￼I really must apologize first of all all for taking so long without publishing a new piece, but hey, here I am. Today I’d like to explore exactly what I means to train smart. Does it really mean what we think it does??! What’s the difference between working hard and working smart for you bodybuilding goals?!
Let’s find out.
Before we get into the details, I’ve been under some really great mentorship from my good friend Wallace Ragu (you have read about him in previous posts). And it has been working out really great. You see, back here, we’ve nicknamed him the HIT (high intensity training) master, HIT guru, and the medicineman from HIT. He firmly believes in keeping sessions short, intense and to the point. Like for example, through this method of training, yo only get to train arms once a week, for ten minutes, and for each part you go all out, (failure) wit one working set and one warm up set.
Sounds like total BS, am I right??! I mean, he’s totally waaay more experienced than me, how do you grow with one working set?? Will it work for you like it works for him??
You bet your favorite protein shake it will. The Legendary Lee Haney once said “train to stimulate, not to annihilate” which makes a lot of sense once you really get to think about it.
Your see, all my life I’ve believed in going all in whether in my training or in nutrition or even in life and it worked out well, atleast to a certain point. Training tends to be a counter productive when you spend over two an a half hours trying to focus on bringing up your lagging parts. But Ragu actually helped me change my perspective about training and I got to see that you can actually gain more by doing less to your best!!.
Some of the notable high intensity bodybuilders are, Boyer Coe, Dorian Yates, The Mentzer Brothers, Clarence Mcguff, Casey viator.
I can honestly and sincerely say that I’m actually reaping about benefits of this type of training, I’ve busted through a plateau, my muscle mind connection is on another level now. I don’t regret it one bit.
Plus, i get to avoid talking a lot in the gym, cause this requires “cloud 9” type concentration. Here are some few basic facts about HIT training
PRINCIPLES GUIDING HIT TRAINING
The fundamental principles of High Intensity Training (HIT) are that exercise should be brief, infrequent, and intense. Exercises are performed with a high level of effort, or intensity, where it is thought that it will stimulate the body to produce an increase in muscular strength and size. Advocates of HIT believe that this method is superior for strength and size building to most other methods which, for example, may stress lower weights with larger volume (sets x reps).
As strength increases, HIT techniques will have the weight/resistance increased progressively where it is thought that it will provide the muscles with adequate overload to stimulate further improvements. There is an inverse relationship between how intensely and how long one can exercise. As a result, high intensity workouts are generally kept brief. After a High Intensity workout, as with any workout, the body requires time to recover and produce the responses stimulated during the workout, so there is more emphasis on rest and recovery in the HIT philosophy than in most other weight training methods. In any workout, not just HIT, training schedules should allow adequate time between workouts for recovery (and adaptation).
While many typical HIT programs comprise a single-set per exercise, tri-weekly, full-body workout, many variations exist in specific recommendations of set and exercise number, workout routines, volume and frequency of training. The common thread is an emphasis on a high level of effort, relatively brief and infrequent (i.e. not daily) training, and the cadence of a lift, which will be very slow compared to a non-HIT weight training routine.
Most HIT advocates stress the use of controlled lifting speeds and strict form, with special attention paid to avoiding any bouncing, jerking, or yanking of the weight or machine movement arm during exercise. Technical HIT advice varies from lifting the weights smoothly and at a natural pace, to timing the lifts, peaking at hold and descent. In extreme cases, it may take up to 30 seconds to complete a single repetition.
Also emphasized when near exhaustion in order to further exhaust the muscle or muscles exercised: doing static holds for periods of time, and negative reps (lowering the weight). This will stimulate further growth and strength because muscles are weakest in positive/contracting movements (sometimes referred to as first stage failure of a muscle). Although you may not be able to lift a weight for another rep you will almost certainly be able to hold it statically for a further period (second stage of failure) and finally lower a weight at a slow controlled speed (third stage of failure). Until all three (lifting, holding and lowering) parts of an exercise can no longer be completed in a controlled manner a muscle cannot be considered thoroughly exhausted/exercised. Read more about it at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_intensity_training.
Have a good read, comments are welcome. Remember you actually gain more, when you do less to your best