- 01-02-2009, 12:15 PM
high intensity training with 1 set of each exercise as demonstrated by Mike Mentzer... does this actually work? cuz i train like this all the time but i use 3 sets of 3 different exercises for failure with 4 slow seconds down and up, and he suggests only 1 set of each exercise with 6 days rest in between? ....thoughts?
- 01-02-2009, 12:39 PM
Though Mike was an intellectual by every means, he wasn't a physiologist and probably did not understand the separation of neuromuscular adaptions vs actual hypertrophy. Strength is more neural, optimal hypertrophy requires a bit more volume then what Mike was preaching. Don't misunderstand me and think I'm saying you cannot hypertrophy through his method, because you absolutely can, but we're talking "optimal," and optimal hypertrophy requires more then a single max effort set. A lot of neural adpations can occur that will make you stronger without ANY added muscle. Increased neuron firing, increased fiber recruit by motor units per contraction, coordinated motor unit firing, which are primarily excited through high intensity and neither of these neural facets require or inspire hypertrophy of the muscle cell. So judging muscle gain by strength gain alone is not so valid. There is a correlation between muscle and strength, but its a more complicated relationship then Big Weight = Big Muscle as we like to say in bodybuilding. A SINGLE BOUT effort won't perpetuate "maximal" hypertrophy, unless you add multiple exercises per muscle group, I kept it around 4, like yourself.
I used HIT in a more voluminous fashion. One Set per exercise, but about 4-5 exercises per muscle group. Pushing the working set to concentric failure, isometric failure and then eccentric failure. Adding more volume to Mike's HIT principle worked fine for me. I'm not preaching against HIT or DC.
I tend to get some angry broscientists replying to my posts when I start to spout academia. In spite of what I know to be scientifically taught about high volume and its closer correlation to hypertrophy as oppose to "strict" high intensity, I'll add a caveat. Me personally, and this is myself thinking, I have my own broscientific ideas that conflicts with my academia. I seem to respond better with higher intensity lifts, I theorize that this may depend on whether your body is primarily Type I or Type IIa/IIx fiber type. With high volume, 12-15 reps, my lack of muscle endurance prevents me from pushing myself 100%. However, when I'm lifting in the 6-10 reps zone, and my lifts aren't inhibited by muscle endurance, I really thrive.
That said, I think it's a good idea to change from high volume and high intensity. You can fatigue your central nervous system with prolonged high intensity and the gains will come to a halt, and not because your program is ineffective, but your CNS needs a break. I prefer the high intensity lifts myself. Pushing 275 for 10 feels much cooler then pushing 225 for 15.
I probably could have summed all this mumbo jumbo to, yes, what you're doing sounds good. Do your 3-4 exercises of single bout effort per muscle group, as oppose to 1 exercise and you can gear your adaptions closer toward hypertrophy, as oppose to strength.
Also, Mike's favorite line of "true muscle failure" does not correlate with maximal hypertrophy. I have his books, too and my university studies used to really bug me because it generally flew in the face of everything I had read from Mike's books
There are always exceptions to the rule, so if HIT is working well for you, then stick with it. My only suggestion would be to switch to higher volume sometime down the road temporarily and switch back. Your method of adding some volume to the HIT regiment is a good idea.NSCA - CSCS