Learning High Intensity Training
High Intensity Training is a learned skill. It must be carefully taught, cautiously practiced, and performed with intense concentration. Learning High Intensity Training is a step-by-step process. This article will give you some guidelines to follow and points to think about during your training sessions.
Learning the Exercises
Each exercise you will perform during your training sessions should be learned with the greatest attention to detail. Whether you prefer to train on machines, free weights, body weight exercises, or even playground equipment, learn and practice the most correct way to perform the movement. This may be different from person to person. Previous injuries can sometimes interfere with an ideal performance. In such cases, you will need to find the safest, most productive way to perform the exercises for your particular situation.
The exercises must first be practiced with a ridiculously light amount of resistance. If the weight is even slightly to heavy, efficient neuromuscular learning will not occur. Too much weight interferes with the muscle and brain learning effect. The first few workouts themselves should not be fatiguing or intense.
Learning Correct Training Form
For High Intensity Training to be productive, each repetition of every set should be performed as perfectly as possible. It is important to keep the muscle constantly loaded during each exercise. Super Slowª Protocol (10 second positive, 5 second negative or 10 second positive, 10 second negative) will assure this. It will reinforce correct form, and show big form mistakes. Super Slowª is also safer than other training tempos.
Super Slowª exercise is not very difficult to learn. The first few sessions may feel somewhat awkward. This is normal. Take the time to practice the technique carefully.
Learning to Handle Muscular Pain
Pain, burning, fatigue. These are common words that describe the sensation that occurs to a muscle after some repetitions of an exercise are performed. These descriptions are not accurate. Fatigue is close.
Muscular Stress is what actually is occurring to the muscle. Muscular Stress is a desirable effect. It may not feel very desirable when you are performing an exercise. Your body responds to this stress by becoming stronger.
Stress, whether physical or mental, is handle in two ways. Imagine a mouse trapped in the corner of a kitchen by a cat. If the mouse is able to find a way to escape, it will! This is the first response to stress - flight-. If the cat has the mouse cornered so well that it cannot escape, the mouse will fight for its life. That is the second response to stress -fight-.
Your body does not know the difference from an animal chasing you for dinner, your boss or family member yelling at you, or an exercise machine. Your body assumes both are equally dangerous. Strength training is, by definition, the purposeful application of stress to a specific muscle group performed in hope of achieving a favorable response. That favorable response is increased strength to that muscle group.
In strength training the first response to stress is flight. When this occurs the person exercising feels a sense of urgency and panic. The trainee usually responds to this by thinking or saying ÒI canÕt, I canÕt!Ó. This response indicates a misunderstanding of the goal of the exercise.
Controlling the Stress Response
The primary goal of an exercise is to fatigue the target musculature as deeply as possible in a safe manner. This does not mean the resistance (weight) needs to move. The resistance may actually remain motionless while the trainee is producing effort against it as hard as possible. When a trainee is saying ÒI canÕtÓ, they usually mean they canÕt lift the weight, or they canÕt tolerate how the exercise feels.
Keep this effect in mind when you train. The next time you work on an exercise, and the weight comes to the point it seems impossible to lift, simply try to keep effort against it. DonÕt be concerned with lifting the weight anymore. Spend some time simply trying to keep the weight in place. Try to keep constant effort on the resistance. It will help if you donÕt even bother saying ÒI canÕtÓ. With practice and concentration, eventually, you wonÕt even think it.
Doing this is easier said than done. It takes practice. It is also important how you practice. You will eventually learn how to control the stress response. There are some skills you can work on to help.
1. Keep your face relaxed. – When you tense your face during intense exercise, it is a sign youÕre experiencing the ÒFightÓ response of stress. Some people can get very dramatic with this. They are actually trying to demonstrate they are working hard. In fact, tension if the face actually prevents you from working hard. It is an indication you are thinking about how the exercise feels, and not concentrating on what you are doing. The moment you feel the urge to tense your face during an exercise, control the response by purposefully relaxing your face. With practice you will eventually go through and entire workout with no change of expression. An advanced trainee will appear to be in a state of trance. If fact, they are in a very deep state of concentration.
2. Keep your breathing under control. –Breathing correctly is very important during exercise. To really understand just how important it is, try not breathing! Incorrect breathing shows a lack of control of concentration. More importantly, incorrect breathing can be very dangerous. Breathing during a Super Slow repetition should be smooth, continuos, and not forced. During
the first repetition of the first exercise, breathing should feel easy. As the exercise becomes more difficult, the breathing will be more labored. When performing a Super Slow repetition, you will breath 4-15 times per repetition. At no point should you hold your breath. This is dangerous, causes you to lose concentration and jab the weight. As the exercise becomes more difficult, it greatly helps your intensity if you concentrate on keeping your breathing under control. Don't let your breathing control you. Keep your breathing deep. Keep your breathing at a steady, even pace. Controlling your breathing is your key to controlling the stress response.
3. Keep your head and Neck very still.- Moving the head and neck during an intense exercise can be dangerous. The neck musculature is a very tender, and often very weak, area. You may get by moving your head around for years without injury. It just takes one time to do minor, or even major, damage. Moreover, moving your head and neck during an exercise will force you out of the correct alignment and posture for that exercise. You will not be concentration on the target muscle group if you move around even slightly. This can fool you into a false sense of progression. You may actually be getting weaker by not exercising correctly, but the resistance is increasing because you are gaining a mechanical advantage by moving your body into a different position.
4. Wear clothing that will allow your body to cool off quickly. - Sweating actually impedes your bodyÕs ability to work hard. In experiments performed at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, several athletes were tested in different climate conditions. It was found that the moment the body begins to collect sweat, performance levels actually decreased! Wear clothing that will help the body to dissipate heat more efficiently. This helps you to produce a consistently high level of performance during a workout.
Concentrate at the Event Threshold
Momentary Muscular Failure (Volitional Fatigue) has been called ÒThe threshold to resultsÓ. The difficulty is getting to that threshold. The previous steps will help you get there. But once you get there, an even higher level of concentration will be needed.
Once the muscle is no longer able to produce enough effort to move a resistance, the body is moved into the fight stage of stress. Your brain assumes you have been so well cornered you are unable to escape. This is usually when a trainee will resort to jabbing, heaving, and throwing the weight. This is especially evident on exercises that involve pushing the resistance away from the body.
Once you have encountered this moment, focus on the immediate objective of the exercise - to deeply fatigue the target musculature safely.
¥ Am I focusing on the target muscle?
¥ Am I controlling my response to what IÕm feeling?
¥ Am I concentrating on what IÕm doing?
¥ Am I attempting to keep a consistent effort on the resistance?
Some may find it more helpful to simply tell themselves to do these things during the event threshold. Either way, keep thinking about these points when the resistance seems not to be able to move.
The best way to learn these steps is to teach them. You will become more aware of each as you observe and instruct someone else training. You will be able to better control your response to what you feel under stress, not only in exercise but in your daily life as well.