Saturday, August 30, 2014
Intensity better than frequency

By TONY WAGNER Citizen Columnist

Dear Mr. Fitness:

I read in Flex magazine that you weight trained only three days a week for the Mr. USA bodybuilding championships. Is that true? All of the per-contest training prep that I have read about had those guys working out seven days a week, twice a day! Are you scamming us?

-- Timely

Dear Timely:

What you read was absolutely true. I don't scam. Well, not too much. I wanted to prove that most bodybuilders overtrain an incredible amount with no appreciable gains.

What started out as pure science ended up with a method of training that I still utilize to this very day. Well, a version of it! If bodybuilding, or even only wanting to have a great beach body, you would do well to follow suit.

The secret is to train with a high level of intensity -- an extremely high level. I'm mean intensity. Not that stuff I see in the gym most of the time that people try to pass off as hardcore. You know, sitting on the preacher bench doing biceps curls and talking to their training partner at the same time. That kind of intensity. No wonder these people can get away with training their chest three times (or more) a week!

I'm not suggesting this type of training is for everyone. Let me provide you with a bit of an overview of what I did.

I trained Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Mondays, I worked chest, shoulders and triceps. On Wednesdays, I worked legs -- all of the legs. Fridays were reserved for back, biceps, forearms and abdominals. I rested the entire weekend.

It was great! It can work great for you too!

I think many regular folks do too much working out with very little intensity. I think this is true for those only wanting to get into and stay in shape. Try to ramp up your intensity level the next time you are in the gym and you will be rewarded with quick, long-lasting results.

By the way, I won that contest.

-- Mr. Fitness

Tony Wagner, aka Mr. Fitness, has more than 30 years of fitness and nutritional expertise. A certified personal trainer and fitness author, he has helped thousands of people get into and stay in shape. Contact him at, and come visit at Bodyzone Fitness Center, 2740 N. Roosevelt Blvd., 292-2930.