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Rob's High Intensity Training Log

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Happy new year everyone:)


So of late ive been employing the advice I heard given by Jon Jon Park (Reg Park's son) on the Ric Drasin youtube show last month, JJ is very much a hitter and Arthur Jones fan. Its inspired me to get back to HIT basics.

Last rotation was an upper body / lower body split, training every other day....

W/O 1 - Incline smith machine bench press, seated chest supported rows and a bi-lateral DB curl on a a slight inclined bench

W/O 2 - Leverage leg presses, calf presses and grip work

W/O 3 - Standing Military Press, Chins and incline bench Ez-bar triceps extensions

W/O 4 - Leverage power squat, calf presses and grip work

- Each movements has been 1 warm up set, 1 heavy set...but not to failure, then finally 1 moderately heavy set to vanilla failure.


Been consuming just 2 main meals a day plus a pre workout drink and a small post workout snack (protein shake and caramel flavoured rice cakes).

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So of late, im no longer looking to merely move a heavy weight from A to B, ive slightly lower my loads and am focusing much more on feeling, squeezing and contracting the muscles etc, I believe Milos Sarcev referred to it as "iso tension", and again on certian lifts ive been reducing the range of motion employed for better inroading and isolation. One example would be with DB Lateral Raises, I watched this big Z video yesterday and tried his way of preforming laterals today, felt much more focused on the delts / limiting trap involement.

Heres the vid, 15 mins in...


Im still training an upper / lower body split, ive eliminated overhead presses though, I felt the anterior delts get sufficiently worked from the incline press, side and rear laterals preformed as above are going to be a mainstay going forward...


Todays upper body workout was...

Incline smith machine presses

80kg x 10

100kg x 8

120kg x 4

140kg x 3

Seated Cable Row (technogym, smooth as silk)

70kg x 8

80kg x 8

90kg x 8

DB Lateral Raise (Big Z style)

2x12.5kg x 10

2x15kg x 2 sets of 10

Bent Over DB Lateral Raise

2x15kg x 2 sets of 12, 10

EZ Curl Bar Drag Curls

30kg x 10

40kg x 2 sets 10, 9

Triceps Pushdown (straight bar)

40kg x 10

50kg x 2 sets of 10, 8

Currently training 2 days on, one day off...legs tomorrow.


Post workout feed - Rice and pea protein mix (50g) + flavoured rice cakes


Been keeping my carbs at 150-200g per day (the bulk of which are focused around my workouts) and ive upped my protein to 300-350g per day, fats are around 100-110g daily, bodyweight is a reasonable lean 240lb @ 6'4. Going to let my body get used to this weight and then upper cals / macros to reach the 260-270 mark again (but this time ill be leaner).

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  • 2 weeks later...

So this last few weeks ive been focusing again on the pre exhaustion method on tne larger muscles, however, gotta be careful, its very is to burn 8ut on this method, especially when done it HIT style I.e., with intensifies and no rest beteeen the isolation movement and the compound movement. Ive had to compromise and have reduced my training frequency to just 3 days per week (Tues/Thurs/Sat- as the gym quieter on these days) . Listening to and watching some of Markus Reinhardt's work has simulated my thinking again with regards to potency of isolation movements when performed very slowly and with intensifiers. Thus being said, I do still feel there needs to be a lower body compound movement, and an upper body pull / push compound movement.


Last rotation...




1. Pec Deck

130kg x 10 reps to failure + static hold to failure after a 10 second rest pause

immediately followed by..

2. Hammer Incline Press

150kg x 4 to failure


3. Triceps Pushdown (straight revolving bar)

Stack x 11 reps to failure + 2 more reps to failure after a 10 second rest pause

immediately followed by...

4. Weighted Negative Only Dips

BW (242lb) + 30kg x 6 superslow negatives to failure





1. Leg Extension

137.5kg x 9 reps to failure + static hold to failure after a 10 second rest pause

immediately followed by...

2. Leverage Leg Press

350kg x 9 reps to failure


3. Calf Presses

Statck + training partner providing manual resistance on the negative x 14 reps to failure

Short rest

4. Weighted Hypers

BW + 40kg x 16 reps (just shy of failure)




1. Hammer pullover

120kg x 7 reps to failure + static hold to failure after a 10 rest pause

Immediately followed by...

2. Parallel grip pulldown

100kg x 6 reps to failure


3. Seated Chest Supported Row

130kg x 9 reps to failure

4. Big Z DB Lateral Raise

2x17.5kg x 12 reps to failure + 3 more reps to failure after a 10 second rest pause

5. Preacher Curl Machine

70kg x 7 reps to failure + static hold to failure after a 10 second rest pause


To reduce overlapping, no overhead press for the shoulders or direct rear delt work, after just a few workouts of the Big Z laterals, I can already see good improvements in my lateral delts.


Diet wise, ive had to half the protein intake I was consuming due to bloating and stomach discomfort, so carbs are around 50-100grams per day, protein is bewteen 150-200, and fat I dont count, but its high. This approach alone with a high carb / low fat meal once every 4-5 days seems to work best for me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey y'all, been a while since ive updated...so here goes. Took a 9 day layoff at the end of January (to allow for systemic recovery), have since rebounded nicely. Ive put a focus again on static holds and rest pause, I believe I may well have reached my genetic ceiling (by natural means), and training to mere positive failure is no longer enough to signal an adaptation. Am also looking to aviod "outroading", i was recently reminded by a HITer with 50 years of experience that this thing we do is called RESIST[ance] training, not performance exercise. Am not trying to become more skilled at specific lifts, my goal is achieve greater / more intense muscular contractions, given that a full range of motion reduces the amount of weight the muscles can maximally contract against, ive opted again for a static protocol exclusively that focuses on maximal loaded in the fully / peak contracted position.

This time round im using a load that allows for no more than a 15-20 second hold (having to be creative given the weight stack limitations), I then take a 15 second rest pause and have at it again.


Last nights Shoulder & Arm workout....

Warm up: Shoulder press machine x 3 sets of 5 slow controlled reps @ 120lb, 140lb & 160lb

1. Machine lateral raise *

290lb x 24 TTOC

2. Rear Delt Machine *

187.5lb x 21 TTOC

3. Preacher curl machine*

220lb x 21 TTOC

4. Triceps pushdowns (using V Bar and standing slightly away from the machine to increase tension on the triceps)

250lb x 33 seconds TTOC



- * resistance held in the fully contracted position

- TTOC = total time of contraction


Diet wise, all is good, currently bodyweight is 247.3lbs @ 6'4

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Hey Rob, interesting stuff with your training, just wanted to ask you if you could help me with my chest training. Im having some trouble with my neck at the moment and the only exercises that dont cause me grief are machine dips and cable crossovers, but i dont really feel that they do alot. Ive tried using the cable crossover to pre exhaust before the dips but im not really feeling it to be honest. Just wondering if you could think of anything i could do? my chest has deflated a bit since stopping benching which has always produced good results muscle wise for me but bad results injury wise. sorry to clog up your journal but i i know you like to talk training

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Hey Mike, no worries bud:)


Your pecs arent being challenged enough, I do like the dip machine, but I think you mentioned before that you'd outgrown the weight stack on the one at your gym? The crossovers, had you ever tried that as Markus Rulh does them? (Youtube Markus Rulh cable crossover instruction), I feel much more pec involvement preforming them this way.


Your pec muscles obviously like that movement, I.e., benching movement, Id recommend (bare with me) feet elevated push ups (using push up bars / takes the pressure of the wrists), possibly weighted at that. Its the same movement pattern, but there'll be no pressure on your neck and your scapula can do its thing freely. When I train at home this is my first choice pec movement (good job we're heavy bruts lol). Gotta say I lost no size with it. Are DB or cable incline flyes also off the menu? They shouldn't as much neck discomfort.


Hope this helps and tred carefully mate, its your neck...we only get one lol.

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thanks alot Rob, i always appreciate it when take the time to help out. I have been doing the cable crossovers exactly like he says not to haha, so ill try it his way as it looks pretty good! Nice to see an ifbb pro not saying you have to do a millions sets and exercises too.


I will try the press ups too, do you think palms facing each other or standard hand position is best? I imagine somewhere in between would be good but interested to know your take on that? They should be quite hard as im a heavy brut like you


Ill experiment a bit with the incline flyes starting light, but i think some pre exhaust with the markus cross overs, some feet up press ups followed by machine dips when im a bit tired so the machine will be heavy again will do the trick


thanks again Rob, you should defo write a book one day, ill be your first customer!

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No sweat mate, we're all in them same boat:)


Yeah his version of the crossover gives a greater contraction, its a game changer for sure. As ya know am not much into the drug user's, but Ruhl is one a have respect for, I have yet to see a human being train as hard as he does in the dvd "big and lovin it", this was in spite of the fact he'd suffered a pec tear not too long before the making of the movie, as well as that he'd acute tendinitis and a hernia. The man is relentless, he still trains the same way. If youve not seen that movie...treat yourself.


With the push ups your 100% on the money, I like a "v grip" (hands not facing each other, and not standard, but in between...does that make sense?), I also prefer a reasonable narrower shoulder width grip, theres more pec involvement this way and less strain on the shoulders...contrary to popular belief. See, I knew that extra bodyweight would come in handy some day haha....another beer please govner:)


Thank you for your kind words Mike, I was just fortunate to have a couple of great mentors, one of which ( Bill Sahli) is talking about starting up an old school HIT forum again, I was lucky enough to be a part of his first one, there was many very experienced natural Hitters and champion powerlifters there. Keep your eyes peeled.

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It certainly looks good especially with a good squeeze at the 'top' of the rep, ill check out the dvd as a couple of his clips on youtube look good! He is still pretty big by all accounts.


Im looking forward to it now, havent done push ups for a long time, hopefully i can do more than 10! Right its bean smoothie o'clock, have a good sunday pal.

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Certainly is Mike, between the Ruhl titty twisters and the push ups (done with a 2 second positive and 4 second negative) they should keep things ticking over until ya can get back to benchen again. Let me know how ya get on:)


So, ive changed gyms again, me qnd my training partner were in the middle of a max contraction workout on Sunday afternoon when a staff member came over told us and said we weren't allowed to attach weight to the stacks...for "safety reasons" (even though the cables on the machines are military grade and can withstand well over 1500lb lol). Strange I said, its ok for people to come in here and swing, yank, hoist, throw, drop weights etc, yet securely attaching a weight disc to a stack is deemed not safe lol. I then mentioned that I once noticed one of the gyms PT's have a client perform one legged leg presses on a fucking smith machine. At this point I was asked to leave the premises, id be happy to I said.


Thankfully I live within a few miles of a few other big well equipped gyms, the one I joined yesterday has a full line of my favourite plate loaded laverage machines (the technogym isotonic range...far better the matrix, hammer, cybex etc). The technogym dumbbells are also good, the handles rotate to give a more natural feel when preforming rotational movements like curls and lateral raises.


Had my first workout today...which was "push"

1. Seated Incline Press Machine (plate loaded leverage)

80kg x 8

120kg x 6

150kg x 5 to failure + 2 more reps after a 30 second rest pause

2. Seated Bench Machine

120kg x 6

160kg x 6 reps to failure + 2 more reps after a 30 second rest pause

3. Cable Pushdowns

Stack x 8 reps to failure + 3 more reps after a 30 second rest pause

4. Leverage Leg Press

200kg x 8

300kg x 8

400kg x 11 rest paused reps to failure (2 deep breaths between reps)

5. Calf Presses

Stack x 9 reps to failure (5 second contracted hold on each rep)

Dam good workout! Love these machines, the leg press being my fav, no knee or lower back pressure:)


"Pull" workout next time, which will probably include chest supported rows, low rows or smith machine high pulls, curls and stiff legged deadlifts. Looking forward to it, ill give it a couple of days.

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Hey y'all, so been doing some reflecting recently with regards to the intensity and volume ratio aspect of training. Had been panning through some of my books again and reread about the work of a pioneering physiologist by the name of Roux, who, in the very early 1900s discoverd the relationship by "work in a unit of time", I, e.,intensity by the being the single most important factor for increasing muscle size and strength, he stated "results are proportional to the intensity of effort put forth, whereas volume is without significantance". Pretty big discovery, yet not very many people within the bodybuilding community havent even heard of the man. Mike Mentzer pointed out years ago that such research was "sweeped under the carpet" by the BB community and replaced with the "more is better" mindset.

So I was thinking about my training I did for the army in the 90s, I can safely say I spent several months in a push up position, performing latterly hundreds daily. Did my chest, shoulders and triceps get any bigger? NOPE! This brings me to the conclusion that volume indeed IS "without significance". Only when the intensity of my training was increased...did I grow!


Going forward to maximise intensity, what ive decided to do is to preform just 2-3 all out sets per workout, in the form of max static holds or low rep rest pause training. Am still going to keep with an upper / lower body split.


Today's workout was...

Underhand pulldowns

145kg x 1 max static hold to failure (14 seconds)

Shoulder width grip smith machine bench press

130kg x 5 rest pause reps to failure (5 second rest pause between reps)

Job done! After warm ups and main workoing sets, I was in and out of the gym in 15 minutes. Could I have done more? Yes, but it would have been with sub-maximal effort. Do I need more? Doubt it, maximal effort was employed, and the two chosen exercises cover all of the upper body musculature.


Next workout will be in a few days (leverage LP and Standing calf raise).

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Hey Rob, thats very true about the press ups, its funny how examples like that really highlight the HIT message! Ive had good results with a program like that a good few years back. Mine was pec dec, and weighted pull ups one day, then leg extesion and calf press the next workout 6 days or so later. Grew well with that, felt sick regularly too! The intensity and pain for those few sets was almost trance like.


Is there any exercises that you wish you could do, but cant due to the back injuries and so on you have told me about? hope all is well over the water

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Hey Mike,


Think about this, back in the 40s, the likes of Peary Rader (founder of Ironman magazine and the "20 rep squat" program), was advocating abbreviated full body HIT workouts to be preformed just once or twice a week. At the same time, all the top guys like Reeves, Park, Grimick etc, were training no more than 3 days a week on full body workouts.

Enter the late 50s / early 60s, when drug use really came on the BB scene, BBers started using bro splits and began training 4, 5 and up to 6 days per week, by the "golden era", it was 4hrs a day, 6 days a week.

Essentially what am saying is, the "more is better" idea / notion was spunded by drug users. Now we have donuts like "Dr" Layne Norton and "Dr" Brad Schoenfeld aka Dr hypertrophy (who's biased work is largely funded by supplement companies) promoting the notion that a higher volume of work is required for growth to occur. I guess that pioneers of exercise physiology, such as Roux, Morpurgo, Arthur steinhuas (regarded as the godfather of western physiology -70 years of solid research), A E Muller & Hettinger (two of Germany and Europe's most reputable physiologists of all time), must be wrong lol.


People have said to me "oh oh, but thats not up to date research" and my stock response has become "neither is Albert Einstein's and Izac Newtons work, but what they found still holds true". There's a big differance being a theory and the irrefutable truth, and just like Einstein and Newton, the findings of the physiologists above are irrefutable, that is, results are indeed proportional to the intensity of effort, intensity and duration coexist on an inverse ratio, volume of work is without significance when it comes to hypertrophy.


Yes, such a high level of intensity will have you feeling like that, but its a necessary evil....


Is there any exercises I wish I could do? Nope, even if my back was in good nick, I still wouldnt free weight squat, deadlift, bent row etc, ive no emotional ties with any exercise lol. What I do wish, is if there was more equipment developed like Renex did for a while, which allow for truely maximal contractions and give feedback (stack machines are too easily maxed out). Kasier used to make air pressure machines, but again, they only produced a few hundred pounds of pressure. But if something like the Kaiser machine could produce literally thousands of pounds of force it would be great. Such equipment though would be very expensive to make and produce. Cant see it happening.


Sorry Mike, a very long answer to you points and question lol, hope ya didnt mind lol.


Things arent great here Mike, my 85yo uncle who has cancer and Parkinson's was burgled for the 5th time in two years on the weekend by "member's of the travelling community" aka free loading gypsy fuckers" from the south. It appears theyve been targeting the elderly in North Belfast for years, yet the police, who have a large station just a 2 minute walk from his house have yet to make a single arrest. Ive been at the local DUP office this last few days to start a campion for people in the area to more vigilant and for the police to be more pro active, cause all I keep hearing from them is "oh, theres nothing we can do".

Bad times mate:(

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Decided to go with an abbreviated full body workout of sorts...

1. Leverage leg press (technogym)

Warmed up with 200kg, then 300kg

400kg x static hold to failure, followed by a second hold to failure after a 30 rest pause**

2. Chest supported row (technogym)

140kg x 8 reps to failure + 3 more reps after a 30 second rest pause

3. Machine Dip (technogym)

160kg x 7 reps to failure + 2 more reps after a 30 second rest pause

** On the leverage leg press, I hold the resistance in the position on maximum motor arm, gifen my height, the starting position is perfect on this machine, when I fail the resistance only has a couple of inchs to drop.



1. Low Incline shoulder width grip smith machine press (technogym)

140kg x 5 rest pause reps to failure

2. Machine pullover (fortress)

Stack x 9 rep to failure (peak hold on each rep after a 30 second rest pause

3. Leverage leg press

450kg x 6 rest paused reps to failure

Very fatigued after this workout, went home and slept for 3 hours after, gonna take 2-3 full rest days after this one, give the body time to do its thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey y'all, have had a very tough week, my elderly uncle I looked after passed away last Sunday, he was the last family member I had on my dad's side, funeral was yesterday, my only consultation is hes no longer suffering. In spite of this, ive still been training, its helped take my mind of things. A week before my uncle passed, his home work burgled for the 5th time in 2 years by "cold calling" southern travellers / gypsy scumbags, theyve been targeting the elderly in South Belfast, so ive been busy creating awareness in the area by going to the local newspapers, authorities and unionists parties who've all been very supportive and on board. Hopefully it saves other people in the area from becoming a victim and hopefully these scumbags are caught and brought to justice theyve no place in a civilised caring society. Not only did they take money, they stole things of sentimental value like my grandfathers war medals and my grandmothers jewellery. Still, what goes around comes around, they'll get their comeuppance!


Training wise, its been heavy abbreviated workouts, today was....

1. Iso incline press (Plate loaded technogym)

160kg x 2 sets of 6, 5

120kg x 6 (drop set)

2. Seated chest supported row (plate loaded technogym)

150kg x 2 sets of 9, 8

120kg x 5 (drop set)

3. Leverage squat

200kg x 2 sets of 8

150kg x 7 (drop set)

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Sounds like your having a tough time Rob, hope things pick up for you and sorry to hear about your loss. At least your still training, i find it helps in rough times also! I have a close friend who has gone missing in spain which is also worrying, hes been missing for weeks now after the police found his van parked at the beach with no sign of him any where Just gotta keep our chins up and keep lifting pal!

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19-3-17 PUSH

1. Low Incline Smith Machine Bench Press

80kg x 6

100kg x 4

120kg x 2

130kg x 6*

130kg x 5*

2. One Arm Chest Press Machine

85kg x 6*

85kg x 6*


21-3-17 PULL

1. Plate Loaded Iso Pulldown (shoulder width overhand grip)

80kg x 6

100kg x 4

120kg x 3

150kg x 6*

150kg x 5*

2. Seated Cable Row

Stack x 6*

Stack x 6*


23-3-17 LEGS

1. Leverage Leg Press

200kg x 6

300kg x 4

400kg x 2

430kg x 5*

430kg x 4*

2. Stiff Legged Deadlift

100kg x 3

130kg x 6*

130kg x 6*


*working sets to failure


Switched to a push, pull, legs split, purely so that intensity can be maximised. Workouts are in line with Paul Delia's Maximum overload training principles (popularised in the 00's by Skip LeCour and Jeff Willet), only a bit more abbreviated. Experimenting to see if direct arm and calf work makes any difference in terms of size. Am avioding forced reps and drop sets going forward, I feel they dont really make a difference in terms of stimulating any more additional growth, however they certainly do increase the need for longer recovery periods.

Feeling a good bit better this week, both mentally and physically, sleeping better, eating better, less stressed etc. Upwards and onwards, the show must go on:))

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Mike, sorry for the late reply, was away on hols for a week celebrating my 20th anniversary with the misses:) Thanks man, am feeling a good bit better, and yes, this is my fav kind of weather, not too hot and not too cold:)


First workout in a week yesterday, its amazing what a little R&R can do....

1. Underhand cable pulldown

80kg, 100kg, 120kg warm up holds

150kg x 2 max static holds to failure (8-12 second range)

2. Plate loaded iso shoulder press

60kg x 8

90kg x 6

120kg x 2

130kg x 6 to failure

140kg x 4 to failure



1. Leverage Leg Press

250kg x 6

300kg x 4

350kg x 3

400kg x 2

450kg x 7 deadstart reps to failure

2. Concept 2 rower

3 x 500 metre sprints


Keeping the workouts max efforts and of course low volume, this is how i love to train, i.e., all out or not at all! Can't say my muscles are getting any bigger, i believe I've reached my genetic ceiling...by natural means, but their definitely becoming more and more dense and mature. Few days off now...to let nature take its course:)

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Hey Ross, not strong enough bud lol, gotta be careful though, nearly blackout on the second pulldown hold, blood pressure was way up...opps;)


Today's workout...

1. Low Incline Smith Machine Press (matrix - super smooth, best smith ive ever used)

80kg x 6

100kg x 4

120kg x 2

130kg x 1

150g x 5 rest pause reps to failure (10-15 second rest pauses between reps)

2. Plated loaded iso chest supported row (technogym)

100kg x 6

130kg x 3

170kg x 7 reps to failure + 2 more reps to failure after a 10 second rest pause

Job done!!


Again, workouts are short but brutal, I could add in laterals, curls, extensions etc, but I honestly dont believe I need to, excess is just that...EXCESS!


Bodyweight is back at 265lb / 120.2kg, ill probably bring that up to the 280lb / 127kg mark, then ill do a u-turn again and drop down to the 240 mark again, every time I do this I get leaner when in the higher numbers. Currently 4% leaner than the last time I was this weight am at now. Most people like to lean out for summer and clean bulk in the winter, but personally I prefer to bulk in the summer, I feel its also more congruent with our geno, I.,e store energy during times of abundance to get through lomg winters, of course lol, we now have abundance year round and store energy for winters that never come.

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Good job mate, some heavy lifts and serious bodyweight there! Do you find it hard to maintain bodyweights like that Rob? I know when i start getting over 105 or so kilos the weight just falls off if i dont keep lifting and eating like a madman.

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Hey Mike, for me I find in fairly easy, gaining mass I go with higher carbs and 5-6 feeds a day, leaning out high fat / low carb with refeeds. I stick with Dr Dardens recommendation on protein of 0.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, that may seem pretty low, but I honestly dont believe we need a lot of protein.

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