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Gain 34 pounds of muscle in only four weeks!
May 3, 2007 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Tim Ferris claims to have gained 34 lbs. of muscle in 28 days while exercising for only four hours, total.
posted by craniac (93 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
He may be beefier, but seems to be shorter too.
posted by Dizzy at 10:43 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I hesitate to link to this because it looks like he's probably a biological freak of nature. Also, he's big into outsourcing your life to India and all sorts of other extreme wackiness, from cage fighting to monkey training. I'm not sure if his site is an elaborate prank or scam, or something more compelling. There is much to mock here, and I expect it, but this guy has something interesting going on regardless.
posted by craniac at 10:43 AM on May 3, 2007


On the downside, it apparently causes hair loss. And what's with the shorts - is he standing on a subway grate?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:44 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


yeah, he looks shorter, but someone needs to get out photoshop, resize the two images and superimpose them on each other. I think this guy is either going to self-destruct in a few years or become president of the New Mutant World Order.
posted by craniac at 10:45 AM on May 3, 2007


You beat me to that quip, Dizzy. Well played. He also looks weirder, fwiw.
posted by Mister_A at 10:46 AM on May 3, 2007


Apparently the intensity of those brief workouts is such that you need to be on the verge of vomiting from exertion when you are done.
posted by craniac at 10:47 AM on May 3, 2007


IJM IN UR BRANE STEELIN UR QWIPZ.
posted by Dizzy at 10:49 AM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Also, you know he's going to come out with a book based on this called "The Four Hour Body" or somesuch.
posted by craniac at 10:49 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wonder which steroids he used. Must have been a lot.
posted by IronLizard at 10:50 AM on May 3, 2007


I find it odd that he had the foresight to take before pics, without knowing what his results would be.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:50 AM on May 3, 2007


QuipFilter. Ziiiiing!
posted by craniac at 10:50 AM on May 3, 2007


Um...no, for real. He shrank. He shrank! What the HELL! The only thing I know of that could do that to a human body is the people-compactor that turned corpses into terrifying killer dwarves in Phantasm. This guy creeps me OUT, yo.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:53 AM on May 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Ah, but he had the fit body, let it atropy, then got it back. Someone who never has been fit might have more problems.
posted by Megafly at 10:53 AM on May 3, 2007


No, no, Keith, he went back and lost all the muscle again, then beefed up again once he knew the program would work. Simple! He can now do it in just four hours straight, mostly by inflating his subcutaneous air bladders.
posted by klangklangston at 10:54 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Interesting regimen. I'd be interested in giving it a run but there's just no way to dedicate myself to it at this stage.
posted by fenriq at 10:54 AM on May 3, 2007




I gained four pounds of muscle since "Ellen".
posted by Dizzy at 10:56 AM on May 3, 2007


The coral cache goes to the original page. ??
posted by craniac at 10:59 AM on May 3, 2007


Yesterday : "Holy crap — I just got some HUGE NEWS via cell phone from my publisher. No joke… you’ll hear about it in the next few days."

0_o
posted by iconomy at 11:00 AM on May 3, 2007


I gained 34 pounds of muscle in a day, once.

Couldn't fit it in my freezer. Took me the better part of a day pounding pavement with it in a shopping cart, trying to give it away to the neighbors. Damned 4-H raffles.
posted by po at 11:02 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw him at SXSW, and he's definitely not insane. Driven, yes, with a book to sell, yes, but not insane. I read his book the other night and can recommend it, though I'm sure it's not for everybody. A lot of his suggestions seem drastic, but a lot of the ideas have been discussed elsewhere (including here) before, just not coalesced into one book. I think it's the concentration of unfamiliar ideas that make it seem more insane.

He's been into bodybuilding and whatnot for a while, so I'm sure he was confident in the regimen before he started, and hey, if it didn't work he didn't have to post any pictures. If it sells a few more books (it got his site dugg), why not.
posted by jeffkramer at 11:04 AM on May 3, 2007


Yeah but how big is his penis?

If you're interested, just leave your email in this thread and I'll send you 750 different ways to fix that. And some stock tips too.
posted by fungible at 11:06 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


If it sells a few more books (it got his site dugg), why not.
Because he's giving false hope to skinny, weak nerds everywhere. Just like those infomercials.
posted by IronLizard at 11:06 AM on May 3, 2007


Now he'll need to invent some sort of . . . disembigulator.
posted by The Bellman at 11:07 AM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


I did the Photoshop thing. Here are the photos scaled up to match by resizing along both horizontal and vertical axes:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkheadedbug/482888546/

And here by scaling along the vertical axis only:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkheadedbug/482891657/

The second looks more normal, but the first is actually a better fit for physical features like the distance between eyes and so on. So I think the photos are probably genuine but I could be wrong.
posted by unSane at 11:12 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


If it seems to good to be true, you probably saw it on the internet.
posted by Mister_A at 11:13 AM on May 3, 2007


on the down side, it took him four weeks to figure out his camera's white balance
posted by white light at 11:14 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Bellman writes "Now he'll need to invent some sort of . . . disembigulator."

... which is a concept so ridiculous it makes me want to laugh out loud and chortle.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:15 AM on May 3, 2007


C'mon you guys. If your going to poke fun at least do it less predictably.

I did this style lifting for years. Only dead lifts, squats, dips, press, and bench. Two days per week. I gained 18 lbs in about two months and pretty much doubled all my lifts this way. However, like anything, there is a price if your main goal for lifting is not body building but enhancing over-all athletic performance. And going to failure via high intensity is less safe injury wise.

I found always going to full failure interfered with other athletic performance training.

When you go to muscular failure you tend to, for lack of a better term, fry your nervous system and it makes acquiring new movement skills or practicing fine motor skills more difficult.

So you then end up having to time your strength training and other performance training very very carefully. Hard to do for the average guy with a real life schedule.

If you avoid failure and go more for frequency you will see gains in usable strength and still be able to train skills the same day.

Compound lifts + heavy weights MINUS repetitions MINUS muscular failure + frequency.

Over all I think this kind of training is good. Depends on your goals. Most people need endurance more than big muscles.

The idea of spending hours in the gym is a tactic Fitness facilities promote to make money.
posted by tkchrist at 11:16 AM on May 3, 2007 [8 favorites]


4. Eat enormous quantities of protein (much like my current fat-loss diet) with low-glycemic index carbohydrates like quinoa, but drop calories by 50% one day per week to prevent protein uptake downregulation.

"Protein uptake downregulation" sounds like some creative bullshit. Can anyone explain to a simpleton like me what that actually means?
posted by patr1ck at 11:18 AM on May 3, 2007


He mentions in the followup post linked above that he lost the gains because he had to eat like 8,000 calories a day to maintain it.
posted by mecran01 at 11:23 AM on May 3, 2007


Can I just shave my body and call it a day?
posted by popechunk at 11:23 AM on May 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


i can believe this guy did what he said he did.

i also believe that if i did what he did, i would be seriously injured in the first week, resulting in a gain of, say -3 or -4 lbs. of muscle over 4 weeks.
posted by facetious at 11:26 AM on May 3, 2007


Yeah right. He also changed his hair color and browline. Oh and the lighting and clothing. This is about as believable as the "lose 100 lbs in 10 minutes by eating gravy!!!1" articles I "research" in the line at the grocery store.
posted by DU at 11:26 AM on May 3, 2007


I believe him. I've been on a similar workout of high-intensity, low-rep, push-to-failure multiple-joint exercises and gained 20 lbs in the first 6 weeks (160 - 180). It requires enormous eating with huge amounts of protein, but it can be done.
I worked out 3x per week, but I'd like to try this 1x per week approach.
posted by rocket88 at 11:26 AM on May 3, 2007


he could have gained much more than 34 lbs of muscle in about half an hour with Photoshop CS3
posted by matteo at 11:27 AM on May 3, 2007


I should note that nobody should jump into this type of workout from scratch. At the very least, workout moderately for a month or two beforehand to strengthen your ligaments and smaller supporting muscles or you risk serious injury.
posted by rocket88 at 11:28 AM on May 3, 2007


protein uptake downregulation

patr1ck, Seems like he's trying to stop the body from deciding its getting too much protein (and will stop using it) by shorting it once a week.
posted by fenriq at 11:29 AM on May 3, 2007


I've been doing a workout very close to this one for a couple of years with great results. Its easy: minute 1: 800 curls. Min 2: 500 push ups. Min. 3: 500 squats. Min 4: quintuple dutch jump rope cooldown.

Give it a try, but remember to stretch out first.
posted by BostonJake at 11:33 AM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


He mentions in the followup post linked above that he lost the gains because he had to eat like 8,000 calories a day to maintain it.

So if you quit eating the protein, or working out (which is it?), the muscles go away? Where do they go? I'm confused.
posted by popechunk at 11:33 AM on May 3, 2007


I gained that much muscle weight simple by watching seven days of continuous porn. Unfortunately, the gain was exclusively in my right forearm.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:33 AM on May 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Eating enough to put on all that weight in a short amount of time is a challenge in itself. It works, though. I put on about 15 lbs of muscle in a similar time frame, doing compound lifts in sets of 5 but almost never to failure.

It's not like he looked like a "geek" to begin with, just a normal healthy guy who doesn't eat 6,000 calories a day.
posted by rxrfrx at 11:35 AM on May 3, 2007


Ah, he repeated the Colorado experiment, in which Casey Viator went from shrimp to stud in just 28 days. And added his own twists to it.

The "Colorado experiment" link in his blog is worth reading:
122 "sets" were performed during the 12 workouts . . . an average of just over 10 sets per workout.

Out of the total of 122 sets, 54 were performed in a "negative only" fashion . .. 14 were performed in a "negative accentuated" fashion . . . and 54 were performed in a normal (negative-positive) style.

Negative only means that the resistance was "lowered" only, involving eccentric contraction.

negative accentuated means that the resistance was raised with both arms (or both legs), and then lowered with only one arm or leg.


Here's something Ferris doesn't mention (on the front page, at least) :

Negative repetitions HURT. They hurt A LOT. Even the lighter, easier, negative-accentuated sets aren't fun. I did one set of negative-accentuated arm curls when I was untrained and used too much weight. My biceps were in agony and swollen for about a week afterward.

I think this exercise program is too intense for most untrained people, especially people over the age of 35 i.e. ME. When I returned to the weights a couple of months ago, I used the Hypertrophy-Specific Program (Thanks, MetaFilter!) which starts off with two weeks of one set of 15 per exercise. There are six workouts and you're working up to your maximum in that range. This part was easy. After that part, it got considerably more difficult. I had workouts where I would have to fight the nausea afterward, where I'd be holding on to a parking meter to keep from puking on the sidewalk.

That program is nowhere near as intense as the one he's prescribing. And it kicked my ass.

Again, I think that his program is not appropriate for most untrained, older people. The Colorado experiment on which he bases this focused on a young bodybuilder, a guy who had several years of weight training prior to the experiment. I don't think this is applicable to normal human beings.
posted by jason's_planet at 11:45 AM on May 3, 2007 [10 favorites]


I should note that nobody should jump into this type of workout from scratch.

And if you're over 40, please do not try it without first consulting a professional trainer and having your current state analyzed. Blowing out a rotator cuff will cramp your style far more than you can possibly imagine.

Thanks rocket88 and tkchrist for posting your info. This HIT (High Intensity Training) stuff really does work, with caveats. It's not snake oil.

Tim Ferris doesn't strike me as a charlatan, just a really driven dude, like Zig Zigler or Stephen Covey. Some people believe that you can do just about anything you put your mind to, and then they piss me off by going out and actually doing it.

Previous HIT talk on MetaFilter
posted by sidereal at 11:46 AM on May 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


What about for those who need to lose fat and gain muscle? Will this sort of regimen fry the fat at the same time? Or does one have to do cardio/aerobic stuff for that?
posted by Azaadistani at 11:48 AM on May 3, 2007


So if you quit eating the protein, or working out (which is it?), the muscles go away? Where do they go? I'm confused.

Kinda. First of all, adding 34 pounds of anything increases your resting calorie consumption, and muscle burns a lot more energy than fat. I certainly don't think it would take 8,000 calories to maintain a frame like that, but it would certainly take a good 30% over what he was eating before. At least.

On a related note, how do you even eat that much protein?? 2 steaks and 4 chicken breasts a day? I'm just not that big a fan of eating, I guess.
posted by rkent at 11:54 AM on May 3, 2007


Casey Viator went from shrimp to stud in just 28 days.

Wha? Did you see his lats in the before picture? Dude was an animal.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:55 AM on May 3, 2007


Well, this is a body-builder type of workout.

It may attract the ladies, but I bet I will survive better if we ever had to wrestle. :D

I guess it's kind of thing if you want to get functional-athletic muscles (crossfit) or vanity muscles.

Not that there's anything wrong with vanity muscles, mind you, just depends on your goals.
posted by countzen at 12:01 PM on May 3, 2007


prevent protein uptake downregulation.

somebody's always wanting to take away my fun
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:05 PM on May 3, 2007


Kinda. First of all, adding 34 pounds of anything increases your resting calorie consumption, and muscle burns a lot more energy than fat.

The figure I've heard is 30-50 extra calories burned per pound of muscle gained.
posted by jason's_planet at 12:09 PM on May 3, 2007


Some people believe that you can do just about anything you put your mind to, and then they piss me off by going out and actually doing it.

Great quote, sidereal!
posted by mrnutty at 12:14 PM on May 3, 2007


since we are talking whacky workouts, I have been enjoying the shovelglove for a while.

i shite you not.

it is fun, you get to roleplay, and you can do it in the privacy of your tiny leetle apartment. plus you have a reason to buy a sledgehammer.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:15 PM on May 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


On a related note, how do you even eat that much protein?? 2 steaks and 4 chicken breasts a day? I'm just not that big a fan of eating, I guess.

I'm betting he relied heavily on protein supplements, milkshakes, and/or eggs. As in, "a thick milkshake with 2 scoops of protein and 2 eggs, twice per day". Most of the "OMG bigg gainz bro" weightlifters I've met burn through huge containers (easily 5 pounds) of whey/soy/etc protein every month. It's possible to get enough calories and protein to gain lots of muscle-weight through ordinary food, and I've known people who managed it, but it's pretty tough, especially if you have a small frame.
posted by vorfeed at 12:18 PM on May 3, 2007


Negative repetitions HURT. They hurt A LOT. Even the lighter, easier, negative-accentuated sets aren't fun.

Yeah. That is what I meant by frying the nervous system. Any kind of extreme muscular failure can cause debilitating soreness.
And negative reps also may act against forms required athletic performance - like explosivity. Training sore sucks. Living sore sucks. And frankly I don't see the point of that. Given a culture already averse to fitness. (AS we can see by the level unfounded claims of fraud in this thread.)

These days I do mostly body weight exercise for muscular conditioning and endurance. I do some basic compound lifting 2 days per week just avoid injury.

When I did HIT training I felt like I was ALWAYS injured. One day I was dead lifting a stupid amount of weight and it hit me... WHY? Why do I need to lift this much? When I approached strength training from what i actually needed it was much more productive.
posted by tkchrist at 12:19 PM on May 3, 2007


I found that eating was more difficult than weight training. I was up to 6000 cals/day including 250g of protein. That's not easy to do, even with supplement shakes. It requires 6-7 meals a day and forcing yourself to eat when you're not hungry, which can get nauseating. The results came quickly, though.
Oh, and I'm 42...so don't let your age stop you before you start.
posted by rocket88 at 12:36 PM on May 3, 2007


“Apparently the intensity of those brief workouts is such that you need to be on the verge of vomiting from exertion when you are done”

Verge?
Is there some other way to train?
Actually, yeah, lotsa programs do this (cybergenics comes to mind).

Although why he’d want to focus on just muscle mass is beyond me. It’s not worth it if your sculpting muscle, it’s not worth it for athletics, the healthy aspects are dicey at best. Yeah, it can be done, but it’s a big “why?” here.

That and y’know dosing yourself with gamma radiation.

I have more fun shaving my hair into male pattern baldness for months then pretending to apply Nadaxodil on it for a couple days and astounding everyone in the office.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:53 PM on May 3, 2007


Not to derail too badly, but YBB, is that shovelglove for real? I saw it on an AskMe a few months ago, looked at the site, and after a few minutes of "Holy shit, that's the coolest thing I've ever heard," I decided there must be some sort of catch. Clearly it ain't putting on no 34 pounds of muscle in a month, but does it do anything besides making the dog look at you funny?
posted by Mayor West at 1:01 PM on May 3, 2007


I didn't read through all his site, but on the linked page he does not say he exercised only 4 hours total; he says it involved "a total of 4 hours of gym time." Gym time, he specifies. Who knows how much he worked out otherwise. I bet you find that out if you buy his book.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:02 PM on May 3, 2007


I've been using HIT training for a number of years, and have gained some incredible results (at age 25, was 120 pounds @ 5'10), and within months was 155 pounds. Granted, there was a little fat around the belly, but I added slabs of muscle everywhere.

There may be better methods (HST comes to mind, but for my metabolism I'd need too many calories), but my HIT regimen is very convenient for me. (although, like rocket88 says, eating 5 - 6 k calories a day is a pain in the fucking ass).

I'm in the gym twice a week, for about 40 min each time. I do each exercise once a week, two sets each, 4-6 reps to failure. The actual amount of time I spend lifting is minimal - most of the time is spent resting between sets.

Main exercises are weighted dips, weighted chins, romanian deadlifts, squats, curls, and dumbell presses. Have recently re-incorporated barbell bentover rows.

Max I've weighed is 178 pounds.

My last bulking cycle I went from 150 pounds (Jan 14th 2006) to 170.7 pounds (March 31st 2006). By May 26th 2006 I was 177.3 pounds.

Am gonna try experimenting with creatine soon.
posted by spacediver at 1:04 PM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me angry.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:45 PM on May 3, 2007


This looks like some really intense static contraction training. I've been putting off trying this stuff, but seems like this VP from Turner Broadcasting has had some success (Sorry - no before and after pics).
posted by agentxti at 1:47 PM on May 3, 2007


yeah, Mayor West and plaintainchild, the shovelglove looks feckin' sweet. I'm gonna get me one.
posted by taliaferro at 1:58 PM on May 3, 2007


I weigh 8 lbs more than I did in high school. Just 10 lbs would be nice but I find it to be very difficult to do.

I think the only way I could put on 34 lbs of muscle is if someone made me a steak tunic.

And tkchrist, after reading all of your awesome stories about working out and fighting, I'm convinced that you look like Marv from Sin City.
posted by redteam at 2:37 PM on May 3, 2007


Bah! Hulk tired of this thread!
posted by storybored at 2:52 PM on May 3, 2007


I do Shovelglove - when my friends aren't borrowing my sledge for legitimate sledgehammery things - with a 17lb hammer. If you get into the rhythm, it can really get your heart rate up. Instead of the external-specific muscle soreness you get with weights, when you Shovelglove rigorously you feel it in your core muscles - all those little stabilizer muscles, your obliques, etc. I also tend to walk a lot straighter and have better general posture for a couple days afterward.
posted by notsnot at 3:16 PM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Shovelglove? Just get a weekend job digging ditches or fence posts at a ranch/farm. Bonus: You also get paid to get in shape. This paying TO get in shape is ass backwards.
posted by IronLizard at 3:18 PM on May 3, 2007


Azaadistani, he apparently has a weight-loss plan too, which is essentially a minimalist GI diet.
posted by greatgefilte at 3:19 PM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


And tkchrist, after reading all of your awesome stories about working out and fighting, I'm convinced that you look like Marv from Sin City.

HAHA... er

HEY!

Sorry to say you would be disappointed.

I am 6ft and 175lbs of rippling muscle... however I have a 20lb protective coating I keep over the top of that.

This coating is made of an invulnerable concoction of Nutter Butters and pie.

I am only imposing in the sense that once inviting to your house it's likely I will not leave until your have fed me every ounce of Ben & Jerry's Vermonty Python Ice Cream in the local vicinity.

I never had a max bench press much over 265.

Though I'm really great telling OTHER people how to fight the most victorious I have ever felt in competition was coming in third place out of twelve - 10 years ago (though I was still the oldest on the card).

Currently I'm as weak as a kitten due to my knees blowing out and tendinitis.

The tendinitis I tell people is an old masturbation injury - forced me to go south paw in the Wank-o-lympics (using the left feels like somebody else, btw) and cost me Hall-o-fame Status.

So. Alert my enemies. The TK is VULNERABLE! Attack now!
posted by tkchrist at 3:20 PM on May 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Let me re-write that:

"I am only imposing in the sense that once I'm invited to your house it's likely I will not leave until you have fed me every ounce of Ben & Jerry's Vermonty Python Ice Cream in the local vicinity."
posted by tkchrist at 3:22 PM on May 3, 2007


agentxti: This looks like some really intense static contraction training. I've been putting off trying this stuff, but seems like this VP from Turner Broadcasting has had some success (Sorry - no before and after pics).
Huh- total side comment here, but I used to work with that guy at Rivals.com. He was wee li'l dude! Guessing that he's bulked up a bit, from reading that blog! A thousand pound leg press seems like a lot....
redteam: And tkchrist, after reading all of your awesome stories about working out and fighting, I'm convinced that you look like Marv from Sin City.
Also unrelated to anything, Carla Gugino looked absolutely amazing in that movie- that scene where she's walking through her apartment naked, filmed in the gauzy black and white.... oh man such incredible curves!!! She's not nearly as attractive in "Entourage", which has been sucking this year...

Um... topic? Oh yeah... I too have always wanted to meet tkchrist- whom I am proud to boast that I once impressed tkchrist with one of my posts- if ever there's another Seattle meetup... I picture him the same way: big, hulking, fierce... gruff on the outside, but with a tender, kitten-loving heart inside. :) I think his 165-pound weakling stories are just a ruse to keep his enemies guessing about his true appearance, kind of like an ice-cream loving Keyser Söze.
posted by hincandenza at 4:02 PM on May 3, 2007


Another big ups for shovelglove. Even if you are too lazy to exercise 5x a week, just keep it by your PC. You will find yourself swinging it around while surfing the blue as all you really need to scroll down the comments is tapping the space bar once every 30 seconds. You won't get huge from that, but you will build very useful upper body tone.
posted by parallax7d at 4:33 PM on May 3, 2007


Okey. I'm going to regret this.
posted by tkchrist at 4:34 PM on May 3, 2007


You won't get huge from that, but you will build very useful upper body tone.

Is it an octave above or below Middle C? My upper body has kind of E flat tone.

From what I have seen of the Shovelglove stuff it's very similar to what you would get from the kettle bells and all that kind of thing.

And if that is the case you will get MUCH more than tone. That kind of strength and conditioning is usable in the real world. Working your muscles while standing in all those different vectors of movement? You get range of motion, balance and plyometric training.

Looks real good to me.
posted by tkchrist at 4:43 PM on May 3, 2007


Erm... for what it's worth, I think he looks far better in the before picture. I've never been fond of the muscly-gym queen look.
posted by jokeefe at 5:20 PM on May 3, 2007


There may be better methods (HST comes to mind [...])

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

-HST
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:00 PM on May 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


So how do we know this isn't Photoshopped? The "after" picture looks weird.
posted by schroedinger at 6:50 PM on May 3, 2007


Schroedinger, look upthread. I already did the Photoshop test.
posted by unSane at 6:58 PM on May 3, 2007


Photoshop, hell. He has a brother in better shape.
posted by IronLizard at 8:06 PM on May 3, 2007


This has turned into a very interesting discussion. It has been informative reading individual's routines.

I train for two seasons, Labor Day to Memorial Day and Memorial Day to Labor Day.

In the colder fall and winter months from September to April I eat whatever I want, as much as I want, and workout with heavy weights. I do a little bit of cardio but not much. I will weigh as much as 225. In the warmer months, late spring, summer and early fall I diet hard (my own version of Atkins), do light weights and tons of cardio. I will get down as low as 190. I play in a baseball league in Seattle and I catch, so it is critical that I lose that extra weight since I'm crouching in a squat up to 200 times per game. I also like to have extra weight in the winter because I feel that it helps me keep warm and fight off colds (I haven't been sick with a cold more than once in the last ten years). The transition from light to heavy takes about 8 weeks or so to put on 30 pounds. The transition from heavy to light starts easy (I am at 206 today, down from 223 about five weeks ago) but progress tapers off so that the last five pounds from 195 to 190 takes a month on its own.

My point is that your weight is something YOU OWN. Within a certain window, and given no thyroid conditions or other influences, you have the power and ability to make your weight fluctuate to a pretty wide degree. I think the key though is you need a reason. I think just "looking better" or "overall fitness" are worthy goals, but they are just a bit too vague to really be inspiring. Extreme fitness athletes are training for contests or seasons or climbs or fights, and it gives them something tangible to shoot for, as well as a date on a calendar that serves as a deadline that must be met. What this guy was able to do differs from what most athletes do only in terms of magnitude, you could do it too if you wanted or needed to.
posted by vito90 at 10:33 PM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Funny, I saw this and it's true on the internet, everything old is new again.

I know (knew) guys like Arthur Jones, Casey Viator, Sergio Olivia, Mike Mentzer, Ken Leisinger, Dorian Yates, Ellington Darden Roger Schwab and Kevin Tolbert.

Look, train hard and you get strong. If you're stronger, your muscle mass must be greater. If your muscle mass is greater (and your fat percentage hasn't changed), you're going to look 'better'. 99% of women can't gain significant muscle. Most untrained men in their teens through 30s can easily put ten pounds of muscle on in the first year.

I've done quite a bit of High Intensity training (and been in the circle of these people.) Zero of them, zero, had difficulty with any sort of "being neurally fried" or any difficulty with their sports. Football, track or martial arts performance requires a decrease of strength conditioning intensity during the 'in season.' The goal is to get stronger (for life, not just for sport), but during sport, to maintain strength and ability.

I've done quite of bit of the type of training that was in the colorado experiment (which what this guy was imitating.)

It's not for everyone. It's hard, hard freaking work. A negative only leg press, followed by a negative only chin, then a negative only dip, will make most people puke.

You'll get hurt if you (or your trainer) don't know what you're doing - but then again most people in most gyms wouldn't have a clue - they follow what someone told them, and never ever examine why.

High intensity in general? Many NFL and College teams use the basics of High Intensity training for this reason. (Which is less severe than the colorado experiment).

I laugh when people say it decreases your flexibility, you won't be good in a sport, you'll get hurt, you shouldn't use machines. But then again, I used to train and box with this guy.
posted by filmgeek at 11:13 PM on May 3, 2007


I do a lot of Special High Intensity Training, myself.
posted by IronLizard at 12:55 AM on May 4, 2007


Weight loss , muscle mass ganing require sacrifice, exercise , fatigue : news at 11.

In related news, a sucker is born every minute.
posted by elpapacito at 1:08 AM on May 4, 2007


I've done quite a bit of High Intensity training (and been in the circle of these people.) Zero of them, zero, had difficulty with any sort of "being neurally fried" or any difficulty with their sports.

filmgeek every one of those guys were elite bodybuilders or power lifters. Not one of them was a competitive performance athlete other than that. And in all those cases it may be an example of the man - in those cases elite lifters - and not the program.

And no offense but Tolbert, while a giant, is NOT a boxer.

HIT training is great for gains. Big serious gains. It will make you very strong.

But I'm telling you AS a boxer and kick boxer and from other boxers, kick boxers, and grappler's, ones who still DO compete — HIT is not the preferred method of strength training for most. Things more like Cross Fit or Pavel's routines would be. Fighters already have so many other injuries to worry about most feel it's not worth it.

Like you said it's not for everyone.

My point is HIT is even less desirable for those with jobs who have an athletic pursuit as a hobby when there is no time for periodization.
posted by tkchrist at 1:18 AM on May 4, 2007


I picked body builders because they have the 'names' in the 'body sculpting field.

Half the people I mentioned, Darden, Schwab, Leistner, Tolbert are the furthest you can get from body builders. They work with NFL, College Athletes and just 'general people' in sports programs.

I saw about a dozen plus olympians train this way (and have a number of world records.

Respectfully, Don't mistake your corner of the world , as the world. I can point out Gracie Ju-Jitsu guys and guys like Mitchell Sammons (Bando, full contact heavyweight) who did/do this.

It's just an efficient way to train. Not the only way. It works, it's scalable, it's safe (if you're throwing the shit out of weights, thinking that explosiveness with weights equals explosiveness in punching, you don't understand how specific neuromuscular firing is.) How safe? One set super slow, 'high intensity' is the basis of some of the studies for using weight training to restore osteoporotic loss. (and no, I don't mean negative only training that was used in the Colorado experiment, and no I'm not advocating that grandma do negative chins).
posted by filmgeek at 6:16 AM on May 4, 2007


It's just an efficient way to train. Not the only way.

Agreed. But I caution you from being dismissive of peoples experience when they tell you how it made them feel.

The HIT crowd does have an air of fanaticism because of this type of dissmissiveness. It could be possible that the successes you mention are also somewhat self selecting.

While I still do elements of HIT training for a couple of lifts I realized my goals are not to be a strength athlete. I lift almost exclusively to avoid injury. When I did HIT in it's more concentrated form employing extreme negative contractions I saw great results. BUT the soreness never seemed to go away.

It may be unique to the type of other martial training in that the combination could contribute to over training without very, very, careful oversight. This experience was not unique.

I found I felt better with more of the CrossFit style training and it it fit more with what I needed any way. And lo this experience was not unique. Crossfit (and Pavel's frequency traning) are the dominant ways nearly every major NHB and MMA trainer and school cross trains strength in thier athletes. This is a fact. They also will use some HIT training to one degree or another. But loading on muscle is always necessary.

Like I said earlier - when I defended this guys results - it is undeniable what can be achieved with HIT training. But it is also undeniable there are trade offs.

you don't understand how specific neuromuscular firing is

Exactly. And why lifting weights in general is not the best way to improve a specific skill. Practicing the actual skill is. And practicing the skill with muscular fatigue is not very efficient.
posted by tkchrist at 10:42 AM on May 4, 2007


But loading on muscle is always necessary.

oops, "NOT always necessary."
posted by tkchrist at 10:43 AM on May 4, 2007


Just out of curiosity, how do you even do "negative only" reps in a normal gym? If I'm understanding what that means, it's the part where you drop the bar down to your chest in the bench press, or the part where you lower the barbell in bicep curls, etc. So... how does the "up" part happen? Can it even be done properly with freeweights, or do you pretty much need Nautilus-type machines for this type of program?

Not that I need anything nearly this intense... I'm just curious how it works.
posted by rkent at 1:02 PM on May 4, 2007


(lower the dumbbell in curls...)
posted by rkent at 1:02 PM on May 4, 2007


for negatives, you can use a spotter to help lift the weight to the top of the range, depending on the movement.

For things like weighted dips and chins, you can use a platform to stand on so you're already in the top position.

Then just step up onto the platform again for each rep. Obviously, there will be longer than usual between reps, as you need to reset the position each time.
posted by spacediver at 1:34 PM on May 4, 2007


You also don't do very many of them -- the pure negatives, I mean.

Like, one set of five or fewer.

With the negative accentuated, I wouldn't do more than five per arm or leg.
posted by jason's_planet at 2:01 PM on May 4, 2007


That man is lying.
He clearly gained a bit of muscle and lost a bit of fat. I have no doubt he did it using the program he specified. But 34 pounds of muscle in a month? Not hardly. He doesn't look much bigger at all in his pictures, even with the scaling. Take before guy, shave and tan him, have him do a few sets to get some pump and take pictures. I suspect you will see a guy that looks very close to after guy.
This is a man that seems to make a living telling people semi-reasonable things that will probably help them but making greatly overblown claims about their efficacy. If you use his time-saving tips, will you improve your work efficiency? Probably. Will you actually only work 4 hours a week? I doubt it. If you do this diet and exercise plan, will you lose some fat and gain some muscle? Probably. Will you gain 34 pounds of muscle in a month, or lose 10-20 pounds of fat if you do his ladies version? No.
posted by ch1x0r at 4:12 PM on May 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh and this:
The figure I've heard is 30-50 extra calories burned per pound of muscle gained.

Is wrong. It is a commonly-repeated myth, but the actual figure is something like 5-10 calories/lb muscle/day. Of course, the amount of effort one must expend to keep that muscle on burns quite a few calories itself. But the equation "get muscular, eat a bunch of food, muscle keeps me from getting fat" only works if you add in "lift a lot of heavy weights all the time to keep the muscle from going away."
posted by ch1x0r at 4:19 PM on May 4, 2007


Just out of curiosity, how do you even do "negative only" reps in a normal gym?

Get a stool. Stand on it so that you can put your chin above a chinning bar (Hands facing your face), without hopping. Take your feet off the chair. Lower yourself for 10 seconds. Do not rest. Repeat. If you can do 10, add weight around your waist. You want to make it so difficult that you get at least 5-6 "good' reps".

Believe me, you won't do a 2nd set.

It's brutal, and you need rest (serious rest) after.

You can do this with any exercise; but compound motions like Chinning/Dipping etc are very effective/difficult/etc.

Bench pressing is fine, but dangerous as you deal with weights that would be difficult to lift.
posted by filmgeek at 5:31 PM on May 4, 2007


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