High Intensity Training? While most people in the world are struggling with being overweight and want to lose weight, there is a certain segment of the population that has the opposite problem. Many people just want information on how to be healthy, but lots of people are pretty lean and workout regularly; they simply find they can’t gain weight by building muscle.
This is usually because they are doing it all wrong. Traditional weight lifting is doing three sets of ten reps of any given exercise, with a few minutes of rest between each set. You then move on to the next exercise. Most people target arms, chest, shoulders, back, legs and other muscle groups when doing these exercises. Workouts can last upwards of an hour.
But what is really being accomplished here? When you lift weights you get your heart rate up very quickly. It then stays that way for the duration of your workout.
Now think about running on a treadmill, swimming, aerobics or any other cardio activity. What is the purpose? The point of it all is to increase your heart rate. This is how you burn fat and lose weight.
So if you are trying to gain weight and build muscle, why would you want to spend an hour or longer with an accelerated heart rate? This is essentially a cardio workout which isn’t going to build muscle anytime soon.
High Intensity Training – Exhaustion is Key!
What you need to do is try something called High Intensity Training, or HIT for short. The purpose is to not do prolonged activity so that you maintain an accelerated heart rate for an extended period as in cardio workouts. The purpose is to work your muscles to exhaustion in as little time as possible.
The pioneer in HIT was Arthur Jones with the aid of Casey Viator. They created the first experiment in HIT known as the “Colorado Experiment.” You can follow the link for more information. In short, they managed to gain weight, build muscle and burn fat so that their body fat percentages decreased.
High Intensity Training – How it works
So how does it work? It usually requires a spotter to be done correctly, so try and find a workout partner. Then, follow these steps with any free weight exercise:
1. Find a weight you can do about 10 times max for that given exercise.
2. Instead of using this weight, you’ll want to use about 75% of it.
3. Begin doing the exercise, taking 5 seconds to lift the weight and 5 seconds to bring it down. This will feel very, very slow. Do not stop moving the weights, like pausing at the top. Continuous movement is key.
4. You should be able to do 10 reps on your own. If you can do more than 10, the weight is too light. But do as many as you can until you are unable to do any more reps on your own. Always maintain perfect form and continuous movement.
5. When you can no longer do any reps on your own, have a spotter help you as minimally as possible. They should only assist you in getting the weight up. You should then bring it back down under your own power. These are called negative reps.
6. Continue doing the exercise until you are no longer able to perform negative reps on your own. Once you need assitance to both bring up the weight and let it down, you have worked your muscles to exhaustion.
That’s all there is to it. You only do one set and you’re done. It only takes 2-3 minutes to complete a set. Once you have done a set, move right into another set targeting a new muscle group. Never target the same muscle group twice.
Here is an example workout you could follow:
That in and of itself would be a 15 minute workout at the most, and you will have hit all your major muscle groups. After you do this workout, do not workout again for at least 2 days. Your muscles need recovery time.
You will feel very sore when you are done. But it will be well worth it. You will be doing wonders for your metabolism which will help to burn fat and build muscle. You will have worked your muscles like never before. And best of all, you won’t be doing any kind of prolonged cardio workout.
So if building muscle is your goal, give HIT a try.