"High Intensity" or "Heavy Duty" training

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Awake in America, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Carolina Speed

    Carolina Speed Master

    Feb 13, 2011
    Love bell peppers chris371, with my ranch dip and M&M's for desert. I know that's terrible.
  2. chris371

    chris371 Mentor

    Dec 1, 2006

    Hey man Ranch dip is nice.
    Heres a cheat i use: find a cheese thats no carb, low fat and high protein. When preparing meals, melt this cheese and use lots of Spices. It tastes as good as the high fat/ high calorie stuff but wont make you fat. Feels like youre having a cheat meal.
  3. Awake in America

    Awake in America Mentor

    Jun 30, 2012
    I am amazed that it's been five years since I started this thread. I am still using a high intensity protocol. I lift twice a week, very occasionally a 3rd workout will sneak in. The workouts take under 20 minutes, and are never more than 9 total sets. Sets are taken to failure and sometimes a little beyond with a hold and/or forced rep and/or slow negative at the end. A set takes at least 45 seconds. Reps are slow and smooth; a rep should take at least 5 seconds to complete. Usually no more than 90 seconds of rest, but sometimes setting up the next exercise or waiting can take a bit. My progress is very slow, but I'll be 51 in less than a month. I don't expect YUGE GAINZ, not as a natty. I'm definitely not losing strength, even gaining a bit. I weighed 218 this morning. That's a little bit high. I have a goal of overhead pressing my bodyweight at 210. I can put up 190 right now without dying. Adding 20 to the bar while taking 8 off of me will be difficult.

    This style of workout eliminates the no time excuse. Slowing down the reps reduces injuries, acute and chronic. The biggest drawback is that the short workouts are brutal. Today is going to take right at 15 minutes, and I will be wrecked. The good news is that I won't lift again until Sunday at the earliest. Barbells, dumbbells, machines, bodyweight, isometrics, I use them all. We are about to change gyms, so the mix is going to change a little. Vertical & horizontal push, vertical and horizontal pull, leg pressing movement, trunk extension, abs, neck, calves, and grip. Hit them all once or twice a week for a tough session and get on with life. No matter what you will obtain zero upside, burst, hip swivel, wrist-flickability, nor a room-brightening smile. At my age it's probably best that my hips stay boring.

    Quick aside about age and bodyweight exercises. They suck. The first dip or chinup and you think "Geez, that's really heavy. Oh, crap, that's literally me." The rest of the set is as much a mental challenge as physical.
  4. DixieDestroyer

    DixieDestroyer Hall of Famer

    Jan 19, 2007
    AIA, thanks for starting this thread & as for training + diet...more power to ya! :)
  5. TomIron361

    TomIron361 Guru

    Jan 23, 2017
    As an older man, I advise no weight training. All a man has to do to be in condition is calisthenics (especially chin/pull-ups), running and walking. But if the idea is not conditioning, but to meet a woman in a gym, then forget what I said.
  6. Awake in America

    Awake in America Mentor

    Jun 30, 2012
    Here's how the workout looks now, nearly 6 years and 3 gyms later. Yesterday's workout was all machines. Doesn't matter with this kind of training. You can use barbells, dumbbells, machines, bodyweight, or a combination. Your muscles do not know what they are contracting against. I rested less than a minute between each exercise except for leg press and maybe overhead press. I had to wait a little on somebody for them to come open. All upper body reps are done 5 seconds to lift the weight, 5 seconds to lower it, lower body is 10/10. Some people do 10/10 for everything. I have a hard time doing that with upper body movements because they are just shorter movements. No heaving, no jerking, no momentum. That's for two reasons: 1) acceleration and deceleration produce force. The joints take the brunt of that. Slower is safer. 2) Moving slowly keeps constant tension on the muscles. Don't think of lifting as using your muscles to do something to the weight, think of it as using the weight to do something to your muscles. No hurrying through the hard parts and lagging in the easy parts. All sets taken to positive failure. That means you keep going until you can't make the weight move any more without breaking form. When that happens, you slowly and safely lower the weight and move on. It's that simple.

    No warm-up. The slower cadence means you simply will not lift as much weight. The first 2-3 reps are your warm-up.
    pec deck - 7 reps. This was one more than previous workout. Surprised I got it. Failed on number 8.
    chest press- 7 reps. This is a superset with pec deck, no rest in between. I got the same number as previously. Failed on 8 yet again. As long as the pec dec goes up, I don't really expect much progress here.
    machine row- 8 reps. Same number of reps as previous workout, but 5 lbs more. Progress! Nearly got #9. Adding 5 more lbs. next time in hopes of getting at least 6.
    overhead press- 6 reps. One more rep than last time, but still a little disappointing. Upper body really gassed.
    pulldown- 7 reps. One more rep. Failed on 8 and I was really huffing and puffing at this point.
    leg press- 10 reps. This was with adding 10 lbs from the previous workout. My heart rate was through the roof at this point.
    calf raise- 10 reps. just 5 seconds per rep due to the short range of motion. Breathing very hard, heartbeat extremely elevated.
    Total workout time 19 minutes. Could have been less if that guy hadn't been in my way a couple of times.

    Today is a day off, though I might go for a walk later on (work permitting) since the weather is outstanding. Tomorrow is the workout of the little things I used to put at the end of workouts, then forget to do them. I solved that by making them their own workout. Neck, grip/forearms. abs, direct lower back work, calves again (they recover quickly), front of calves. The muscles are small enough that it isn't too much of a strain on recovery time. Thursday is another more regular lifting day, but with more of an emphasis on bodyweight and isolation exercises. Starts with dips and pullups, then moves on to isolation stuff, ends with a horrible wall sit. Sunday will be the workout detailed above, all over again. I might go for a hike on Friday and/or hit some golf balls.

    The entire workout can be done in well under 20 minutes. I've broken it up in a variety of ways over the years. Twice a week is probably optimal for most people, but even once per week will result in positive fitness benefits. The slower movement makes it a lot safer; moving more slowly makes perfect form easier. It also means you won't be able to lift quite as much weight. Heavier weights do generally mean more muscle; this is a trade-off in favor of form and safety. Everyone has the same initial thought: I'll do three sets like this! No, not if you actually push to failure. You will drop to one set very soon. This workout is VERY good for cardiovascular benefits. You will be huffing and puffing like crazy. You will have thoroughly worked your muscles and CV system without having pounded your knees, ankles, and lower back with any impact at all.

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