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Heavy Duty High Intensity Bodybuilding
There are many ways to train. There are also many trainers out there with different goals. Therefore, I feel every person needs to tailor make their training for themselves. The fundamental rules of Heavy Duty should apply to everyone who is training with weights. Within that, you can take on many different angles such as which exercises to use and how often. My area of expertise is bodybuilding, i.e. adding muscle and strength to improve appearance. There are different ways to train purely for strength, powerlifting or Olympic lifting. I am not about to attempt to give instruction on those issues. However, many people I know who use High Intensty Training compete in powerlifting and say it is better than traditional strength training methods. I use strength as a judge that I am getting bigger because it isn't easy to tell by merely weighing or looking at yourself. In general, if you train to improve your strength each workout you will gain muscle. It is possible to gain strength and not size, but it is impossible to gain size without strength. So, as long as you are getting stronger every workout even if it is only a 1 rep improvement, you are gaining muscle. If you are a bodybuilder and want my perspective on how to train, here it comes.
Your rep range should be about 8-15. Lower than 8 reps is better for pure strength and more than 15 is better suited for endurance training which would be useful in running or swimming. Once you can do 12-15 reps witha certain weight in an exercise, add some more weight. Add by percentages. For example, adding 5 lbs. to barbell curls which were at 50 lbs. previously is a 10% addition whereas adding 5 lbs. to deadlifts which were at 250 lbs. is only a 2% addition. Adding 5% is usually good. Sometimes you will get much stronger on an exercise much quicker intially. This is because you are not only gaining more muscle but you are getting more neuromuscularly coordinated in that movement also. This is why you can get a stronger without gaining muscle. Becoming coordinated is harder in free weights than on machines which require little neuromuscular efficiency. Gains come better at the beginning of a program than at the end usually so make the appropriate adjustments to keep you in the proper rep range. Don't add too much or you'll get bad sets. Adding too little can have the same effect. If you start a set and after 3 or 4 reps or less you know it is a bad weight, stop the set! There is no need to continue a bad set. If you choose a bad weight, regroup and do it again.
Your rep speed should be controlled at around 3-5 seconds to contraction, pause, then return at 3-5 seconds. The key word is CONTROLLED.
Your sets should be 1-2, no more if you are not a beginner. In general, I use only 1 to failure. For a beginner, your goals should be different initially. You should be trying to develop healthy training skills. Multiple sets can help you develop a feel for your muscles and for weight training. That is when multiple sets can benefit you. More advanced trainers should be able to train to failure safely.
I rest usually a lot in between workouts. I have tried to use HIT and rest 1 or 2 days, and always come back overtrained. I have tried multiple, less intense sets more often also and have again come back unsatisfied. My method of success is HIT, no overlapping exercises(explained below), and lots of rest, typically 3-5 days, or more, in between workouts. Not between chest workouts but 3-5 days between one workout and the next one. This is what I have found to be effective for me. Most people generally need to rest more than they think.
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