MB Madaera
Lost 31.7 lbs fat
Built 11.7 lbs muscle


Chris Madaera
Built 9 lbs muscle


Keelan Parham
Lost 30 lbs fat
Built 4 lbs muscle


Bob Marchesello
Lost 23.55 lbs fat
Built 8.55 lbs muscle


Jeff Turner
Lost 25.5 lbs fat


Jeanenne Darden
Lost 26 lbs fat
Built 3 lbs muscle


Ted Tucker
Lost 41 lbs fat
Built 4 lbs muscle

 
 

Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


ARCHIVES >>

"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.

 

Mission Statement

H.I.T. Acceptable Use Policy

Privacy Policy

Credits

LOG IN FORUM MAIN REGISTER SEARCH
Spud's Log
Author
Rating
Options

spud

REDUCING MY REST PERIODS

I train at home and have done for the last 3 and a half years. I do so in a very minimal gym I?ve put together myself. It?s not fancy in the slightest. I don?t have barbells. I do have dumbbells, pullup bar, gymnastic rungs hanging from the pullup, an adjustable bench and parallel bars. In the past month or so, I?ve been reviewing my training. I?ve trained in a variety of styles over the last 15 years (I?m 36) and I?ve decided to alter my training so that it incorporates more of the rush factor i.e. shorter rest periods between sets.

The top two reasons for doing this are that I would like to improve my metabolic conditioning and that I need to spend less time training. I need to spend less time training because I still want and need to train, and reap all the benefits, but the demands of life mean that I have, in the very recent past, skipped too many workouts because I feel that if I didn?t have time to do everything I wanted to do. Rather than do a reduced workout of some kind, leaving out certain movements or body parts, I didn?t even bother training at all.

In my book that?s pathetic. I?ve had a busy time at work and a fraught personal life in the past few years yada yada yada, but then everyone has that kind of random life stress to varying degrees at different times in their lives. I can?t continue to use it as an excuse. It was obvious to me that I needed to spend less time training and I know that the majority of most people?s workout is not ?under load? but are instead spent resting. That for me was the obvious way to trim the fat. Reduce those rest periods.

Regarding the time spent training, I?ve been training using rest periods of 2.5 to 3 minutes and timing them strictly for consistency. Those particular times were picked because they weren?t stupidly long, but at the same weren?t so short that they would compromise my ability to use heavier weights, perform more reps and generally feel good about myself and how strong I am (ego driven training).

I?m not training using a single set to failure per exercise, I?m doing multiple sets per exercise. My volume isn?t excessive in my opinion. It?s 3 to 5 sets per exercise, with decent form and control, but not attempting to adhere to a specific rep speed. Over the years I?ve learned that it?s more important to feel the muscle working than to aim for a speed. As Dr Ken once said, the moment any of fine details like that get in the way of training hard, they become worthless.

Back to the point, my total volume is about 20 ? 25 sets per workout over 5 or 6 exercises. When combined with all the rest periods the overall workout time goes beyond an hour. Whilst I keep a close eye on the exact time I rest between sets of the same exercise, I?m ashamed to admit that I don?t keep track of the amount of time I take between the last set of one exercise and the first set of the next exercise. It probably ends up being far longer than I imagine. Again, it?s not ridiculous, but I?m fairly sure that it?s drifted into the 5 minute realm on many occasions.

I?ve never kept track of overall workout time. By the time I get to the end, I don?t know if I?ve been going for 60 minutes or 90 minutes. Looking back on this, I feel as if it?s a major oversight.

I had begun to reduce rest periods by 30 seconds or so and I?d tried super setting some stuff together but I wasn?t really taking it seriously.

Well, in the last workout I did, which was Saturday 6 July 2019, I set a timer for 40 minutes. My goal was to try and get everything done inside that 40 minutes. I ended up going over slightly, and training for 43 minutes in total.

On two exercises (dumbbell split squats and dumbbell lateral raises) I employed some techniques from Brian Johnson?s High Density Training book that call for rest periods of 20 ? 40 seconds. With pullups and decline sit-ups, I rested for about 10 seconds between pullups and sit-ups i.e. just the time taken to get off the bar and onto the bench, and then for 60 seconds between sit-ups and the next set of pullups. I did 3 straight sets of pushups immediately after the lateral raises resting exactly 60 seconds.

Another goal I had was to ensure that no rest period in the entire workout was longer than 60 seconds. This was based on Ellington Darden?s words that I recently read elsewhere on this forum:

?Sixty seconds between exercises is a good guideline to use at first. Then start to reduce gradually the seconds every two weeks. Thirty seconds between exercises is your next goal. When you can do the routine with an average of 15 seconds rest between exercises, you'll be in a category that few trainees achieve.?

In the distant past I?ve denounced such brief rest periods because they turn a strength workout into a cardio workout, limit the amount of weight I can use and induce failure due to lack of conditioning rather than local muscular fatigue.

Recently though I?ve been reading things written by Dr Ken and other people who are familiar with this style of training.

These writings basically say that it?s true, you I can?t use as much weight or perform the same number of reps when you rest for 30 seconds as you can when you rest for 300 seconds because you?re not as well recovered. However, the external load used is ultimately a means to an end. Even if you have to greatly reduce the load when using very brief rest periods, it doesn?t prevent you from gradually and progressively increasing that load over time in the medium to long term. What?s more important than the load is the intensity of effort when perform your sets i.e. working to failure, or at least close enough to it to be considered sufficiently intense for gaining strength and muscle. Once your conditioning gets to a certain level (after a good many training sessions) it becomes the norm and not a problem. Most people try this for a handful of workouts at most, when really, they should try it for at least 6 months and see what happens. Another advantage of this type of training is that you can deliver a great training stimulus without using heavy weights, thus reducing risk of injury somewhat. If you are interested in competitive listing or seeing how much you can lift, then there is no way around it, you will have to rest for a long time between sets.

My experiences in my 43 minute workout? Although it?s not incredibly fast, it felt like it. That?s because I did the same number of sets as I would have done in a 60+ minute workout. It seemed like I never stopped. At most all I could do between sets was check the timer, write down the relevant numbers, maybe take a large gulp of water and prepare for the next set. There was very little time for staring into space or letting my mind wonder. Perhaps that is another bonus of brief rest periods. It keeps you focused, in the zone, mentally switched on and present. It greatly reduced my ability to think about anything other than what I was doing let alone *do* anything in between sets other than breathe and prepare.

Squats were the last thing I did in this workout because I was apprehensive about being wiped out and unable to do just to anything else. I still poured plenty of effort in because my lower body wasn?t used for anything earlier in the workout. Next time, as a trial, I?m planning to start with the squats and see what the overall effect is.

Single joint exercises contribute very little to metabolic conditioning. Upper body compound movements do tax you quite heavily in terms of metabolic conditioning, definitely more so than single joint movements. Lower body compound movements reign supreme though. Nothing can compare to a squat, leg press, deadlift or perhaps movements like back extensions and glute ham raises that still involve a lot of muscle in the glutes and thighs.

Today, two days on my body feels as worked and in need of recovery as it ever has. The pump in my shoulders, thighs and glutes is still there.

From this point on, I?m on something of a personal a mission to become seriously well-conditioned, and not to miss workouts. I?d like to reduce the overall length of my workouts to a maximum of 35 minutes on a consistent basis. That?s only 8 minutes less than my last workout which doesn?t seem like a lot but it?s a reduction of 18%. When it?s expressed in those terms, it sounds huge. It will be a gradual process. I?m not going to aim to make extreme changes within a handful of workouts.

I think training at home is a huge advantage in this style of training. I am in complete control of my training environment and there is nobody watching me train so it?s easier to keep my ego in check and remind myself that how I look when I?m training in terms of the amount of external load I?m using is irrelevant.

I?ll use this thread as something of a training log, although I won?t be posting much personal information, or information related to my training. It?ll be mostly thoughts and observations.

I won?t be posting videos, physique shots or impressive lifts. I?ll leave that to Turpin. Later on I?ll post some of the things I?ve read that have helped to inspire this change in my training.
Open User Options Menu

spud

Here is Dr Ken with some words that I found inspiring. I'm going to try and put them into practice.

======

Asking Dr. Ken - Issue #33
by Dr. Ken E. Leistner

Speed of training
The next question irritated me for some reason. How's that for honesty? I am not implying that the questioner asked this because he wants to train "easier" but this is the type of thing I get from those who do, so I find it frustrating.

Once you are warmed up, you train as heavy and as hard as possible for your specific number of reps in each set. This is a given. Warmups that detract from your top or work set(s) for the day serve no positive purpose. I don't believe in taking a lot of rest between sets once the workout is in gear. This is a hell of a lot different from doing a set, even if doing it intensely, and then sitting on your ass waiting to completely recover before going on to the next set. The stimulus and change that training brings is biochemical in nature. You have to force this change in your body as should be obvious to all of those trainees who do not get results from their training. Intensity, from your body's perspective, occurs when it is forced to really work hard. This also means stressing the anaerobic system in my opinion.

If you are in the mood to "demonstrate" how much weight you can use in an exercise, or if you're training for a lifting contest where the purpose is to lift as much as possible, fine, rest as long as you need to in order to use as much weight as possible. If sheer weight were the only thing that the body responded to, then the competitive lifters using the heaviest weights for the lowest reps would have the best developed bodies, and this just isn't true.

There is nothing contradictory about stating that, once the workout is going, you are to move fairly quickly between sets and use as much weight as is possible for the given reps. Yes, you will do "better," i.e., use more weight, if you wait to completely catch your breath, get a drink of water, sit and chat a while, psyche up and bang your head into a wall, but it also severely reduces the overall intensity of the workout as we define intensity, and as I believe the body must be stimulated. Thus, it is not contradictory to state that you should minimize warmups and also minimize rest between sets. There is nothing intense about a two-hour workout that should have lasted forty minutes.
Open User Options Menu

spud

Rest Between Sets
by Dr. Ken E. Leistner

I recently took part in the best strength-training seminar I've ever been associated with. In addition to the featured speakers, which included the strength coaches of two professional and three major college football teams, there were two very successful high school coaches, and a very, very bright Ph.D., as well as myself. In addition, the audience contained strength and conditioning coaches from other major college and high school programs, who were able to give the speakers the kind of information that made the entire affair a true interchange of ideas.

Although all of the speakers held similar philosophies of strength training, each of us did things a little bit differently. The material was far from identical, and the differences were instructive and valuable to everyone present. One of the most noticeable differences was the amount of rest taken between sets of exercises, and this is a topic that's of interest to everyone.

When an athlete wants to demonstrate strength, it's imperative to create conditions that will best allow that demonstration. The athlete should take every "shortcut" possible, reducing the distance the weight is moved, improving leverages in the involved bodyparts, altering body position and utilizing equipment that makes the lift as "easy" as possible, wearing apparel that provides maximum support to the involved parts, and of course, being as well rested and mentally prepared as possible. In order to build strength, the athlete should make each and every repetition as difficult to do as is possible. No supportive gear or favorable body position should be pursued, nor should the lifter attempt to maximize the possibilities of making each rep. In other words, the harder each rep of each set is, assuming that the movement works the bodypart it purports to, the "better," the harder, and the more productive the workout will be.

It's obvious that the more time taken between sets, the more rested and mentally prepared or "psyched" the lifter can be. Again, this is great if one's primary desire is to demonstrate the strength that's already present and which has resulted from previous workouts. If the goal is to continue to build strength, each all-out set which has preceded the one being done, will have taken something away from the trainee's energy and strength levels. In a very tough workout, the psychological edge will also be worn thin, with the athlete fighting to concentrate on each rep of each set. This is in stark comparison to the lifter who stalks the gym between sets, tightening his wraps, pulling up the straps on the supportive suit, sniffing ammonia or amyl nitrate, getting slapped by his training partner after eight minutes of rest following the preceding set.

Obviously, it's almost impossible to maintain a high level of intensity if one takes the time to fully recover between sets. At one extreme, and this is what we do with the majority of our trainees, no rest is taken between sets, other than that necessary to go from one exercise to the next, and properly and safely position oneself for that particular movement. For the uninitiated, this is a very difficult way to train, and it's true that cardiorespiratory deficiency will reduce the ability to exert maximal muscular effort, at least at first. However, in a very short period of time, the body adapts to the stimulus. Reducing the time of identical workouts increases the intensity of the workout.

Although there have been a number of articles published which indicated that circuit training, or Nautilus training without rest between sets, did little for cardiovascular fitness, aerobic capacity was defined and tested for in a way that did not give a complete account of the matter, and training all-out and heavily on each set, with minimal rest between sets, will give good benefits for local muscular and metabolic endurance.

I also believe that once the adaptation is made, in the long term, the increased intensity caused by minimal inter-set rest will lead to greater gains in strength. Quoting the University of Michigan's Mike Gittleson, "You can handle greater weights if you train slowly, because you're getting more rest between sets. But, if you're gaining strength working quickly, it becomes all relative. If the fast worker takes more rest between sets, he too will handle heavier relative loads. By the same token, if the slow worker works quickly, he must train with less weight, often even with less relative weight than the fast worker."

Some strength coaches, who also believe that one high-intensity set, taken to the point of momentary muscular failure/fatigue, is the best way to train for increased gains in muscular strength and size, prefer more rest between sets than I advocate. They often give their athletes up to one minute between sets in order to allow further respiratory recovery so that breathing limitations or difficulties don't hamper their next attempted set. By anyone's standards, one minute between heavy, all-out sets, taken to absolute failure, is not excessive rest, but it will make a significant difference in the amount of weight that can be used, especially in those sets done immediately after a major movement such as squats or Leverage Leg Press, or those done toward the end of a workout.

What we sometimes do is provide a "built in" respite in the body of the training session. As I stated previously, we rest only as long as it takes to move from one exercise to the next, and in those programs that call for two consecutive sets of the same exercise, a maximum of one minute between those sets. I have always felt that whatever was lost in terms of the ability to handle a bit more weight in subsequent sets, was offset by the increased intensity in those sets due to the effects of the lack of rest.

In a training session where we will do, for example, a set of Leverage Leg Press, stiff-legged deadlift, pullover, Leverage Double Press, and Leverage Pulldown, the metabolic demands are very high if one is truly training properly and taking "no rest" between those sets. In order to maximize performance on subsequent sets, we will often do an all-out set to failure/fatigue of an exercise that's not as metabolically demanding as the other movements, such as neck flexion and extension, or heel raises for the calves. I would much prefer to have our athletes do another exercise, even if it provides some "relief" from the onslaught of the "major movements," as opposed to resting. Like Mike Gittleson, I believe that "you must always be consistent with your rest period from workout to workout." This also maintains a reliable and reproducible interpretation of each workout.

As impossible as it seems to adapt to the increased demands of linking heavy squats and deadlifts together with almost no rest between them, especially for the lifter or athlete who is in poor metabolic condition, which, of course, includes the overwhelming majority of competitive powerlifters, it can be done. In fact, it can be done so that results are greater than one could have expected.

Remember that the purpose of a competitive meet or formal testing session, if the coach demands, is to demonstrate strength, but the day-to-day, week-to-week workouts should be designed to build strength in the most effective manner possible. I know that in my own case, I'm uncomfortable muscularly and respiratorily after my first, or at worst second set in any workout, especially when those first two sets are squats or Leverage Leg Presses, and a demanding lower-back movement. I also know that this forces me to better focus on all of the sets to follow, and markedly increases the intensity of the work I do. Over any ten- or twelve-week period, this adds up to increased gains.

Once you've trained properly, at a very high level of intensity, you'll almost welcome the discomfort and the inability to fully "catch your breath." There is a certain feeling one has when a proper training session has been completed, and taking excessive rest between sets will steal that from you and reduce the gains that could have come from your workouts.
Open User Options Menu

Chris H

spud wrote:
REDUCING MY REST PERIODS

I train at home and have done for the last 3 and a half years. I do so in a very minimal gym I?ve put together myself. It?s not fancy in the slightest. I don?t have barbells. I do have dumbbells, pullup bar, gymnastic rungs hanging from the pullup, an adjustable bench and parallel bars. In the past month or so, I?ve been reviewing my training. I?ve trained in a variety of styles over the last 15 years (I?m 36) and I?ve decided to alter my training so that it incorporates more of the rush factor i.e. shorter rest periods between sets.

The top two reasons for doing this are that I would like to improve my metabolic conditioning and that I need to spend less time training. I need to spend less time training because I still want and need to train, and reap all the benefits, but the demands of life mean that I have, in the very recent past, skipped too many workouts because I feel that if I didn?t have time to do everything I wanted to do. Rather than do a reduced workout of some kind, leaving out certain movements or body parts, I didn?t even bother training at all.

In my book that?s pathetic. I?ve had a busy time at work and a fraught personal life in the past few years yada yada yada, but then everyone has that kind of random life stress to varying degrees at different times in their lives. I can?t continue to use it as an excuse. It was obvious to me that I needed to spend less time training and I know that the majority of most people?s workout is not ?under load? but are instead spent resting. That for me was the obvious way to trim the fat. Reduce those rest periods.

Regarding the time spent training, I?ve been training using rest periods of 2.5 to 3 minutes and timing them strictly for consistency. Those particular times were picked because they weren?t stupidly long, but at the same weren?t so short that they would compromise my ability to use heavier weights, perform more reps and generally feel good about myself and how strong I am (ego driven training).

I?m not training using a single set to failure per exercise, I?m doing multiple sets per exercise. My volume isn?t excessive in my opinion. It?s 3 to 5 sets per exercise, with decent form and control, but not attempting to adhere to a specific rep speed. Over the years I?ve learned that it?s more important to feel the muscle working than to aim for a speed. As Dr Ken once said, the moment any of fine details like that get in the way of training hard, they become worthless.

Back to the point, my total volume is about 20 ? 25 sets per workout over 5 or 6 exercises. When combined with all the rest periods the overall workout time goes beyond an hour. Whilst I keep a close eye on the exact time I rest between sets of the same exercise, I?m ashamed to admit that I don?t keep track of the amount of time I take between the last set of one exercise and the first set of the next exercise. It probably ends up being far longer than I imagine. Again, it?s not ridiculous, but I?m fairly sure that it?s drifted into the 5 minute realm on many occasions.

I?ve never kept track of overall workout time. By the time I get to the end, I don?t know if I?ve been going for 60 minutes or 90 minutes. Looking back on this, I feel as if it?s a major oversight.

I had begun to reduce rest periods by 30 seconds or so and I?d tried super setting some stuff together but I wasn?t really taking it seriously.

Well, in the last workout I did, which was Saturday 6 July 2019, I set a timer for 40 minutes. My goal was to try and get everything done inside that 40 minutes. I ended up going over slightly, and training for 43 minutes in total.

On two exercises (dumbbell split squats and dumbbell lateral raises) I employed some techniques from Brian Johnson?s High Density Training book that call for rest periods of 20 ? 40 seconds. With pullups and decline sit-ups, I rested for about 10 seconds between pullups and sit-ups i.e. just the time taken to get off the bar and onto the bench, and then for 60 seconds between sit-ups and the next set of pullups. I did 3 straight sets of pushups immediately after the lateral raises resting exactly 60 seconds.

Another goal I had was to ensure that no rest period in the entire workout was longer than 60 seconds. This was based on Ellington Darden?s words that I recently read elsewhere on this forum:

?Sixty seconds between exercises is a good guideline to use at first. Then start to reduce gradually the seconds every two weeks. Thirty seconds between exercises is your next goal. When you can do the routine with an average of 15 seconds rest between exercises, you'll be in a category that few trainees achieve.?

In the distant past I?ve denounced such brief rest periods because they turn a strength workout into a cardio workout, limit the amount of weight I can use and induce failure due to lack of conditioning rather than local muscular fatigue.

Recently though I?ve been reading things written by Dr Ken and other people who are familiar with this style of training.

These writings basically say that it?s true, you I can?t use as much weight or perform the same number of reps when you rest for 30 seconds as you can when you rest for 300 seconds because you?re not as well recovered. However, the external load used is ultimately a means to an end. Even if you have to greatly reduce the load when using very brief rest periods, it doesn?t prevent you from gradually and progressively increasing that load over time in the medium to long term. What?s more important than the load is the intensity of effort when perform your sets i.e. working to failure, or at least close enough to it to be considered sufficiently intense for gaining strength and muscle. Once your conditioning gets to a certain level (after a good many training sessions) it becomes the norm and not a problem. Most people try this for a handful of workouts at most, when really, they should try it for at least 6 months and see what happens. Another advantage of this type of training is that you can deliver a great training stimulus without using heavy weights, thus reducing risk of injury somewhat. If you are interested in competitive listing or seeing how much you can lift, then there is no way around it, you will have to rest for a long time between sets.

My experiences in my 43 minute workout? Although it?s not incredibly fast, it felt like it. That?s because I did the same number of sets as I would have done in a 60+ minute workout. It seemed like I never stopped. At most all I could do between sets was check the timer, write down the relevant numbers, maybe take a large gulp of water and prepare for the next set. There was very little time for staring into space or letting my mind wonder. Perhaps that is another bonus of brief rest periods. It keeps you focused, in the zone, mentally switched on and present. It greatly reduced my ability to think about anything other than what I was doing let alone *do* anything in between sets other than breathe and prepare.

Squats were the last thing I did in this workout because I was apprehensive about being wiped out and unable to do just to anything else. I still poured plenty of effort in because my lower body wasn?t used for anything earlier in the workout. Next time, as a trial, I?m planning to start with the squats and see what the overall effect is.

Single joint exercises contribute very little to metabolic conditioning. Upper body compound movements do tax you quite heavily in terms of metabolic conditioning, definitely more so than single joint movements. Lower body compound movements reign supreme though. Nothing can compare to a squat, leg press, deadlift or perhaps movements like back extensions and glute ham raises that still involve a lot of muscle in the glutes and thighs.

Today, two days on my body feels as worked and in need of recovery as it ever has. The pump in my shoulders, thighs and glutes is still there.

From this point on, I?m on something of a personal a mission to become seriously well-conditioned, and not to miss workouts. I?d like to reduce the overall length of my workouts to a maximum of 35 minutes on a consistent basis. That?s only 8 minutes less than my last workout which doesn?t seem like a lot but it?s a reduction of 18%. When it?s expressed in those terms, it sounds huge. It will be a gradual process. I?m not going to aim to make extreme changes within a handful of workouts.

I think training at home is a huge advantage in this style of training. I am in complete control of my training environment and there is nobody watching me train so it?s easier to keep my ego in check and remind myself that how I look when I?m training in terms of the amount of external load I?m using is irrelevant.

I?ll use this thread as something of a training log, although I won?t be posting much personal information, or information related to my training. It?ll be mostly thoughts and observations.

I won?t be posting videos, physique shots or impressive lifts. I?ll leave that to Turpin. Later on I?ll post some of the things I?ve read that have helped to inspire this change in my training.


interesting stuff Spud.
Somewhat mirrors my current approach.
Difference is i work TBDL and Decline bench for strength, so i ramp up slowly {3 min rest between sets}to a couple of sets of 3-5 reps or a heavy static hold, but everything else is 3 - 5 sets of 10 -15 rhythmic reps, with 30 - 60 sec rest between sets.
Good luck with your experiment.
Open User Options Menu

sirloin

I like it, will follow.

Beest
Rob
Open User Options Menu

Crotalus

All good stuff from Dr Ken.

Even when I abandoned the full body routines I stuck with short rest times between sets , usually 15-30 seconds ... one minute or so for something like TBDL's.

I always liked Gironda's idea of not even taking your hands off the piece of equipment your working on between sets.

Fastest way to increase the intensity of a workout is cut down the rest periods.

Today though, in most places, rest periods are whatever is needed to answer e-mails, reply to texts or check Facebook.
Open User Options Menu

Equity

Crotalus wrote:
All good stuff from Dr Ken.

Even when I abandoned the full body routines I stuck with short rest times between sets , usually 15-30 seconds ... one minute or so for something like TBDL's.

I always liked Gironda's idea of not even taking your hands off the piece of equipment your working on between sets.

Fastest way to increase the intensity of a workout is cut down the rest periods.

Today though, in most places, rest periods are whatever is needed to answer e-mails, reply to texts or check Facebook.


Many moons ago I thought about adapting 20 Rep Squat technique into upper body movements.

I know Kim Wood advocates high reps for both upper and lower body (20 or more per sent for upper). Then I came across cluster sets because of Brian Johnston. Then it hit me that sets are just a cluster of reps with a set time limit between. Meaning volume is inseparable from reps (i.e. sets and reps are both the same thing... volume. Conducted in a certain time frame).

I remember John Little quoting Roux Lange saying work is the amount of work conducted in a unit of time (long time ago correct me if I'm wrong). He did this in Power Factor Training. The strongest range partials thing was wrong but the principle was right.

Most people's surnames are not Viator or Mentzer and require more volume than such individuals. This is not to say don't go to failure. I've never said as such. I believe it's a requirement to hit the high threshold fibers.

Regards.

Open User Options Menu

Crotalus

Equity wrote:
Then I came across cluster sets because of Brian Johnston. Then it hit me that sets are just a cluster of reps with a set time limit between. Meaning volume is inseparable from reps (i.e. sets and reps are both the same thing... volume. Conducted in a certain time frame).


Yeah, I think Brian said something like 'more contractions in the same amount of time'. Brian was the one responsible for me breaking out of my constricted mind set in training,
Open User Options Menu

epdavis7

Go for it! You are your own experiment. Define your intent and expectations of what you want from your training and go for it.

My training does not mirror others on here, but I have no interest in bodybuilding or powerlifting.
Open User Options Menu

spud

Workout Sunday 14 July 2019

Total workout time was 23:06.

Total sets performed was 14.

My other routine has 20 sets in it so does take a little longer.

Row with Brian Johnston's Pump + 8 method total of 5 sets.
Back extension with 30-15-8 (3 sets)
Decline situps (straight sets resting for 60 seconds)
Seated dumbbell press with 30-15-8 (3 sets).

The lack of big leg movements (squat deadlift, leg press) meant there was less of a metabolic conditioning effect. I'm thinking I might add on some dumbbell Romanian deadlifts in future to give me some of that.

I still felt it, but it wasn't as intense as when I do split squats in my other routine.

We were about to go out for the afternoon/evening. We had an hour to get ready. My wife was convinced I wouldn't have time to train. Instead I got it done and got ready wit time to spare. In the past it would have been another day where I simply didn't have time and it would have slipped form my scheduled completely.

I'm going to reduce the weight slightly on the press next time so that I can focus on better muscular contraction. I felt like I was beginning to do something to the weights with my muscles rather than doing something to my muscles with the weights. It's rather nuanced, and I don't get bogged down in detail, but I was moving more into lifting than quality muscular loading.

With a limited amount of weight available to me, I can see that using a combination of volume and density, with reps no lower than about 8 is definitely the best way make progress and get something from my training.
Open User Options Menu

Crotalus

spud wrote:
Workout Sunday 14 July 2019

Total workout time was 23:06.

Total sets performed was 14.



Real close to where I am with sets and time completing them. My workouts vary from 14 - 18 total sets and 23- 30 minutes to complete. I train three days a week and have recently added kettle bell swings on my off days.
Open User Options Menu

spud

Workout Wednesday 18 July 2019

Dumbbell Split Squats = 3x 18 reps
Pullups/Decline Situps = 4 rounds
Dumbbell Lateral Raises = 3x 15 Reps
Pushups 3x 6 reps

Total workout time was 34:13.

Total sets performed was 20.

Dumbbell split squats had 60 seconds rest between sets. I always start with my weaker left leg and go straight on to my right leg once I've finished so it's actually 6 sets in total. I was aiming for 3x 15, but pushed hard and got 18 but it damn near killed me.

This workout was an experiment. It was to find out what happens if you put the heavy leg work first in a workout like this.

Near death is what happens. I really pushed hard and torched my legs. I stopped a rep or two short of failure on the first two sets and then went to failure, or perhaps one rep shy on the final set. The cumulative fatigue as well was murder. The weight felt so much heavier with each set. But that's the point. I don't have hundreds of pounds to load myself with, so i have to get relatively creative.

Pullups were a weak. I probably got 1 or 2 reps less per set than i would normally because I was breathing so hard. I was dizzy or nauseous, but I was cooking. It was a humid, sticky evening as well but I was drinking water between sets, but not too much.

Situps were murder. For what some people would see as an isolation exercise, decline situps are no joke. My bench is angled at 50 degrees. It works the abs isometrically and the hip flexors dynamically. My L-Sits, V-Sits and Hanging leg raises are much better because of these. This is where I build the strength, the others are basically skill work.

Lateral raises, my mental fortitude was going at this point and the form, although controlled on the first set was a joke because of how weak and wobbly I was. I gave myself a talking to in between sets and the second and third sets were some of the best I'd ever done, cutting out the bottom quarter of the range of motion, allowing myself no respite.

I rested no more than about 20 seconds between the end of the lateral raises and the start of the pushups. Really cooked my shoulders nicely, but my body alignment was total sht on the pushups because my quads and abs were done.

Great workout, and the upper body work was not a total joke, but it did suffer.

If out and out conditioning was my goal, I'd keep the workout like this, and let my form improve gradually over time as my strength and conditioning improved.

However, my goal is strength and muscle first, conditioning a very close second, so the simple rule I will institute is, leg work at the end. I found in the first workout that I could still really go to town on my legs at the end, but it doesn't work the other way around.

After the workout I lay down on my back. Then I sat on a bench. Then I crawled up stairs and lay on the floor in a spare room in the dark. My wife was worried about me initially. My breathing was controlled(ish) but my heart was still going like mad and my entire body felt what I can only describe as "turned up to 11 out of 10" but also incredibly weak. Probably took me a full 30 minutes to recover. About half way through those 30 minutes for a period of about 2 minutes I did think I might vomit, but the feeling passed quite quickly.

Although the workout was short, if I'd done this on 6 July when we were supposed to be going out, I wouldn't have been able to and my wife would have killed me.

30 minute workout but I was "busy" for 60 minutes if that makes sense.
Open User Options Menu

too old

Split squats are brutal. Especially at 15 or more reps.
Wish I did this years ago instead of back squats.
Open User Options Menu

epdavis7

I usually do 3 compound lifts and 2-3 minor exercises per workout. Legs is always my last compound movement for the same reason as yours. I do them first and everything else suffers.
Open User Options Menu

spud

I just wanted to paste what people had written on another thread:

epdavis7 wrote:
a lot of it is staying motivated and hearing others journeys. When you train alone in your garage gym it gets easy to skip a workout. You all whether you like it or nor and whether we agree on everything or not, keep me motivated.


This was followed by:

entsminger wrote:
==Scott==
Yes motivation can be a problem especially when you work alone at home . It?s easier to just say the hell with this a go in the house and do something else which I do now days more than ever. There?s just to much other stuff I?d rather be doing. I have worked out a gyms years ago but that just took up so much of my time driving there etc but it was fun getting pumped up and thinking ( dreaming) someone was looking at you with envy. I was usually into it more than most at the gym who were just going through the motions so it felt good to be kicking ass and to see the gawking look of others like I was some kind of muscle nut for grunting and groaning etc so much. Now I have some dumbbells at work and knowing when I get home I probably will be stuck with some family task or am just to plain lazy to workout I go through a few sets of the basics during lunch time just to keep in some semblance of shape . Perfect example: Here I am typing this bilge instead of going out there and hitting the weights . Funny how top priorities of the past change with time.


I just want to reiterate to myself and to anyone who reads this thread, the quotes above are exactly why I am focusing on rest periods and thus overall workout duration. My standard excuse in my own mind for not training consistently was that is would take too damn long and there is other stuff I'd rather be doing right now.

Truth is, if I can get to the point where I know I can get a very good workout done in roughly 30 minutes, then I have no excuses because I spend longer than 30 minutes surfing the net or watching Netflix every day.

However, bump that workout duration up to 60 - 90 minutes, and all of a sudden, I can't be bothered.

Sustaining long term motivation? Easy. Sarcopenia.

Look at what it's doing to people you know who are old than you and don't train with weights, and likely never have. That is what you are training for, to avoid loss of independence. To avoid becoming them in another 10 to 40 years time.

You only need 30 minutes twice a week. Who cares if you never have a great physique or win a lifting contest.

Strength training has so many benefits beyond those that are easily visible in the short term.

https://youtu.be/jeFdYy815pQ
Open User Options Menu

Crotalus

spud wrote:
Workout Wednesday 18 July 2019

Dumbbell Split Squats = 3x 18 reps
Pullups/Decline Situps = 4 rounds
Dumbbell Lateral Raises = 3x 15 Reps
Pushups 3x 6 reps

Total workout time was 34:13.

Total sets performed was 20.



Spud , your account of these workouts are reminiscent of when Dr. Ken did so ... love reading it.

Even though we all workout a bit differently and have different reason for torturing ourselves, I think those who are really serious about training get a lift and encouragement reading each others training logs. Thanks for posting this .

Open User Options Menu

Turpin

A refreshing read Spud.

Best wishes , T.
Open User Options Menu

spud

My motivation to keep this thread updated with every single workout I do waned as soon as I started getting back into training with a renewed focus on keeping my sessions brief and to the point. My motivation for training however did quite the opposite. I don?t think I?ve been this consistent and this motivated with my training for a long time. It may be that I?ve never been this motivated in my entire training career. I put that down to two things:

1. Training at home in a distraction free and totally controllable environment.

2. A focus on tracking and reducing overall workout duration.

It?s amazing how much your ego is removed from question when you train at home and nobody else can see you and nobody else cares. It?s also amazing the motivational effect of tracking overall workout duration. Rest periods are no longer 3 to 5 minutes, they are 1 minute at the most and at the end of a session, I feel like I?ve actually done some training! There is a discernible pump and fatigue within the muscles, and I?m heavily winded. I recover quite quickly though, now that I?ve been at this for three months.

I?m training on Sunday and Wednesday. Occasionally things may move a day either way, but I don?t stress about it. Sometimes I will only manage one session per week. I notice a slight difference between once and twice a week, but nothing major. Twice is better for conditioning and covering more musculature in a variety of different ways.

After some trial and error to begin with, the two routines I?ve settled on are:

Routine A
1. Row (using HDT method 20-8-8-8-20 where 20s are bent over row with dumbbells and 8s are ?plank? rows on my gymnastic rings).
2. Decline situp
3. Seated dumbbell press 1x15, 1x8
4. Back extension (2 sets at bodyweight ? may implement zones in the near future)
5. Split squat (might switch this out for a Goblet squat)
6. Tricep extension (lying with dumbbells).

Routine B
1. Decline Situp
2. Pullup
3. Lateral Raise (2 sets, 15 ? 20 reps to failure)
4. Pushup (Only one set because this comes immediately after lateral raises)
5. Split squat
6. L-Fly (for rotator cuffs)

Some people talk smack about short rest periods i.e. it more cardio than weight training.

I used to be unsure about it utilising short rest periods because of this. I took the word of anonymous posters on the internet that it was no good for gainz and was scared to look into it in case it interfered with said gainz, despite my life outside the gym being filled with poor dietary habits, alcohol and lack of sleep.

Perhaps, 10 to 12 years ago, I even bad mouthed short rest periods myself. I can?t remember. If I did, I was a fool as I was thinking/hypothesising from a place of no consistent experience. Sure, I?d tried it fleetingly in a half-baked manner for all of two or three workouts training in a commercial gym where decent implementation was always going to be borderline impossible. That was the entire extent of my experience with it. Recently I read the following words in an old thread that I dug up on this site:

Safety - as you inroad from exercise to exercise, you obviously maintain a degree of fatigue from the previous work. This is a plus point because less resistance will be required than if you are fresh. Relative intensity is the key factor. As long as you work hard in good form, the weight you use is nothing more than a means to an end.

Cumulative inroad - proper inroading sends an intense signal to the body, a signal for change. To increase the physiological stress, move quickly between sets, zero respite. This amplifies the stressor of training, demanding greater changes.

I do not buy the whole "it won't work for size" thing. It DOES ABSOLUTELY work for size. It's BETTER, the physiological stimulus is of a higher order. This problem is this...it is hard work, probably the hardest work possible. No one likes hard work, so excuses are made.

It takes time to condition to this thing. Don't do a handful of workouts and decide, "Oh well, it's not for me." do SIX MONTHS or LONGER. It works. You'll feel sick and dizzy and you'll probably want to die...BUT, it's worth it, especially if you play sports.


Say what you like about it, but that last part was what really stood out to me. It highlighted my flawed thinking. Do six months or longer. Then pass judgement. Until I started deliberately training like this in July 2019 I doubt I?d trained this was for more than six hours let alone six months.

Well, my current situation of training at home enables me to do six months or longer. In fact, if I?m honest, my current situation also demands that I train like this. If I don?t, I won?t be training at all. I? at a point in my life where I have all the standard stresses of adult life going on plus a generous sprinkling of some bonus extras as far as personal and family life are concerned and it?s all quite draining.

Gone are the days of me being some 20 year old kid with hours to waste in the gym posing and Instagramming (not that it was around back then, but you get the point). I don?t have time to fck about, so, through necessity I?m going to be giving this kind of training more than a six month trial. It?s probably going to be more of a four decade trial. I don?t have time for the three to five minute rest periods and numerous sets per exercise and weeks of no training at all that I had fallen into in the last few years.

What have I learned?

I?ve found that rest periods of 60 seconds are brutally short if you?ve never trained like this before. Roughly 3 months in, 60 seconds, on upper body exercises, now feels like quite a long time for me.

I?m far from super conditioned, and on leg exercises, 60 second rest periods are still brutal when I?m pushing myself hard on each set. My brain would like to rest for longer, but I force myself to do the next set before I get anywhere close to comfortable. It?s not pleasant, but it?s what I signed up for. It?s getting noticeably easier over time and I still experience a feeling of elation and accomplishment once the workout is over. That?s what I really love. I have what I would describe as a low level (but noticeable) systemic buzz for about 12 to 15 hours after each workout. Sometimes I?ll wake up the next morning and the feeling is still there.

15 seconds is the closest I have ever realistically got to ?no rest? between exercises. The reality is that rest periods of 15-20 seconds basically don?t exist. By the time I?ve terminated one set, got off the equipment or put the dumbbells down, got to my feet and taken a couple of breaths it?s easily 8 seconds. Then by the time I?ve written a number or two in my log book and got to the next exercise, 15-20 seconds is gone. If you even relax for what feels like 30 seconds without watching the clock, 2 minutes have passed. I think we are incredibly poor judges of time when we?re fatigued and not looking at a clock. That?s my experience anyway. If I?m resting in between multiple sets of the same exercise (I?m actually doing fewer and fewer multiple sets), I barely have time to change the weight, sip some water, write in the log book before going again. I?m regularly achieving 30-40 seconds rest between upper body exercises with no loss of performance, and went for 50 seconds between sets of split squats on my last few sessions, with a slight loss of performance, but that?s exactly what I would expect. Remember, same weight, same rep count, same range of motion, same form and rep speed, but less rest IS progression. I also expect that performance to creep back up over the next few weeks.

What else? I?ve also been learning that I needed more than one set on split squats when I started with this style of training because the demands of pushing hard and the demands of short rest periods were a double whammy, and were too much for me to take. I didn?t have the mental fortitude to push through to failure straight off the bat. Even now, I?ll Sometimes I?ll do a psychological warmup set of 5 or 6 reps (with the working weight), then rest for 30 seconds and then attack it. Other times I?ll do a set nearly to failure, then rest for 30 to 40 seconds and then do a second set to failure, with both sets having a similar rep count. Another version is taking a set to failure, then resting 30 to 40 seconds and then just doing the 2 or 3 reps I?m capable of on the second set to make sure I hit failure. However, over time my mental fortitude has been improving. I?m now able to just do a straight single set to failure on a more consistent basis, just like I did year back when I was training to failure albeit with much longer rest periods.

If I do two sets, I?m finding that after a brief rest, I barely have anything to give on the second set which tells me that my first set wasn?t far off where I needed it to be. A large part of this is down to being mentally present during the set, and embracing the discomfort and being able to stay level headed during what I would call the unpleasant reps.

With split squats I?m gradually refining the ability to detect the increasing levels of fatigue and coach myself through the DEFCON levels so to speak. What I like say to myself when I am very close to failure is INCHES. When the speed slows to a crawl, I try to refocus and think purely about muscular contraction and inches. Just another inch, then another inch. I?ve also found that making a conscious effort to keep the positive phase of the final 2 or 3 reps slow and smooth and really milk the fatigue helps rather than trying to hurry through it.

If I?m honest, split squats are the only exercise where I genuinely struggle to reach failure straight away, because they are a leg exercise and they are so much more demanding and the burning is much more widespread (greater surface areas of the body) and unpleasant. With exercises like pushups, overhead pressing, pullups, back extensions and lateral raises. It?s far easier to maintain mental fortitude and get to the end of the set. As I?m sure most people reading this thread are aware, there is something about working the thighs and glutes that is just different.

A big part of my drive to train to failure is that I?m actively trying to lose body fat and I know from previous experience in 2012 that limiting my overall volume will really help. I need as much stimulation as I can get with as little energy expenditure as possible. I?ve been re-reading some old HIT articles recently hammering into my brain that training is a simply the stimulus and results are produced by my body in between workouts. Basic stuff, but it?s been really motivational for me.

My last workout was only 16:40 in length so I?m more than moving in the right direction.

I?ve stuck to my diet very consistently for the last 5 or 6 weeks and it?s worked a treat. Strict during the week and foot comes off the gas at weekends for indulgence/refeeding.

I?ll update again when I have further insights.
Open User Options Menu

Crotalus

Very happy to hear your training is going so well.

I definitely agree the shorter rest periods are the best way to increase intensity of a workout while at the same time cutting the workout time down. More contractions in the same period of time as Brian Johnson advocates.

You mentioned that 15 seconds is the closest thing to 'no rest' at all but that is what I tend to use when I'm going all out on 'bodybuilding-type' routines, which would be spring and summer.

I give myself a little more rest between sets through the winter as then I use mostly compound exercises. I time my rests with deep breaths, one deep breath equals two seconds ; so seven deep breaths equals about 15 seconds, 15 equals thirty, etc. Find that better than looking at a watch or clock.

I also don't leave the piece of equipment I'm on between sets, remembering Gironda saying to strive to not even take your hands off the bar in between sets. Though I keep my rest between sets brief , I no longer do that early Nautilus 'rush factor' of running from exercise to exercise. I used to never take any rest between muscle groups, but I do now. Not long, but I now take a few minutes between shoulders and chest, back and biceps, etc.

Another way I keep the workout moving along is doing sometimes doing one-limbed work ; while one arm or leg is resting you do the other ... back and forth for your 3 or whatever number of sets without resting . Can't believe how quickly you can knock out 3-5 hard sets doing this.

But I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. I'm happy you're so enthused and back on track with your training.

Keep it up !!


( Hopefully this long winded post isn't duplicated ... sent it last night but got that error message we get a lot so sent it again today )
Open User Options Menu

StuKE

A good read, Spud. Sounds like you are doing well with your training. I'd like to add my thoughts after spending a few months training ina similar manner many years ago.
I can't remember what made me try cutting the rest periods down, after so long lifting heavy and being so bothered about the weight, it is hard to think what motivated me to change. But I did.

I always started with chin ups, because they were too hard for me to train with little rest. I may have sometimes even kept them heavy ( weight around my waist), and I know sometimes I would just do one all out set of maybe 20 reps with bw. Anyway, once they were done, it was into the short rest stuff. I would do one exercise per bodypart usually, and aim for 4 sets of 10. This meant using the same weigh for each set, and counting to 10 between sets, sometimes 15. Often this would mean I would just keep hold of the weights. Squats were done near the end of the workout which worked well for me.

When I did his at home, I would have a few sets of dumbells set up already, same with barbell and so on, so for the most part I did not need to change any weights with the exception of adding to the bar after each set of squats. For other exercises, I required minimal warm up as the weights were lighter and other exercises had warmed me up, plus the first set or two were not near failure usually. Some exercises would have no warm ups at all. Easy to do with this style of training.

I really enjoyed this, quite surprised myself rarely found my cardiovascular system limiting me and an would get a great pump, and soreness the next day but none of that horrible CNS fatigue.

It probably helped that I was younger, more consistent and doing a decent amount of cycling back then, so was pretty fit.

Nowadays, I really need to be consistent because when I try this, I run out of steam very quickly. Plus, I feel I want to lift some heavier weights, but that is more ego I think.

You have inspired me to try again, though I will work up to it and perhaps this time I will aim for a bit more volume in time.

Keep up the good work and letting us know about it!
Open User Options Menu

epdavis7

I train similarly. Train at home with everything pre-positioned as much as possible. I train my big lowerbody movement as the third or fourth movement because if I do it first, I'm pretty much done. I can do a few smaller movements afterwards but nothing else. It takes a while to get conditioned to training this way. I was like everyone else initially and rested for 3-5 minutes between sets so I could lift as much as possible. I'm a grown man with a busy job and lots to do outside of work. I don't have time to screw around with hanging out at the gym for hours chatting everyone up. Initially you will get winded, light headed and possibly nauseous training this way.
Open User Options Menu

spud

@Crotalus
I?ve been reading through your workouts on the Your Most Recent Workout thread, and they are incredibly dense. Density is definitely something that helps with hypertrophy. I'd go as far as saying that density is the missing ingredient in making multiple set applications work better than single set applications. Rest for 3 minutes between multiple sets is pointless for hypertrophy training, but really good for a focus on lifting performance or "strength". As your work-to-rest ratio demonstrates, it also make multiple sets per exercise no less time efficient than traditional HIT workouts. If you look back at historic, and maybe not-so-historic discussions on this site, it appears that the standard and rather dogmatic thinking was that one could only take very brief rest periods between single sets of different exercises and not that there was no way that someone could take very brief rest periods between multiple sets of the same exercise.

What do you feel you gain from the short rest periods? If I had to answer that question about my current training, I?d say time efficiency and the fact that I just enjoy the feeling during and after training. I'm not certain that it makes me fitter or healthier. I wouldn?t feel comfortable making either of those statements. In my mind, being fit or conditioned is something that is task specific i.e. running a 4 minute mile, completing a marathon in less than 3 hours, deadlifting 500 pounds, doing 10 pullups, playing 3 quarters of a basketball match without feeling winded. As for health, is so much bigger elevating ones heart rate. It?s a multifactorial mixture.

I tried the breath counting last night. It definitely works, but I reverted to looking at the clock. Shortly after the end of the set I don't think I have the cognitive bandwidth to count anything. In the heat of the moment, focusing on anything other than doing what I absolutely needs to leads to confusion. It's usually a sip of water, write stuff in the log book, 2 or 3 extra deep breaths, stand with hands on hips for a few seconds, and then go towards the next exercise. Don't get me wrong, I'm nowhere near vomiting, passing out or having some kind of out-of-body experience, but counting proved to be somewhat distracting. I'll give it another go over the next few weeks and see how I get on.

What Gironda books/websites are there? I'm aware of him, but have never read any of his stuff. Are there any books that you would recommend?


@Stuke
I'm with you on starting with chin-ups. If I'm including them in any of my routines it's the first exercise or maybe the second. It's never third, fourth, fifth etc. simply because if I'm unable to do anything useful on that exercise. The biceps are being used, but what people never focus on is the role of the shoulders in well executed pullups. If I do lateral raises, pushups or overhead presses some time before the chin-ups my performance will be absolutely awful.

It sounds like the multiple set workouts you used when performing this style of training in the past were very similar to what Crotalus is currently doing.

Regarding the lifting of heavier weights being linked to ego, I would agree. That's been my personal experience as well. I wanted to look impressive during the act of training in front of other people in a gym. My overwhelming need to see number going up on paper did nothing for my physique, especially when coupled with deliberately overeating in an attempt to force muscle gain. I'm not, never have been and never will be any kind of competitive lifter, so I really shouldn't have had such a myopic focus on the load on the bar.

Below are the articles that I've read and re-read from Drew Baye (I know Drew isn't necessarily popular, but a lot of his free content, such as these articles is actually very good) covering a concept that I try to remember every time I go into a workout. I can either use my muscles to do something to the weights (powerlifting mentality) or I can use the weights to do something to my muscles (bodybuilding mentality).

baye .com/focus-on-your-muscles/
baye .com/intellect-versus-instinct/
baye .com/performance-vs-progress/
baye .com/the-real-objective/
baye .com/what-bodyweight-training-teaches/
baye .com/backwards-machines/

The idea is that the load used is a measure of progress, not the goal itself. More weight on the bar doesn't automatically translate to more resistance on the target musculature. The weight is just a means to an end and doesn't really matter as long as the relative intensity effort is high.

For example, my lateral raises are progressing nicely, with the weight going up every 4th workout or so. The set of pushups I perform immediately after the lateral raises is holding steady. It's not progressed or regressed, but considering my delts are completely fried after the lateral raises, and I have no more than 20 or 30 seconds of rest before commencing the pushups, the fact that the pushups are stagnating, IS progress, because it's relative to the application and to where they are in the workout as a whole.

Whilst I haven't tested it, I'm fairly sure that the number of pushups I could perform when fresh, at a 1.5/1.5 cadence will have increased dramatically as a result of doing pushups to failure at a 3/3 to 4/4 cadence following lateral raises to failure. Thing is, I have no desire to test it. I might do so in the new year for fun.

The idea of only doing pushups instead of bench press may make some people laugh, but I'm trying to make the workout as demanding on my muscles as I possibly can with limited equipment and limited external weight.

Whilst both the powerlifting and bodybuilding mentalities will build muscle and make you stronger, there's I think the bodybuilding mentality will keep you safer and injury free in the long run. Although it comes from Superslow (at least I think it does) there is definitely value in the idea that how you train at the age of 30 should be how you train at the age of 80, the idea being that if you train like a beast and look awesome but have to stop training for good at the age of 50, by the time you're aged 80, nobody will even knew that you used to train. However, if you are still training at 80, then it will be obvious because you'll look, from the neck down, about 20+ years younger than an untrained 80 year old.

I also wonder how many of the complaints of HIT making people stronger but not bigger is due to people unwittingly training with what I call the powerlifting mentality, when actually they want bodybuilding style results. I think this is a critically important point, but I don't see it discussed anywhere, especially outside of HIT circles on social media.

@epdavis7
I'm with you 100%. I agree on leg work being done later, if not last in the workout. Earlier on this thread I described a workout where I did my dumbbell split squats first, and although it was a great workout from a heart rate/cardiovascular fatigue point of view, my performance on every subsequent exercise was poor from a muscular stimulation point of view. Very few reps, and very low quality. On top of that I then took about 30 minutes to recover from the workout, which is not time efficient.

Now I find that when I put the heavy leg work at the end of my session it only takes me about 2 minutes after the end of my final set to be functional i.e. I can climb the stairs, mow the lawn, cook a meal etc. After that one workout that opened with leg work, I had to lie down and was unable to do anything. If that was the case after every time I worked out, it would be hugely inconvenient.

Take a look at this article

Starting strength .com/article/rest-between-sets

The bit that makes me cringe is this part near the end of the article:

So what you need to ask is: Who are you? If you have the time to spare, take the 7-10 minutes rest, or even 12 if you need it. Your workouts at the end of your LP will take closer to two hours, but who cares ? you have the time, and you?re bending your work and life around training.

But if you?re a normal person who needs to bend their training around work and life, we can still work with you. You can still train for strength. You will still make enormous gains, even if you can only spare 60-75 minutes, three days a week. You?ll rest 4-5 minutes between sets, it won?t be perfectly ideal, but it?ll absolutely be good enough to be well worth doing. And you won?t quit after 10 weeks when your workouts start to take longer than your wife or husband or work schedule or kids? soccer schedule allows you to take.


Consider that a Starting Strength style Workout is something like this on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week.

Squat 3x 5 reps
Bench Press/Press (alternated) 3x 5 reps
Deadlift 1x 5 reps

And the recommended example warmup for novices on that 3 sets of squats (assuming they're squatting around 200 pounds) is:

Empty Bar - 2x 5 reps
45% of working weight 5 Reps
65% of working weight 3 Reps
85% of working weight 2 Reps

Rest 2 to 5 minutes between the last warm up set and the first work set.

Then do the work sets 3x 5 reps.

4 warmup sets (5 minutes in total)
5th and final warmup set (30 seconds)
--5 minute rest--
Work set 1 (30 seconds)
--5 minute rest--
Work set 2 (30 seconds)
--5 minute rest--
Work set 3 (30 seconds)

That's right....you've got 1.5 minutes of actual muscular stimulus in 22.5 minutes of training time. That 6.66% of the time spent actually doing what you're there to do. The rest of it is dead time. Then you can repeat the same thing for the bench press and then a slightly shorter version with the deadlift. You'll end up with something like 4 minutes of lifting in 60 minutes of nothing. As you get to the end of the linear progression when the rest periods have increased to 8 to 10 minutes, well, you get the point.

Now consider a HIT workout lasting 15 minutes that features 6 sets, all lasting 90 seconds. That's 9 minutes out of the 15 spent actually training. That's 60% of the time actually spent training.

It's an insane waste of time. It's makes me chuckle when I see other people on other threads saying things about HIT folks not be willing to put in the work to get the results they want. Starting Strength and other similar programmes might give the illusion of hard training but it's a load of nonsense. Resting long enough that fatigue has completely dissipated is little more than repeatedly rehearsing competitive lifting skill. Sure, you can really crank up the strength over the long run, and those lifting numbers will be really impressive online, or to the people you train with.

It no doubt requires dedication to keep turning up to the gym for 3 to 6 hours per week to only do a few minutes of productive lifting, but when you actually look at the time anyone, using any methodology actually spends productive lifting, nobody is actually training for more than about 30 to 60 minutes a week.

From an exchange I had with Doug Holland 10 years ago he had a guy reaching weights like 320 pounds on the trap bar deadlift by doing this:

245x2 (warmup
295x1 (warmup)
-break-
320x14 (work set)

The warm ups would have taken slightly longer than it took to load and reload the bar. The break would have taken 2 to 3 minutes. Then once the bar was back on the ground following completion of the 14th rep, that would have been the start of the HIT workout. It's builds just as much real world usable functional strength as Starting Strength (or whatever) but in a fraction of the time. That would have probably been done once a week as well.
Open User Options Menu
H.I.T. Acceptable Use Policy