A Logical Approach to Muscle Building
Mike Mentzer was bodybuilding's foremost iconoclast, who smashed through suspect bodybuilding tradition with a revolutionary and logical training system that is supported by the world's top exercise physiologists but shunned by dogmatic, out-dated, non-scientific trainers.
Even today bodybuilding fans are still taking about the Mike Mentzer Heavy Duty Training System and want to learn more about it. Well, here it is!
For decades, high-intensity training, or HIT, has been one of the most polarizing methods around when it comes to getting stronger and building muscle.
Proponents will tell you it’s a one-stop shop for fitness, helping you get bigger, stronger, more ripped, more flexible, and healthier.
Naysayers, though, say it’s unproductive, too minimalistic, and downright dangerous.
So who’s right?
As usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle, but HIT definitely presents certain pitfalls that you need to be aware of if you want to make the best gains possible.
Here are a few of the potential dangers.
Even though one of the strong points of HIT is that it limits your volume to help avoid overtraining, it can STILL leave you drained over time.
Signs of overtraining include an elevated heart rate and blood pressure when you wake up, chronic fatigue, lack of enthusiasm and appetite, and a dread of going to the gym.
All of this can stop progress dead in its tracks.
Closely related to overtraining is the mental burnout that can come from performing the same exercises in the same way for months on end. Since HIT focuses on progression and the easiest way to measure that is tracking weights and reps on a few exercises over time, the tendency is to stick with one routine for a long, long time.
Boredom and staleness are real dangers.
Also because the focus of most HIT programs is on increasing load over time, lifters often make that their sole focus when the step in the gym. They loosen their form and speed of their reps in order to crank up more weight.
This is a surefire way to injure yourself, particularly if you’re overtrained and your muscles are chronically fatigued.
It’s ironic that a method so intent on having you increase your weights over time can actually prevent you from getting stronger. If you continue to bang away near your limit with worse and worse form, grinding out a couple of extra reps over a period of months, you’ve hit the wall.
Also, excessive cheating and contortions aimed at lifting a weight will do little to make your muscles grow, so you’ll be at a dead end from the perspective of muscle mass, too.
This may all sound like doom and gloom, but the good news is that most of the dangers of HIT can be avoided or eliminated with a few simple tweaks. Here are some tips to “fix” HIT:
Of course, the main goal of any exercise program is to make you healthier, so your first stop should be with your physician to make sure that everything is in order.
High-intensity training is not perfect, but if you work hard to avoid these dangers, it can work very well for most trainers.
If you have any questions about Mike Mentzer or High Intensity Training email me and I'll get back to you with an answer as quick as I can.