Last week I shared my latest plans for my training and that was to switch back to HIT (High Intensity Training) for the remainder of my offseason which is up until November. This type of training has been pretty much been my main training staple since 1992 and I feel it has done an excellent job of packing on the muscle I have attained over the years. My HIT workouts are generally performed with an emphasis on heavy weights executed with super strict and controlled form, so I can focus on sustaining constant tension throughout the entire range of motion on a given exercise. Sets are limited to 1-2 per exercise and my reps are in between 4-6 per set, but may vary from time to time.
Before switching back to HIT, my exercise form had been a tad bit looser than I normally am accustomed to because of the different training style I was running. So last week and this week I am aiming to get my form tightened up a bit. In some exercises I am having a hard time maintaining constant tension throughout the movement. As soon as my reps hit a certain sticking point I am having a knee jerk reaction to complete the rep at a faster speed. My goal is to keep the reps moving in a smooth and controlled motion and when I do come to those all too familiar and frustrating sticking points….push harder without the knee jerk reaction. I want to complete my reps like when you see a diesel truck pulling a heavy load ever so slowly down the highway. They have some serious horsepower and although they are not very quick...they sure have a lot of torque. I don’t want to perform my HIT training like a dragster jumping off a starting line. There is nothing wrong with reps done with speed as they are surely beneficial and I have been incorporating some speed work in my arsenal this offseason. It has translated beautifully into my squats and deadlifts. I have captured my all time best lifts this year in both of those exercises and I attribute that to some speed work. Thank you Eric and Alberto! HIT just so happens to require a more slower and controlled rep speed protocol and that is my goal for now.
With my bad shoulders it has been very difficult to find ways to keep progressing. Adding weight to my upper body lifts only seems to aggravate my shoulders and to my frustration levels, so I’ve incorporated different stressors for continued progress. For example, on my Incline dumbbell press, my strength is not really an issue, but the intense pain I experience when doing the lift prevents me from progressively adding weight to the exercise. So, adding in some terrific principles such as static holds and negatives with a weight that is easier to lift without the unwanted pain has been a nice way to increase the intensity without the risk of much injury. The intense contraction you feel with static holds and negatives is awesome! I also plan on adding in rest pause reps which really allow you to extend some sets that would normally be halted due to fatigue.
HIT is Not Suited For All Audiences
I feel HIT has its place in some of my chosen exercises, but not for all of them. Some lifts in my opinion just do not feel agreeable when carrying out HIT and I run those movements in a more traditional fashion. Exercises such as squats, deadlifts, stiff legged deadlifts and bent rows I definitely do not undertake HIT. Why? Those movements have a much higher risk level and trying to do a static hold or a negative with a free weight squat can lead to a serious injury. I stop my sets short of failure with dangerous exercises to prevent any types of injuries. I feel it is always smarter to save yourself for future workouts than to try and kill yourself with a set of squats taken to absolute failure.
Last week I accomplished two good workouts…Upper Body 1 and Lower Body 1. Both went well and attempting to adapt to positive failure, negatives and static holds was a real challenge, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found my stamina for a static hold was not where it should be, but I know it will take a couple of weeks to return to a nice groove. I was feeling a little guilty because I did Upper Body 1 on Monday of last week and I did Lower Body 1 on Sunday. So it happened to be 5 whole days in between workouts and I was very antsy during that span. Why did I wait so long to workout again? After Monday’s workout I was fried! It literally took me four days to fully recover and on Saturday my wife and I went to see her father, so Sunday was the ideal choice to train again. This week should go much smoother. I know I will not lose size, but 5 days out of the gym seems like an eternity. However, I also know when training with HIT recovery time becomes so very important. I usually like to get a day off in between workouts, sometimes two, and I like my weekends off, but 5 days off was a tad too long. This is probably one of the reasons for my poor stamina in the gym as of late, so I need to make sure to not have so many days off in between workouts. From my own personal experience, I have found that if I train more than 3 days per week my HIT workouts tend to suffer.
Training Session with Luis Stoner
In yesterday's workout I was privileged to workout with my friend, Luis Stoner. I met Luis through this blog last year as I was taking my journey to the natural stage. One of the things I have really enjoyed about starting this blog is the great people I have met and talked with. Luis is a good friend and we both had a great upper body workout together. We started out with some Dumbbell Chest presses and Luis was handling the 100’s with conviction. I grabbed the 90’s and threw up some nice and slow reps topped off with a sloooow negative. Seated Rows, lateral raises, triceps press downs and barbell curls followed in similar fashion. It was a very fun workout and after we headed over to Chili’s with my wife for a post workout meal. I had top sirloin with black beans and rice. Good stuff!
HIT and Me and Luis, Oh The Pain!!
I have started to film some of my workout sessions again since it has been quite a while since I last filmed. This video is from last week’s workouts and yesterday’s workout with Luis. Look for more videos in the future.
Team 3DMJ Coaching
Last week we updated our coaching services to include online posing sessions, weight training programming and offseason coaching. Of course we still do contest prep coaching! If you are looking to take your physique to another level, check it out our updated services. http://www.3dmusclejourney.com/team-3dmj.php
We are also in the works for an upcoming webinar to reach out to more individuals who are eager to learn more about natural bodybuilding. We will be covering in depth – Contest Prep, Weight Training, Posing and cardio. Look for information for this great event in the very near future on our home page.
Until my next blog, keep training hard and naturally!
In : 2009-2010 Off Season
Tags: atural bodybuilding bodybuilding weightlifting fitness
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