Workout Frequency Revised

By Jim Bryan

Early in my weight training career I was training an average of six days a week. Sometimes twice a day. I was involved in competition in Olympic Lifting, Power Lifting, and Body Building . Sometimes there were non-sanctioned Strongman type competitions. At this time I was chemically assisted but I never felt that it helped. Others did and saw areas of big improvements. But like I said I never felt it helped and don’t recommend it.

Somewhere in 1970 I met Arthur Jones and was exposed to shorter and harder workouts. I was already training hard but the workouts took a long time to complete. I hadn’t learned to “focus” my training yet. Arthur convinced me to stop depending on chemical assistance and showed me how to train harder in a shorter time frame. He also told me about “infrequent training.” After, I was training only three days a week for about 30 to 60 minutes. At first it was mostly on free weights and some machines at Christensen’s Health Club, and on mostly free weights and early prototypes of Nautilus Machines in Deland. When I first met Arthur, Nautilus didn’t exist in reality. It was only in Arthur’s mind. Thus, we didn’t have anything special in the beginning to train on. Free weights, Universal machine, Nautilus Pullover Prototype that’s pretty much it. I was happy to be only training 3 days a week and to me this was “Infrequent Training.” Today you have trainers bragging about only working out now and then, or once a month. It has been accepted that this is “Infrequent Training.” I believe things have gotten out of hand with this thinking.

My thoughts on “Optimal Training”

Three days a week training: I feel that this is the best way to go for most people. It works for body composition, lean muscle improvements, strength, and conditioning. Most people don’t train hard enough to run the risk of over training and three days is not that hard to get in. This can be all weights or a mix of weights and body weight training. Throw in some implements to make things interesting and on your off days get outside and enjoy being active. Don’t be afraid to be active. Practice sensible eating and you should do well.

Two Days a week training: This also works and for very busy people it may be ideal. Also, for the rare few (and I mean few) that train the way we used to in Deland, this is or can be a good frequency of training. Again, you can do all weights or mix with body weight training. It becomes more important to stay active on your non – training days if you are after a “lean look.” You can accomplish your goals of adding strength and maintaining muscle on two days a week training. Some will even add muscle but you need to make these workouts count. Focus your training and try to do as much as you can in the space of your workout. Training should take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. Some really hard workouts can be completed in 15 minutes and change.

When you are training only twice a week, “conditioning” starts to suffer in my opinion. I recommend participating in some kind of out door activity. Something like jogging, water skiing, swimming, soccer, surfing, boogie boarding, walking, or biking. Get outside, burn some calories, stay fit and stay active. Twice a week can work but you have to practice sensible eating if you want to shed some fat.

Once a week training: I don’t find this to be optimal. Sometimes you can’t help it. Life gets busy and you can only get one a week in. I feel that you can continue to add strength on one training session a week as long as you REALLY focus on weight progression in your exercises. I feel that body composition suffers for most people. You will tend to get fat and your conditioning will suffer, as well as your “work capacity.” You’ll really have to cut your calories if you want a lean look. So much so, that you may find you don’t have enough energy for a HEAVY workout. Your strength can suffer also. It’s around this area that “Infrequent Training” starts to become too infrequent. You better be active as heck if you only workout once a week or you will become…………………………………fat.

Less than once a week training: Look! I’m going to be honest here. I don’t care how many books or articles you have that say you can succeed on this. What you will end up with is ………Books and Articles.

You’ll have very little muscle, and your conditioning will be zero. You just can not do it in five minutes a day whenever you feel like it as some would have you believe, and you can not do it with workouts that never happen. Having the best Fitness Library means zilch if all you ever do is read and talk your workout. You have to work out! You have to raise your heart rate. You have to spend some sweat and effort. You have to be consistent. You have to pay attention to what and how much you eat. All the best intentions in the world will not make up for lack of effort in the gym.

AND neither will the latest “Fitness Craze.” The experts on the Internet will go on and on about “I use this and I use that” but the bottom line is weight training works. Combine weight training with body weight training and conditioning and just do it. It has worked for over 50 years as I know it and continues to work. Gimmicks come and go but Sensible Strength Training will go on and on. BUT you have to show up, work out, and be consistent! Argue less on the Body Building sites and you will probably find the extra few minutes needed to “Just go lift.” I don’t care how you do it or who’s method you use, “Just go Lift.”

All said and done if you have been training consistently and regularly, don’t be afraid to take some time off to recharge now and then. Best effort equals best results. Not everyone will end up developing “Huge Muscles.” Some will and some won’t. It depends on your potential and effort. AND!!! Women don’t end up looking like a man because they lift weights. So just throw that excuse out the window. Women look good with some lean muscle on them.

TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to my friend Jim Bryan for once again sharing his insights with us.

“The Early Days”

By Jim Bryan

In 1969 I was working out in Al Christensen’s gym in Winter Haven, Florida. A friend and sometime training partner, Dr. Craig Whitehead had recently placed third in the Mr. America contest. 1970 was supposed to be his year. We kept hearing about this young bodybuilder that was  outstanding. I didn’t pay much attention  because I had heard this stuff before, so I forgot about it. The Teen Mr. America was coming up and a young guy from our gym was considering entering. His name was Dennis Woods and he was a hard rock of muscularity. He had to be a natural 5%  body fat. A long story made short is a businessman from our gym decided to send Dennis to the contest. Al asked him to send me with Dennis, because of my experience. I would help Dennis get ready. Craig Whitehead found out we were going and had Al tell me to be on the lookout for the “KID”. The “KID” was Casey Viator. It was felt that he might be competition for the Mr. America, if he did well in the Teenage. I was to report back.

We got to York, Pa. And settled in our rooms. I was excited because to me this was the center of the training world as I knew it! That night we met some of the local girls and toured the town of York, Pa.  I found it odd that the girls knew nothing of Bob Hoffman or the York Barbell Club. They didn’t even know about the Teen Age Mr. America Contest! We forgave them. Uh huh! The next day we headed straight for the York Hall of Fame. I was expecting this great place and nice gym that was world famous, hold that thought. We got there and talked to an older woman that was in charge of the place. She hadn’t a clue. Didn’t know about the Teen Mr. America contest, never heard of it. We paid our money to get in the Hall of Fame. It wasn’t big but it was inspiring, especially the life sized statue of John Grimek. The gym itself was very small, with little to no equipment. That’s right, zilch! We went to the shipping department and one of us bought a lifting belt. We were in the lobby talking and the phone rang. The lady was talking to someone “ No I don’t anything about the contest” I heard her say. She asked me to talk to the man on the phone. Guess who it was? It was Arthur Jones, the most important man in modern exercise. I didn’t know it then though. We talked and I told him where the contest was and what time the pre-judging was to be. He said he was bringing Casey Viator. Remember him? The “KID”. Arthur told me how fantastic Casey was, and I told him about Craig. Arthur was tickled to hear about the fact I was to report back. Actually, I wasn’t expecting much out of Casey. We had some good bodybuilder’s back in Florida. Jim Haislop, Frank Zane, Ivor Butcher, John Schliker, Bill Hilton, Craig Whitehead, Harry Smith, Bob Harrington, Robby Robinson, Bill Lemacks, and Dennis Woods. You get the idea. Show me!


Frank Zane

We get to the pre-judging and wait. Arthur said he would meet us there with the “KID”. We looked at the competitors and tried to figure who was who.


Joe Abbenda

I remember Joe Abbenda was there, I think he had just won the Mr. “U”. All of a sudden everyone moved forward and started talking. I heard someone say it was Casey. I leaned back against the wall waiting for a glimpse. I saw who everyone was fussing over. He wasn’t very tall. He was wearing dress pants and a xxx short sleeve sport shirt. The sleeves were past his elbows, he did fill it out but you couldn’t tell much. To me he looked like a fat bodybuilder that missed his peak. The shirt wasn’t tucked in so he just looked fat. I noticed a man standing off to the side watching me. He was dressed in a sport coat, I’m not sure if he was wearing a tie. He looked like he hadn’t slept in a week. If he was sleeping, it must have been in his car. He had a way of looking straight through you. Very intense. I walked over to him and asked if he was Arthur Jones, and he said yes. We talked a bit and got separated for a while. I helped Dennis get his things together and waited. Arthur asked if I wanted to meet Casey. I said OK  We went into the pre-judging room and waited for Casey to find us. He came out wearing posing trunks and a sweatshirt. Fat kid my ass! He had the biggest, most muscular, most powerful looking legs I had ever seen. Arthur introduced us and Casey went back stage. Arthur asked me what I thought. I told him if Casey’s upper body looked ANYTHING like his legs, Craig Whitehead was looking at # 2 at the seniors. The pre-judging started and they kicked us out. Yes, Arthur too. (I bet that was the last time he ever was asked to leave.)


Arthur Jones

Arthur and I left and went to the coffee shop upstairs. Arthur bought us something to drink. He was always generous to me. We started to talk. Next thing I knew, I was starting to feel like the dumbest s.o.b. that ever picked up a barbell. Arthur would ask me a question, I would answer and he would point out what an idiot I was. I think he even called me an Idiot. Several times! After about two hours of this I was ready to split. The other people in the shop were getting uncomfortable hearing him yell at me. I excused myself and went back to the room and took a nap, boy I felt stupid! I found out later that he was pissed because I left.

That night the main show was on. I saw Arthur again, helped get Dennis ready and went to watch the show. Casey won the title and ALL body parts except abs, he should have won that too. He was un-frickin believable! I think Casey weighed 210 lbs. Or so, At about five foot six or seven.


Casey Viator

Later on Arthur and Joe Abbenda had some words. Arthur made the statement that Casey would be 225 by the Mr. A. Contest. Joe said that was impossible, “Casey would be fat at that weight.” Arthur said he’d be even leaner then. You see, Joe always had trouble with fat around his waist, I guess he thought Casey would too. He basically said Arthur was full of shit. Guess who was right? Arthur, of course. Casey did win the Mr. America, the youngest so far, and at 225.

Before we left Arthur invited me to Lake Helen (to Deland High School gym) to train with him. Nautilus hadn’t started yet and all he had thus far was the pullover machine and many revolutionary ideas. Ideas that would change training forever. Arthur was the most important man in modern exercise history.

I saw Arthur again at a National powerlifting meet in Winter Park, Florida. I was asked to judge by my friend Mike Stone. When I ran into Arthur he was screwing up the heads of some of the muscle guys there. He would measure their arms hanging down and then measure them flexed. There was very little difference in the two measurements for most of the ones being measured. They wanted to know why? Arthur told them it was because “you can’t flex fat!” That’s the way Arthur was. He told you straight out.

I figured out that I liked him, my soon to be wife wasn’t sure. He also had a picture of Casey (before Mr. A.) He said Casey was very close to 225 lbs. He was HUGE! I knew then that Arthur had something that I wanted to learn. He invited me again and I accepted.

In the meantime I sent two guys from the gym up to see Arthur. They trained under Arthur and heaved up just outside the Deland High School gym’s door, and fell to the ground for about a half hour. They came back to our gym after resting for a few days. One was convinced and showed me what they had learned. The other hated Arthur and never went back. I knew then I had to go. That weekend My future wife and I went to see Arthur again.


Sergio Oliva

I went through the most pain I had ever endured in a weight room. It took about 30 minutes and I was dead. Even Arthur’s yelling couldn’t get the dead man (me) to move. He insulted me, questioned my manhood, and made fun of me. You know what?  He could get momentary muscular failure, maximum inroad, or whatever the hell you want to call it, like no one else. He wouldn’t let you quit! I was dizzy as hell and Casey and Dan Howard pushed and pulled me to each exercise. My Wife just stared in horror! I drove back to Arthur’s house in my Datsun 2000 and my wife sat in Arthur’s lap. Hell I didn’t care, I could barely see or move.

 TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to Jim Bryan for sharing some of his experiences from the original days of Nautilus, Arthur Jones, and Casey Viator.

Tips for the Personal Trainer

By Jim Bryan 

When you have been in the fitness business as long as I have you have seen just about everything (good & bad). When I first started in the field, personal training was a very rare thing. Now, 25 years later, Personal Fitness Training is big business. More and more people are becoming trainers every day, many with little to no experience other than their two year subscription to Men’s Health, and a weekend certification course.

Many new trainers get lost in the minutia of exercise selection and trying to look cool by using the latest “sexy” exercise trend as well tossing around the newest pseudo-scientific jargon in an attempt to razzle-dazzle the perspective client into spending their hard earned money.

Something that often get’s lost these days is that Personal Training is supposed to be well… personal. Below are some tips from my friend Jim Bryan that will help the aspiring trainer to deliver a world class experience for their clients, every time.

1. Pay attention to your Clients.


2. Hang up the cell phone during your sessions.


3. Track Clients progress regularly.


4. Stop looking at yourself in the mirror.


5. Think safety. “First do no harm.”


6. Don’t try to use “complex movements” you don’t know how to do.


7. A weekend “seminar” in the Olympic or Quick Lifts, does not qualify you as an Olympic Lifting coach.


8. Olympic Lifts were not meant to be done for high reps, with poor form, to the point of fatigue.


9. Tire flipping isn’t beneficial for all clients. Learn to discern.


10. Tried and true exercises, and methods should be your first choice.


11. Machines or free weights? Why not either or both? Each has advantages and disadvantages. Learn them.


12. Don’t put clients on a diet unless you are a Registered Dietitian.


13. Learn to spot fads and gimmicks and pass on them.


14. Dress in a professional manner, and conduct yourself that way also.

TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to my good friend Jim Bryan for sharing some valuable tips for personal trainers.

Sled:

Using a sled for training is a topic that appears on many discussion boards. Most, usually want to know where to buy one. If you look you’ll find a number of places to buy some real nice looking sleds and harnesses. The problem is that they must be made of gold or some other precious metal. I’ve never found one for less than $100.00 plus shipping.

What I did was get an old garden wheel barrow, take off all the hardware, so just the tub is left. I drilled two holes in the front, put a 2X6 inside the tub up against the front and screwed two large screw eyes from the front side into the wood. This is where I hooked a plastic covered wire strand dog tie out onto. (They have metal snap hooks on each end) The handle is made of a 2 inch piece of PVC (I don’t like harnesses) But you could use a harness or tie a rope from the tub to a lifting belt. I put several 12 ½ and a couple of 25 pound Sears plastic weights in the tub. (Admit it you have some) Then I picked up some Kwik Crete (2-80 pound bags) and mixed them onto the weights already in the tub. When finished the sled weighs in at 190 plus pounds. If I pulled it on the driveway or road it would probably move pretty well. But I do it in the back yard and its soft back there and sometimes very hard to do multiple pulls. This suits me fine because I don’t want to spend a bunch of time getting in a workout (remember High Intensity Training?)

For added weight I put a pipe in the wet cement so I could put extra plates on and not worry about them sliding off. In the past I’ve used the sled and 2 45’s. And sometimes had my Grand Daughter ride on it. Lately it works well just as it is. Several people have pulled it and so far all like the big handle for hand comfort. I also built another one for those that can’t possibly pull the “stone cold sled.” For that one I went to Home Depot and picked up the mid size plastic cement mixing box.  If you look for them they are black plastic boxes and will be near the cement bags. I also picked up a couple of large screw eyes and screwed them through the front of the box into a 2X4. This way when you pull you won’t pull out the front of the box. I hooked a rope through a metal pipe for a handle. With this sled I can just add the desired weight into the box. This sled slides real well in the back yard and usually is pulled by female clients.

As far as technique goes, I don’t run with the sled. I just pull or drag at a steady pace for as many 50 yard trips as I can make. Great conditioning tool and the “stone cold sled” is also a damn good strength tool. In the Florida heat it becomes a test of will. Helps flatten out the bumps in your back yard too. 

I don’t have any certain times I pull it. I just fit it in whenever I feel like it. Some weeks I do it daily. Some weeks I don’t pull at all. And instead do rope climbing or another outdoor activity. I saved a bunch of money on this. I only had to buy two screw eyes, two bags of cement, and a plastic mixing box. The rest I had laying around.

Jim Bryan

Bryan Strength & Conditioning
863-293-1206
TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to Jim for always sharing some great stuff with us here at Hybrid Fitness. We have a “Poor Mans Pulling Sled Video on our YouTube Channel as well. Check it out HERE:

“Circus Training”

By Jim Bryan
It’s funny how things come and go, only to come and go again. The “functional Training gimmick” has been with us for awhile, even though it has been for the most part debunked over and over. (For a back ground look up the S.A.I.D. Principal.) What it says is this: The body is always trying to get better at exactly what you practice. To get better at your sport, practice your sport.
To get proper “carry over” what you do has to be “EXACT” to your sport, not similar, “EXACT.”  Sooooooo, what in the world does standing on a stability ball and having your “trainer” throw a medicine ball to you  have to do with being able to play base ball, soccer, foot ball, volley ball, etc? It doesn’t.
But some see this in a gym setting and are very impressed with the “ball standing skill.” They don’t realize that the skill is specific to “standing on a ball” only.  And the “trainers” that push this stuff are incompetent at best or just plain charlatans at worst. I’d like to say that trainers that work with high level athletes have the background to be able to figure this out. I’d like to but I can’t. You see, many of these so called trainers are just looking for gimmicks to “set them apart” and make them look cool or more knowledgeable. In reality they are pathetic and put everyone they train in danger. Just because a trainer is certified doesn’t mean they are capable.
I have been training in a big commercial gym now for about 2 years. A few of the trainers there are good, solid in their knowledge, and safe. Others are horrible. It’s like this in most gyms and even more so in the “Sports Training Facilities.” Strength Training is general. Sports Training is specific.
Standing on a stability ball while lifting weights, or catching medicine balls or any other trick, is not training for your sport. It is training for a job in the circus. And if you are a high level athlete, why expose yourself to this kind of silliness? You could end up with a career ending injury.  It does kinda look cool doesn’t it?  
…Roll eyes.
TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to my friend and fellow strngth coach Jim Bryan for this weeks excellent article. Stay tuned for more articles based on Truth not Trends.

Simple Safe Sound….

By Jim Bryan
With all the new training options that have sprung up in the area, I thought I would re-emphasize what I do.
  1. I don’t use ballistic, speed driven, bodyweight exercises.
  2. I don’t follow gimmicky trends or the latest fitness craze.
  3. I don’t recommend questionable and sometimes dangerous supplements.
  4. I don’t use unsafe movements or exercises that are not beneficial to your condition.
  5. I do believe in safe and productive training.
  6. I do use progressive resistance training.
  7. I use free weight exercises, as well as machine training.
  8. I also utilize bodyweight exercise but I recommend doing them with controlled momentum.
  9. I pattern workouts to client.
  10. I use proven exercises and training routines that are tailor made to the client.
  11. I believe in prudent, practical, and safe strength and conditioning.
  12. I use the latest, proven exercise science.
  13. I believe in short, intense (intensity is client driven) workouts with short rest periods.
  14. My goal for clients is: Strength Training sessions and conditioning all in one workout. “Metabolic Training”
  15. I use mostly “full body” workouts, with emphasis on any “weak areas.”
  16. I encourage an active life style and not just gym training.
  17. All training is private.

TAKU’s NOTE: This week features some simple, safe, and sound, training guidelines from my freind and mentor Jim Bryan.

“Myth”

By Jim Bryan

“Myth”*An imaginary or unverifiable   person or thing* 

Strength Training and Bodybuilding has it’s share of myth’s that seem to die very slowly. Many times people want to believe, even in the face of proof to the contrary. Myth drives or at least helps keep the commercial interests going in this Strength, Health, and Fitness field.In no particular order:1. You have to have supplements to succeed. The reality is that some supplements do help but why not fix your diet first?2. Functional Training. This is one of the big buzzwords now. Seminars are being held as I write this. They will show you how to balance on a ball, how to throw a medicine ball, how to balance on one leg. How much of this is needed and how much of it is pure bull hockey? Somehow we are being led to believe that the way we have been weight training is not “Functional.” Please! The fact that you are making your muscles stronger, more flexible, better conditioned is “Functional Training.” If you are lifting weights you have been doing it already. Just another gimmick for the latest Expert.

3. Pilate’swill not make your muscles longer! If you want to train that way, go ahead. But use your brain and don’t fall for the marketing.

4. You have to Olympic lift to be a successful athlete. Any method of Strength Training that allows you to progressively load your muscles safely will work. Period. Olympic Lifting can be that method but others have done JUST as well WITHOUT using it.

5. “HIT” is the   best way to Strength Train. Let me put this to rest. Most of the first generation that trained with Arthur Jones are not going to tell you this. What you will hear from them or me is: High Intensity Training is a Safe, Efficient, Practical, and Productive way to workout. The BEST way for you is what you’ll actually do. Getting in the gym to lift weights is the most important decision. The method is your choice. My opinion is to forget the latest “Bloat Freak’s” routine. He didn’t write it and he most likely   doesn’t do it. You’ll soon be reading about his fall do to health problems   anyway. Last conversation I had with Arthur Jones he told me he wouldn’t   change a thing except, he would not workout as often as he once did.

6. Women should not “Train like a Man.” Just what does this mean? I had a friend (Female trainer) tell my Wife this once. My Wife was doing a routine I made for her. Standard exercises in a pretty much free weight gym. She was doing squats, overhead presses, Benching etc. Just standard stuff. I never knew she was training “like a Man.” I just thought she was training.

7. Free weights are for Athletes and Machines are for the Fitness crowd. Who came up with this? This keeps coming up in any Discussion Board anywhere. It is not true! You can use either / or. You can use any combination. Use what you have. This is not worth the time wasted thinking about it. If you do use free weights MAKE darn sure you have a safe way of doing it. Use a power rack. If you don’t have one….GET one! Never train by yourself without one.

8. All machines are the same.Not true! Even to the casual user, some feel right and some just downright suck. I happen to like Leverage Machines. Pendulum is my choice. If you have a chance to go to a Trade Show for Exercise equipment, go! Try it all. Then decide what you want for your personal gym.

9. Drugs will turn you into a Bodybuilding Champion!You have to have the POTENTIAL first. Without POTENTIAL nothing will turn you into one of the cartoonish characters dominating Bodybuilding right now. BUT they may turn you into a   corpse.

10. Exercise Science. Much that is being passed around as Science in Strength Training and Conditioning is flawed. There are a lot of personal axes being ground.

I won’t   mention his name but most of you reading this know who I’m referring to. I know of one person that was really interested in the outcome of his studies. He really wanted to know the truth and he invested millions to find the truth, even if it proved him wrong.

11. Women that exercise with weights will develop large bulky muscles. Forget this! As long as you train in a safe practical way you’ll look great and feel better too. The Women Bodybuilders are not an example of anything except excess. Are they on drugs? Ya think?

12. All HIT trainees are brainiac geek’s that don’t actually work out. Who comes up with this crap? People that know me will tell you I’m for sure no Brainiac! I’m not even sure if I qualify as a HIT Trainee. According to the latest Internet expert I don’t. Anymore, I’m not sure if I want to.

13. HIT is one set per Body   part…only. Never was! Remember Pre-Exhaust? This is just another example of Internet experts opinion.

14. There are no examples of High Intensity Training success in Bodybuilding, sports, or anything having to do with athletic teams. Really? That is such a broad, crazy statement that I find it insulting to even think about. It insults many of my friends that are working their asses off in the NFL right now.

15. Arthur Jones has appointed a successor to carry on his legacy and training ideas. He could care less. Fact is when he’s gone much of what he has worked on will also be gone. He has never been given the respect from the Strength Training Science community that he deserves. His contribution to the advancement of Strength Training Science is largely unknown by the ones that would benefit the most. Who knows why? The fact is, he’s over it. He has “Sanctioned” no one. Has no interest in it. There are a number of Coaches and Trainers out there that have a great deal of knowledge gotten from Arthur and some of the first and second generation Nautilus group out of Lake Helen and Deland. There are a number of books and hundreds of articles written in the time it was “happening.” AND then there are the things written by the “experts” that think they know.

16. HIT is set in stone. My feeling is that it is still evolving and will continue.

17. Super Slow is HIT. Super Slow is a branch of HIT started during Osteoporosis studies that Arthur lost interest in. It developed into its own form of training later under Ken Hutchins and has been a successful protocol since.

18. You have to use “Split Routines” to be a successful Bodybuilder. Truth is “Split Routines” work for some better than others. Full body is a more Time efficient way to   train.

19. Over training is a major problem. I feel that many involved in High Intensity Training carry this too far. To the point of being afraid to “live.” Some that I come in contact with, could use some daily activity. That doesn’t mean I feel you should workout every day. But if you are afraid to carry out the garbage on a non training day, your carrying it to far. Yes, there are some in HIT that are obsessed.

20. A Certified Trainer is an Expert. I have found that this can be a problem if you go by this assumption. Would it surprise you if I said that many have no real clue? EVEN if they do train celebrities. Some of the “Gold-Standard” Certifying Org’s. Function as “Diploma Mills.” Many just benefit the Org. officers and not the members.

Strength Training and Bodybuilding can be a lifetime pursuit. It’s benefits are numerous for men and women, athletes and non-athletes. But like anything else there are many myth’s and half truth’s. The system or method you choose to use for your training doesn’t have to have a name. Just plain old “Training” is good enough.

Good luck, Good health, God speed.

TAKU’s NOTE: Yet another excellent article from my friend Jim Bryan. Thanks for sharing Jim.

INTENSITY: Ways to modify

By: Jim Bryan

Following are some of the ways you can alter or modify the intensity of your workouts. Some are from Arthur Jones learned in the 70′s. Others are more recent. None are my “discoveries” I learned them from some of the more well known Strength Training Authorities. I have been fortunate to meet many trainers in my 40 plus years of Strength Training. I’ll cover as many as I can.

Adding weight or Reps

This is fundamental. You have to train in a progressive manner. Add a little weight when you can do a certain amount of reps, or do extra reps if the weight feels “lite” that day. Keep a log and always try to improve from your last workout.

What if you are already training very heavy and the force of the weights on your joints is starting to worry you?

Then you can try some of these options before going back to your heavy weights and regular workouts.

Training to Failure or Overload

Don’t argue over this. Do it if you want……….or not! Nobody really cares. This is not only the domain of the HIGH INTENSITY trainee. Many also use it that don’t consider themselves to be of the “HIT” Camp. It is just a tool. In the old days we continued an exercise until we couldn’t move…….by any means. Today I stop a set for most of my clients when their form starts to break down. It is a judgment call for me and I prefer to keep my clients training as safe as possible. Now and then I find someone that can push like we used to and for those rare clients that’s what we do. Easier to do with machines but can be done with free weights, especially if you have a “Power Rack”.

Pre Exhaustion

Using an Isolation or “single joint” movement preceding a compound or “multi Joint” movement for a muscle group. Example: Leg Extension then Squats or Leg press. Or Side Lateral raise then Standing or Seated Press. You are “Pre Exhausting” the target muscle group then finishing off that group with a compound movement.

Breakdowns

Immediately after reaching failure remove some of the weight and continue for a few more reps. Don’t overdo this one. One or two Breakdowns for an exercise are good.

Negative Only

Your training partners raise the weight or do the “concentric” part of the movement and you lower it. Lowering the weight is the negative or “eccentric” portion. You’ll be using quite a bit of weight for this. Research says you are 40% stronger lowering a weight than you are raising it. Make sure you are lowering under control. This is a hard way to workout. It is especially hard on your partners.

Negative Accentuated

Raising, pulling, or pushing the weight with two limbs and lowering it with one. An easier way of doing negative training. You don’t need help.

3X3

Pick three exercises. One for the legs and hips, one for the upper back, one for the chest and shoulders. Train one right after another in circuit fashion and repeat a total of three times. Usually done to failure with no rest at all. Example: Squat or Leg Press or Trap Bar deadlift. Then Chins or Pullovers (or pulldowns) or a rowing movement. Third movement could be Dips or overhead presses (standing or seated) or bench press. Check your shorts when your done!

Rest Pause

Find a rep range that you like doing and complete that set by pausing from time to time to finish that set. Another words you normally wouldn’t be able to complete the reps without pausing.

30′s Day

Pick a half dozen or so exercises that cover the whole body. Use your normal weight or close to it. Now all you have to do is complete 30 reps! One set each exercise. With most people this is a “rest pause” effort. However, I have one client that can go through a full workout doing straight sets! No rest! No she doesn’t use baby weights. She looks like a model and has Bull Dog determination. She won’t quit. I can’t do it!

50′s Day

Same as above only this time you have to complete FIFTY reps. Oh, By the way! She does this with out a pause also. Who says Women are the weaker?

100′s day

Never done it. Have heard that some have. Same as above only 100 reps. Call in to work and tell them you won’t be in for a while!

Forced reps

Similar to a breakdown set except the weight is not changed. At failure your partner supplies enough help for you to complete three or four more reps. This technique has been around as long as dirt.

Slow training

RenX (formerly known as “Super Slow” training) is a very effective protocol and it’s not easy. If you have an opportunity to learn from a certified RenX Trainer, do it. Check with Renaissance Exercise under Ken Hutchins. Their website can explain the details. There are many.

1 ¼’s

In each rep pause at the contracted position and then lower it a quarter of the way down. Then all the way back up to full contraction before lowering to start position. This is one rep. Do each rep like this.

Progressions

Do one rep and take a full deep breath. Then do two reps followed by a full deep breath. Then do three reps followed by a full deep breath. Then do four reps following the same breathing format. Then five reps. Then six reps all using a pause with a full deep breath. You can also start with six reps and go to one. I guess you could call this “Regressions” but the same people that get their shorts in a knot over the term “Failure” would probably get in a hissie over this term also. Oh, please get a life.

747

Three consecutive sets followed by a 30 second rest between sets. After the first set, 10 pounds are added for the upper body exercises and 20 pounds for the lower. For the third set remove the added weights.

1 ½’s

Do a full rep and then a half rep. That counts as one rep.

30 second Hold

On the first rep pause in the contracted position for 30 seconds before continuing the set.

10 Second holds

Pause for ten seconds in the contracted position for every rep in a set of exercises.

7 Up set

A set where seven normal speed reps to failure are followed by a 30-45 second pause in the fully contracted position.

15 Second Reps

Five seconds to raise the weight, followed by a five second contraction, then a five second lowering of the weight. Do each rep of the set this way.

30 Second Reps

Same as above but use 10 seconds for the raise-hold-lower sequence.

Single-Double’s-Triple’s

Used primarily by the competitive Strength Athlete. Means simply to do sets using single reps, double reps, or triples. You will be using max weights doing this, so the force will be high. Can be dangerous, but if you accept the danger use it to your benefit! If you are worried about what the force may do to your joints over time, then avoid this.

Manual Resistance

Your partner or trainer/coach provides the resistance in these movements. I usually use it for the neck. (Manual Resistance for the neck can be done by yourself) The pressure or resistance is supplied by you or your partners hands. Can be done for many muscle groups, such as shoulders (laterals) Chest (flys) Thighs (abductor/adductor) Biceps (manual curls) Triceps (pushdowns/ tri press) Use your imagination and you can come up with several exercises. Can be a very intense way to work out. I don’t like it for to many workouts in a row but is fine from time to time. It can be hard on your partner, they usually get worn out before they workout.

Finishers

Done at the end of a workout to squeeze every last ounce of effort you can supply. Farmers Walk for distance, Sand or sawdust bag carries for distance or time, Sled pull for distance or pushing some kind of weighted object for distance (car, sled, etc.) I use a two minute nonstop punching drill on a hanging heavy bag. Great for conditioning! I don’t use it for every workout just from time to time. Well, that’s all I can think of for now. Use what you think you can. This is by no means a complete list. I’ll probably think of some more as soon as I turn this article in. But it’s time to stop.

Strength Training is a journey, so enjoy the trip!

Train Safe….Train Hard….Train Smart

Thanks to: Arthur Jones, Kim Wood, Dr. Ken, Mark Asanovich, Matt Brzycki, Jim Flanagan and John Szimanski.

TAKU’s NOTE:

Another awesome article from my friend Jim Bryan. Thanks Jim!

STRENGTH

Strength

Proskaor (Viking) Ikaika (Hawaiian)

By Jim Bryan

Two cultures that interest me are Norse (Viking) and Hawaiian. Both are fascinated with physical strength and so am I. I had my own home gym by 14, put together starting around 12 years old. I used money earned from my job with the Ski Show at Cypress Gardens . As youngsters, me and my friends were always trying to lift things. The kids most looked up to were the strongest. At that time I wasn’t one of them, but I was trying. My first courses were the York Barbell Courses. The pictures helped but you had to fill in the blanks. Before that I did body weight exercises and gymnastic movements. I also started Boxing. Fights broke out in the neighborhood often, I was usually one of the participants. We didn’t have video games, so we improvised. Sports and the resulting fisticuffs were part of it. I was good at wrestling but not so good at boxing. Our fights ended up on the ground most of the time and usually ended with some kind of bending a body part until you couldn’t stand the pain and said “Uncle.” This is called submission today. I was pretty good at this but had no formal training. I Just learned by having it done to me. Several of the Fathers were WWII Vets and showed their sons how to bend arms, legs, necks, and backs. It was good that I was strong. When I started Boxing I didn’t pay anymore attention to the wrestling. Today I feel that was a mistake, but I wanted to be better at Boxing. So I lifted weights and boxed too.

At first I lifted or boxed every day. I was getting better at both. Then at 14 I was riding my motorcycle (Triumph Tiger Cub) and was hit by a car. Damn near killed me. As I was getting better I read all of the Muscle Mags I could get. I was more determined than ever to be strong again. At 70 something pounds I was far from looking like a lifter. The Dr. told me that lifting weights had saved my back from being ruined in the accident. It seems that my Spinal Erectors were well developed and protected me. I got better slowly and went back to my gym and even started adding to it again. Mostly, I had free weights and some crude machines (leverage and pulley) my Dad made. I was into “Strength body building.” I wanted to look good but I also wanted to be as strong as I looked. I got interested in Olympic Lifting and met Bill LeMacks. Bill was an Olympic Lifting Champion as well as one of the top Physique guys in the South. He later was a Champion Power Lifter too. So now I was bodybuilding, boxing, and Olympic lifting.

Al and Vera Christensen opened up a Gym in Winter Haven , Florida where I lived and still live. Al set up a nice lifting platform for us in the back and I went as often as I could. Al was also well known as a lifter and Body Builder. Olympic Lifting was my thing then. I did a few curls after my sessions but mainly used the Olympic lifts, Squats, Front Squats, Presses off the racks and Jerks off the rack. I used High pulls, Dead Hangs and dead lifts. Taken to singles most workouts. I entered meets around Florida and when I started competing in Body Building I used the lifting as my athletic skill points. (Back then you had to show you could do something other than flex your muscles) I also continued my boxing, which by then I was pretty confident in.

I got interested in Power lifting and for awhile I used the Olympic Lifts and the Power Lifts in my training. Sometimes, all in the same day. Pretty much all I did was workout somehow, some way. I was tired much of the time. It took me a long time to figure out that I could get more out of less. Al tried to tell me and so did Bill. I wanted to be as good as them and just figured I had to work harder and more to get there. If you needed me I was at the gym. My workouts were in the two hour range. Sometimes, longer. Fortunately, I did learn to train in a briefer format. It wasn’t a piece of cake though. Brief, hard workouts can take it out of you too. You just have to pay attention to how you are feeling and plan accordingly. For me, I quit using the Olympic Lifts because of injuries incurred by competition and other Sports. I just couldn’t keep up the pounding I was taking on my joints. By this time exercise equipment had come out of the “Dark Ages” and I found I could train very hard again. I was still doing Power Lifting on the side. These movements complemented my Body Building pretty well. I didn’t want to be just another “Weak Body Builder.” I was training with Arthur Jones (I called him Art then) by now. I drove back and forth to Deland as much as I could. I met some great people (Kim Wood, Jim Flanagan, Casey Viator, Dan Howard) and was very inspired to train. I also had gotten married and bought a house. Funny thing happened, I acquired an Olympic set and set up a gym in my garage. I had a bench, 300 Lb. Olympic set (later 400lbs Plus), and squat stands. I was Power lifting and Olympic Lifting on alternate days. Didn’t compete but I was strong as hell (could it be the things I was doing in Deland helped? (Naw, there’s no evidence for that type training.) One day I fell while doing squats (heavy) and thought it was over. I trained by myself and used squat stands and not a rack. S-t-u-p-i-d. I wasn’t hurt, just shaken. Not long after, my back and shoulder started bothering me when I did the Olympic lifts. I stopped doing them and just trained High Intensity and some volume too. I used mostly machines. I sold all of my equipment to a local High school.

Since then I still use mostly machines. I like the Leverage machines and have a Pendulum Multi Machine. I’m still planning to get a Power rack someday and an Olympic Set, Just to have when I want to use it. My Cardio equipment is a Jumprope or the Squat Station on the Pendulum. We usually get our cardio from fast paced workouts including 20 to 20+ rep squats.

As you can see, I have done most forms of Strength Training, and competed in some. I feel you can get strong, and get stronger using ANY form of progressive weight training. Keyword PROGRESSIVE. What you have to figure out is what form is best for you? What are your goals? What is your experience? Can you get strong and well built from Olympic Lifting? Yes, you can. Can you get Strong and well built from Power lifting? Yes, you can. Can you get strong and well built from Volume training? Yes, you can. Can you get strong and well built from High Intensity Training (HIT) and it’s subsystems? Yes, you can. Do you have to train “explosively” in the weight room to be “explosive” on the field? No you don’t. BUT “The NSCA says I won’t be successful if I don’t!” The NSCA has an agenda and probably isn’t relevant to your situation. The choice ultimately comes back to you. What do you want to do? Don’t listen to some Bubba or some Brain if they are telling you to do something you don’t want to do. No Bro Science. This includes supplement usage.

No magic pills…….. Eat as raw as you can. Train as hard as you can. Train as safe as you can. If you want to compete in the Strength Sports………..do it! You’ll have fun. Train for life. BUT don’t ever let anyone tell you that you have to train any certain way. I guarantee, if you don’t like what you’re doing, you won’t do it long. I train mostly High Intensity, or what I call High Performance Training but that’s just me. You may like something else and that is OK. Know your subject.

Live strong – Live long! Aloha!

Some Final points
1. You don’t have to Olympic Lift to be successful at sports other than Olympic Lifting.
2. You don’t have to use “free weights” to be successful at sport.
3. You don’t have to use machines to be safe. Training safe is a matter of choice and there are ways to use most equipment and still be safe.
4. You don’t have to lift weights explosively to be explosive in your sport.
5. You don’t have to mimic your sport in the weight room. Train for strength and practice your sport.
6. Using single joint movements in your routine doesn’t automatically make you a Bodybuilder.
7. You can use brief, hard workouts and succeed.
8. You don’t have to have supplements to be successful.
9. You can mix protocols.
10. Men and Women can train the same.
11. Don’t listen to Bubba Platehead or Discussion Board Bro Science. Gather your information the same way you do for other interests in your life. Bull dookey is still bull dookey no matter where it comes from. It all boils down to common sense.

“As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction.”

TAKU’s NOTE: Thanks to my freind Jim Bryan for continuing to share his words of wisdom with us here at Hybrid Fitness

What to expect

By Jim Bryan

New clients will go through a break in period of a few workouts depending on their present state of conditioning. The exception will be for in-shape and hard training Athletes. They should be ready and can’t waste time due to their schedule. The question usually pops up “Do I train Males and females differently?” The answer is NO. I train individuals differently dependent upon their goals. Men and Women both have HUMAN skeletal muscles. They both respond to resistance training in the same fashion, but rarely do females end up with huge muscles. It is a genetic thing as well as a hormonal thing. It is very hard for many men to end up with large muscles, and for the most part women do not have the natural hormonal output to allow the growth of big muscles. EVERYONE will be better off with a removal of fat and a LEAN MUSCLE addition. Women will look Toned and in shape with the addition of lean muscle. All workouts are of a progressive nature, they have to be in order to make the changes you’ll want. By progressive I mean we will always try to add weight when possible and/or repetitions. The intensity of the workout grows as you proceed. Again this is dependent upon Clients goals.

Adolescent Training:

I don’t usually take anyone under the age of thirteen. Training young people, even young athletes, is a very serious situation. They can benefit from Strength Training as well as adults but much care must be taken when training them. In order to avoid harming young skeletal formation, limit lifts should not be done. Teens can train very hard but the repetitions should be kept above 15 and limit weights (1 to 3 rep sets) should not be used. Even for adults I usually recommend Higher reps for safety. Don’t think you can’t get strong using higher reps (15-25) because you can! I use the latest research and apply common sense. My goal is Strength plus Conditioning, and is based on over forty years of experience. If someone chooses to become an Olympic Lifter or Power Lifter, and is willing to accept the danger, then that is their choice. I have many years experience on the lifting platform but I don’t actively pursue lifting students. I train clients for overall strength and fitness. This can be used for any sport or athletic event as well as every day living.

Feet must be covered during training. No Sandals, flip flops, or open toed shoes. Athletic shoes best: Tennis, walking, or running shoes.

Remember: The training I use consists of Time efficient Strength, Conditioning, and Fitness. I do not use Gimmicks-Fads-unsafe Supplements or just plain old BS found in most gyms.

Clients will receive one free workout for anyone they send to me that qualifies and signs up for training.

TAKU’s NOTE: I want to take a moment to thank my friend Jim Bryan for being so generous in sharing his excellent articles with us here at Hybrid Fitness.