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Bodybuilding Intensity Training For The Average Joe

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The use of short and intense workout to help individuals achieve their physical goals!

Andreas Cahling The short, intense workout gained popularity in the 70's from Arthur Jones publishing his articles and writing his books 30 yrs. ago. Since then, many trainers have found that they made great gains on those programs involving few sets and near maximum effort. Another effect of the boom in high intensity training is the appearance of a vast array of bodybuilding machines. Nautilus started it and thousands of other have since followed (not to denigrate them as many of these machines work very well). The problem is many trainers believe that unless you have access to gyms with such equipment, you will be left out in the cold, destined to slavishly perform set after set with antiquated barbells and dumbbells.

The makers of the machines would love you to believe that their equipment provides the only true high intensity workout. However, barbells and dumbbells, properly used, can yield just as good a workout as the newest contraptions. This is a point that Arthur Jones readily pointed out in his early writings, but has was lost in the onslaught of machinery that appeared after the success of Nautilus


Home trainers can reap the benefits of intensity training by what we call “compounding”, a combination of two movements that work the same body part both intensely and safely. For example, choose a weight that can be handled for four good reps in the fly. Now that you have squeezed out four reps, do the dumbbell press until failure. This compound exercise allows the pecs to be pre-exhausted; the front delts and triceps then take over, further working the pecs. A couple of cycles worked hard will build muscle as fast as the newest machine.

This routine, for best results, should not be performed more than twice a week. It can be performed in its entirety on two training days or can be spilt into four sessions by doing legs and back together on one day and the rest of the program on the next day.

The program is as follows: First perform one set of 8-10 reps of the first part of the exercise as a warm up. Pause for a short rest, and then begin the compound exercise until you can’t force another rep. The only exception to the compound method is the squat, as it would become dangerous to perform in this manner. Do the squat until you are sure you’re not able to push out another one in decent form. Enough explanation. Let’s workout:

1. Front Squat - Back Squat: After a light warm up set of front squats, choose a weight that allows five good front squats, then return the bar to the rack and immediately switch to back squats for as many reps am possible.

2. Bent Row - Stiff-legged Deadilft: Same warm up procedure with bent rows as exercise No. 1 Perform five bent rows then stiff-legged deadlifts until the barbell doesn’t budge.

3. Upright Row - Power Clean: Do four reps of the row, then switch to cleans using only a small amount of dip to get under the bar.

4. Side Laterals - Dumbbell Press: Follow four reps in lateral raise with strict dumbbell presses,elbows back, to failure.

5. Flyes - Dumbbell Bench Press: Perform four or five reps in flyes then press the dumbbells until you can’t anymore. Remember, you must choose a weight heavy enough to push your muscles to exhaustion.

6. Lying Tri. Extension - Close Grip Bench Press: Using a close grip, do six reps in the the lying extension, then do as many reps as possible of the bench press. Do not change your grip or lock out at the top of the movement.

7. Seated DB Curl Standlng DB Curl: Sit on the bench and do tour reps of curl and immediately stand up continuing to curl until excessive cheating is necessary.

That’s it. If you’re working as hard as you can, you will not be able to add anything to this routine except for some calf and abdominal work. This program lets you work hard without draining your reserves and that’s what intensity training is all about. The home trainer now has no excuse for performing result less, muscle endurance routines. In any exercise program success is determined by the man, not the machine.

The two biggest determinants in any program is to work hard and train regularly. Good Training!

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