I do love higher reps and lift by a more natural pace.But every once in awhile I wonder about if theres a better way.I've had great success from 12-20 reps though!
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Better success will be had by often doing what you haven't done previously, or at least recently.
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Olddog99

I agree with the posters here that find the rep speed that best suits your best response. This may or not be the same for differnt body parts. to examine yourself, look for bio cues like you mentioned in your first post.
things like good pump,la buildup, prolonged temporary enlarged muscle, progression to absolute limits all the positive things. Or look for the bad like very flat, very smooth, weak, fatigued body part, no progression things that dont work.

make that note in your head or even better write it down then apply it again, if it truely worked once it has a very good chance it will work again given the same circumstances were applied.

rep speed for max contraction with max tension is the goal of a body builder.
max muscle force is the goal of a weight lifter. This confusion was way back in the weight lifting days when weight lifters become bodybuilders. york Mr america comes to mind 1950-70.

max contraction with max tension comes from a controlled rep of a specific to you cadence based on your muscle lengths not anyone elses. this varies from muscle to muscle due to their lengths. forearms and calf are small in lenght comparied to quads and hams. back and chests are also different in lenght. the shortesest of the major group is the deltoids, the contraction lenght is very small indeed with a arm movement of great distance from the shoulder to the hands, like that of a lateral raise. What I am talking about here is contraction velosity relative to muscle length. fiber type also has a player here. your velosity will be the distance over time factor with max force being developed at optimal or Lenght 0 position, contraction velosity is slower and less intense in the lo + or - or easer said full extend or full contraction position from lenght optimal.

so you can see some contrast here and why you need to note your response to rep speed, %of 1RM the rep number will be relative to the other two.

it took me more than a few years to chart my progress and map what realy worked for me. But I will say that reading HIT books helped me reduce my trail and error to best suit me.

I found out best practises for all my muscle groups, days of rest for each body area, best exercises,how many sets per body area and progress. to me a result is progress in some fashion, no progress is no progress and no resuts.

keep in mind that there is a limit to what you can achieve in the size game. try to find yours.
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hutch57

I really like 12-20 reps and have had great progress with them but every now and then I question other schemes.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

You can sit and question, or you can take action!
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Olddog99

It is always good to question especially yourself.

And simply even though you may know what works for some reasons we always try to find something new or try a scheme that never works.

Can't expalin it but it's true, even for my self, I do things I like but I know simply does not work.

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SouthPeach

My opinion Arthur's 2/4 rep cadence has never been improved on. I'm a firm believer in maintaining a "rhythm" in the set. Too slow inhibits neural input and muscle contraction tension suffers.
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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

SouthPeach wrote:
My opinion Arthur's 2/4 rep cadence has never been improved on. I'm a firm believer in maintaining a "rhythm" in the set. Too slow inhibits neural input and muscle contraction tension suffers.


It depends on your application and the ROM of the exercise. A 2/4 suggestion is something general the average person can apply, but it falls very short of advanced methodologies that require a different rhythm and/or cadence.
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SouthPeach

Brian Johnston wrote:
SouthPeach wrote:
My opinion Arthur's 2/4 rep cadence has never been improved on. I'm a firm believer in maintaining a "rhythm" in the set. Too slow inhibits neural input and muscle contraction tension suffers.

It depends on your application and the ROM of the exercise. A 2/4 suggestion is something general the average person can apply, but it falls very short of advanced methodologies that require a different rhythm and/or cadence.


Will you elaborate a little on these "advanced methods" and what the rep cadence would be and what advantages they bring to the table over the 2/4?

There was a time I thought slower was better, but I've changed my mind after watching pro BB's do their sets.

They impart a bit of momentum at the start of the rep and pull hard all the way thru. This allows for use of greater weight than pulling at a constant slow speed. The greater weight with this "rhythm" gives a greater negative resistance when lowering too.

I pictured this in my mind and saw greater tensions.

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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

Others may want to invest the time to elaborate. I've been writing about them in books for several years now and released one not long ago entitled High Density Training. A person may not be doing full ROM to warrant 2/4, and when you consider the stroke differences from a calf raise to a pullover machine, it should make sense that 2/4 does not make sense as a general application either.
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natemason5

Ontario, CAN

Brian Johnston wrote:
A person may not be doing full ROM to warrant 2/4, and when you consider the stroke differences from a calf raise to a pullover machine, it should make sense that 2/4 does not make sense as a general application either.


This is usually what I'm thinking about every time this discussion arises. I'm all about change now. I have more variation from one workout to another than I've ever had...and it's more enjoyable too!

Good discussion here though. I find certain rep speeds lend themselves better to different body parts. At least, for me.

Nate
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SouthPeach

Brian Johnston wrote:
Others may want to invest the time to elaborate. I've been writing about them in books for several years now and released one not long ago entitled High Density Training. A person may not be doing full ROM to warrant 2/4, and when you consider the stroke differences from a calf raise to a pullover machine, it should make sense that 2/4 does not make sense as a general application either.


it's pretty darn close..i'll give you 3/5 on the pullover machine...big deal.

the point remains the same

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PTDaniel

SouthPeach wrote:
Brian Johnston wrote:
SouthPeach wrote:
My opinion Arthur's 2/4 rep cadence has never been improved on. I'm a firm believer in maintaining a "rhythm" in the set. Too slow inhibits neural input and muscle contraction tension suffers.

It depends on your application and the ROM of the exercise. A 2/4 suggestion is something general the average person can apply, but it falls very short of advanced methodologies that require a different rhythm and/or cadence.

Will you elaborate a little on these "advanced methods" and what the rep cadence would be and what advantages they bring to the table over the 2/4?

There was a time I thought slower was better, but I've changed my mind after watching pro BB's do their sets.

They impart a bit of momentum at the start of the rep and pull hard all the way thru. This allows for use of greater weight than pulling at a constant slow speed. The greater weight with this "rhythm" gives a greater negative resistance when lowering too.

I pictured this in my mind and saw greater tensions.



I often split the ROM of an exercise into partial segments. For instance I may take a dumbbell bench press and break it into 5 segments. I may perform reps confined to one of the 5 segments. Since the distance of the segment may be only several inches keeping 2 second concentric/ 4 second eccentric cadence would be slow. In fact it would be slower than the Superslow 10/5 cadence. The rep speed would be the equivalent of a 10/20 cadence per full ROM rep.

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hit4me

Florida, USA

I have tried many different rep speeds thru-out the years and they all can work, it depends what your individual goal is.

I found that the 2-2-2 cadence works well, it allows me to use a heavy enough weight for 10-20 reps and it also allows me to use little to no momentum to keep past injuries from resurfacing. I have found that by using faster speeds explosively I tend to get careless and those injuries come back.

I also found that by using slower speeds, then the weight is greatly reduced and really don't get any benefit from it.
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