• High Intensity Training Interview of the Month: Brian Johnston

    Ever think you had heard all there was to hear about High Intensity Training?  Train to failure, brief workouts, write it down, get lots of rest, try to do more next time.  There’s not that much else to talk about, is there?

    Not so fast, my friend. Get your thinking cap on and fasten your seat belt for this month’s interview with Brian Johnston.

    Brian is the Director of Education for Prescribed Exercise Clinics, and specializes in the area of bodybuilding, athletic strength training, and rehabilitation.  He has worked with national and international-calibre athletes. He is the developer of the Zone Training and Tri-Angular Training methods. He has authored over 20 books on the subject of exercise and nutrition science, is a contributor to the Merck Medical Manual, and has written for various magazines, including Ironman and Olympian News. He has lectured internationally and has worked in various judging capacities, including the IFBB and MET-Rx World’s Best Personal Trainer.

    And as if all that wasn’t enough, Brian was a close friend and former business partner of the late, great Mike Mentzer.

    So grab your favorite caffeinated beverage and pay attention, because Brian is about to stretch your brain as he discusses:

    • The one tip that Joe Weider gave him that actually worked
    • The weird reason he got into High Intensity Training
    • His relationship with Mike Mentzer, including their disagreements about training methods
    • How to know if you are over-training
    • How studying the field of economics helped his training (and can help yours)
    • What’s better-counting reps or time under tension
    • An explanation of his “Zone Training” and “Tri-Angular Training” methods (totally unique stuff!) 
    • Why lifting the heaviest weights possible may be a mistake for you
    • And much, much more!!!

    SPECIAL BONUS: At the end of the interview, Brian tells us about his one-on-one coaching program, and reveals what he will be presenting at the upcoming HIT Resurgence Conference  March 15 and 16!

    To listen to the Brian Johnston Interview, just click on the play arrow (the little triangle on the left) below:

    SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: This year’s HIT Resurgence Conference is being held March 15 and 16 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This is your one and only opportunity of the year to meet, learn from, socialize with, and be trained by some of the top High Intensity Training experts in the world, including Brian Johnston.  If you believe strongly in High Intensity Training, you will not want to miss out on the lifetime memories you will create at this Conference.

    Click Here For More Information On The HIT Resurgence Conference

    P.S. Make sure you find me and say hello at the Conference!

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    1. Great interview guys!

    2. Interesting interview.

      A bit hard to follow his training methods conceptually, so I could definitely see why his DVD would be useful, as well as the upcoming conference. I doubt if I’d be able to go to the conference, so the DVD from that conference could also be useful.

      I wonder if he or Dave would still recommend a personal training certification thru IART?

    3. Brian D. Johnston

      Thanks Donnie!

      Hi, Paul. The materials utilized through the IART still are the same as those I’ve developed (I’ve done work since then, but they are not part of the IART mandate). Most of the testing procedures are the same, although I suspect I spent more time marking and reading through the case studies than what occurs now. I did a lot of work without pay and would spend an entire day (or close to it) marking just the case study application. Financially it doesn’t (didn’t) make sense, but that’s what I did. The new owner, Mike Lipowski, may have adjusted the testing methods in order to make marking more accommodating, but I’m uncertain. Best wishes.

    4. Great interview!
      An iteresting point to me was how Brian’s training definitely fits the HIT template as far as duration and frequency. I believe that Brian has advanced HIT with his concepts on variation and individualism. Personally,Zone training has been my mainstay over the last 6 years. If you have a basic home gym you owe it to yourself to train in Zones, the applications are endless. Check out the Zone books, Triangular Training and Freestyle DVDs. They have not only made my training more efficient but more importantly more effective.

    5. Great interview!

    6. This was a really interesting interview.Why he has so many detractors I have never understood.Thanks Rob

    7. thought provoking. i have commited the error that mr. johnston refers to of doing the same thing over and over. not that i expected some magical transformation, but rather thinking that these are my limitations. i have been thinking of making changes recently, just prior to listening to this interview. this interview has convinced me that quite possibly, i have been short changing myself. thank you dave and mr. johnston for this interview.

    8. Hi Dave,

      I’m interested in purchasing Mr. Johnston’s dvds and books. Do you know
      a particular website to go to? Just attempted my first Jreps Halves workout today (based on my very limited knowledge) and I was very impressed with the level of muscular stimulation I received.

    9. Hi Johnson,

      I believe Brian left some info on where to get his materials at the end of the interview. You can just click and drag the progress bar on the player to the end. Also, Brian was a speaker at this year’s HIT Resurgence Conference, those DVD’s are available by clicking the icon at the upper right hand side of the Web page

    10. Thank you Dave. Have you seen the zone and triangular training dvds yourself?

    11. No, I haven’t seen them myself.

    12. Excellent interview! I appreciate Brian Johnston’s open minded approach, not being locked into dogma, it is extremely refreshing!

      Too often fitness professionals and trainees feel the need to lock into a particular methodology with almost religious zeal and close their minds to all other possibilities. Often folks will ignore obvious ‘feedback’ in the name of defending an ideology, clearly Brian Johnston doesn’t do that!

      I also appreciated hearing about the different method’s such as Zone and other training, definitely things I will experiment further with.

      Thanks again to both Dave and Brian for such great content!

    13. Great interview. As always Brian has some good perspectives that provoke thought in this field. I had the pleasure to become certified a few years ago when he ran IART and it was by far the most instructive experience I have had, not only in resistance training, but thought processes in general.

      The one thing that I have learned in strength training/muscle building over the years is to not get too conservative or be too much of a minimalist with training, such as what Brian mentioned with his experiences with the Mentzer training methods. I too have tried and tried to make things work with full-body training with very few sets, since the original person I trained with (Bert Seelman) preached the same; while he and others achieved very good success with this style, I found that I lagged behind. The main difference between me and the others was body and muscle fiber types; the success stories were more toward the fast twitch type, while I was more toward the slow twitch; also I was closer to an ectomorph while the others were mesomorph.

      For me, more pumping exercises prior to working sets (as recommended by Brian) has helped out tremendously, while keeping the number of pumping sets about equal to working sets. I still do about the same number of working sets (approximately 4-6 lower body and 6-8 upper body) as was the recommendation from Arthur Jones/nautilus, but sometimes vary things with more or less exercise, or different training variables, with good results.

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