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      FITNESS TIPS FOR 11/22/2000                  

Workout Frequency and Intensity 
by BigCanuk

We've all heard proponents of low volume, high intensity saying 
that it's the only way to train. Yet we've all seen the mass 
mongers who do 20 sets per body part getting the results we 
want as well. So who's right? According to a recent study, two 
groups were chosen to workout. One group did the regular 3 sets 
of 3 different exercises per body part. The other group did 
one set. At the end of 3 months, the group that did only one 
set had better results! Unfortunately, this study only used 
individuals who had no bodybuilding or serious lifting 
experience and did not monitor critical elements such as protein 
intake, rest levels, etc. It does however show us some very 
interesting details concerning what the body responds to best. 

On that note, we've known for a long time that human GH levels 
go up at the start of a workout but quickly diminish after about 45
 minutes. That's why it's always recommended to try to finish
 your workout in under an hour. You can take advantage of your 
bodies' own natural GH levels that way. This is definitely a 
bonus round for enthusiasts of the low volume, high intensity

I recently tried the 10 sets of 10 workout at 60% of the maximum 
lift for 2 weeks. I was very disappointed with MY results. I 
incurred 2 injuries (very minor and short lived but an injury is 
always something you can't enjoy.) The one was some serious 
pain in my knee which showed up the day after the leg workout 
and taking ibuprofen for 10 days was what got me through that. 
The other was an elbow injury from doing triceps which also 
went away after about 5 days. I can only assume these injuries 
occurred from mass repetitions. Let's face it, 100 reps for one 
exercise is a lot. The clincher is that I am one of those low 
volume, high intensity workout guys and I believe this departure 
was just too radical for my body to handle and it let me know 
that by giving me the painful injuries I mentioned. Needless to 
say, I went back to the low volume, high intensity again and 
have been enjoying my gains once more. 

There is a time and a place for everything and we have to be 
the ones to be in tune with when and where that is so we don't 
overtax ourselves and wind up being broken down wondering 
what happened. So be in tune with what your body tells you. If 
it likes and responds best to 3 sets of 3 different exercises, 
keep with it. If it likes one set per body part, so be it. 

Planned over and under training can take you a long way if you 
plan them well. I've been doing it for years and still dabbling 
with other styles as I feel the inclination to but keep coming 
back to what works best for me. With all these points in mind, 
you should be able to experiment and find what your body likes 
best and fine tune your workout to see the results you want. 


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