My HIT experiment

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by Dreamliner, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I think I'm beginning to succumb to the siren call of my first love. HIT was the means through which I enjoyed my juvenile muscle growth, all 10 or 12 pounds of it. While at UF I trained on Nautilus machines twice a week. I was one of the charter members of the Gainesville Health and Fitness Center.

    I even visited Nautilus Sports industries, in Lake Helen, FL, and had a brief discussion with Dr. Ellington Darden. This was also around the time that Mike Mentzer was emerging as Arnold Schwarzeneggar's chief competitor.

    Anyway, I took up long-distance running shortly after that. Probably the biggest mistake of my exercise career.

    In recent years I've generally negotiated a middle-ground between HIT and higher-volume training, albeit closer to HIT than the other.

    Most recently, doing things like one-armed pushups and pistol squats has left me feeling pretty beaten up. I suspect I've been training too frequently as well. I've been rather fanatical about three workouts a week. I suspect that's more of a compulsion than a need though.

    Indeed, as I grow older, more and more I'm beginning to wonder if I ever really recover from my workouts. Probably not. Therefore, I'm going to experiment with lower frequency. But lower frequency means higher intensity. Thus, a momentary return to HIT.

    Too be continued ...
  2. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Gameplan:

    For the next several weeks, probably at least through April, I'll train once a week. Workout will consist of one set of three different exercises. Exercises will be:

    Neutral-Grip Pullups, Weight-Vest Pushups, Dumbbell Goblet Squat.

    Exercise choice is predicated on low-risk/high-reward exercises. As I am interested to find out whether a greater-recovery/higher-intensity approach might goose out a little more hypertrophy, I need exercises that really fatigue the muscles without undue joint stress.

    More ...
  3. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Will not make any changes in diet. Will drop all 'cardio', however little I did. Will continue to walk per usual. Will be interested to see whether one hard workout a week is likely to induce more incidental movement, as some claim that it does. But I will not "try to walk more.'

    Continued ...
  4. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Will not obsess over tempo. Will strive to eliminate momentum. For me, that usually translates to 3-5 seconds up, 3-5 seconds down.

    And here's the part I dread: MUST train to failure. This means that when movement slows I continue to exert force. This means that when movement stops I continue to exert force. This means the exercise is not over until it's over.

    When the exercise slows, I will strive to resist the urge to jerk or invoke the stretch-reflex or use momentum to keep things moving. I will resolve to maintain form, and all the more, until I literally can't move.

    Now, I've done it before. so, I know I can do it again. It's just that it's bound to be a shock to the system. And I have no illusions about likely needing to work my way back to that level of intensity. It's psychological more than physiological.

    I anticipate the workout will not take more than 6-7 minutes.
  5. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Will record weight and measurements.
  6. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, HIT: High-Intensity Training. Ostensibly strength training. Not to be confused with HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training.
  7. gatorbronco
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    gatorbronco Member

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    What happened to the kettlebell workout?
  8. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Fair question. Answer: increasing wear-and-tear on hips and lower back. Pistol squats exacerbated Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. One-armed pushups exacerbated probable medium-thickness rotator cuff tear.

    In other words maybe, just MAYBE I'm coming to my senses. :wink:

    I doubt that there were any good reasons to have deviated from HIT training in the first place.
  9. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    THREE REPS PER WEEK

    After some furious, last-second research, I've settled on John Little's "Done In One" protocol. Basically, one s-l-o-w rep of each exercise. Because the rep is so slow I've settled on entirely bodyweight exerecises: pullup, pushup, full-range bodyweight squat.

    No warmup. I got 1:10 on the pullup, 1:45 on the pushup (starting from the bottom) and 2:10 on the squat. I figure noteworthy goals would be 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00 respectively. For reference, here's what a 1:45 chinup looks like:

    http://www.bodybyscience.net/home.html/?p=450

    Purported benefits would be:

    Psychological: you know you only have to get one rep.

    Joint-friendly: theoretically, since you only have to drive out of the hole one time, less direct force on the joint.

    Less burn: you only have to 'drive through the fire' one time as against multiple times.

    I did walk around the block afterwards to cool down. I also did 2-3 minutes of gentle stretching. I'm even cutting back on that. Suspect I'll feel better for it.

    Workout took roughly 5:50.
  10. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Funny, the workout wasn't that exhausting and I didn't feel much right after.

    I feel like I've been hit by a FedEx truck right now.
  11. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    After six weeks I'm pulling the plug. No change in weight or measurements. Achieved a 2:00 pullup, 3:00 pushup and 4:00 squat ... for what that's worth. Just don't like the training style. At that slow a pace I find it nearly impossible not to stop and rest during the movement. Also fostered tension headaches and the 7-8 minutes a week generally left me antsy.

    Next: something completely different.
  12. phatGator
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    phatGator Well-Known Member

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    Came across this searching for something else. I also visited Nautilus factory back in my college days. I went with Jim Flanagan, I think it was, who started the first Nautilus work out place in Orlando. Just a store front with machines. Nothing fancy. Met Arthur Jones. I was a big believer in Darden's "momentary muscle failure." Got into the best shape of my life following it. Still have his books somewhere.

    The place I belong to now is because of the Nautilus. Although the orthopedist told me before doing the scope job that the leg extension machine, Nautilus' or anyone else's, is terrible for the knee joint. He confessed years ago he was a trainer and did many himself and had clients do them. But the forces are magnified so that it destroys the knee joint. He said any leg exercises needed the feet planted against something. So the leg press is ok.
  13. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Nobody loves the leg curl machine these days either, Nautilus or otherwise. Also, Nautilus, like everyone else, threw caution to the wind with regards to range-of-motion. For them, and everyone else, it was how far you could move the weight rather than how far your joint wanted to move.

    As a consequence, whether trained on Nautilus or other equipment, we've got a lot of ground-down Baby Boomers.
  14. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    As to training to failure, the cornerstone of the Nautilus movement, it does appear to be the case that the preponderance of studies show, at best, a marginal advantage for doing multiple sets.

    On the other hand, the friction theory appears to be wrong. In other words, for strength and hypertrophy, fast or slow, doesn't matter.

    Time Under Tension is also bedrock for Nautilus. However, I doubt that it is necessary to achieve the requisite time in a single, contiguous set.

    Finally, I doubt that slower is necessarily safer than faster. The human body is designed to move quickly and to employ momentum.
  15. phatGator
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    phatGator Well-Known Member

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    When I was taught Nautilus in the early 70s the emphasis was one set on each machine, moving from larger muscles to smaller. So I never got into doing multiple sets. We also got the cardiovascular workout by moving directly from machine to machine without resting. Since we were changing main muscles with each exercise the others got a "rest".

    I never worried much about TUT except to adjust the weight to allow MMF to occur between a minimum of 8 reps for legs or 12 for upper body and no more than 20.

    As far as speed, I've always tried to have the motion controlled so that it's the target muscles doing the work, especially the controlled return. I often see people doing something like curls and swinging the weights so fast that they are arching their backs and pushing up with their legs (if with free wts) so the biceps are hardly doing any work. But they have lots of weight.

    Never did much with Darden's emphasis on negative resistance, mainly because it takes helpers.

    I'm sure there have been plenty of advancements in exercise science over the years since I started on Nautilus, but I haven't kept up. As legendary Texas coach Darrell Royal used to say, I dance with who brung me. However, I'm open to change. I was interested in the GC talk on Olympic lifting until my son threw his back out doing similar lifts.

    I haven't worked out for over a year because of wrecking my knee training for the Warrior Dash. This discussion makes me want to get back at it. Thanks!
  16. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    When it comes to Olympic lifts you really need a good coach to teach you proper form before you dive into them. Learning them incorrectly will just lead to injuries. And even learning them properly could still lead to injuries given the nature of Olympic lifting.

    That said, if you are worried about injuries you can still get into lifting with safer movements to build strength.
  17. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    And don't get me wrong here. Nautilus turned the fitness industry on its ear. And even today the "less is more" philosophy has great traction in strength circles.
  18. phatGator
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    phatGator Well-Known Member

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    Not at all. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like a rebuttal. Your comments were right on. I was just thinking back on how I learned things compared to what conventional thought was at the time.

    My son came over tonight and we talked about what he's doing in his workouts. His work has a gym so he can go at lunch.

    Anyway, this has gotten me motivated to get back working out.
  19. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Go for it! I'm 56 myself and am doing some things I've never been able to do. Getting old is overrated.

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