Friday, January 11, 2008

Fitness High Intensity Training Verse


This week I'd like to discuss the topic of over-training. One of my new clients had the pleasure of increasing his strength some 40% - since his last Chest (upper-body) workout. Note, his last chest workout was about 10 days ago!!

My client is new to Heavy Duty/High Intensity Training; however, he IS a good student and has taken the time to listen and grasp these new principles of exercise. By doing so, he has relatively been successful in EVERY workout.

Unfortunately, though, I haven't had the same success with another new client of mine. Somehow he had to learn the hard way. Lately, he has not had ANY strength gains! Why? Well, he has the notion that he must workout at least 3-4X a week (as most people think) and wants to train before he even recovers from his previous workout. Big mistake!

Now, one must realize that HD/HIT training is not like any other type of training. Most people in the gym train with a lot of volume: 3-5 sets, 10-12 reps, with about 20+ exercises @ low intensity. Their workouts usually last about 45-60 minutes in duration. HD/HIT workouts, however, consist of 1 set to failure with 5 or 6 exercises - ranging from 12-20 minutes in duration!! With a greater stress on the whole physiological system. Big difference, mind you.

People are under the notion that the workout produces growth. This is why they do so much volume. If that was the case, every body in the gym would have 20 inch arms. They fail to remember that the workout only STIMULATES growth. Remember, it is the BODY that produces growth, but ONLY if it is left undisturbed for a period of time. And also, the body does not decompensate with no training in 2 weeks. In fact, it is recommended to take a lay off every so often.

When it comes to your training frequency you MUST allow for two things: total recovery and total growth. Time in between workouts is vital if you want to see increases in size and strength. In essence, if you don't rest enough - you won't grow enough.

My first client's testimony is a good case in point. By not training so frequently he was able to improve in his Pec-Dec Flye and in his Chest Press. He did this in both weight and reps! In fact, he is rather eager to see what his Leg workout is going to be this week. I will keep you posted on his progress.

Have a happy new year, and keep HITing!

Gil Burgos, CPT, has been training in the fitness industry since 1995 and brings a diversified background to his clients. Coming from a background of competitive sports he is able to train many types of athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced level trainee, he can help you attain your goal in the most efficient way possible:

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