High Intensity Training

Listeners questions

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Every week we get bombarded by questions from all over the world. Below is an example of just a few of the questions we get asked on a regular basis.

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Q: Will taking a ballet class improve my footwork for boxing?

A: Taking dance classes (no matter what kind) will not make a difference in how well you box. Your time would be much better spent working on boxing specific footwork. shadow boxing, sparring etc.

To be helpful in improving sports performance, movement patterns need to be specific. Boxing has a specific kind of movement. There are no degrees of specificity. Either something is specific or it is not. Specific means explicit, particular, or definite not sort of or similar to.

Choosing dissimilar activities in hopes that they may improve performance in a totally different sport, is a mistake many coaches and athletes make. The only real possible benefits to taking ballet class are:

1. You may become a better dancer (in this case a better ballet dancer)

2. You may gain a placebo effect feeling that as you notice improvement in one area (dance) you will feel it must be having a positive carry over to another area (boxing).

3. You may find that you actually prefer wearing tights and leaping through the air more than getting punched in the face.

So in closing, unless you have a burning desire to become good / better at ballet, concentrate on boxing.

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Q: Can strength training improve an athlete’s quickness?

A: Quickness is a product of many factors, including but not limited to:
(1) the amount of muscle on the body
(2) the amount of body fat
(3) the lean muscle mass to total body weight ratio
(4) skill level of the individual in question
(5) bodily proportions
(6) motivation.

One of the easiest ways to accelerate the development of quickness is to increase your lean muscle mass (up to a point) and or increase your body’s ability to produce maximal force. Increasing lean muscle mass will favorably change your ratio of muscle mass to total body weight. Once you have reached an optimal weight (the most lean muscle mass you can gain without slowing down) you should then focus on improving Mass-Specific- Force. The most effective way to accomplish these goals is through goal appropriate strength training combined with a well balanced diet. See my S.P.I.C.E. article for more helpful information.

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TAKU’s NOTE: Listen in to this weeks podcast episode #43 as we answer more questions from some of our many listeners around the country and around the world.


REST IN PEACE DR. KEN

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Dr. Ken Leistner was simply known to many as “Dr. Ken.” He was a chiropractor (that’s where the “doctor” thing comes into play), and he was also a renowned expert in strength training, athleticism, and gym ownership.

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Known for his intense training sessions, Dr. Ken supervised the training of athletes at every skill level, including high school, collegiate, professional, and Olympic record-holders. He served as a consultant to several university athletic programs and NFL coaching staffs in the areas of rehabilitation and strength enhancement.

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Long before strength training was widely accepted or practiced in the athletic community Doc utilized what knowledge and equipment were available. He enhanced both with experimentation and iron working skills in order to compete as a collegiate athlete and power-lifter. In the late 1960s he installed one of the first comprehensive strength training programs on Long Island while coaching high school football and track and field.

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He and his wife Kathy, a weight-trained Big Ten Conference multi-sport athlete, champion power-lifter and bodybuilder, and Taekwando Black Belt holder, founded the Iron Island Gym and operated it from 1992 through 1998. It became the premiere training site for serious, hardcore competitive, and recreational trainees. In the early 1970s he served the equipment industry in positions ranging from welder to prototype consultant for a number of major companies.

Dr Ken’s Legendary Newsletter

Dr Ken’s Legendary Newsletter

Training isn’t all Dr. Ken did. With well with over 1,100 published articles to his credit, in such publications as; Milo, Hard Gainer, The Steel Tip, Power-lifting USA and IronMan, and even a few text book contributions, and a couple of power-lifting federation rule-book revisions.

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“We all train for our own reasons and if enjoyment is one of them and using equipment that is different, more challenging, fascinating, and inspiring to you makes each rep a bit ‘better’ then that’s what you should be using.”
- Dr. Ken

“It is not a call to lay down our arms. In fact, knowing that my potential for strength and muscular improvement is reduced with age, each workout reminds me that I have to in fact train harder than before, train harder than I think is possible, train with an intensity that perhaps I had been unable to summon previously. It's also a reminder, that while doing that, there is a real need to train smarter... while I'm trying to train harder.”
- Dr. Ken

TAKU’s NOTE: I was lucky enough to speak with Dr Ken a few times, and he was kind enough to allow me to share some of his writing here on our BLOG.

insights on Proper Strength Training

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In this weeks podcast episode#42 we are thrilled to have as our guest, Big Jim Flanagan.

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With over 40 years in the Strength, Health and Fitness business, Jim Flanagan has forgotten more about proper strength training than most of us will ever hope to learn. He was a student of the Legendary Strong Man Milo Steinborn.

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Jim was the General Manager for Nautilus Sports/Medical Exercise Industries from 1973 - 1987. assisted in the Worldwide Sales & Marketing Department of Nautilus under direct supervision of Arthur Jones, Inventor & Founder of Nautilus.

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From 1987– 2002 Jim was the General Manager & General Sales Manager for Arthur Jones' new company, MedX Corporation.

Jim Flanagan teaching proper strength training

Jim Flanagan teaching proper strength training

Currently Jim is President of Resistance Solutions, Inc. They specialize in strategic business consulting in the Rehabilitation & Exercise/Fitness Industry for both start-up & existing hospital-based or individual rehabilitation & exercise facilities worldwide. RSI distributes only the "gold standard" in Medical Exercise/Fitness Equipment featuring: MedX - The Leader in Spine Technology Testing, Rehabilitation and Exercise Equipment plus SCIFIT Cardio Rehabilitation & Fitness equipment and a variety of Flooring Solutions including Infinity Performance.

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TAKU’s NOTE: Join us in episode #42 as Jim shares his four plus decades of strength training wisdom with us. If you pay attention you may learn a thing or two about proper exercise. You night even learn how to cook a great steak

ELLINGTON DARDEN, PART TWO: NAUTILUS AND BEYOND

Ellington Darden Bobdybulider and more…

Ellington Darden Bobdybulider and more…

ELLINGTON DARDEN, PhD, is an exercise researcher. He holds bachelor's, and master's degrees in physical education from Baylor University, and a doctorate in exercise science from Florida State University (1972) as well as two years of postdoctoral study in food and nutrition.

Athletes supervised by Dr Darden

Athletes supervised by Dr Darden

Darden was director of research for Nautilus Sports/Medical Industries for 17 years. There he helped develop and popularize the Nautilus exercise machines. Darden is the founder and chairman of Living Longer Stronger, a corporation devoted to science and education.

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The secret to strength training success…

"Training secrets? There are NONE!" Arthur Jones often said.

"Just understand some simple rules concerning intensity, progression, and frequency — then, combine that with a few good exercises. That's all you need." Jones with his rules, exercises, and commanding personality produced outstanding results for almost every man he supervised.

Arthur Jones    (Standing) with    Casey Viator.

Arthur Jones (Standing) with Casey Viator.

Dr Darden was in truth one of the very first personal trainers. He has spent years studying and applying simple effective methods of strength training and nutrition which have consistently produced some of the most amazing transformations one could imagine.

One of the participants from his    KILLING FAT    project!

One of the participants from his KILLING FAT project!

TAKU’s NOTE: In part two of our conversation with Dr Ellington Darden (Podcast Episode #39), we take a trip down memory lane, with stories about his time with Arthur Jones, working with cadets at West Point during Project Total Conditioning and much more.

Positive Role Models

By TAKU

Below is a list of some of the folks who have positively impacted me in my career as a strength and conditioning coach. Some of these people are friends of mine. Some I have been lucky enough to meet and spend time with, while others have led by example through their tireless efforts to promote safe, productive strength and conditioning practices. Not only have they positively impacted my own development, but their work has inspired and positively influenced numerous coaches within the industry, and countless athletes around the world. This list is presented in no particular order (it's not a top ten).

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Mark Asanovich
Mark Asanovich has years of NFL Strength and Conditioning experience. Including time with the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Jacksonville Jaguars strength and conditioning programs. His program emphasizes individual supervision of player workouts. It is his belief that players who are coached in the weight room will develop better results. The cornerstone of the program is to “maximize physical potential and minimize physical injury.” Asanovich has been a speaker for consecutive years at the Strong-S seminar in Tokyo that is organized by the renowned Japanese trainer Tatsuya Okawa.

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Matt Brzycki
Matt Brzycki has authored, co-authored and edited seventeen books. In addition, he has authored more than 435 articles/columns on strength and fitness that have appeared in 44 different publications. Matt has given presentations throughout the United States and Canada. He has also given presentations to the Central Intelligence Agency; US Customs and Border Protection; and US Secret Service Academy. He was appointed by the governor to serve on the New Jersey Council on Physical Fitness and Sports as well as the New Jersey Obesity Prevention Task Force.

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Dr. Ellington Darden
Dr. Ellington Darden is the leading disciple of the H.I.T. training method. Darden, for 17 years the director of research for Nautilus Sports/Medical Industries, is the author of such enormously popular books on high-intensity workouts as The Nautilus Book, High-Intensity Bodybuilding, and 100 High-Intensity Ways to Build Your Body, along with over 40 other fitness books.

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Patty Durell
Patty Durell has been helping people achieve their fitness goals for over 24 years. She is a Master Level Personal Trainer, Certified Conditioning Specialist, licensed Physical Therapist Assistant, and CEO of Rock Solid Fitness, an exclusive personal training studio in Dunedin, FL. She is also a member of Business Networking International, on the Board of Directors with the Chamber of Commerce in Dunedin, FL, and on the Advisory Board for the Palm Harbor University High School Medical Magnet program in Palm Harbor FL.

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Big Jim Flanagan
Jim Flangan met Henry “Milo” Steinborn, world’s strongest man at the time and champion wrestler, and began strength training under Milo’s guidance. He continued training with Milo for years to come and along the way met Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus and known worldwide as the man who changed the face of fitness forever. Arthur was a fitness genius and true living legend. Jim purchased a full line of Nautilus equipment from Arthur in 1973 and proceeded to open Orlando, Florida’s first fitness center, Jim Flanagan’s Nautilus Fitness Center.

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Mike Gittleson
Mike Gittleson spent thirty seasons as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the University of Michigan’s football program. He was appointed the athletic department’s first strength and conditioning coach in 1978. Gittleson was recognized by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society as the 2003 National Collegiate Football Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year. Gittleson maintained the overall training and conditioning of the football program in one of the finest facilities in the country. He developed a unique and scientific approach to Michigan’s conditioning program, tailoring each program to the individual player in order to provide the maximum physical output and the prevention of injuries.

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Arthur Jones
Arthur Jones’ ideas helped move the public’s notion of bodybuilding and strength-training exercise away from the hours in the gym using free weights to short, single set workouts focusing on maximum intensity, which, according to theory, triggers maximal muscular growth. His publications include the Nautilus Bulletins, which aim to dispel contemporary myths of exercise and training. The Nautilus machines and the company he formed to sell them made him a multimillionaire and landed him on the Forbes list of the 400 richest people. Jones also founded MedX Corporation, in which he invested millions to develop medical-based exercise and testing equipment targeting spinal rehabilitation and fitness.

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Dr. Ted Lambrinides
Dr. Ted Lambrinides is currently a strength and conditioning coach for the University of Kentucky. Ted did his undergraduate studies in business marketing and graduate studies in coaching and exercise science at The Ohio State University, where he began his career as a student assistant and graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach. After OSU, Lambrinides worked as director of education for two fitness companies, Nautilus Midwest and Hammer Strength Corporation.

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Dr. Ken Leistner
Dr. Ken Leistner, for decades a concerned voice in the powerlifting community as a competitor, trainer, judge, national athletes’ representative, and administrator, was the Feature Editor, monthly columnist, and the author of articles ranging from training advice to political commentary for POWERLIFTING USA Magazine. With over 1000 published articles in the area of strength enhancement and injury prevention and rehabilitation, Dr. Ken was asked to edit or rewrite the rulebook for two of Powerlifting’s major federations. Dr. Ken has served as a consultant to numerous university athletic programs and NFL coaching staffs. While many in the sport know Leistner through the Steel Tip Newsletter of the 1980’s, many articles, and former ownership of the National and World Championship winning Iron Island Gym, Dr. Ken is as well known for his contributions to the Chiropractic treatment protocols first used at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and the design and prototyping of Nautilus and Hammer Strength equipment dating back to the early-1970’s.

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Ken Mannie
Ken Mannie has spent 24 years as Michigan State’s head strength and conditioning coach for football, while additionally directing and overseeing the strength and conditioning programs for all men’s and women’s sports. Mannie has been a keynote speaker and round-table participant at several national conventions and seminars. In both 2006 and 2007, Mannie was named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in recognition for his numerous and ongoing educational efforts in the field of strength and conditioning and in bringing awareness to the anabolic drug abuse problem in sports. He has been recognized and is widely published on his adamant stance against performance-enhancing drugs.

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Dan Riley
Dan Riley most recently was the strength and conditioning educator for the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute. Riley is a retired strength and conditioning coach having spent 27 of those years in the National Football League (19 with the Washington Redskins and eight with the Houston Texans) winning four Super Bowls. Prior to his stint with the Redskins, Riley spent five years as the strength coach at Penn State after serving four years as the strength coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

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Dr. Wayne Westcott
Dr. Wayne Westcott has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Fitness Professionals, the Healthy American Fitness Leader Award from the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and the Roberts-Gulick Award from the YMCA Association of Professional Directors, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Governor’s Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports, and the NOVA 7 Exercise Program Award from Fitness Management Magazine.

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Kim Wood
Kim Wood started weight training as a youngster, training to become a better wrestler and football player. He continued his training behind the scenes, as a running back at the University of Wisconsin in the sixties…. long before the fancy weight rooms and training complexes known to today’s players. Later, he worked for Arthur Jones, the legendary designer of the Nautilus machines. In 1975, Kim became one of the first strength coaches of professional football. During that time, he was also one of the three principals who created the now, world famous, Hammer Strength machines. He retired from the Bengals after 28 years with the team and was lucky enough to experience two Super Bowls along the way.

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Tom Kelso
For 23 years he was in the collegiate strength and conditioning profession, serving as the Head Coach for Strength and Conditioning at Saint Louis University (2004-2008), the University of Illinois at Chicago (2001-2004), Southeast Missouri State University (1991-2001), and the University of Florida (1988-1990). He got his start in the strength and conditioning field as an Assistant Strength Coach at Florida in 1984 where he was also a weight training instructor for the Department of Physical Education from 1985 to 1988. Tom Kelso is currently an Exercise Physiologist with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. He also trains clients through Pinnacle Personal & Performance Training in Chesterfield, Missouri.

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Along with my friend and mentor Jim Bryan, the above individuals represent some of the finest minds of the strength and conditioning community. If you are already familiar with some or all of the folks on this list, then count yourself lucky. If you have not explored their work, then I suggest you do so right away.

TAKU

Project Total Mobility

In this weeks podcast episode # 30 we focus our attention on Flexibility. All other factors being equal, applying muscular force over the greatest range of joint motion can improve power output during skill execution. Therefore, maximizing one’s inherent flexibility can be beneficial. One’s joint flexibility is contingent upon skeletal muscle origins and insertions, body composition, and to some extent activity level. Some athletes are quite flexible while others are not. Whatever your level, it can be maximized by emphasizing full range of motion strength training exercises and performing basic pre-workout dynamic movement drills, and post-workout safe static-stretching exercises. An inordinate amount of time spent on static stretching is normally not necessary unless there is a specific need for it.

In support of this weeks topic I offer another awesome article by my friend Dr Wayne Westcott. Read on to see how combining simple static stretches immediately following your strength exercises provides maximum results in minimum time.

The Best of Both Worlds: Strengthening and Stretching

By Wayne Westcott

There are numerous books, articles, and videos about stretching available. Many of these resources describe several types of stretching exercises and present sample programs for improving joint flexibility. However, the proposed stretching protocols presented often require up to an hour to perform.

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While I do not question the effectiveness of such programs, in my experience few people have time for sixty minutes of stretching exercise. In fact, most of our fitness center participants spend about 30 minutes doing strength training (15 Nautilus machines) and about 30 minutes doing endurance exercise (treadmill, cycle, stepper, cross-trainer, etc.), leaving little time in a typical one-hour workout for stretching.

Our latest research has demonstrated the benefits of including stretching in the overall exercise program, but our participants attained excellent results from relatively brief stretching sessions. Consider the following findings from two of our studies on stretching exercise.

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STUDY ONE: Our first study in this area was conducted with 77 golfers (average age 57 years) who did a standard strength training program (13 Nautilus exercises). Fifty-two golfers did strength training only, and 25 golfers did a combination of strength training and stretching exercise. The stretching protocol consisted of six exercises performed on a StretchMate apparatus (a platform and steel frame threaded with elastic cable and resembling a large spiderweb). Each stretch was held for 10 seconds, with most stretches performed on both sides of the body, and the total time requirement was about three minutes.

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Both groups of golfers made impressive improvements in body composition, adding about four pounds of muscle and losing about four pounds of fat over the eight-week training period. However, the golfers who performed stretching exercises increased their joint flexibility significantly more than the golfers who did only strength training. More important to the golfers, those who did strength training and stretching increased their club head speed twice as much as those who did only strength training (5.2 mph vs. 2.6 mph).

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Club head speed basically determines driving power, with each mile per hour increase equivalent to about 2.3 yards more driving distance. The combination of strength training and stretching exercise produced the greatest improvement in club head speed, and the total workout time was less than 30 minutes.

STUDY TWO: Our second study on stretching exercise involved 76 participants from our fitness classes. The small group fitness classes run hourly throughout the day in our research center (six members with two instructors). Each class consists of 12 Nautilus exercises and about 20 to 25 minutes of aerobic activity (treadmill or cycle).

About half of the research participants performed the standard training protocol, whereas the other half added stretching exercises to the workout. To save time and to make the stretches specific to the strength training, we paired every Nautilus exercise with an appropriate stretch for the same muscle group. Each stretch was held for 20 seconds, and most were done right on the Nautilus machines.

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For example, the Nautilus leg extension exercise for the quadriceps muscles was followed by the standing quadriceps stretch. Likewise, the Nautilus leg curl exercise for the hamstrings muscles was followed by the seated hamstrings stretch. This pairing procedure made productive use of the rest time between machines, using 20 seconds for single stretches and 40 seconds for stretches performed on both sides of the body. Although the total time requirement for the stretches was about six minutes, the actual duration of the workout was about the same due to the strategic placement of the stretching exercises between the Nautilus exercises.

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The results of this 10-week study were both anticipated and surprising. We expected the group that included stretching exercises to make greater gains in joint flexibility, and indeed they did. Their hamstrings flexibility increased 2.4 inches compared to a 1.4-inch improvement in the group that did not stretch.

However, we also found that the stretching group gained almost 20 percent more muscle strength than their non-stretching counterparts. Specifically, the participants who paired Nautilus and stretching exercises increased their hamstrings strength by 19.5 pounds, whereas the participants who did not stretch increased their hamstrings strength by only 16.4 pounds.

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So this study also showed superior results by combining strength training and stretching exercises. It would therefore seem that muscle strength, joint flexibility, movement speed, and performance power can all benefit from a relatively basic and brief exercise program that includes appropriate strengthening and stretching components.

Just as our previous research demonstrated that one set of each strength exercise is as productive as two or three sets, these studies clearly indicate that a few minutes of stretching exercise are sufficient for significantly improving joint flexibility. In fact, the three-minute stretching sessions performed by the golfers produced a 24-percent average increase in their hip and shoulder flexibility.

TAKUS’s NOTE: Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., is fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA, and author of several books on fitness, including Building Strength and Stamina, and Strength Training Past 50. Thanks to Dr Westoctt for allowing me to share his material.

One and Done: Five Easy Steps to a One Hour Workout

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Two of the biggest mistakes I see in the gym are people training too often, and not training hard enough. Most folks mistakenly believe that they can make up for lower quality workouts, by simply upping the quantity. Unfortunately this does not work.

Most of these people hit the gym five or six days a week, repeating the same old stuff over and over, like a hamster going round and round on his little wheel. The sad thing is they make about as much forward progress as that hamster does…they are basically going no where.

On the other end of the spectrum are the folks who feel they just don’t have time to train. They want to do cardio, lift weights, stretch, and still have a life. They look at the gym hamsters, and wish that they to could somehow find the time to spend 10-12 hours a week in the gym.

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WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

First, you will not make progress by doing the same thing over and over. If you expect your body to produce a change, than you must start by inducing that change with an unaccustomed stimulus.

Next,once the stimulus has been introduced, get out of the gym and let your body do it’s thing. The workout does not produce the change. Change happens during your recovery period.

Finally, 4-6 workouts every two weeks is enough for anyone to get the job done. Not only that, each workout should not take more than an hour to complete. That’s right, one hour. You will do cardio, weights, stretching…and all in one hour.

Here’s how it works:

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Step One. 0-5 minutes. Warm-up = Easy cycling @ 60% Max Heart Rate

Step Two. 5-20 minutes. Endurance exercise (Cardio) = Interval cycling alternating 3-min @ 70% Max Heart Rate and 3-min @ 80% Max Heart Rate

Step Three. 20-25 minutes. Cool-down = Easy cycling @ 60% Max Heart Rate

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Step Four. 25-55 minutes. Strength Training = One set each of 8-12 exercises covering all major muscle groups. Example: Leg Press, Leg Curl, Chest Press, Row, Shoulder Press, Pull-down, Triceps, Biceps, Ab’s, Low-back

Step Five. 55-60 minutes. Cool-down and Stretching = the Big-4: Hamstring stretch, Low-back Stretch, Shoulder Stretch, Calf Stretch

WOW…That was easy. Now, get into the gym and create your own workout using the above guidelines as your template. If you like free-weights, use free-weights. If you prefer running or rowing to cycling, DO IT!.  Try alternating three days in the gym the first week, and only two days the next. Mix things up, keep it fresh.

Before you know it, you’ll be having fun, getting fit, and still have time for a life outside the gym.

TAKU

Sensible Training

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I think a day does not go by without someone asking me a question on training or another telling me why there training regimen is the best. And, if I really want to make things worse, I just have to step out of my office and peer around the corner into the weight room and watch as people hoist and throw weights around as they follow some program that they got out of some bible of a fitness magazine. I might get lucky and see one or two guys moving things in a controlled fashion, maybe someone I worked with, but those days are rare. I better not stop and give advice to anyone, because usually the trainee‘s ego gets in the way of any constructive conversation, and what do I really know…They have been working out for years, on the same split routine, so it must work.

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Funny thing is that when my computer breaks, I call the computer people. Now I have a bit of knowledge on how to fix electronic things, and have dabbled with computers, but most likely I would screw things up, so I defer to the experts. But when it comes to exercise and training it seems that everyone is an expert. And experts in this realm are formed not by their knowledge base or understanding of the human body, but instead they are experts because of the size of their arms and chest. And if they really look good, they might get hired at a health club, get certified online, call themselves a personal trainer (a more glorified expert), and make loads of money training and instructing. It‘s a cycle, and it happens everyday and has become the backbone of the health club industry..

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Does having a large chest, big arms or broad shoulders make you knowledgeable about training? Or could it just be good genetics, which is 90 percent of the game anyway. Arthur Jones once said ― ”If you wish to learn to train a racehorse, don‘t ask the racehorse how to train.” Yet go to any gym today and watch guys flock to the big guy in the corner. The thought process is that he must know what he‘s doing because he looks that way. Questions are asked, and the next thing you know guys start following what the big guy does hoping for similar results. Over and over, again and again. If I train like him, I can one day look like him.

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It never ceases to amaze that some of the most educated people that I have ever met cannot understand basic bio-mechanics and physiology or have some general common sense when it comes to training and general exercise. Even professionals with degrees cannot comprehend basic ideas, processes, and theories. For some they believe that if it’s not written by the great governing bodies (ACSM and NSCA), that it cannot be right or work because they would have thought of it. Or where is the research study to back it up?. Do researchers even understand what high intensity is? So what do most trainers and educators do - prescribe more exercise, because more is always better.

People who are educated about training, physiology and such know that when it comes to training and getting stronger -- ultimately everything WORKS. But there are guidelines to follow that may help one achieve their goals and maximize results:

First, less is always more when it comes to training. Forget the marathon training sessions, the endless sets and repetitions. All they lead to is repetitive stress injuries and eventually over-training. Keep those workouts session brief and engaging. Don‘t stop and watch TV in between exercises or read a magazine. Train with a purpose. Get in the gym and get out.

Second, be critical with form or style. When in doubt move those weights slower not faster. Slower is harder, safer and more productive. Take a look around your club. Watch the sloppy form and explosive heaving that occurs. Remember strength is built over time, not demonstrated for show.

Third, keep it simple. Forget trying to concoct crazy workout schemes and plans.. Stick to the basics.. Break the body up into different planes horizontal and vertical and pick basic movements for each plane. Also focus more on compound movements, as they provide more bang for your buck. Train controlled with your repetitions and train with maximum intensity.

Finally, be progressive over time and work as hard as you possibly can on each exercise each workout. As time goes by decrease the volume of exercise some, do not add more.

Sounds simple and sensible and it is if you follow it. But what do I know, I do not look like Joe bodybuilder, or Hulk for that matter ... just an average fit guy, so I must not know anything worthwhile. Maybe I could make a better career fixing computers or something.

TAKU’s NOTE: For more awesome information about training, Check out this weeks podcast episode #24 featuring Sunir Jossan. If you’re in the Washington D.C. area stop by the Personal Edge, and find out what sensible hard training is really all about.