"High Intensity" or "Heavy Duty" training

chris371

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Dec 1, 2006
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Love bell peppers chris371, with my ranch dip and M&M's for desert. I know that's terrible.


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.
 
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Jun 30, 2012
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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.
 

DixieDestroyer

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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.

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

TomIron361

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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.
 
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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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Anybody here have thoughts on protein shakes vs just shoving meat / eggs / milk down your throat?

I've seen / heard both sides argued and of course your never quite sure who to believe on these types of issues.

I'm not a body builder, but I do lift weights at home 3-4 times per week to help stay in shape. Not trying to be massive, but don't want the work I do going to waste either if a small change in diet helps.
 
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Anybody here have thoughts on protein shakes vs just shoving meat / eggs / milk down your throat?

I've seen / heard both sides argued and of course your never quite sure who to believe on these types of issues.

I'm not a body builder, but I do lift weights at home 3-4 times per week to help stay in shape. Not trying to be massive, but don't want the work I do going to waste either if a small change in diet helps.

I use protein powder sometimes. It's just a convenient way to get down the nutrients if you have a busy schedule. They "work" as well as food. A lot of the powders contain a lot less protein than the label states, and a lot of it is poor quality. Get your nutrients from food, use shakes as a convenience when you need to.

"Not trying to be massive"

If you are natural, give it your best shot. Muscles can grow, shrink, or stay the same. There is no training for size vs strength. Your body will adapt according to your genetics. Unless you are taking gear, you will not get huge, unless you mean fat.
 

Carolina Speed

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Feb 13, 2011
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I use protein powder sometimes. It's just a convenient way to get down the nutrients if you have a busy schedule. They "work" as well as food. A lot of the powders contain a lot less protein than the label states, and a lot of it is poor quality. Get your nutrients from food, use shakes as a convenience when you need to.

"Not trying to be massive"

If you are natural, give it your best shot. Muscles can grow, shrink, or stay the same. There is no training for size vs strength. Your body will adapt according to your genetics. Unless you are taking gear, you will not get huge, unless you mean fat.

I agree AA. When I was trying to come back from stage 4 throat cancer, I had lost 60lbs. and all of my muscle. My body looked like a really old elderly mans body. Almost like skin draped over bone. Before I was 5'11 and 210 lbs. and have lifted most of my life. I was 150lbs. after chemo and radiation.
When I was trying to gain my weight back and get back into the gym after recovery, I started taking Mass Tech/Mass Gainer and lifting really hard core. I have gained all my weight back and them some. I'm not sure how you feel about creatine, but it also has that in it for strength. Some don't like to take creatine. This has worked for me as a clean drug free drug free lifter. I'm in my fifties and can bench 405 and deadlift 510lbs raw .
I'm only telling this, because you achieve pretty good results with the right foods and protein.....and to encourage anyone who ever has to go through treatment for Cancer.
 
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I agree AA. When I was trying to come back from stage 4 throat cancer, I had lost 60lbs. and all of my muscle. My body looked like a really old elderly mans body. Almost like skin draped over bone. Before I was 5'11 and 210 lbs. and have lifted most of my life. I was 150lbs. after chemo and radiation.
When I was trying to gain my weight back and get back into the gym after recovery, I started taking Mass Tech/Mass Gainer and lifting really hard core. I have gained all my weight back and them some. I'm not sure how you feel about creatine, but it also has that in it for strength. Some don't like to take creatine. This has worked for me as a clean drug free drug free lifter. I'm in my fifties and can bench 405 and deadlift 510lbs raw .
I'm only telling this, because you achieve pretty good results with the right foods and protein.....and to encourage anyone who ever has to go through treatment for Cancer.

I've taken creatine, and I found it to be helpful. Nothing dramatic, but I think it was good for a few lbs. of muscle and probably got me over a plateau. Some people get stomach issues (gas) with it. I didn't. It's also pretty cheap which is a plus. I encourage everyone to strength train. If you can contract your muscles, you can strength train. People who are worried about getting "too big" (sans drugs) are welcome to try. The industry scares people away by holding up drugged up mutants as examples of what is possible for normal people. Ugh. Out before I start to rant.
 
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10 years on this workout paradigm. I started it the Summer after my father passed away, and I still get weird looks in the gym. It has changed a good bit. The gyms have changed a couple of times, the equipment has changed, and I am 10 years older. The idea is still the same: relatively brief and infrequent full body workouts of one set to failure (legs excepted because of the temptation to cheat) per exercise. Each set takes from 40 to 90 seconds. I ended up doing super slow 10/10 reps on the 45° leg press because I couldn't hang any more weight on the bar doing a 5/5 cadence. I still only go to the gym 1-3 times per week, and the workouts take less than 25 minutes. No injuries at all in 10 years. That's with doing deadlifts about weekly. I do no cardio at all. I am stronger than I was 20 years ago. At 55, that is a good thing. The only real change I will ever make is that at some point I will probably go super slow on everything. Not there yet.
 

jphoss

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Oct 5, 2022
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Something I started doing lately is going heavy and using a sandbag for clean and press 3x3, and then switch it up with light kettlebell snatches 10 every minute for 5 minutes. Great contrast and works both strength power and a decent cv work. Since it’s the summer I try and do hill sprints twice a week and combine with depth jumps, bounding, single leg hops, or some other lower body plyometrics
 
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