Ultra running champion and Virginia 50 miler record holder
POWER TIP NO. 3
To start this article I want to state that there are a few different theories floating around on what high intensity weight training is. The term H.I.T in regards to weight training was first introduced in the 1970’s and was associated more with Nautilus weight machines. The initial theory back then was to perform only one set of about 8-12 repetitions per body part to complete failure. In this way you could train more body parts at a heavier loads and to fatigue in a shorter session. You would then let the muscles recover for a few days and the next time you trained you would increase the weight or reps and in this way ensure you were challenging yourself and progressing each time out.
The one common theme that I hope most of us as trainers can agree on, and definitely in my opinion, is that you have to work to fatigue or exhaustion to develop muscle and or strength. I have always felt that if you are not pushing yourself to that point, you either don’t feel comfortable with that kind of intensity or you are satisfied with where you are at and are content with just maintaining. There’s nothing wrong with that but for the purpose of this article, H.I.T. training is for those looking to get stronger, be more fit, have more lean mass, burn more fat and constantly push yourself to be better than before. And on another very important point, we can live longer more productive lives the stronger and more fit we are, not to mention the thousands of hours and dollars businesses lose from employees being injured because they are unhealthy and out of shape.
There are obviously times when H.I.T training may not be the right type of training for a certain individual. They could have an injury, be rehabbing an injury or they might belong to a special population that needs an entirely different type of program. But for those looking to improve performance, boost their metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day, the only way to do it is to train hard or at a higher intensity. I always use the example of a sprinter or athlete who has to perform to the top of their ability. They do nothing slow. They run full out. They lift weights at a high intensity and they push themselves to failure. By the way have you ever seen a fat sprinter? When people ask me about marathon runners and why they are so lean, it is the same principle. If you ever see a top marathon runner run in person, they are not slow. They are running at a very high intensity (speed). So both types of athletes are still performing at high intensities and have low body fat despite their differences in body type.
In the weight room is where you can push your limits. It is a great place to monitor goals you have set or to see how far you can push yourself. By weight training at a high intensity you are going to get stronger. You are going to gain confidence. You will be able to perform sports and take on daily tasks more efficiently and most importantly live a higher quality of life than if you weren’t pushing yourself. Of course all of this has to be done safely and with proper technique. Next week will be the final chapter in the H.I.T series and I will give you a few different ways you can resistance train at a higher intensity and really challenge yourself in the weight room.
In good health,