Monday, March 30, 2009

Ok, Sorry I have been away for a while, Life comes at you fast and is unforgiving sometimes!!! To further my thoughts on workouts, I believe in HIT or High Intensity Training, there has been countless studies on 1 set or 3 sets, which is the debate for YEARS on which is better. There is NO SIGNIFICANT benefit when comparing 1 set to 3 sets per exercise. And since 3 sets would obviously take up more time, hence your gym time is increased and everyday life then becomes shorter and hindered, which would you prefer? I have a 7 year old Daughter, she demands ALOT of attention, Try as I do I know I fall short in the amount of quality time I spend with her, so imagine if I was doing Volume when it comes to my workouts, what kind of time would be left!!!

Volume, if you don't recall is the addition of more sets per exercise, some go as high as 4-10 sets per exercise!!! Now remember here, NO significant benefit has been shown while performing 3 or more sets per exercise as compared to 1 ALL out set per exercise. I know some people who practically live in the gym, they believe that you will NOT grow unless you do set after set after set, 5-6 days a week!!! A muscle will NOT grow while your working out (working it), it only grows during REST, so when your constantly in the gym, working out your muscles, when do they have time to grow???

Now in addition to always being in the gym, add to the fact that they perform 3-10 sets per exercise. How much time do you think is spent in the gym now? There are people I have heard tell me, I had a KILLER workout yesterday, it took me like 2 hours to complete, I am spent!!! I look at them and ask really? 2 hours? What did you do? Oh I did 5 sets of a Bench Press, 5 sets of Incline Bench Press, and 5 sets of Flyes, then I did....... Do you see where I'm going with this my Friends?

Think about what I said previously in my first post, you can work out HARD, or long, but you simply CANNOT work out Hard AND long!!! The body has it's limits, and honestly, how hard can you be working if you did 15 sets? Wether you want to admit it or not, you psychologically shut down and preserve your strength the more you know you have to do, so if your not giving your ALL in a set, why do more and more??? Does it really make sense to put your body in more of a negative balance just so you finish your countless sets?

I firmly believe in giving your ALL, no matter what it is you do, otherwise.... WHY do anything??? And especially when it comes to working out, I for one treat it as my last ever workout, thats my mindset!!! Otherwise how will I give 100% on each and every exercise? Now back to the countless sets, how long do you think that takes? Like I mentioned before, I know several people who put in 2 hours at a time, 4-6 days a week. Add the time up, and your looking at 8-12 hours a week, working out!!! Are you kidding me, wow, thats incredible!!! Now may I ask when do you think they are recovering? People have told me, I do NOTHING on sundays, thats when I rest up and grow. Um..... let me get this straight, you work every day, so thats 5 days a week, just doing your job, and on top of that you work out 4-6 times in that same week, and you take only 1 WHOLE day to recover? My partner and I spend on average 30-45 minutes...... a week working out, thats right in a week.

Does that much working out, and that little amount of recovery time make sense? Are you starting to understand why I don't believe in Volume? All that time spent working, AND working out (5-6 days a week) and you only take 1 day off and expect the body to fully recover to blitz it again the following week and so on? It's also like sun tanning, you go out every day that week, what will happen? You will burn, more and more each day, so do you think your body will miraculously recover and heal itself with 1 day out of the sun? I'm thinking not, LOL!!!

So, if you can get better, or at the minimum the same results doing less, which one will you decide? I know which one I'll pick!!! No having said that, the 1 set is NOT easy by any stretch, it's not almost all out, it's not oh I think I could have got another rep, it's ALL OUT, 100% past the point of no return. I'll describe a typical set that my partner and I push each other through during a workout :

We ALWAYS warm up the muscles being worked that day, so we will load the weight and do 1 warmup set with about 50% of the weight we will be using, we proceed to perform 4-6 very slow, full range reps, concentrating on the muscles working.
Then we will do 1 more set with about 75% of the weight we will be using, for about 2-4 reps, done the exact same way as previously stated, now we are ready to WORK!!!

Start the set with the first rep, nice and slow, no momentum is used here.
Lift the weight for a 2 count, thats 1-1000, 2-1000
Pause at the top of the rep for the same 2 count, 1-1000, 2-1000
Lower the weight for a 4 count, 1-1000,2-1000,3-1000,4-1000
(Pause at the bottom for a split second, so you cannot jerk the weight, or use momentum in any way. That is 1 rep!!! Roughly a 8 second rep, that is what is called time under tension, that is what makes the muscle work to it's fullest extent.)
Continue on, until you just cannot get another rep in good form, notice I said in good form!!! That means if you cannot lift it in a controlled manner, and you have to cheat by jerking the weight, or getting sloppy, you are DONE!!! That is when you get hurt, when you can't lift it, why try to jerk the weight and lift it again?

When you do that, you cause momentum to come into play, and invite injury. There is no reason to look like your dancing to get another rep, if you cannot lift it correctly, then why continue with the set? Some people say I have to do 10 reps..... I simply ask why? If you do 10 reps, could you have done more? If you can do 11 reps, then why stop at 10? How can you judge your progression, and then do another set? Why prolong your workout, just to get a pre-set number of reps? You simply cannot give your all on 1 set, if you know you have more sets to go. Sub-consciously you hold back because your body knows there is more work to be done. That is just not practical and rather time consuming wouldn't you agree? Look at it like this, when a sprinter runs his race, lets say the 100m dash, does he pace himself for the first 40-50m and then turn it on? Absolutely not, he goes ALL out 100% from start to finsish, only slowing down AFTER he has completed his entire race.

Now once he's done that, can he rest for 30-60 seconds, (What the average wait is between sets on a Volume style routine) and run again the same pace and same time? Not physically possible, the body does not recover that fast naturally!!! He will be spent and ready to rest for quite some time. Now lets look at the physical build of a sprinter verse that of a marathon runner, we can compare their styles of running with the Volume verses HIT approach. Sprinters like I said go ALL out for a quick burst and a short range, whereas a marathon runner paces themselves because they have a LONG way to go, can you see the comparison of those two style of runners with that of HIT and Volume style workouts? HIT style goes ALL out for a short period, we leave it ALL out on the gym floor, no holds barred and no holding back!!! Now you have a Volume style approach, pace yourself because you have 3-10 sets to go, so you simply cannot go ALL out on all those sets, can you? A sprinter cannot maintain 100 % Intensity for long periods of time, whereas the marathon runner CAN hold a slower pace for a longer period of time.

Like I mentioned before, you can go HARD (Sprinter) or Long (marathon) but you simply cannot go HARD, Long!!! I hope that makes sense. And we can also compare the physique between that of the sprinter and that of a marathon runner, I for one would rather look like a sprinter, LOL!!!

Ok, thats enough for now, I'm sorry to have gotten long winded, and I hope I didn't confuse anyone....

Until next time........

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Introduction to my journey!!!

Hello All, this is my first crack at Blogging!!! I'm going to be 40 this May, and years ago had made a promise to myself to be in the best shape of my life by the time I turned 40!!! So if you follow along with me you can share in the journey.

Also I will be posting different routines I do when I lift weights, as well as go into detail of what works, what didn't work, and what might work all while getting ready for my 3rd Bodybuilding Competition this October.

I have been training seriously for about 3 years now, and I can honestly say the dieting is the HARDEST part!!! Give me the weights anyday, and I will be happy, but throw in the food intake and I want to run away like a little baby, LOL!!! Thats another point I would like to make here, when I say diet, I DO NOT by any stretch of the word indicate can't eat this, can't eat that..... I simply mean what goes in my mouth during this journey. I sincerely believe you can eat whatever you want, as long as it's done in moderation, balance, and ALOT of intelligence!!!

I don't subscribe to all the hype thats out there..... as far as you MUST take in X amount of Protein, or X amount of this and so on. That is what the supplement companies want you to believe in ONLY to sell more product!!! I understand this , but don't believe in it. I am an AVID follower of Mr. Mike Mentzer, he was a Professional Bodybuilder who broke away from the "norm" of Bodybuilding, in that he advocated only 1 set to failure instead of 3+ sets per exercise.

Instead of the workouts that lasted for 2-3 hours daily, for 6 days a week (sometimes even twice a day) he believed that brief and infrequent training, was what was needed!!! A common fallacy is that you grow while in the gym, this is false, you grow AFTER the workout while your RECOVERING. So if your constantly working out (everyday) and sometimes twice a day, tell me this................ When are you recovering and hence growing and/or getting stronger? You got it........... Your NOT!!!

Some people will say, actually MOST people will say that Volume training (Multiple sets, multiple days a week) work, and to an extent they do............... at first. But as you grow stronger, and the weights start climbing, you will have to slow down, its a fact that the body cannot keep going hard like that without problems, unless there is "help"!!! By help I mean steroids and other substances that help the body to recover faster. I DO NOT advocate anything like that, I am a natural Bodybuilder and will forever be.

The Style I follow is refered to as H.I.T., High Intensity Training. It is based on brief and infrequent training. You would be amazed as to what you can accomplish with only a few sets per workout, 2-3 times per week!!! There has been studies proving that 3+ sets of an exercise DO NOT show significant progress over 1 set to failure, so if you can get the same results, or even close to it with a fraction of the time in the gym, wouldn't you, your body and your family prefer that?

Think about this..... You can workout hard or long, but you cannot workout hard, long. What I'm saying is you cannot keep up the same amount of energy for a marathon session of working out as you can in say......10 minutes!!! Do you honestly think the body and joints will stand up to set after set of heavy training day in and day out without problems? I can tell you my experience, and mine did NOT!!! I began having problems with my shoulder at first, then my back, knee and so on. Then I was introduced to HIT from a friend of my brothers, his name is Jason Rulo, and it opened my eyes...... BIGTIME!!!

Thats it for now, it's getting late and I have to get to bed soon, I will post more and more each time, so please follow along with me on my journey...