Information on Safe, Sensible, and Productive Exercise

Product Spot Light!

TAKU’s NOTE: This week I want to let people know about the excellent products and information made available by my friend Fred Fornicola, @ Premiere Personal Fitness. A few years ago Fred put out a high quality News-letter titled High Performance Training.

Fred has recently re-released this fantastic resource available as a single down-loadable document file. The package includes 12 volumes (close to 200 pages) covering a broad array of strength and conditioning topics. I highly recommend this collection to anyone interested in simple, safe, and productive training methods.

Here is a sample article from my good friend Jim Bryan.

What‟s in a Name?

By Jim Bryan

Merriam-Webster‘s dictionary defines the following two words as such:

in·ten·si·ty : 1 : the quality or state of being intense; especially : extreme degree of strength, force, energy, or feeling 2 : the magnitude of a quantity (as force or energy) per unit (as of area, charge, mass, or time)

in·tense: 1 a : existing in an extreme degree <the excitement was intense> <intense pain> b : having or showing a characteristic in extreme degree <intense colors> 2 : marked by or expressive of great zeal, energy, determination, or concentration <intense effort> 3 a : exhibiting strong feeling or earnestness of purpose <an intense student> b : deeply felt

Now, for many years there has been a need by some to define high intensity training, better known as ―H.I.T. When definitions are offered, then there is an added need to re-define, clarify, explain and on and on. So, why is there so much confusion?

It seems there are Camps in the Strength Training World that are defined as HIT or non HIT. It‘s ―Us and Them, ―Them or Us, why isn‘t it just Strength Training? Well, I‘ll tell you why. For the last few month‘s I have been reading every certification groups Strength and Conditioning Manual that I can get my hands on and most of these are ―non HIT. The funny thing is that most of these certification courses and manuals don‘t even agree with each other and one even attacks High Intensity Training in their certification manual.
The truth as I see it with High Intensity Training is that it evolves. Arthur Jones got the ball rolling when he came up with the ―Nautilus Principals. In his writing he often mentioned ―High Intensity Training or training with a High Intensity. The ―Nautilus Principals were guidelines for sensible and safe training. Now the mainstream calls it ―HIT.

HIT was not a name Arthur used. He just laughs when you mention ―HIT. When I was training in Deland in 1970 I didn‘t know anything about ―HIT. I just knew that I was training very hard with little rest and got through much quicker than I was used to. After a time we had new Nautilus machines. At first we used what was there which was a squat rack, an Olympic set, Universal Machine, and some dumb bells plus one of the first Nautilus Pull Over ―upper torso‖ machine and that was it. Pro, College, and High School coaches from all over the USA came around, along with athletes from many sports both pro and amateur as well as body builders. All showed up in record numbers. What was happening, was that this first group was proving Arthur‘s methods and using what they needed to succeed. A time efficient method had been lacking for implementing most strength programs.

From the first coaches came the framework to bring strength training programs into the 20th Century. Different needs featured different parts learned from Arthur and his very extensive research. He made things easy in that respect. He preferred full body routines trained hard, with little rest but far less volume than had been used before. As time has gone on people from the early days have kept the core ideas and shaped them to fit their particular situation. The High Intensity Training name stuck and someone started calling it HIT, it‘s pretty darn simple but true.

Not everyone does the same things all the time. Some train on just free weights, some only on machines, and some on a mixture of both plus manual resistance and other modalities. Some always go to failure or overload while others feel that in some exercises failure is dangerous, too dangerous to take a chance. Some also cycle their intensity by going to failure at times and others, not. Most that I know have / use different ways to vary intensity with failure or overload training being just one way. I use failure when I feel it‘s appropriate, along with all the other methods I learned from Arthur and the many coaches I have come in contact with. My approach? Well I use a common sense approach……..Yes, I know common sense isn‘t very common……..but I try.

For those that are really interested in learning about HIT there is an abundance of information available. Arthur was a prolific writer and many others have compiled a wealth of articles and books all on this subject. I don‘t hold it against anyone that doesn‘t want to use HIT and I sure don‘t think of it as a religion as some have insinuated. So do what you feel is best for your training.

Oh, by the way, my definition would be:

―HIT is a safe, sensible, and practical approach to strength training and conditioning. Methods vary but so do needs. It is up to the coach or trainee to match them to their situation. HIT is not a ―secret training method‖ that only a select few know. Its use is very wide spread and sources of information abound.

Here‘s another definition I like to describe what High Intensity Training is:

“HIT is anything that makes one muscularly larger and stronger due to very hard, focused work on a limited number of exercises, using a limited number of sets, with a controlled and relatively limited training frequency.” Dr. Ken.

Truth is I don‘t need a definition. I‘m happy with what I do. And I enjoy it too.

Is that HIT?

Who knows?

Train Hard, be safe, and be productive!

P.S.  To order your copy of the High Performance Training New-Letter, or  some of the other great resources available from Fred Fornicola, click on one of the links below.

“High Performance Training Newsletter”

“Strength and Fitness for a Lifetime: How We Train Now”

“Enhancing Fitness Through Flexibility”

“Dumbbell Training for Strength and Fitness”

“Youth Fitness: AnAction Plan for Shaping America’s Kids”


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