Muscles in Minutes
Developing your muscles to their genetic potential in just minutes a week
The science of high intensity anaerobic stress exercise
[From Allen: Although I’ve had nearly 50 years experience in the muscle and fitness arena together with personal training certification and high-level competition success, I’m still far more at home (and infinitely more passionate) with the metaphysical than I am with the physical. However, with the ever growing interest in weight training generally and especially with the number of Lightworkers now discovering the benefits of working out, I’ve felt almost under an obligation to write this page. As far as my own training goes, I know that I would have saved myself a lot of wasted energy and made much faster progress in far less time if I’d known back in my (physical) heyday what I know now… which is, as far as training for muscle mass is concerned, “less is more”.
Weight training is a subject that is fraught with confusion, and like metaphysics, with an abundance of misleading and contradictory information. If you’re just starting out it would be best to hire a certified personal trainer for a short time – preferably one who actually understands high-intensity training and that “less is more” – to help you find your way around the gym and to advise you on proper exercise performance. But before you even set foot in a gym or begin training at home if you prefer, there are two books listed at the bottom of this page that I highly recommend you read. Don’t get too caught up in any personal philosophies in these books as the authors are not Lightworkers. In fact they probably don’t even know what a Lightworker is. But they do know and thoroughly understand the fundamental principles of proper (i.e., high-intensity) bodybuilding exercise.]
First, why have bodybuilding information on a metaphysical website? Are Lightworkers and those on the spiritual path really interested in bodybuilding and weight training? Do any of them actually go to gyms and work out on the weights and machines?
Yes and yes! Lightworkers and those on the spiritual path are most definitely interested in weight training and many do go to gyms and work out with weights. Indeed, all over the world more and more Lightworkers, including several very well-known and highly respected teachers and authors, are now making weight training their primary source of exercise. And they have no hesitation in admitting this in their talks and newsletters.
The Muscles in Minutes page has not been constructed to espouse the benefits of weight training to Lightworkers. The indisputable benefits of strength training for those on the spiritual path have already been covered, at least in part, in the last Q and A in our ‘Lean for Life’ section… In essence, the stronger our body is and the more muscle mass we carry (as opposed to adipose tissue or fat) the more spiritual energy and charge we are safely able to hold as we progress into a higher vibration.
Muscles in Minutes has been constructed for the purpose of helping those who already train with weights, and those who would like to begin training, to train ‘correctly’. And there is indeed a way to train correctly – a way to realize one’s genetic potential faster and more efficiently than using any of the various systems commonly advocated and employed. The fact is that we can be the best we can possibly be in terms of physical development without spending several hours every week mindlessly slaving away in a sweaty old gym… or for that matter, in an ultramodern chrome-plated glitzy (but still sweaty) health club.
So then, what’s the most productive way to train? What’s the best system to get the best possible results in the shortest possible time? What’s wrong with the way most people train?
Most people train incorrectly because their workouts are far too long, nowhere near intense enough and also far too frequent. The primary reason for this is the belief most humans have (including most of those in the fitness industry) that ‘more is always better’… more money, more success, more, more of everything. In terms of building muscle mass, this could only mean that if 30 minutes of training is good then 60 minutes must be twice as good. If performing 3 sets of each exercise is good then 6 sets would be twice as good and 9 sets must be even three times as good. If training 3 times a week is good then training 6 times a week must be twice as good.
However, as far as building muscle mass goes, more training is NOT better; it’s actually worse. More training with more exercises performed more often will NOT produce more muscle. To the contrary, any more training than is absolutely necessary to trigger the growth response will only result in the trainee’s number one “enemy” – overtraining. Overtraining can result in decreased muscle size and strength, injury and illness, a weakening of the immune system and any number of other highly undesirables.
For maximum effectiveness, weight workouts for the purpose of building strength and muscle mass should be intense, brief and infrequent, and not the opposite – relaxed, lengthy and often. If we look at the vastly different physiques of two athletes, the sprinter and the distance runner, we can see the logic behind this. The heavily muscled sprinter runs short distances at maximum intensity while the lightly muscled distance runner runs long distances at a relatively low intensity. If high volume low intensity work stimulated anabolic responses, long distance runners would have large quadriceps (thighs), which they don’t.
As for the (in)frequency component, weight workouts should ideally be performed only twice a week – at the most. It is important to understand that the weight workout itself doesn’t produce muscle growth; it just serves to stimulate the body’s growth mechanism into motion. It’s the body itself that produces growth… when we’re resting and away from the gym. And this rest period must be long enough for both the total recovery from the stresses of the workout (which are far greater than most people realize) AND the production of muscle growth. And this is not something that can take place overnight… unless you’re a professional bodybuilder with one in a million genetics and taking nightmarish doses of anabolic steroids to assist recovery.
So, the secret to building muscle mass in the shortest possible time… TRAIN INTENSELY, TRAIN BRIEFLY, and TRAIN INFREQUENTLY. As the creator of the best and most productive exercise machines that exist (Nautilus), the late Arthur Jones once said… “A proper workout with barbells has to be brief in the extreme — so brief that I am always tempted to increase the number of exercises or sets, since the workouts never appear to contain enough; but when I do increase anything in the workouts, the production of results is always reduced – ALWAYS. Doing more exercise with less intensity has all but destroyed the actual great value of weight training. Something must be done . . . and quickly.”
Anyway, all the information that you’ll need to begin training in the most productive way possible is in the following two books (and also any others by the same authors). Both are available through amazon.com or can be ordered through leading bookstores. You could also explore via Google the websites and teachings of two other highly experienced and knowledgeable advocates of High Intensity Training – Dr. Doug McGuff MD and Drew Baye.
Yes, there’s any number of other books and websites on the subject – even some good ones. But in this case it might be wise to heed an old saying… “He that would perfect himself in any art whatsoever, let him betake himself to the reading of some sure and certain work upon his art many times over; for to read many books [and endless websites] upon your art produceth confusion rather than learning.”
Mike Mentzer with John Little
ISBN 0 – 07 – 138330 – 1
THE NEW HIGH-INTENSITY TRAINING
Ellington Darden PhD
ISBN 1 – 59486 – 000 – 9