21 May 2012


Been doing the high intensity training (HIT) as advocated by body by science (BBS) for a bit now and thought I'd put a few thoughts down.  The premise with the BBS is the slow exercises to failure - approximately 20sec per rep until failure.  Sounds easy enough until your muscles are screaming and you cant even move the weight anymore.  All done on MEDEX (sp) machines so there is no risk for injury dropping a weight on yourself.

Anyway, the weights are going up every week and times vary accordingly.  So the magic question is if weight goes up by 4lb, but time goes down by 10 seconds with time under load (TUL), how does one measure if that was a better week than the previous session.  Jeff sent me a link that shows experiments of number of reps vs 1 rep max capability.  That trendline is shown below:

So, if one figures that 1 rep with BBS is approximately 20 seconds, this can be translated into %1RM vs TUL as shown here:

So for a given exercise, weight is known and TUL is known, so the estimate of 1RM can be determined / estimated by the curve fit above.  For example, if one does exercise X with 100lb for 200 seconds, the estimate predicts that that weight is approximately 73% of ones 1RM capability.  Therefore, 1RM = 100lb / 0.73 or 138lb.

Since about mid-March, the wife and I have been training with via the BBS method and still feel pretty sore for a few days after each session.  And we've been tracking the times and weights.  So using the first week as a baseline, I have been comparing the 1RM capability for the exercises we perform.  Here is my chart:

The wife's looks similar.  In general, the observation is that the 1RM capability is increasing with time - obviously there are better weeks than others.  The pulldown for me has been level for a few weeks with only minor increases compared to the other exercises.  Not that I'm too picky; as long as it shows an upward trend.  Interesting stuff.

Overall, it is really good for several points of view.  It would be really tough to push ourselves to the absolute limit without a trainer.  And sure, we could keep track of all the weights and times ourselves, but the trainer has better insight on how much weight to increment up each week.  What gets me is that we still feel the pain and the burn after 2+ months of doing this.  That's something that always seemed to go away when training solo.