Ellington Darden Workout

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Ellington Darden High Intensity Training

Just like most people who are interested in gaining muscle and bodybuilding you have more than likely not heard of Dr. Ellington Darden who is actually responsible for changing bodybuilding history 30 years ago. He has written many books on the subject of High Intensity Training (HIT).

Dr. Ellington Darden explains that the definition of HIT is ..."getting maximum results in minimum time. I credit Arthur Jones, the inventor of Nautilus exercise equipment, with this definition. Jones, who lived life in the fast lane, had little time to waste on exercise, unless it provided him with efficient results".

Darden continued to make improvements on the HIT invention that started with Jones and later made famous by bodybuilders like Mike Mentzer, etc. Jones initially recommended as many as 16 exercises for a full body workout and each performed one set to failure, three times per week.

This eventually proved to be too much overall exercise, but bodybuilders like Mentzer went the other extreme and consolidated routines, some of which required only 3 or 4 exercises to failure, once every 10 to 12 days. This was too little for maximum results, at least for the average trainee.

Darden explains that his new revised HIT program only apply between 7 and 12 exercises per routines, and only doing one set to failure, twice a week. Darden explains this farther by reaching the point of what he calls "momentary muscular failure" which is what the guideline should be.

Darden explains that this takes time to learn exactly how to do it and confidently says that he can teach anyone to reach the point of failure correctly within two weeks. He explains that gradually easing into understanding and applying an intense, all-out effort on each exercise produces the best results.

Darden explains that cheating can be used effectively as well and he explains that cheating repetitions must be incorporated responsibly. More importantly is his conviction that training the whole body is vitally important to get results. He explains that whole-body training is far more efficient than any type of split routine.

Darden explains that it reduces the probability of overtraining. As a result of the indirect effect, you can’t work your lower body without involving your upper body—and vice versa. It just makes sense physiologically, to work the muscular system as a whole, briefly—and rest it as a whole, too.

To put into the inventor of the HIT idea and the inventor of Nautilus equipment Jones often said, "Split routines make about as much sense as sleeping with one eye open." He explains about the experiment done on the bodybuilder Casey Viator, who during Jones’s Colorado Experiment , added 39.87 pounds of muscle in two weeks, which is has to be a world record for muscle gained in that time period.

Darden explains that he and David Hudlow along with Tim Patterson, designed a formula for mixing creatine monohydrate and sugar into a gallon of ice-cold water. Hudlow then consumed the solution according to our 11-step guidelines, which are detailed in chapter 26 of his book. He said this is the best way to load and pack creatine into your muscles. It certainly worked well for Hudlow. Combined with HIT, it helped him add 18-1/2 pounds of lean body mass in two weeks.

He explains the basis of what training to the point of failure actually means. After only training with three machines or three different free weight movements, most athletes would have a heart rate of 180 to 200 beats per minute, and it stayed in that range for the majority of the routine.

Training in this manner not only worked your skeletal muscles, but also your heart and lungs both maximally. Darden like to always stress the importance of reaching a point of over-training. Jones originally hypothesized that a trainee required from 48 to 96 hours between HIT sessions for complete recovery to occur.

On the one hand, training daily never allowed an individual’s body enough time to become larger and stronger, at least not maximally. On the other hand, resting longer than 96 hours between workouts seemed to cause muscle atrophy to some degree.

Note: Ellington Darden workouts are based on High Intensity Training for more info see The Colorado Experiment Workout

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