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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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Jesse Lee Otis

There could be several ways to word the title of this thread - but the one that I chose does encompass the subject matter.

I have frequently fallen victim to the belief that a series of workouts were 'growth' sessions when in fact they must have been 'maintenance' sessions. During each workout the effort that I expended surely seemed intense enough to stimulate growth - but it did not happen (or it was so small not to be noticed). As I'm sure that all of you know, there is that threshold of effort that must be passed through in order for growth to result; if that doesn't happen then disappointment happens from no growth. The aforementioned, of course, assumes that the 'correct' exercises are being done for the particular person and a diet is being followed that will provide nutrition to the body for growth.

How many of us have worked like crazy during a workout and it really ends up being 'maintenance' instead of growth? The effort sure seems like it's enough to stimulate growth! There is that ZONE that must be entered into in order to stimulate growth - and man does it ever require mental barrier bashing.

Any thoughts on this?


Jesse Lee
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

===Scott==
I've been at the working out stuff for some 40 years and I don't ever recall actually seeing of feeling growth from one workout to the next or one week from the next. Over much time the weights I was handling or reps would go up but actually seeing visible growth was a very difficult thing to ascertain. At least in my case actual growth was a painstakingly slow process that happens so slow that by the time it might happen you don't even notice it. If I had hoped to see actual growth from a workout or many workouts no matter how hard I worked out I would have quit doing it long ago as it just doesn't happen very often.You can stand there and look in the mirror and try and figure if you've actually got bigger or more ripped or whatever but there are so many extraneous factors involved that it's very difficult to be sure actual growth has occurred.
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epdavis7

Some days I feel like I'm just going through the motions because of outside factors like lack of sleep, heavy work schedule etc and other days I am rip roaring to go and increase my reps and or weight utilized. After those workouts it always seems like I have made a little progress visually.
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BorisV

Maryland, USA

We are all different in reaction to certain stress factors, including the one from exercise. On HIT, Heavy Duty or any other "intensity-centered" training systems are grew only to a certain point (and quite commonly only after a layoff or coming back from illness), but never on a regular basis. I grow only when there is a distinctive variation. For example, two years ago I added 2 lbs on muscle and a half an inch on arms just following one of Vince Gironda's exercise routines which I don't see mentioned quite often and which I have never tried before (whole-body routine which required a consecutive increase in number of sets from 1 per exercise on Day 1 to 4 per exercise on Day 4). And yes, when I say "growth", I fully understand that I belong to that 98% of population which will have only modest strength and size gains. Arnold would have his high-peaked bicep and huge pectorals irrespective whether he trained HIT or HVT, with barbells, cables or Nautilus/MedX machines, to failure or not to failure, because he was blessed with superior genes and because of copious amounts of steroids. The latter factor is why we now see so many well-developed bodies on Internet despite of the fact how these guys train. These guys claim their best powerlifting feats in the area of 2.3-3.0 of their bodyweight. Those lifts represent world-class strength. Finding a natural who can match them would be a hard task even for a bounty hunter.So, my credo is (a) be reasonable in what to expect; (b) train specifically for muscle growth and not for strength (these are two different species: bigger muscle is a stronger muscle, but stronger muscle is not necessarily bigger muscle); (c) collect and analyze the feedback provided by your body (if you feel drained all the time, it is not a good signal - your body will not grow in such environment); (d) vary things a lot to disrupt homeostasis; (e) understand that you can look much better with less muscle, but better definition; (f) as we get older, think of exercise as injury prevention and longevity tool, and not just as ego booster (have nothing against that too).
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tompuderbaugh

Don't forget to factor in the overall length of time (months or years and years) that you have been training with weights.

80% of all the true "muscle growth" takes place during the first year of training (and with PROPER, supervised training, Arthur Jones always felt that it was closer to 6 months).

It's called the Law of Diminishing Returns. And it is just as valid in muscle building as it is in any other endeavor.

So most of us on this board have been doing what you term "maintenance" workouts for years. (Even if we try to convince ourselves otherwise....Me too, guilty as charged!) I spent years looking for the "latest breakthrough" or "super-duper training routine", when in reality my personal genetics had long-since been actualized.

So once you have "hit it hard" in your training for a year or so, enjoy your accomplishments but recognize that future progress will be (progressively) slower in coming. Not fair, but nevertheless true.

Certainly keep training, there are great benefits to be had for the rest of your life. But perhaps it's time to begin to look into other worthwhile activities like extra time with family, furthering your education, enhancing your career, etc. All good stuff. (Wish I had learned that personally a bit quicker!)

Good training to all.
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Fatso

Assuming you have stimulated growth then you have to serve the needs of the growth mechanism to see a change. You then have to continue to do that to maintain that change.

The mechanism needs are basically:

1. Rest / Recovery (sleep)
2. An overabundance of calories above maintenance(fundamentally from carbs)
3. Water
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epdavis7

tompuderbaugh wrote:
Certainly keep training, there are great benefits to be had for the rest of your life. But perhaps it's time to begin to look into other worthwhile activities like extra time with family, furthering your education, enhancing your career, etc. All good stuff. (Wish I had learned that personally a bit quicker!)

Good training to all.


Bingo! If this is not how you earn your paycheck, no need to obsess. I wish I had learned this lesson quicker too. I wish I could have back all the time back I spent training 2 hours a day six days a week on a three way body split with 20+ sets a bodypart.
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

So once you have "hit it hard" in your training for a year or so, enjoy your accomplishments but recognize that future progress will be (progressively) slower in coming. Not fair, but nevertheless true.

Certainly keep training, there are great benefits to be had for the rest of your life. But perhaps it's time to begin to look into other worthwhile activities like extra time with family, furthering your education, enhancing your career, etc. All good stuff. (Wish I had learned that personally a bit quicker!)

==Scott==
Even though I've been at this for some 40 years I never felt I that had that year or two of concentrated consistent training like a Jones would have given me so I could have reached my peak. There was always some interruption that would derail progress.Stop start, stop start...I have too many things I'm interested in and not enough time to do them. It would have been interesting to see how big I could have got had I stayed consistent. Maybe an inch bigger arms, who knows?
At the moment I found a thing that is inspiring me to lift hard again. I bought this long and heavy camera lens(Canon 400 mm f2.8) that just about breaks my arm to hand hold it. Now I've got to see if I can build up the muscles so I can carry it around and shoot with this lens without ripping my arm from my shoulder.
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

epdavis7 wrote:
tompuderbaugh wrote:
Certainly keep training, there are great benefits to be had for the rest of your life. But perhaps it's time to begin to look into other worthwhile activities like extra time with family, furthering your education, enhancing your career, etc. All good stuff. (Wish I had learned that personally a bit quicker!)

Good training to all.

Bingo! If this is not how you earn your paycheck, no need to obsess. I wish I had learned this lesson quicker too. I wish I could have back all the time back I spent training 2 hours a day six days a week on a three way body split with 20+ sets a bodypart.


==Scott==
On the other hand I never got much bigger after the first few years of 40 some years lifting but I don't want that time back, I enjoyed every minute of it.
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Jesse Lee Otis

Thanks to all for the input. I don't feel so all alone now.

Someone mentioned interruptions in training (like having a cold, the flu, gastrointestinal stuff, life schedule changes, etc.) - and those have definitely happened during my training life. If only steroids weren't so blasted health-devastating...

Jesse Lee
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Jesse Lee Otis

entsminger wrote:
At the moment I found a thing that is inspiring me to lift hard again. I bought this long and heavy camera lens(Canon 400 mm f2.8) that just about breaks my arm to hand hold it. Now I've got to see if I can build up the muscles so I can carry it around and shoot with this lens without ripping my arm from my shoulder.


==============================

Egad! That camera lens must be a monstrosity. Can you take pictures of craters on the moon with it?


Jesse Lee

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PTDaniel

Jesse Lee Otis wrote:
There could be several ways to word the title of this thread - but the one that I chose does encompass the subject matter.

I have frequently fallen victim to the belief that a series of workouts were 'growth' sessions when in fact they must have been 'maintenance' sessions. During each workout the effort that I expended surely seemed intense enough to stimulate growth - but it did not happen (or it was so small not to be noticed). As I'm sure that all of you know, there is that threshold of effort that must be passed through in order for growth to result; if that doesn't happen then disappointment happens from no growth. The aforementioned, of course, assumes that the 'correct' exercises are being done for the particular person and a diet is being followed that will provide nutrition to the body for growth.

How many of us have worked like crazy during a workout and it really ends up being 'maintenance' instead of growth? The effort sure seems like it's enough to stimulate growth! There is that ZONE that must be entered into in order to stimulate growth - and man does it ever require mental barrier bashing.

Any thoughts on this?


Jesse Lee


How much growth are you expecting? How are you measuring growth on a workout to workout basis? My gains tend to be so small you can't measure them using a scale and body fat calipers on a week to week basis, let alone a workout to workout basis and I've got above average genetics.

If you average a pound of muscle a month for 5 years, you're looking at 60 pounds of muscle gained over time which is very obvious. If you measure that on a week to week basis, it's only 1/4 of a pound per week. If you work out 3x/wk it's only 1/12 of a pound.
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Nwlifter

I'd say it's not about a hard workout that's maintenance, but the body not responding to the stimulus.
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Mega-duty

I have noticed after 27 years of training, that it is almost impossible to improve all parts of the body at the same time. It is too exhausting and i have to eat so much food that it doesn't make sense anymore, it's a full time job.

But perhaps trying to improve one or two muscle group at a time it becomes to more tolerable?

Lyle McDonald talks about that in this video. From 49.00.

https://www.youtube.com/...h?v=7oyikCv0L4Q

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entsminger

Virginia, USA

Jesse Lee Otis wrote:
entsminger wrote:
At the moment I found a thing that is inspiring me to lift hard again. I bought this long and heavy camera lens(Canon 400 mm f2.8) that just about breaks my arm to hand hold it. Now I've got to see if I can build up the muscles so I can carry it around and shoot with this lens without ripping my arm from my shoulder.

==============================

Egad! That camera lens must be a monstrosity. Can you take pictures of craters on the moon with it?


Jesse Lee



==Scott===
Yes, if I add a 2x converter to it it becomes a 800 mm 5.6.
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Ellington Darden

Scott,

That's a very impressive photo.

Ellington
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HeavyHitter32

Mega-duty wrote:
I have noticed after 27 years of training, that it is almost impossible to improve all parts of the body at the same time. It is too exhausting and i have to eat so much food that it doesn't make sense anymore, it's a full time job.

But perhaps trying to improve one or two muscle group at a time it becomes to more tolerable?

Lyle McDonald talks about that in this video. From 49.00.

https://www.youtube.com/...h?v=7oyikCv0L4Q



But then how do you maintain that new gain when you lessen the stimulus demands to go focus on another body part?
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Equity

entsminger wrote:
Jesse Lee Otis wrote:
entsminger wrote:
At the moment I found a thing that is inspiring me to lift hard again. I bought this long and heavy camera lens(Canon 400 mm f2.8) that just about breaks my arm to hand hold it. Now I've got to see if I can build up the muscles so I can carry it around and shoot with this lens without ripping my arm from my shoulder.

==============================

Egad! That camera lens must be a monstrosity. Can you take pictures of craters on the moon with it?


Jesse Lee



==Scott===
Yes, if I add a 2x converter to it it becomes a 800 mm 5.6.


That's not a camera... that's a TANK BUSTER!!!
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Nwlifter

entsminger wrote:
Jesse Lee Otis wrote:
entsminger wrote:
At the moment I found a thing that is inspiring me to lift hard again. I bought this long and heavy camera lens(Canon 400 mm f2.8) that just about breaks my arm to hand hold it. Now I've got to see if I can build up the muscles so I can carry it around and shoot with this lens without ripping my arm from my shoulder.

==============================

Egad! That camera lens must be a monstrosity. Can you take pictures of craters on the moon with it?


Jesse Lee



==Scott===
Yes, if I add a 2x converter to it it becomes a 800 mm 5.6.


Nice lens!!! That's a spendy one too, I shoot Canon also, but with more meager lenses (kit 18-55, 50mm F 1.8 and a Canon 70-300). Are you into bird photography then? Most who get those long awesome lenses are.
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hit4me

Florida, USA




Yes, if I add a 2x converter to it it becomes a 800 mm 5.6.[/quote]



that's Santa Claus checking on us with his camera whether we are naughty or nice for his list
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Jesse Lee Otis

entsminger wrote:
==Scott===
Yes, if I add a 2x converter to it it becomes a 800 mm 5.6.


====================================

WOW. Where is the camera - o wait - there it is, that little black thing on the end near you. :-)


JLO


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Jesse Lee Otis

PTDaniel wrote:
... and I've got above average genetics.
If you average a pound of muscle a month for 5 years, you're looking at 60 pounds of muscle gained over time which is very obvious. If you measure that on a week to week basis, it's only 1/4 of a pound per week. If you work out 3x/wk it's only 1/12 of a pound.

=======================================

That is the way to do it - 'pound' away, week-by-week, month-by-month, year-by-year. Unfortunately, I always have had 'interruptions' during training; college graduate school, travel, etc. knocked me outta consistency. Thanks for that insight; I will do what I can.

Question: How did you determine that you have above average genetics? What benchmark did you use?

Jesse Lee
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tompuderbaugh

Regarding a person's muscle building potential, many measurements and tools have been written about over the years. Many good ones by Dr. D. and Arthur Jones.

But a quick, fairly accurate assessment is to ask the question --

"Before I even started training, was I always one of the most muscular guys in my circle of friends?"

The guys with really excellent muscle building genetics can almost always answer that question with -- "Yes, now that you mention it. Yes, I was, no doubt about it."

Good training to all!
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Equity

hit4me wrote:



Yes, if I add a 2x converter to it it becomes a 800 mm 5.6.



that's Santa Claus checking on us with his camera whether we are naughty or nice for his list


Lol!!!
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epdavis7

hit4me wrote:



Yes, if I add a 2x converter to it it becomes a 800 mm 5.6.



that's Santa Claus checking on us with his camera whether we are naughty or nice for his list


Lol...Scott do you play guitar? I hear ZZ Top is looking for a fourth band member lol
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