T Nation

Today's Cool Tip: Ian King, 4/6

Ian King talks about keeping your intensity in check, so that basically, you don’t fry yourself for the next time you work out. This would seem to make sense, except I wonder if it would be better to sometimes ratchet up the intensity to an unusual level, even if it means that your next workout won’t be able to approach the same level of volume or intensity?

Isn’t pushing yourself to the extreme sometimes a good way to kickstart extreme growth? A bunch of really well executed workouts, puntuated by a few crazy ones, and then followed by a few “dragging workouts” might be more effective than always performing a standard volume of exercise.

Maybe I’m totally wrong and optimal growth occurs from workouts that don’t leave you totally taxed?

From what I remember of Ian King, back in the old days when he was a regular contributor; he was very much focused on limiting working sets and not overreaching unneccesarily.

The logic being, if you are going to improve by 1% each week, there is no point in incresing the intensity by 2% one week and then not progressing for the next few weeks. (These numbers are purely for dicussion purposes.)

By keeping recovery in check you can make more progress over the long term, rather than wearing yourself out once in a while and not being able to train properly the next time.

At least that it how I interpreted it.

Ian King meant that there’s no need to do as much as humanely possible every time you train, you have to look at your goals instead. If you couldn’t get more reps in your last set why do you want to do another?(volume).

Or if you’re already exhausted from as many reps as you could with the current weight, why add weight now when you can do it next time?(intensity). In other words, exhaust yourself in a way that is helping your goals as opposed to just murdering your body regardless of whether it helps you or not.

Maxing out several times in one exercise is only good for shock value. And shock value isn’t something you should do on a regular basis.

There is progressive overload, then there is just plain old kill yourself overload.

He’s refering to progressive overload. Given his loading parameters, which are prety damn intense, that extra set would amount to “kill yourself overload”.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
There is progressive overload, then there is just plain old kill yourself overload.

He’s refering to progressive overload. Given his loading parameters, which are prety damn intense, that extra set would amount to “kill yourself overload”.

[/quote]
That begs the question: “what are his loading parameters?”