T Nation

New workout style

I’ve decided to try out another style of workout that I’ve heard good things about. It combines HIT with a “confusion” principle. Basically I pick out 1 exercise per bodypart and take it to failure about 3-4 times per week. However each time I workout I’ll pick a new exercise for each bodypart. This way you continually stimulate the muscle two ways. I think the longer you’ve been lifting the quicker your body will adapt to one particular exercise. Also, this workout keeps boredom at bay. The only disadvatage I see with this workout is you may not be able to track strength increases as closely as when you stick to one exercise for 6 weeks or so. But the changing stimulus may compensate for this especially since you will be going to failure on each set. Any thoughts?

it is still HIT, meaning it will work, but only for a while. The little twist might make it better than baseline HIT but i’m not sure, depends on a lot of things, including your training background, fiber makup, diet. try it for 3 weeks.

I know Ian King mentions motor unit adaption a lot, which I believe you can only get from progressing in a set series of movements 2 or 3 times. I think that’s why he always wants you to go light in the first week and then build on it. Not sure if it’s a hypertrophy thing or not.
Personally, I find that it’s the new stimulus that really trashes me, so your theory might work. Sounds a bit like Mentzerish Circuit Training though…
Get back to us with the results.

hey Kris/Chris. You mean that doing set’s to failure will not bring you gains? I understand the anti-mentzer/HIT thing but come on. You mean to tell me that sets to failure are non productive altogether?

First things first-Jong–training to failure will produce results , but it is NOT necessary. Look at powerlifters,etc. Also you will get MUCH better results if you periodize your intensity(failure). OK- your body will get used to tempo,intensity(high reps,low reps), time you rest between sets,etc. much quicker than the exercise itself!!!Working your muscles in two ways?-I don’t get it. High reps, slow tempo hits=red muscle fibers-fast tempo,heavy weights hits=white muscle fibers,-yes there are other fibers but you get the jist. Ian King uses different ANGLES to elliminate overuse injuries, also to activate other motor units. You can not shape your muscles–you can make them bigger, make them smaller, or get rid of the fat covering them so you can see them!!! That’s it . It also sounds like your going to work a single muscle 3-4 times per week??? Oh, man,–you better be juiced to the gills

Hey Logan, No one said that training to failure was a prerequisite for gains. You’re absolutely right that training the same body part 3-4 times a week to failure is over trianing to say the least.(probably even if you are on tons of juice) I think his hearts in the right place as in changing up the stimulus and adding in some to failure training is just one part. Of course the volume of training to failure seems a bit excessive to say the least.

I used to train to failure every workout. I did so simple because Arnold did it. Took me many moons to realize that what worked for a chemically assisted genetic anomaly doesn’t always work for an average guy. Now I use Ian’s approach (go to failure only 1 out of every 3 weeks in a given program) and my progress is much better. It’s the difference between training hard and training smart. Took me a long time to realize this though.

I was under the impression that periodization involved shifting rep schemes and intensities (loads). Within a given macrocycle, shouldn’t one be going to failure for that designated rep scheme at least in the final micro cycles In other words, every 4 weeks I try to attain personal best for a given RM (15,10,5,etc…)towards the end of the macro. Am I mistaken?

Hey Logan-the way you are working the muscle in two ways is 1)taking it to failure and 2)providing a different stimulus each time you workout. Additionally, you say you think I would be overtraining, but remember I’m only doing 1 set per bodypart, so I disagree. I’ve tried the Ian King style of workout with decent results but no matter what your muscles need a different stimulus and a more intense stimulus at some point in your training cycle if it is going to be forced to adapt. I believe this system will provide both these pre-requisites in a manner that will not bore your brains out so that you continually are excited and enthusiastic for your workouts. I mean think how good it feels every time you switch exercises after doing one type for a certain period of time. Your muscles get a good pump and the next day you actually feel like you trained the day before, rather than that indifferent feeling you have once youve been doing the same thing for a while. Again my only reservation would be difficulty tracking strength increases when switching up exercises.

IMO another problem with constantly changing exercises is decreased muscle recruitment. Doesn’t it take several training sessions for some motor units to “learn” to be recruited for a particular exercise? And if these fibers are not recruited, they will not respond to training. Variety is essential, but I think in most cases a microcycle should be repeated 2-4 times before changing exercises.

Sorry there JJ-you’re rightin theory that one set to failure 3-4 times a week MAY NOT produce overtraining—BUT, going to failure ALL the time will limit your results,or at least you will make better gains periodizing your intensity(going to absolute failure). Hey,don’t listen to me,go ahead and DO IT. You will know soon enough–or maybe not. I see lots of people who know everything and don’t grow!? Hope it works for you