Want muscle? STOP the quessing game
People who engage in very repetitive tasks such as long distance running, labor or swimming show very little or no improvement in the size and strength of their muscles. Long distance events are by nature very low in intensity.
Compare a marathon runner to a 100 meter sprinter. Marathon runners who train for very long periods at a very low intensity are emaciated looking having less than normal muscle mass and carry on average 14 ? 16% body fat. Sprinters, on the other hand, who train for short periods at a high level of intensity are very muscular and have half the body fat levels than marathoners. If cardio is the key to getting lean, as many people presume, why do marathoners have a higher body fat than sprinters? The reason is, a specific stimulus is required for a specific outcome.
The specific stimulus needed to stimulate muscle and strength is high intensity training. This is a universal training principle that affects everyone without exception. This is due to the fact that we are anatomically and physiologically the same. If this were not true doctors could not perform surgery and prescribe medicine. Consequently, the stimulus needed to induce biochemical changes that build muscle and strength in humans is the same.
Intensity, when referring to training, is the percentage of physical exertion that one is capable of. Training with one hundred percent intensity is the best way, the only way, to stimulate muscular size and strength in the shortest amount of time. How does one gauge the intensity of their workouts? By taking your working sets to positive or concentric failure.
Taking a set to the point of failure, where you cannot possibly perform another rep despite your maximum effort is one of, and perhaps the most important of several factors in your success. There are many who disagree and advocate high volume training with 60%, 72%, 95%, or whatever percentage of intensity they decide is the best. Some even claim training all out, with one hundred percent intensity is not only unnecessary, but detrimental. Over the years I’ve seen so called strength coach specialists, and personal trainers with 15 letters after their last names, concoct the most ridiculous routines, using almost every percentage, that have yet to show any effectiveness in real world application.
The main problem with these bogus routines is that there are only two accurate measures of intensity. Zero, when you are at rest; and 100%, when you?re training to the point of failure. How do you measure anything less than 100% intensity? If I can do 10 repetitions to complete failure with 100 pounds on the leg extension machine, where do I go for 80% intensity? Do I perform 10 reps with 80 pounds? Or do I use 100 pounds and only perform 8 reps? Is 80% the optimum percentage, or is it 65%? There is no evidence that suggests, let alone proves, anything less than 100% effort is equally or more effective. Are you starting to see the ridiculousness and inaccuracy of such training prescriptions?
Intensity cannot be measured accurately with reps or weight. While performing a set, intensity increases exponentially with each successive rep. Performing the first 5 reps on the leg extension is not equivalent in intensity to performing the last 5 reps. Hence, 5 reps is not the equivalent of 50% intensity.
The only way to train that is completely accurate is with all out intensity to failure. This will give you a concrete view of how you?re performing. If you train with 100% intensity during every workout and you do not progress, you know you are not recovering. There will never be a question whether you are providing a strong enough stimulus for progress. However, if you follow the percentage of intensity or the percentage of max rep principles, how will you know you are training intensely enough to stimulate muscular size and strength? If you plateau, are you training too hard or too long? Do you lower the percentage or raise it? Do you need more rest, or do you need to train at a higher intensity? There is no need for this guessing game.
Your goal is to bring about the largest, most rapid outcome for your individual genetic potential. In order for this to occur, the body requires 100% intensity every working set of every exercise. This is the only truly accurate way to gauge the efficacy of your training program. Nothing less than 100% will do. The body needs a reason to adapt. Give it!
Abs, Arms, Back, Bodybuilding, Chest, Exercise, General training, Legs, Neck, Power lifting, Running, Specific workouts, Weight Loss, Weight training, Workout programs, Xternal Fitness, Xternal Furci
Tags: Building muscle, Building strength, Cardio programs, free weight lifting programs, High intensity training, high intensity training HIT training, high intensity weight training, HIT trtaining, HIT vs. high volume training, Is cardio neccessary, losing weight, tips for adding muscle, tips for gaining strength and muscle, training programs, Weight Lifting advice, weight loss, Weight training, weight training programs, weight training routines, Weight training vs. Cardio, weight training workouts
The optimum time to train
there are many biological factors that are important for muscular hypertrophy like hormone levels, age, sex, muscle fiber type, diet, among others. These factors have been recognized as extremely important for the hypertrophic adaption to strength training. Many of these factors, however, are known to vary throughout the day. Can the daily differences in the above factors like hormone levels, affect the adaptive response to strength training? What time of day is the best time to train?
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research set out to examine the effects of time-of-day-specific strength training on muscle hypertrophy maximal strength in men. The training group underwent a 10 week preparatory training regimen. Afterwards, the subjects were randomized to either a morning training group or an afternoon training group. The groups trained for another 10 weeks with training times between 07:00 and 09:00 hours and 17:00 and 19:00 hours in the morning group and the afternoon group respectively. Cross-sectional areas and volume of the quadriceps femoris were obtained by magnetic resonance imaging at weeks 0, 10, and 20. Maximum voluntary isometric strength during unilateral knee extensions and the half squat one repetition maximum were tested at weeks 0, 10, and 20.
The entire 20-week training period resulted in significant increases in maximum voluntary contraction and 1RM in both training groups. In this study, the magnitude of muscular hypertrophy and strength did not statistically differ between the morning or afternoon group. However, this study was of short duration and like most research concerning physical improvement through exercise, there needs to be more subjects over longer periods of time.
(J Strength Cond Res 23(9):2451-2457)
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Tags: Duration of training, Headlines, High intensity training, journal of strength and conditioning, Journal of strength and conditioning research, leg training, sport specific training, training, Training advice, Training frequency, training stimulus, Weight Lifting advice, Weight lifting tips, Weight training, weight training routines, Weight training vs. Cardio, weight training workouts
CrossFit: The training, the games, the BS
What is CrossFit (CF)? In a nut shell it’s performing movements and or exercises under time that are continuously varied from workout to workout. Started in the mid 1990’s, this training system does have value in improving ones fitness level, but the claims made on the CrossFit website are unsubstantiated and untenable.
CF’s upside according to its proponents is being a total-body conditioning workout that is purposefully varied, which inhibits boredom. I think it’s a home run for fitness enthusiasts because the workouts are challenging and competitive. CF’s inherent difficulty, notice I said difficulty not intensity, also benefits the average person because most people do not train hard enough to elicit any measurable result.
Read more: CrossFit
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A no-nonsense guide to designing your workouts
In my recently rewritten article “A no-nonsense guide to design your workouts“, which is a three-part series, I offer no BS ways for beginners and veterans alike to keep their workouts fresh while consistently making gains.
Everywhere you turn these days, weight training seems to be the focus. And why shouldn’t it be? A proper weight training program produces many positive effects, including: increased muscle mass; reduced body fat; increased bone density; improved insulin sensitivity; improved self-esteem; and overall well-being. The list goes on. Yet with all the information available, why is it so hard for people to make progress? Because most of what is out there is BULLSHIT!!
Helping people is what being a trainer and a coach is all about. Most publishers and editors are so hell-bent on selling magazines, they print things like this: “Put 2 inches on your arms in 21 days;” “Have a chest like Arnold’s in just 6 weeks.” People, just like you, purchase this type of trash in the hopes that it might work. These writers and editors rely on your ignorance.
Having the knowledge and ability to help somebody achieve their goals goes far beyond writing an article about workouts. Writing workouts is actually a pretty easy thing to do. Just about anyone with a little bit of knowledge can do it, and many ? unfortunately — do. The barriers to entry to become a personal trainer are so low, most certificates aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. In contrast, look at the barriers to entry to become a nurse. Several years of school filled with prerequisites, in which you need a 78 percent just to pass, coupled with many hours of hands-on clinicals. What education does a trainer need? Send away for some study guides, take a test, and “Bam!” you’re a certified trainer.
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Fitness Myths Busted
Is performing cardio the best way to lose fat?
There are 3 things to keep in mind about cardio when trying to get leaner. One is that it doesn?t build muscle. Two, it doesn?t preserve muscle while losing weight. Both are extremely important if your goal is not only to get leaner, but to stay that way. As we lose weight the body does not discriminate where the weight comes from. We lose muscle along with fat, especially on a low calorie diet. And performing cardio accentuates this phenomenon.
Lastly, unless you enjoy cardiovascular training, it?s just not worth the time. The work to benefit ratio is dismal to say the least. Unless you?re willing to bust your butt and perform 60 ? 90 minutes of cardio a day, which will hinder your muscle building capacity, cardio is not worth it.
Will training your abs using the right exercise our equipment give you washboard abs?
Is reducing your calories the best way to lose weight?
If I’m not sore a couple of days after a workout, did I not train hard enough?
Get the answers to these and other common fitness myths in my Fitness Myths Busters article.
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