Friday, July 20, 2007

Day 254: What Is Intensity?


Ooooh man! That was an extremely intense workout today. I was dripping in sweat by the end of it.

Here's the weird part, today's workout consisted of weight training only, no cardio. To be covered in sweat after a cardio workout is a given, though for weight training it is quite rare for me.

Just to top it off, I got hammered by a sudden downpour of rain as I rode home from the gym! How's that for synchronicity!

Anyway, back to my original thought. Why was I covered in sweat after my weight training workout? The answer I believe has to do with intensity.

It stands to reason that the more intense your training is the more you will sweat. In regards to weight training, short rest periods and a high set volume will also increase the intensity factor of your workout.

I firmly believe that the level of intensity with which you train at is a major (and underrated) component of a successful physique transformation.

This is not news to most people, pick up any reputable workout book or magazine and you'll notice that the subject of intensity is often discussed.

The problem with discussing intensity is, how do we define it? Quite obviously intensity cannot be quantified in the same way as sets, reps and rest periods.

Let's face it, what's intense for me may not be intense for you, and vice-versa. With this in mind, perhaps it is better to give you my version of intensity as a reference point that you can use.

Below is a blog post I made on Day 38 while I was in the midst of Mission 1. I am discussing a brutal cardio workout I had completed earlier that day.

N.B. Tomorrow I'll discuss another facet of intensity (other than the purely physical) which I believe to be even more important. Stay tuned!


Man Vs. Machine

Day 38 of 84 - Mission 1

Status - Round 4: Phase 2: Day 1


Today was a titanic struggle, it was literally man versus machine. No, I wasn't squaring off against the Terminator, the machine I am talking about is far more lethal.

Can you guess what it is? One word...Treadmill.

Yes I know, it may look harmless to the uninitiated but once you start a high intensity workout on it there's no going back baby!

It all started at 9.30 am this morning. When I woke up I felt queasy just thinking about it. I was going for my personal best - 4 cycles of 6, 12, 14, and 16 km/h at 1 minute intervals BUT the last cycle had to be 2 minutes and 5 seconds.

I hit 2 minutes at 16 km/h on Tuesday this week, now it was time to up the ante to 2 minutes and 5 seconds. Five extra seconds may not sound like much but let me tell was pure torture. As I entered the final minute I was already feeling nauseous, my stomach was churning, my calves were aching.

The final 15 seconds felt like 15 minutes.

This is living life in the moment, right here right now.

Will you fulfill the most important promise you can make? You know...the ones you make to yourself. Of course I did, do you know why?

Because, no matter how hard it is I always know in the back of my mind that these are the moments that define success or failure. The only way you can dramatically transform your physique in a short period of time is to continually raise your standards.

You have to break through new barriers every single workout. If you stay stagnant even for one workout you will not progress, simple as that. The great thing is that you can apply these intense experiences to other areas of your life.

Are you living in the moment?

Do you cherish what you already have?

Do you respect yourself and others enough to keep the promises you make?

I have discovered over the course of the last 38 days that changing your body shape is a great metaphor for life changes. I already feel more confident and secure in myself.

I also notice that the people around me are reacting to me differently, in a positive way. The changes in me are now becoming obvious, almost daily I am stopped by someone I know. They tell me how great I am looking, they also notice my new-found confidence.

So yes, I can safely say that those extra 5 seconds don't just make a little bit of difference...they make ALL the difference.

Until next time that is, when it will be those extra 10 seconds.

I can already feel it now...


Adam Waters, NESTA-CPT

P.S. Below are Day 252 pics for July 20, 2007: Mission 3 - Phase 1, Day 25 of 60

P.S.S. You can see effects of that massive downpour of rain that hit me on the way home!


Jon B said...

So true about intensity, drive, and motivation to break through new barriers. Since I'm just starting on this particular journey, every day is a new challenge. I felt a little challenged going for my 6th set of squats today, but what else was I going to do - quit?? No way! Keep up the good work, Adam, you are a great role model.

Adam Waters said...

Right on Jon! I know how you feel mate, squats are brutal at the best of times but the last set always hurts the most. Way to go, keep truckin'


Anonymous said...

Great post! It brings to mind a phrase I read the other day. "your motivation to take action increases automatically when you imagine how great it will be when you succeed." That is where the intensity comes in. I think to be even more succeessful we have to think about that goal on an almost constant, conscious level. If you're not consciously thinking about it, that is when you go back to your old unhealthy mindless habits which translates to Laziness. (I speak from experience)
p.s. It is awful that we don't get to see the abs "growing". :0

Evan Wilson said...

Hey Adam! My name is Evan, and I've just caught sight of your site within the last couple of days, and have spent some time reading your M1 entries in some of my spare time.

Little surprise to you I am sure, but I love your dedication, and drive! I would usually say something along the lines of: "I wish I could do what you have done!" Only, I really am starting to think it's absolutely more than possible! It's no longer a matter of 'if', so much a matter of 'when?'

I have managed to stop smoking recently, and I am incredibly proud of that. I want to feel the same way about my body, and I find myself ready to do some reading.

I haven't read your entire site, so perhaps the answer to my question is already written, but I am wondering what process you could advise me going through to get started on this journey. I seem to be built very similar to your original photo, only with a few more pounds added on... so I am interested mostly in the progress you have made within your first twelve weeks.

Have you in fact designed your own twelve week plan based on Q&A/Forums you've examined in the months/years leading up to your incredible journey? Or did you start with something available in the books you have mentioned?

I understand you're probably more than just a busy man, but you are indeed an inspiration... I am sure to many more than just myself!

Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you! Congratulations again on your fantastic journey, and enjoy going the distance! (I don't think a 'good luck' should be necessary with the level of perseverence you have exhibited!

Evan Wilson

Adam Waters said...

Hi Evan, Thanks for your kind words mate. My plan is a combo of the 3 books I recommend in the right hand nav bar.

My primary workout plan is Metabolic Surge, BFFM for nutrition and Faltten Abs for midsection.

There is no "one size fits all" I believe but you can't go wrong with the concepts and principles outlined in these books I believe.

Good on you for quitting smoking and I trust you'll go hard with whatever program you decide to use.