High intensity advisable with every exercise?

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Crow
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High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by Crow » Sun May 19, 2013 2:39 am

I know there is probably not a "black or white"-answer to this question, but I will ask nevertheless (I tried the search, but probably used the wrong keywords)...

Is there a recommendation which exercises should not be done with heavy load? I think I read somewhere that isolation-exercises shouldn`t be trained with high intensity (lets say in the range of 1-5 reps)?

Also when looking at some strength-programmes, like Starting Strength or StrongLifts 5x5 (for beginners) or 5/3/1 or others for intermediate lifters most of them concentrate on some mainlifts (squat, deadlift, press, bench press) for strength and leave rowing movements or vertical pulling (for example) for assistance in a lower rep-range.
(An exception to this is SL 5x5 (perhaps some others I don`t know) where bent-over-row is part of the high intensity exercises.)

So is there a "rule" or reasoning which exercises should be trained in a lower rep-range?

Thanks for your answers in advance.

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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by ephs » Sun May 19, 2013 6:08 am

here is a good summary that oscar made in another thread some months ago:
somewhere there is discussion here on volume for pulling vs pushing. In fact there a several. Here's a cursory summary

- In life, you tend to pull for longer periods: climb, lift, carry. While you push for shorter cycles: blocking, jumping, throwing

- the upper back responds to a lot of volume and can recover to handle it

- That being said, we also see support for including low volume / high intensity back work and high volume chest and quad work.

--- KPJ has suggested getting you Bent Over Row up to or beyond bench strength AND do more rows for volume. That helps to ensure balance and extra back volume to offset many people's pulling/balance deficiencies

--- RobertS and others have benefitted with higher volume quad work mixed in for both improved strength and better looks

So, feel free to 5/3/1 your rows. Or maybe 12 / 8 / 5, or some mix that gives you heavy sets and volume.
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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by robertscott » Sun May 19, 2013 7:13 am

Crow wrote:I know there is probably not a "black or white"-answer to this question, but I will ask nevertheless (I tried the search, but probably used the wrong keywords)...

Is there a recommendation which exercises should not be done with heavy load? I think I read somewhere that isolation-exercises shouldn`t be trained with high intensity (lets say in the range of 1-5 reps)?

Also when looking at some strength-programmes, like Starting Strength or StrongLifts 5x5 (for beginners) or 5/3/1 or others for intermediate lifters most of them concentrate on some mainlifts (squat, deadlift, press, bench press) for strength and leave rowing movements or vertical pulling (for example) for assistance in a lower rep-range.
(An exception to this is SL 5x5 (perhaps some others I don`t know) where bent-over-row is part of the high intensity exercises.)

So is there a "rule" or reasoning which exercises should be trained in a lower rep-range?

Thanks for your answers in advance.
I wouldn't go less than 8 reps on any single joint exercises, except maybe curls or leg curls. Definitely wouldn't go <8 on triceps exercises or shoulder raises.

for everything else it just sort of depends on what you are training for. Olympic lifters/powerlifters/strength enthusiasts need to train the big lifts at a higher % of their max than physique enthusiasts. Assistance stuff I think should be done for high reps regardless of goals. Most powerlifting programs that I've seen have had some sort of high rep assistance work programmed in.

It's also worth considering that higher reps will be easier on your joints.

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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by Drake Van Steed » Thu May 23, 2013 3:51 pm

Be careful with legs and shoulders. As I've gotten older my leg work has moved more toward the 20 rep range and my pressing never dips below 10 reps. At some point the warranty expires on key joints so you run a big risk going heavy. I did my fair share of blood vessel bursting lifts when I was young. Whether it was worth it is another topic. The point is that if I did sets of 5 for legs now I'm pretty sure something would go pop. Same goes for pressing. I think my shoulders might suggest to me that I ought to lighten up a bit if I went heavy on say bench press. If you're warranty is still good and you have a valid reason for lifting heavy weights--like you're a professional athlete making millions of dollars, then knock yourself out. If not, think about it.

P.S. almost goes without saying that if you are doing anything heavy that involves lower back--deadlifts, bent over barebell rows--I emplore you--please, really think about what you're trying to accomplish and whether it's worth it. When your spinal discs go squish and you have life long pain and limited range of motion I promise you, you will regret it.

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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 23, 2013 3:59 pm

Drake--give us some perspective as to what you're thinking when you say "older" and "when I was young". :)
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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by Drake Van Steed » Thu May 23, 2013 4:14 pm

Jungledoc wrote:Drake--give us some perspective as to what you're thinking when you say "older" and "when I was young". :)
I'm 39, which is not "old." But I've been lifting weights since I was 15. I lifted high volume and heavy weights from 15 until I was 31. Then the injuries started. Some people seem to be able to lift weights well into their 40s and 50s, while some get injured. Depends on the person. It wasn't until lately that I realized I'm a skinny mucular person (ecto-mesomorph) who forced myself to be big. I have small joints and long muscle bellies, which are great for bodybuilding, but not really built for heavy loads. Since I quit fighting my bodytype I feel great and maintain a great level of fitness.

The easy answer which I gave too back in the day is "use good form." That only goes so far though. At some point your joints will wear out no matter how great your form is. So, the perspective I bring is caution. I preach it to whomever will listen. There's a lot of us who were bodybuilders in the 90s who feel this way now. We were an experiment gone wrong IMO!

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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 23, 2013 4:17 pm

Stu? Kenny? What do we think?
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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by stuward » Thu May 23, 2013 6:14 pm

Seeing how I didn't start lifting until I was older than he is now, it's hard to see what he's concerned about. One just has to get smarter about how he does it.
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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 23, 2013 11:55 pm

Yeah. I was thinking that, too.
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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by Jungledoc » Thu May 23, 2013 11:57 pm

Drake, if your joints are bad, it's probably because you have bad joints, not because of the lifting. And I'd think that if lifting were going to bother your joints, high-rep would bother them more than low-rep.
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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by Crow » Fri May 24, 2013 12:21 am

@ ephs and robertscott

Thanks for the summary (of oscars post) and the answers. This helps...

The issue of balancing bothers me though... Bench Press and Bent-over Row is the classic example for me... Doing heavy Bench Press and the Rows "only" as an assistance exercise for example don`t seem enough to balance it (kpj recommendation in oscars summary seems to go the same direction)... But I`m forgetting the heavy deadlifts (and perhaps other exercises like the squat) in my equation I suppose?

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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by Drake Van Steed » Fri May 24, 2013 7:57 am

A good friend of mine who is 46 and has trained as long and hard as I have has the same problems I do. We both talk about some of our other friends who didn't touch a weight until they were in their 30s or 40s and they're just trucking along like, "what's the problem." I think age plays a role definitely, but mileage is probably more important. I was bench pressing 365 in powerlifting competitions when I was 17 and doing sets of 10 squats with with 405. I think at my strongest I was working out with 365 on the bench for 8 reps and could squat 315 32 times (This was all natural, no steroids). I could military press 225 for reps. I say this not to brag but to point out that my bones and joints are the same size, make, and model as someone who may only be able to bench press 185 for 8 or squat 225 for 8 or whatever (something much less). So, the wear on my joints is much more. All people with "good genetics" for bodybuilding have this delima. Yes, genetic predisposition for joint problems plays a role too. I'm sure there are people who can lift like I did for their entire life without problems, but I'd say they're rare. If you're strong and lift high volume with heavy weights for 15-20 years without fail, odds are you'll have some joint problems. I've seen it, I've lived it, and I know many others just like me. My $.02 after 25 years in the gym. Spend it however you want. :wink:

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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by stuward » Fri May 24, 2013 8:44 am

Drake, I think you're right that milage is probably playing a bigger role than age. It would would be good if Kenny C came on board on this discussion since he's about the highest milage guy here.
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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by Jungledoc » Fri May 24, 2013 9:37 am

Drake--You are an experiment of only 1. You don't have a control group. You don't know what your joints would be like if you had never lifted, or if you had lifted much less. My point is that you have the joints that you were given, and different people are different. I don't think that wear is a very significant factor. Another guy could do exactly what you have done, and his joints be just fine.
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Re: High intensity advisable with every exercise?

Post by Drake Van Steed » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:10 pm

Jungledoc wrote:Drake--You are an experiment of only 1. You don't have a control group. You don't know what your joints would be like if you had never lifted, or if you had lifted much less. My point is that you have the joints that you were given, and different people are different. I don't think that wear is a very significant factor. Another guy could do exactly what you have done, and his joints be just fine.
Yes. I have not used the scientific method in my assessment. Then again, I don't need to. If we all needed to wait around for controlled scientific studies to make decisions about our well being, we'd be in trouble. Sometimes you have to use common sense. Plus, there's plenty of empirical evidence all around. Also, my joints aren't bad for the record. They've been tasked with doing amazing things since I was a child and I have fewer problems than some fat guy who blows his back out sitting at a desk. Back problems are all around. I picked mine up after decades of sports and heavy lifting and it's well now. I avoid what got me into trouble because I know that lifting tons of weights for many years is probably not great for the lower back. Otherwise I can move like a 20 year old. I call those good joints.

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