“We find no sense in talking about something unless we specify how we measure it; a definition by the method of measuring a quantity is the one sure way of avoiding talking nonsense…”— Hermann Bondi
It’s a lonely business in the world of strength training and weightlifting when you’re the guy who insists things like lifting intensity, workout volume and recovery time actually be measured in objective ways.
What Happens When You Measure?
Well, take the case of one 50-year-old man named Jonathan. He’s been doing our Compound Reps Workout for a few months. He started out doing workouts with 4 days of rest between them. But now he’s stronger. He lifts a lot more weight, and that means he needs a lot more recovery between workouts.
First, lets look at what he lifts. He does only three special, compound exercises that combine certain movements. These movements are engineered to force your body to hoist as much weight as it can in a short amount of time using your biggest muscle groups.
Last trip to the gym Jonathan lifted 178,100 lbs. With the set up of machines and rest between exercises, the whole workout took him 25 minutes. But for 22 of those minutes he wasn’t actually lifting. He lifted for exactly 3 minutes. And in that time the total weight lifted was as much as a fully fueled, fully loaded with passengers and luggage Boeing 737. (Which has a maximum takeoff weight of only about 150,000 lbs.)
It’s Just Plain Stupid to Guess at All This Information
There’s a reason that regular, middle-aged people get so strong on this workout. We measure stuff!
- We measure your progress relative to your last workout
- We measure your progress relative to the goals that were calculated for you
- We measure the total weight you lift every workout
- We measure your Momentary Intensity (Power Factor)
- We measure your Sustained Intensity (Power Index)
- We quantify the combination of your Intensity and your Volume (Volumetric Intensity Units)
- We calculate your next goals based on your personal rate of progress
- We calculate your recovery time based on your demonstrated ability at your level of power output
So while Jonathan is at the gym, some guy is over at the dumbbell rack grimacing in the mirror while he “gets a great workout” hoisting a couple of puny Harley Davidsons.
And other guy who is in the gym every day wants people to hear him grunting on the bench press while lifting a couple of small cars in total weight.
But 50-year-old Jonathan, quietly and efficiently lifts and entire bloody BOEING 737 in only three minutes! His output and intensity absolutely dwarfs the guys who have been training blindly for decades.
And by the way, only a fool would think a person could lift an airliner every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in perpetuity. That’s the dumbest advice in every gym. The reason this whole workout is effective and actually works is because we calculate recovery times.
Tips From Jonathan
I ask Jonathan for any tips for readers and he says these are some of the things he does when he lifts:
1) I use One Ton Lifting Hooks, hand pads, and a weight belt,
2) I use the same machines every workout (a power rack that slides on poles and a leg press sled) with safety stops in place – no spotter needed.
3) I used a metronome to pace my cadence so I go at an optimal tempo. For example, if my target is 74 repetitions for the leg press, I may set the metronome slightly higher at 80 to hit around the target number.
4) I try to workout on a non-work day so that I am not burned out before lifting.
5) I use 5 grams of creatine per day.
6) I have used sidewalk chalk to mark the distance that I should be moving the weight as sometimes I have a tendency to move the weight too much in the beginning.
I don’t know what else I can say on this subject. A regular, middle-aged guy can lift an entire airliner in 3 minutes and most people reading this can not. Don’t you think the program he’s using is worth a try?
I call it the Compound Reps Workout and I guarantee its results.