How does NIP™ differ from traditional bodybuilding methods?
NIP™ intrinsically differs from traditional bodybuilding methods when you consider its point of origin. Since NIP™ is a derivative of the high intensity bodybuilding programs started by Mike Mentzer and Arthur Jones. As the programs of High Intensity bodybuilding training itself were considered a radical difference to conventional bodybuilding.
But this question has to be taken in light of what aspect of NIP™ you are referring to. As the building of Neural Muscular power does not relate very much to bodybuilding. Since the goal of Neural training is to increase power without increasing size. Whereas the goal of bodybuilding is to increase size. Which is usually accomplished by increasing strength and in relation muscle density.
The Isometric program of NIP™ does relate more to traditional bodybuilding. As the Isometric exercises are are meant to increase muscle density. And can be actually more effective than free weights in some cases. Considering they allow you to get into positions you couldn’t otherwise with typical free weight exercises. Allowing you to produce a stronger contraction closer to the anatomical function of the muscles.
Yet Isometric exercises are not very common place in Modern body building training. The best part of Isometric exercises is they can be done without equipment. So it does not require that you need to go the gym to conduct the exercises. Meaning you can easily do the exercises from home while watching the TV. The exercises can also be conducted when you are traveling on the road.
This may all sound its meant to be too good to be true. However it’s not meant to diminish the level of consistency and concentration required for the program. But the program works effectively by utilizing the specific anatomical function of the muscle. Therefore more accurately stimulating the muscle for growth. The convenience factor is only a nice intentional side effect.
NIP™ Isometrics stimulate the muscles in a specific manner for the requirement to grow. Therefore they are allot quicker to perform than traditional bodybuilding / weightlifting exercises. With traditional bodybuilding some people may spend 1-2 hours per day working out. Along with having 3-5 worksouts throughout the week. In contrast Isometric exercises may only take you 20-30 minutes PER WEEK. Some cases this small amount of time might even be less depending on your individual recovery rate and rate of development at that time.
Despite all the advantages of Isometric exercises, traditional barbell exercises still have their place. As they have great benefits of training your muscles to coordinate together. This is because Isometric exercises work muscles in isolation. Therefore they don’t train your muscles to contract in relationship to each other. Whereas performing a Bench Press or Squat require your muscles to work in unison. Barbell exercises can also help with increasing tendon and joint strength. This is not possible to develop through Isometric exercises. Since no appropriate stress is placed on the joints and tendons. Since the movements are static in nature.
I want to increase my power. But how can that be done without increasing my size?
NIP™ as a whole is geared toward increasing both your power and size. Yet it’s mainly the Isometric portion of the program which is focused to increase your size. So forgoing the Isometric portion will allow you to become more powerful without gaining in muscle weight.
Be cognizant that utilizing the explosive power exercises alone, you may not see a difference in your one rep max. But you will definitely be functionally stronger and more explosive. With athletics that require a high degree of movement, this difference will be felt. So if you are in a sport which is sensitive to maintaining a weight class there is a solution. Just skip the Isometric exercises and you should be fine.
How beneficial is NIP™ to athletics that are not focused on power?
NIP™ also has the benefit of improving fine motor muscle control. This is a pleasant side effect of the explosive power exercises. So participants of sports like dancing and gymnastics may benefit from the program. Creating for finer and more precise movements. This side effect is the result of stronger nerve connections in the muscles. Which help you control your muscle with greater accuracy. Along with enhancing your ability to explode into movements.
If NIP™ is so great, why I haven’t I heard of it before?
NIP™ has been opened to the public only fairly recently and through the power of the Internet. Even the training programs which it was derived from (Mike Mentzer Heavy Duty Program) is still not very well known to this day. Which is surprising as the Heavy Duty program had some famous proponents. This includes six time Mr. Universe Dorian Yates. As well Mike Mentzer was a Mr. Universe Champion. This might be possibly because principals which NIP™ derives from challenges conventional thinking. Require the norm to be challenged. While making us thinking about the assumed traditions of exercise science.
How does NIP Program differ from Mike Mentzer Heavy Duty program?
NIP™ was inspired by Mike Mentzer Heavy Duty program. It does not contradict the original principals bought to the table. But it does add an extension of its theories. However here are some key differences between NIP™ and Heavy Duty.
- Weights are not necessary for Muscular Developement : With the development of Static Contractions, it was stated that only one rep was needed per set. Which pointed out that movement of the weight in itself was not the goal. As the key point of static contractions as per Mentzer was the muscle needed to be placed in the strongest anatomical position. With the NIP™ program the use of a weight became irrelevant. Since the goal of the Static contraction is that the muscles contract at the highest level of tension. Which happens to be the strongest anatomical position. So it’s unlikely that your muscle knows whether it is contracting either to move a weight or kick a soccer ball. All it knows that you are asking it to contract to a certain level of intensity and duration. So it does not really matter if you are holding or pushing a weight. Moreover using weights can restrict you in the amount of positions you can get into. So you may not be able to maximize on the strongest anatomical position. However this is not the case with Isometric exercises, as you are not limited by the force of gravity.
- Power and Strength are distinguished : The main focus of Heavy Duty training is meant for body building. So the goal is to build muscle for the cosmetic and aesthetic effects. While it will increase strength, it does not define the differentiation of Power and Strength. Whereas the difference between Power and Strength in NIP™ is clearly defined. As NIP™ is catered toward athletes who want to improve performance in their sport. Making your physique more pleasing is a nice secondary benefit of the program.
- Different exercises : New exercises are resulted with the additional theory that NIP™ adds to Heavy duty. So exercises that have never before seen in Heavy duty or traditional body building are used in NIP™. This includes exercises like the Oblique twist, Chest Power exercise or Quad Static Contraction.
How many sets per exercise are required?
One set per exercise is often all that is required per workout. A set for an isometric contraction includes a 60 second held contraction. Whereas for a body part it would be 3 reps per side / bodypart. This might come as a bit of surprise to some. Since most conventional bodybuilding training utilizes 3 sets per exercise. The Heavy duty program argues this well. In that anymore than one set has been an arbitrary chosen number.
We often gravitate toward the number three. So as a random selection it has found its way into many exercise programs. Since exercise is taxing on the system, the minimum amount required to stimulate growth is needed. As the body must first recover from the stress imposed on it. Following recovery it will build better protection against the stress. So adding more sets than necessary to stimulate growth will only delay the initial recovery process. It has been found as per Heavy Duty training that one set per exercise is all that is required.
How often do I need to train the NIP™ program?
This question is similar to the above question asking “How many sets per exercise?”. Instead of asking the duration of the exercise, it is asking the frequency of the exercise. Keeping in mind high intensity exercise is taxing on the system, adequate rest is required. Rest is important because you grow during rest and not working out. As exercise is only a STIMULUS to grow.
However growth happens after you stop working out. But before you grow, you must recover from your workout. Replacing what has been taken out. As muscle fibers tear after workouts. Regardless if there injury in the workout or not. The regular process of working out includes tearing down the muscle fibers.
After the body has recovered itself to where it was, only then does it make itself stronger. Similar to how when you expose yourself to the sun you may potentially burn. But after that a tan may form as protective mechanism. Building stronger muscles and nerve connections is your body building a resistance like a tan.
The more developed you become in your strength and power the more rest you will need. This is because you are training at a higher level of intensity. Putting more physiological stress on the system.
So as a starting point you can try training one body part per week. From there begin increasing the time between training. So in the first month your training program might look like :
Training arms once per week with Neural and Isometric exercises.
Whereas the second month may look like :
Training arms once per 2 weeks with Neural and Isometric exercises.
Won’t I shrink / atrophy if I train too infrequently?
Unless you have a very fast metabolism, it is very unlikely you will lose your gains that quickly. Since your body invested resources to make you stronger and more powerful. It would not be a smart investment if it were given it up so easily. Often people who take a break from training for a month don’t actually lose strength. They might actually find themselves to get stronger and allow injuries to heal up.
How do you measure progress in NIP™?
Essentially two components of strength and power are measured in NIP™. Strength is fairly easy to measure. As you can do standard conventional barbell exercises to measure your strength with reps. You should be regularly increasing a little bit in strength each workout. This is measured either in an increase in reps or weight that you are lifting. Eventually this will also yield an increase the size of your muscles. As size gains follow strength games. Although those changes in your body do not happen immediately.
Power changes are a little harder to measure numerically. As you might not see a significant difference in the weight your holding to let go of explosively. It just might become progressively easier. But you will definitely feel it in your movements and fine motor control.
Why is it so quick to perform NIP™?
It is more effective and efficient, giving your body specifically what it needs to progress. The extra time you have to spend outside of the gym is just a nice side effect.
Will NIP™ work better if I do it more frequently?
No NIP™ is not a program based purely on frequency. As you need adequate time to recover and then grow. Increasing the frequency of the program most likely will impede your progress since you are not giving ample time to grow.
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