“In general, the harder the exercise is, the better its results
Will be; don’t look for ways to make exercises easier-look
for ways to make them harder.”
“All of the evidence clearly supports the contention that the
“intensity of the exercise” should be as high as possible – and
That the “amount of exercise” should be limited to the
absolute minimum that will produce the desired growth
“Most bodybuilders are only dimly aware that overtraining means something negative. It is, in fact, the worst training mistake they can make”
Your Exercise Rx: A Narrow Therapeutic Window
In medicine, the first thing researchers must do is establish the identity of the chemical compound, or drug, that will induce the desired physical effect. Once that is accomplished, they must then discover how much (the dose) and how often (dosing frequency), i.e., the “narrow therapeutic window,” to give the individual. Just the right amount will produce a positive effect; anymore, a negative effect.
That very principle from medical theory carries over and has direct application to exercise theory. In bodybuilding, the first thing was to establish the identity, or nature, of the training stress that would induce growth stimulation; namely, high-intensity, anaerobic activity. That done, the next step was to discover the volume, or dose, and the frequency; again, the narrow therapeutic window. Just the right amount in terms of volume and frequency produces a positive effect; anymore, a negative effect.
As M. Doug McGuff, MD, and President of Ultimate Exercise, Inc., states, “You wouldn’t take any medicine if it didn’t come with a correct dose and dosing frequency; why should you expect anything less from your exercise Rx?”
Individual Exercise Stress Tolerance
I find it curious, given the truth of the above, that a number of exercise scientists advocate that everyone does up to 60 sets a day, virtually every day. Individual exercise stress tolerance is a genetically determined trait; and like all such traits is expressed across a broad continuum. The most readily observed genetic trait is height; where you have midgets at one extreme, and giants at the other. With regard to intelligence, there are literal morons at one end and super-geniuses at the other. In the area of individual sunlight stress tolerance, there are light-skinned people who tolerate very little high-intensity sunlight stress and dark-skinned people who tolerate a lot more. The same is true with individual exercise stress tolerance: with those at one extreme who tolerate very, very little intense exercise stress and those at the other end who tolerate more. This is one of the major flaws in the volume (over) training approach: their failure to account for individual differences in exercise stress tolerance.
Strength and Size
For many bodybuilders, not all, strength increases precede size increases. In other words, they grow stronger for a while without getting bigger. It is important that this be understood for reasons related to motivation. As one continues to grow stronger, however, his strength increases will ultimately yield a muscle mass increase.
I was just such an individual who gained mass cyclically. I can recall numerous stretches during which my strength increased regularly for a few months without an accompanying size increase. Not knowing at the time that for some strength increases precede size increases; this was very frustrating for me. In fact, I was tempted to cease my training efforts a number of times, but I persisted: and my burgeoning strength always finally gave way to an appreciable size increase. I have observed this same phenomenon with some of my personal training clients. They’ll gain continuously in strength for two to three months, with little or no mass increase and then – BOOM! – within a short period they’ll find themselves six or seven pounds heavier.
Quantity vs. Quality of Effort
Where does one launch an investigation aimed at discovering the type of effort responsible for stimulating growth? The most likely place to start is by looking at one of the more readily observed qualities of the things that exists in reality; namely, quantity. The growth stimulus cannot be directly related to quantity of exercise effort or bodybuilders would see better and better results for every additional hour they spent training.
Since it obviously is not the quantity of effort that’s important, there is but one place left to look – the quality, or intensity, of the effort. If a person could curl a 100 pound barbell for 10 reps to failure which rep would be more productive in terms of stimulating an increase in strength and size, the first, the least intense, or the last, the most intense? Obviously it is the last. Do you see where it stands to reason that if the last rep is better than the first, it will be better than the second, third, fourth and so on? That is irrefutable proof that it is the quality of the effort, not the quantity, which is responsible for growth stimulation. Quantity of effort is important only for building endurance, not strength and muscle mass. Don’t confuse training long with training hard. Training hard, intensely, is what is required to build muscle mass.
“If you simple go through the motions of doing that which you can already do; at best you will retain your existing level of ability. You have to constantly attempt the momentarily impossible”
“Once you quit attempting the momentarily impossible then you quit advancing”
“If you like an exercise the chances are you’re doing it wrong”
“Split routines make about as much sense as sleeping with one eye open. Best results will almost always occur from exercising both your upper body and lower body in the same workout”
The Negatives of Aerobics
“Aerobic” exercise is not the most effective form of exercise for fat loss. Steady state activities such as running, cycling, dancing e.t.c do not burn a significant number of calories. One pound of fat can fuel the body for up to 10 hours of continuous activity. “Aerobic” activity is simply inefficient for this purpose”
Chronically high levels of cortisol have been found in long distance runners which can have an aging effect on the body. Impact based aerobics such as running and dance aerobics can have a debilitating effect on the joints and back.