Until a couple of years ago I was never a big fan of exercising, especially cardiovascular exercise. My current opinion based on doing high intensity weight training for the past 3-4 years (also called H.I.T. or high intensity training), is that cardio isn’t necessary for optimal health. I came across high intensity training a few years ago when I read “Body By Science”. Body By Science is a wonderfully written book by Dr. Doug Mcguff and John Little.
High Intensity training has its beginnings when Nautilus was founded and invented by Arthur Jones. Arthur Jones worked with bodybuilders such as Mike and Ray Mentzer which were able to get much better results with less time but with the intensity ramped up considerably. Since then it has been improved upon by people such as Drew Baye (a former bodybuilder and now personal trainer), Dr. Doug Mcguff and John Little.
High intensity training can be done with body weight exercises, machines or free weights. It is always preferable to use machines when possible as they are more safer and efficient (and more effective) than body weight exercises or free weights. If possible I would advise using or buying an Arx Fit Omni (which are spendy), but the next best option are nautilus machines.
Med ex and Hammer strength are also good options as they have been developed by Arthur Jones or relatives of his. Arthur Jones spent years testing and engineering Nautilus machines to provide resistance throughout the entire motion of the exercise. Modern nautilus machines aren’t always as good as older models but they are still far superior than other machine brands and body weight exercises.
High intensity training is typically done by using simple compound muscle exercises with one or two isolation exercises mixed in as well. I still currently do the big five routine which is detailed in “Body by Science” and uses five simple compound weight training exercises. I then add an isolation exercises after doing the five compound weight training exercises. All exercises should be done slowly taking, with each repetiton taking 6-10 seconds. The weight of the exercise should be about 80-90 percent of your maximum possible weight you can use for that exercise. The total amount of reps should be about 10 or if you are measuring with a stopwatch should take about one minute. Exercises are done until positive failure and at the point you can’t push it anymore, then hold for at least ten seconds and slowly release.
Breathing is an important part of doing High Intensity weight training, taking deep slow breaths at first and then when getting close to the point of positive failure breathing in and out quickly to assist (and don’t hold your breath!). Holding your breath is best avoided as it doesn’t help you finish the repetition or exercise your muscles to their fullest ability. Staying calm and not getting angry (which is used a lot in conventional weight training) is important while performing high intensity weight training as well. Being stoic and calm is the best state of mind while performing high intensity weight training exercises to get the most out of them.