T Nation

Short Workout

I appreciate all of the replies to my HIT post below. I just thought I’d share one of my best workouts and see if anyone’s tried anything similar. Just as a change of pace, I tried just doing squats, bench presses and bent rows for a month. I think I may have subbed deadlifts for squats once or twice. This workout was short, but very effective - I grew like a weed (about 6lbs. in one month). I only worked out 3 times a week, but I went very HEAVY on the basic lifts. It was great as a break from my longer workouts. Also, I probably wouldn’t suggest doing this for too long, maybe six weeks at the most. Couple this with enough calories and I think anybody could get decent results - poundages should creep up, add some lbm, etc. Anybody else tried this? Or know the science behind why it works? I have a friend who did the same workout with addition of power cleans and he got great results.

KellerMan, could you please elaborate on your regime? I am curious as to how many sets, reps and tempos on each of your 3 lifts and if you did them all 3 times per week or just did 1 on each of your 3 training days. Thanks. Roids out.

why did you stop?

Here’s an extremely important point about this type of training and result that almost everyone seems to miss.

The result is not due solely to this specific kind of training. Rather it’s the combination of this training and the weeks or months of training that went before.

As is so often the case with HIT, Arthur Jones
provides the best example, though in this case unwittingly (he did not know it.)

One of his more colorful things he did back in the 70s was challenging bodybuilders to come down to Deland, FL to train with him, and he’d bet them the entire cost of the trip that “he” could put a half inch on their arms in one week, from one workout.

Now these were guys that, typical of that era,
had been training 4 hours per day or more, most or all days of the week, for who knows who long.

First thing Jones did was put them up in a beach house or something and make them rest
for 3 days or so. Typical result: 1/4" gain on the arms, by his account. (Uh, Arthur, how does this show how well your training methods work? These guys weren’t doing any training whatsoever let alone your style of training!)

He then gave them one workout that was very arm-intensive, far harder than their normal training yet much briefer, and had them rest the remainder of the week.

Invariable result: total of 1/2" gained in one week, except one guy who needed a few more days of rest and then did obtain the 1/2".

Now, suppose these guys had been training this way all along. Would they gain 1/2" on their arms from yet another Jones-style workout? Of course not.

It was BECAUSE IT FOLLOWED THE LONG PERIOD OF HIGH VOLUME, LOWER INTENSITY, EXTREME OVERTRAINING that the rest and Jones-style workout gave such outstanding results. Not simply because of the Jones-style workout (as evidenced most by half the gains coming before the workout even started.)

KellerMan was completely correct to not continue with this approach. It worked very well for him not because this is a good way to train all the time, but because, after probably months of training that was at a higher volume than this, the reduction in volume (not the lowness of it per se, but that it was a reduction) gave these results.
Once habituated to this volume, it isn’t a reduction anymore and the “magic” stops.

What I find is that change in volume tends to trigger gains. Paradoxically enough, increasing volume can be equally effective, provided it’s an increase from something that is moderate or low, rather than already-high.

I performed all three movements at each workout. 1-2 warm-up sets (depending on the exercise) and 3 real sets. I pyramid my reps and poundages, 10-8-6. My rep tempo was 4 seconds up and 8 seconds down - no rest at the bottom of the movement. I think you’ll be amazed at how much you put into these sets when you know that they make up your ENTIRE workout. Maybe some people could get great results by just doing this all the time, but I prefer to use it as a change of pace in my growth cycle. Also, after a while, I kind of miss doing barbell curls and skull crushers and stuff like that. However, in light of what I’ve read in this board, I might try it again while subbing chins for bent-rows. Just a thought! Take care folks - Happy New Year!

If you are doing a new workout because you stalled out on your old one, don’t stop the new one until you milk out all the gains. By saying “I probably wouldn’t suggest doing this for too long, maybe six weeks at the most” it sound like you intend to stop progressing on this routine. You should have the attitude that your curent routine is the best until it proves you otherwise, that way you ensure you won’t short circuit yourself.

Bill I agree and dissagree with you. you said, "Now these were guys that, typical of that era, had been training 4 hours per day or more, most or all days of the week, for who knows who long.

First thing Jones did was put them up in a beach house or something and make them rest for 3 days or so. Typical result: 1/4" gain on the arms, by his account. (Uh, Arthur, how does this show how well your training methods work? These guys weren’t doing any training whatsoever let alone your style of training!)"
well let me ask you a question, as you said these guys were overtrained and lets say they had been training in their high volume way for the last 2-3 years (these were competative BBers and very few people trained HIT in those days so I think that it is conservative to say 2-3 years) don’t you see his point in the 1/4 inch growth with NO workouts? it would show a need for a reduction in volume would it not (I think that his point was about the 1/4 was more about what was wrong with how they were training then it was about how HIT works)? you said, “Now, suppose these guys had been training this way all along. Would they gain 1/2” on their arms from yet another Jones-style workout? Of course not." you are 100% correct but again I have a question, what if these guys had been training HIT for the last 2-3 years? how can that be used as an example of how HIT is flawed. you are asking if they would make the same gains if they did it again, I’m saying no they would not have but if they had been training HIT the whole time their gains would have been better or atleast as good without spending as much time in the gym.
lets be real here for a sec. none of the people here are gonna be proBBers. I don’t think in the long run there would be much of a difference if someone trained HIT or if they trained MODERATE volume (NOT HIGH volume, I think either HIT or moderate volume would produce greater gains then HIGH volume). does anyone REALLY think there will be much of a difference in their body if they trained for 5 years HIT or moderate volume (mod. vol. to me would be 3-4 x’s per week, 6-12 sets per body part). I just choose to spend time with my family over time with sweaty guys at the gym.

Overtraining is a huge culprit in development. When I was younger I used to train to excess believing that if 3 sets was good, then 10 sets was better. I mistakenly believed that isolating certain muscles on certain days was the way to go. From the time I started training at about 18 until about 6 or 7 years ago (Im 50 now), I trained basically the same way with the same basic exercises. I had the good fortune to begin working out with Mike Rutherford( mrutherford@kc.rr.com)a former colleg strength coach. I followed what he did which was basically a full body exercise program 3 x week. NO more of the 4-5 days of training. You know what? I got strong, I got big, and now I cant conceive of training any other way. You want big shoulders? Press, either military or push, but you will get huge shoulders if you use the correct weight. Triceps? They get worked in the pressing movements. My arms are as big or bigger than they were when I was isolating them. Legs? No problems, squats both front and back performed on different days, power cleans, snatches, working the core and doing most of the exercises standing on your feet. My entire body has responded like at no other time. I would recommend this type of explosiveness training to anyone. The bottom line is 1 hr of intense exercise 3x week with active rest in between allows you to grow to unparalleled heights.

Mr. Mayor, glad to see someone else on this forum with a ‘5’ in front of their age. I tried to access the website you gave for Rutherford but I think there may be a mistake in the address. Secondly, would you please list a typical weeks workout that you use? Thanks.

Mr Mayor, could you please elaborate a bit on your program, specifically when you mention the “correct weight”, what sort of set/rep scheme do you find most effective?

I would assume that the gains from simply resting that were alluded to from above are the same kind of gains those who have just finished a Mag-10 with Growth Surge Cycle are referring to. Several people have mentioned that they have put on 3-4 pounds in the days after the end of a 2 week cycle. Sure enough, these days coincide with a period of transition from high volume to no volume, and then to moderate volume.