High Intensity Weight Training:
Just 15 Minutes A Week!

High intensity weight training promises to build muscle and strength with less time than conventional training. Of course, your shorter time at the gym will be much more brutal than you've come to expect!

Weight training is one of the best methods of strength training! If you want to start weight training safely and effectively, with the best info, diet, and routines, check out the 5 Day Beginner Weight Training Course!

This type of training was originally popularized in the 1970s by Arthur Jones, founder of the Nautilus exercise machine empire. His workouts were designed to be brief, very intense, and allow plenty of time for rest and recovery.

High intensity weight training recently enjoyed a renaissance thanks to the 2008 book Body by Science by Doug McGruff, M.D. and John Little. They present a new spin on the high intensity workout, along with the science to back it up!


The chest press is a simple and effective lift to use for high intensity weight training.

What High Intensity Weight Training Is

The key points to high intensity training routines are...

  • Heavy weight
  • High intensity with short sets (usually less than 12 reps)
  • Short workout time (15 to 40 minutes)
  • Slow and controlled repetitions for maximum muscle fatigue, and
  • Lots of time for recovery (3, 4, or even 7 days of recovery)

That's it. Push yourself murderously hard to the point of failure very quickly, and then get out of the gym and start recovering.

Within this scheme there is significant room for variation. Various gurus and experts have their own special takes on high intensity weight training, and high intensity training has even been used for sprinters.


Mike Mentzer's Evolution of
High Intensity Training

Mike Mentzer was a very influential bodybuilder in the 1970s. His thoughts and ideas further developed high intensity training.

After suffering the worst defeat of his career in 1971, coming in 10th at a bodybuilding competition, Mentzer then talked to the winner and learned that he had trained almost exclusively on Nautilus machines with Arthur Jones using short, intense training sessions. The winner also gave Mentzer Jones' contact info.

So, after the embarrassment of that defeat Mentzer promptly contacted Jones and started working with him. No fool was Mentzer!

Using high intensity training, Mentzer carved out a respectable place for himself in the '70s bodybuilding world. Eventually he left Jones to develop high intensity training even more, and went on to produce many articles, books, and DVDs.

Mentzer's eventual 'Ideal Routine' had...

  • 5 lifts done with 1 set each, each workout session, and
  • 4 - 7 days to rest and recover

Amazingly simple, but taking high intensity training to an extreme in both intensity and recovery.


The Body By Science Workout

In 2008 the book Body By Science brought high intensity training to the public eye once again. The routine presented is very similar to Mentzer's 'Ideal Routine,' but includes a tremendous amount of scientific studies and information to back up the training methods.

If you're interested, check out this Body By Science review, along with PDFs of the workout routines.


Putting Together Your Own Routine

You can easily integrate high intensity weight training into your own routine. It just takes a little bit of creativity, and the drive to work your hardest when you're at the gym.

Choose 3 to 7 lifts, ideally big, multi-joint lifts that work your whole body. Then simply plan your workout around them, keeping these fundamentals in mind...

  • Low number of repetitions
  • Heavy weights
  • Work to total muscle failure
  • Use strict good form (so you don't hurt yourself), and
  • Keep the workout short, 45 minutes tops

That's it. This is a very flexible training protocol, while giving you a great workout and space to fit it to your own needs at the same time.

Oh, and be sure to sign up for the e-zine Starting Strong to get monthly strength training, exercise, and diet tips e-mailed to you - and access to the free e-book Train Smart, Eat Smart: Exercise Nutrition Hacks!

• Click here to learn more about other ways to improve or change your Strength Training Routine!

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