To me, intensity in weight training brings about the most results. Here I am speaking of High Intensity Training (HIT) as introduced by Arthur Jones, inventory of the Nautilus line of gym equipment. I have tried body part splits and I have tried HIT full body training and I believe I had the best results from HIT. In fact, I am seriously considering returning to HIT after my show won April 14, 2012. There is just something about heavy weights taken to failure that my body likes. There seems to be no better way to bulk up with my body type than HIT.
The following are some tips for using intensity in weight training. Read through them and give this training system a try for at least 12 weeks. Follow the guidelines and see if it makes a difference for you.
- Perform 1 to 3 sets of 4-6 exercises for the lower body and 6-8 exercises for the upper body, and not more than 12 exercises in any given workout (for the most part). Every set is taken to positive failure.
- Utilize the repetition inroad principle to determine the optimum repetition range for your body and stick to that for the entire 12 weeks. You can find out more about this by subscribing to my email list via the form in the sidebar to the right.
- Perform each set to positive failure (ie. you can't maintain proper form any longer). When you reach the top end of the repetition inroad, add 5% to the bar for the next workout. Make use of the overload principle of training.
- You want to work the largest muscles first and move very quickly from one set to another and from one exercise to another. 30 seconds would be considered a long rest period with this type of training. This will introduce a cardiovascular element to your training.
- Use good control throughout the movement, accentuating the negative. In other words, don't let the weight stack clang together.
- Use slower repetition cadence. You are going for time under tension along with positive failure. Don't lose sight of that fact.
- Isolate the muscle group you are training on a given exercise and be sure to breathe properly throughout the set.
- Always attempt to increase either repetitions or weight or both. You want to beat the previous workout in as many exercises as you can.
- Train no more than 3 times a week. Yes, I know this is hard for some of you, but it works. Trust me on this one!
- Keep an accurate training log to track your progress.
- Work in some of the advanced HIT principles every so often — things like forced repetitions, breakdown sets, negative only sets, etc.
To me, if you follow these principles you cannot help but get bigger and stronger. Your body will recover faster (very important for us older lifters) and you will enjoy some great gains.