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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

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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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Nwlifter

I see on here, so many have moved away from these types of programs. Sadly, the general theme is to just blow off all the classic HIT type routines. Now a days, people see one set per exercise and think 'That's too little volume, it can't work'. Even if it's not a person's cup of tea, the general idea now is that good old 3x HIT doesn't work period, I want to show people why it has worked for many.

A friend sent me a link to this site
https://www.strengthandconditi...

It?s a lot of study analysis with some commentary.
While reading this page, the author was writing about volume, he pointed out how there are issues when considering volume, that volume isn?t really just the number of sets, but more the reps per workout, and also load should be considered in there.

OK makes sense, it made me think, where we put little gaps (rest periods) and how many gaps we have really doesn?t define volume.
Ie: 5x3 with 8Rm is really the same exact volume as 3x5 with 8RM, even though the first seems like more volume, hey it?s 5 sets vs 3 sets right? No, it?s 15 reps with an 8RM. So even 2 sets, 8 reps first set, 7 reps second set, is also 15 reps with an 8RM so it?s the same exact volume.

OK how about this?
People say ?yep, that works? when people see the old 5x5, 2 warm ups, 3x5 work sets. Gee that?s 15 work reps.

Then people say, ?no way, that cant work? when they see a Darden program that might include Bench 1x8, Dips 1x8, Flies 1x8. "That?s single sets, that can?t work!" Wait you morons, that?s 24 work reps for pecs, that?s more volume than your worshipped 5x5!(2x5 w/u 3x5 work)

What about load? What did we learn recently, that Brad S.'s research show?s in his studies and books, and some other studies have confirmed? That if failure is hit/effort equalized, 6-15 reps causes pretty much the same hypertrophy. So screw the idea that 5x5 uses a tad more weight. I know even though the number 5 makes us think of a 5RM, but in reality, you can?t do 5x5 with a 5RM, you use more like an 8Rm anyway, unless your taking 10 minutes between sets and even then, the last set would be rough to get all 5 reps, if you can, your not really using your 5RM. So at best, 5x5 is a 6-7 RM vs Darden?s ideas of using an 8RM and working up in reps. So much for load. Studies show the higher load doesn?t cause more growth anyway, and the load isn?t really that much higher if it did.

So people bow to a routine showing 3-4 basic exercises, done 3x a week (5x5). 15 work reps of volume per muscle, yet they scoff at a person who is actually doing even more volume/work on 3 different exercises, just because it?s under the category of ?HIT?. (one exercise 3-5 lower rep work sets vs 2-4 exercises, medium reps, totally the same reps or higher)

That?s how people HAVE grown with those 3x per week HIT routines, they are pretty much identical to a classic 3x per week 5x5, 3x8, you name it, routine.

One more 'ad' to this, we all acknowledge these two things also...
1) Multi-angle is superior to only training one plane of motion
2) Variety and a 'change' is better than grinding the exact thing into staleness.

Darden's programs have both 1 and 2 baked into them.





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natemason5

Ontario, CAN

I still incorporate a Darden/Jones style HIT workout every few weeks, I just don't use it as my "main" regime anymore...but I don't use any type of exercise as my "main" regime anymore. As I've aged I've found that doing 2-3 resistance workouts along with 2-3 other sessions (of almost any type of physical activity...hockey, basketball, yoga, pilates, plyometrics, badminton, etc.) per week suits my lifestyle best. Gone are the days when I MUST lift more each session on a single set...too hard on my body and mind.

I agree with what you say. Almost all "routines" hold value, so we shouldn't judge until we try.

Good post.

Nate
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Nwlifter

thanks!

Great outlook on exercise, lifting and just being active. That's a balanced way to do it. I'm still in the 'get stronger get bigger' mindset :)


natemason5 wrote:
I still incorporate a Darden/Jones style HIT workout every few weeks, I just don't use it as my "main" regime anymore...but I don't use any type of exercise as my "main" regime anymore. As I've aged I've found that doing 2-3 resistance workouts along with 2-3 other sessions (of almost any type of physical activity...hockey, basketball, yoga, pilates, plyometrics, badminton, etc.) per week suits my lifestyle best. Gone are the days when I MUST lift more each session on a single set...too hard on my body and mind.

I agree with what you say. Almost all "routines" hold value, so we shouldn't judge until we try.

Good post.

Nate


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hit4me

Florida, USA

I still incorporate the darden style, twice per week full body....I sent him a question about this a couple months ago and he indicated its really all we need as we age

it allows me to get to progress or maintain and especially allows me to enjoy other things in life

at 52, I have no reason be the biggest or strongest in the gym anymore
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gdm

Hit4me
Details on your twice per week fullbody routine.
Did Dr. Darden have any suggestions?
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Nwlifter

that's great!
But don't sell those workout short, they can be very 'size stimulating' too!



hit4me wrote:
I still incorporate the darden style, twice per week full body....I sent him a question about this a couple months ago and he indicated its really all we need as we age

it allows me to get to progress or maintain and especially allows me to enjoy other things in life

at 52, I have no reason be the biggest or strongest in the gym anymore


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hit4me

Florida, USA

gdm wrote:
Hit4me
Details on your twice per week fullbody routine.
Did Dr. Darden have any suggestions?


check out the second page of the thread "ARTHUR JONES SOME UNLEARNING THOUGHTS ABOUT HIT" on his suggestions

my routine is the basic nautilus routine, but i use 14 exercises instead of 12 and they are all on machines (my preference) except for the forearms.

nothing special, just what i enjoy doing.
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Nwlifter

I'll reread that, been a while since I read that.

Looks like a good setup, nice to see people still using, or basing routines of these ideas. :)


hit4me wrote:
gdm wrote:
Hit4me
Details on your twice per week fullbody routine.
Did Dr. Darden have any suggestions?

check out the second page of the thread "ARTHUR JONES SOME UNLEARNING THOUGHTS ABOUT HIT" on his suggestions

my routine is the basic nautilus routine, but i use 14 exercises instead of 12 and they are all on machines (my preference) except for the forearms.

nothing special, just what i enjoy doing.


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Lioncourt

I'm a bodybuilder, so the weights are just tools. I also have a life outside the gym and the longer I've been into training, the more I realize that I need balance in my life. 6-7 hours a week doing an upper/lower 2x a week split is a good chunk of time to devote when you have to also go 4 days a week. A HIT routine of full body can be done in about 30-40 minutes and easily over a lunch break at work.

With that said, Brad Schoenfeld has a recent volume metaanalysis where he looked at weekly set volumes per muscle group of >4, 5-8, and like 10+ as I recall. There was basically a 5% different in growth between the 10+ and the 4 sets, but the 4 sets will take a lot less time. A normal HIT routine might have 2 sets per bodypart, or each might get directly and indirectly each session, so for time efficiency HIT easily wins, even if growth is just slightly less.
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Nwlifter

Good post!

I agree, and one thing a lot of studies miss, is for short term, volume does increase protein synthesis over less volume, but in circumstances where a person cannot recover, in general, from higher volume, I guarantee it will be less superior in the long run.

In fact, it's why for example, when one specializes, even with Darden's programs, volume is increased a bit for the lagging muscle groups, but subtracted for the rest, to not cause general over training.

Lioncourt wrote:
I'm a bodybuilder, so the weights are just tools. I also have a life outside the gym and the longer I've been into training, the more I realize that I need balance in my life. 6-7 hours a week doing an upper/lower 2x a week split is a good chunk of time to devote when you have to also go 4 days a week. A HIT routine of full body can be done in about 30-40 minutes and easily over a lunch break at work.

With that said, Brad Schoenfeld has a recent volume metaanalysis where he looked at weekly set volumes per muscle group of >4, 5-8, and like 10+ as I recall. There was basically a 5% different in growth between the 10+ and the 4 sets, but the 4 sets will take a lot less time. A normal HIT routine might have 2 sets per bodypart, or each might get directly and indirectly each session, so for time efficiency HIT easily wins, even if growth is just slightly less.


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Brian Johnston

Ontario, CAN

People should consider the 4 or so sets for a few weeks, then 6 sets, then 8, then 10 sets (each for a few weeks), then taking a week off, followed by the 4 weeks again. In other words, you cycle (build-up) the demands. That way you get the optimum effect for a short time, while giving the body some time off and some easier training before ramping up the effect again.

Oddly, the above rarely is considered. Instead it's always a comparison game that has a person 'choose' which one they want forever and ever, etc.
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HeavyHitter32

I would guess 1-2 sets to failure (per body part) could get one to about 70-80% of his potential. The last 20-30% is trickier and then keeping your look optimal through diet and enough volume for a full look that one gets with more sets (with less intensity obviously needed). When I'm doing something like 8-10 sets per body part with shorter rest and lighter loads, I look more muscular as it brings out a more vascular look that I cannot get with 1-2 sets. But one has to be lean enough to see this 'look' as too much body fat will cover it which is why I bring up diet.
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HeavyHitter32

Brian Johnston wrote:
People should consider the 4 or so sets for a few weeks, then 6 sets, then 8, then 10 sets (each for a few weeks), then taking a week off, followed by the 4 weeks again. In other words, you cycle (build-up) the demands. That way you get the optimum effect for a short time, while giving the body some time off and some easier training before ramping up the effect again.

Oddly, the above rarely is considered. Instead it's always a comparison game that has a person 'choose' which one they want forever and ever, etc.


Exactly. It doesn't have to be either/or forever. I'm moving back into a higher volume (less load, more reps, sets) mode myself after using a more lower volume, heavier phase.
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Nwlifter

good points, and there are other ways to get more 'volume'... drop sets.. rest pause.... that's really, just more volume.
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hit4me

Florida, USA

HeavyHitter32 wrote:
Brian Johnston wrote:
People should consider the 4 or so sets for a few weeks, then 6 sets, then 8, then 10 sets (each for a few weeks), then taking a week off, followed by the 4 weeks again. In other words, you cycle (build-up) the demands. That way you get the optimum effect for a short time, while giving the body some time off and some easier training before ramping up the effect again.

Oddly, the above rarely is considered. Instead it's always a comparison game that has a person 'choose' which one they want forever and ever, etc.

Exactly. It doesn't have to be either/or forever. I'm moving back into a higher volume (less load, more reps, sets) mode myself after using a more lower volume, heavier phase.


can't agree more, there are thousands of ways to train, just find what you enjoy performing and keeps you going to the gym
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

A change of pace helps in so many ways. After a couple years of HDT, I've been doing HIT workouts the last few weeks.

The payoff has been renewed hardness and even fullness.

In the spirit of the Colorado Experiment workouts, I've even been doing more than one set of some exercises. And, I am varying the order of the exercises from workout to workout.

I also have alternating 'Specialization' routines where a different muscle is worked 3-4 sets in a given workout.

All in all, it's been a great experience!
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Crotalus

Brian Johnston wrote:
People should consider the 4 or so sets for a few weeks, then 6 sets, then 8, then 10 sets (each for a few weeks), then taking a week off, followed by the 4 weeks again. In other words, you cycle (build-up) the demands. .


Many years ago when I began HIT I did it in the reverse way ; I started with 12-14 sets/exercises and as I learned how to tune up the intensity, I'd drop a set or two when I had to in order to keep the intensity high. I got ridiculous with it , however ... ending up with only being able to handle three sets a work out.

I think most of us who have been training half their lives now realize there should never be 'one and only way ' but we should take advantage of the many ways to train at different times.

Like you say 'cycle it' ... though I remember that the word 'cycle' was a very bad word in the HIT community , LOL.
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backtrack

People get bored that's why they look for the new routine no one knows about.

I suppose it's like taking a walk and seeing the same scenery. You could live somewhere with stunning scenery, but if you go for a walk in it every day you probably wouldn't appreciate it as much as the person that's come for a day trip.
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Crotalus

Nwlifter wrote:
good points, and there are other ways to get more 'volume'... drop sets.. rest pause.... that's really, just more volume.


Yeah, you're right ... some just call them different things. I got to really liking what Brian calls 'cluster sets' ; I'll do three reps , rest six seconds, three reps, rest six seconds until I can't complete three reps. I may even be dropping resistance at certain points.

So is this ten sets of 3 reps or one long rest pause / drop set?

Guess it depends on where you're schooled, LOL.

With my roots in HIT I make myself think it's one extended set because I would NEVER do ten sets of something, LOL.

Thing is , it doesn't mater WTF you call it, it's a great change in the way to do an exercise for a while.
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Nwlifter

Yes clusters are cool, many years ago those were the rage on the HST board.
PITT force training is kind of 'clusters of single reps' if that makes sense.

I know, I do that too, it's funny but much of this is all in the mind.
3 warm ups, 1 top set = HIT
3 warms ups, 1 top set = volume Pyramid

It's all just load and work as far as the muscles are concerned.

Do a set, wait 15 seconds, do more reps, that's a HIT rest pause
Do a set, wait 45 seconds, do more reps, now it's another set and it's volume lol

What's funny is I really doubt muscles were made to even operate in the confines of a set, it's more like 'work to failure, let em rest, make em work some more'. If they are highly fatigue, enough to hamper survival, they add more 'workers' (myosin filaments) to the fibers to help out and allow you to do that again and not be so fatigued. I think good old 'inroad' is probably the best marker of stimulation.






Crotalus wrote:
Nwlifter wrote:
good points, and there are other ways to get more 'volume'... drop sets.. rest pause.... that's really, just more volume.

Yeah, you're right ... some just call them different things. I got to really liking what Brian calls 'cluster sets' ; I'll do three reps , rest six seconds, three reps, rest six seconds until I can't complete three reps. I may even be dropping resistance at certain points.

So is this ten sets of 3 reps or one long rest pause / drop set?

Guess it depends on where you're schooled, LOL.

With my roots in HIT I make myself think it's one extended set because I would NEVER do ten sets of something, LOL.

Thing is , it doesn't mater WTF you call it, it's a great change in the way to do an exercise for a while.


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Crotalus

Nwlifter wrote:

it's more like 'work to failure, let em rest, make em work some more'. If they are highly fatigue, enough to hamper survival, they add more 'workers' (myosin filaments) to the fibers to help out and allow you to do that again and not be so fatigued. I think good old 'inroad' is probably the best marker of stimulation.

Long time ago Dr. Ken wrote an article in Muscular Development magazine introducing his '50% Sets' and what you said above was just how he described why a second set of the same exercise is sometimes needed, even if training in a HIT manner.

50% sets is still a technique I love to use .
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Nwlifter wrote:
Yes clusters are cool, many years ago those were the rage on the HST board.
PITT force training is kind of 'clusters of single reps' if that makes sense.

I know, I do that too, it's funny but much of this is all in the mind.
3 warm ups, 1 top set = HIT
3 warms ups, 1 top set = volume Pyramid...

...I think good old 'inroad' is probably the best marker of stimulation.


A. HIT has never been 3 warm-up sets. 1-2 warm-ups for key muscle groups and then go to town.

In fact, some HIT proponents say NO warm-ups sets: Just start slow, with reduced ROM, if necessary and do your all-out set.

B. I agree inroading is probably the best marker. And what better way to induce sufficient inroading --- in an EFficient manner --- than with short rest periods?
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Nwlifter

simon-hecubus wrote:


A. HIT has never been 3 warm-up sets. 1-2 warm-ups for key muscle groups and then go to town.


Right, but I've read articles where the author will say (if he's HIT), that people who do 3 warm ups, then 1 top set, it's 'actually' HIT since it's only one work set, just their perspective



B. I agree inroading is probably the best marker. And what better way to induce sufficient inroading --- in an EFficient manner --- than with short rest periods?

Yeah, in reality, a muscle just knows 'it performs work' for some time, that level of work causes mechanical and metabolic fatigue. Inroad is probably a decent gauge for how much total fatigue the muscle experienced.



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hdlifter

Crotalus wrote:

Long time ago Dr. Ken wrote an article in Muscular Development magazine introducing his '50% Sets' and what you said above was just how he described why a second set of the same exercise is sometimes needed, even if training in a HIT manner.

50% sets is still a technique I love to use .


50% sets remain one of my favourite techniques...they are so simple to implement, but also so effective. I use it on my son, and he thrives well on it also.

Oddly, on some muscles/exercises, I can almost duplicate the same amount of reps as set #1! Such as high pulls ... which has beefed up my delts unlike any other exercise.
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Crotalus

hdlifter wrote
Oddly, on some muscles/exercises, I can almost duplicate the same amount of reps as set #1! Such as high pulls ... which has beefed up my delts unlike any other exercise.


Some guys can do that .... Kevin Tolbert I understand was 'wired up' so weird that he could do stuff like that too.

For me , the whole secret for 50% sets to work was taking that first set to real, positive failure ... not close to it, but positive failure ... where you can't even start another rep. I also remember Dr. Ken saying 60 seconds rest for upper body and 2 minutes for squats , DL's and LP's.

I'm the opposite on chins than you are with the uprights. After one set of chins I could rest ten minutes and not get 50% of the first set, that's how hard they hit me.

Even though I got a a lot stronger in chins over the years, I was never able to get close to a 50% set in them until they came out with the assisted stations, LOL

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