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Who is Dr. Ken Leistner and What is His HIT Workout All About?
If you have read any of the old Hardgainer magazines, you probably came across several articles by Dr. Ken Leistner. Leistner was a regular columnist and expounded on his type of training. Ken is a doctor - a chiropractor. He is a strength consultant to NFL teams and founder of the Iron Island Gym. His wife is a former world class powerlifter. Dr. Ken, as he is sometimes known, also writes for Randall Strossenís MILO Journal and has written for Powerlifting USA in the past.
Dr. Ken is into the high intensity training approach (HIT) - and heavy on the intensity part of the process. In fact someone once said of him "Dr. Ken represents the lunatic fringe of high intensity training.". Ken really requires his trainees to put out a maximum effort each time out. He pointed out in an article on Dave Draperís site "each workout reminds me that I have to in fact train harder than before, train harder than I think is possible, train with an intensity that perhaps I had been unable to summon previously." That's intense, and it is the Ken Leistner style.
Dr. Kenís training philosophy was also outlined in an article he wrote for T-Nation - "The only way to produce maximum possible increases in muscle tissue mass is by the production of maximum power. This can only be done by utilizing exercises that engage as much of the particular mass as is possible, and only when working over a full range of possible motion. And while it is almost impossible to engage 100% of the available fibers, much more growth stimulation will occur if the exercise is carried out over as great a range as is possible."
Dr. Ken believes in using the basics but going heavy, hard and intense. He is also a big believer in building up the power of the grip and working the forearms hard. And his approach works. He has trained tons of guys and guided them to serious growth in both muscle size and significant strength increases.
There is no one better to give insight to Dr. Ken's training program than the man himself. Here is what he advised in one of his many articles:
A very productive program would look like this:
1) Full Barbell Squats - 15-20 reps 2) Barbell or Natulas Pullovers - 10 reps 3) Standing Barbell Press - 10 reps 4) Chin Ups - 10 reps 5) Parallel Bar Dips - 12 reps 6) Bicep Curls - 10 reps 7) Barbell Shrugs - 15 reps 8) Stiff-Legged Deadlifts - 15 reps
How many sets should you do for each exercise? 1 or 3, but never more than 3, and if you are working hard enough and with good from, 1 set of most of these exercises should be enough to get results. Can you change the exercises? Those are the ones that Dr. Ken Felt are the best, but you can certainly pick with exercises work best for you body, as long as you donít pick another exercise just because it's easier.
There are no bench presses recommended. Contrary to popular belief the bench press is not a very good exercise for the development of the pectoral muscles. It is fairly good for the development of the anterior deltoid and triceps, but the standing press develops these muscles as well or better (better being defined as more quickly, more directly, with the production of more power or work during an actual repetition of the exercise), as does the parallel bar dip. However, if you care to do bench presses or presses behind the neck in a standing position, feel free to do so.
As you can see, Dr. Ken has some unique views on how to train. But it has turned out successful for his trainees, many who include top NFL players.
Note: For more information on High Intensity Training see The Colorado Experiment Workout
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