TMC has had an incredibly busy first 2 months of 2011. On top of the ever growing workload are two beautiful Muscle B’s running around, getting into everything and causing HAVOC.
We’ve had little time to write instead pursuing interviews with renown folks inside the Fitness Industry.
Today’s interviewee is definitely a guy who’s well known amongst many camps and circles inside Fitness and Strength Training. Drew Baye. Drew and Jay have known each other for close to two decades through the power of the interweb when they were each respected posters on sites/news groups such as “Misc Fitness Weights” , “Cyberpump and the “Low Carb and Exercise List“.
Drew, touted by many as “one of the premier personal trainers in the world,” is a high intensity training icon and proponent of “the minimum amount necessary”, adhering to many principles that would shock most athletes. Drew proves you can have ripped abs without performing direct abdominal exercise nor cardio. While his training principles largely go against conventional training and wisdom, his vast knowledge, experience, and results with personal training make it evident the adage “what is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right” applies as much to fitness as to any other aspect of life.
<TMC Note>Pay special attention to what Drew talks about in his discussion of “mental preparation” and “fat loss principles”. Drew is incredibly intelligent and his views are cutting edge. Anyone reading this site can learn a lot from what he has to offer. If you’re in Florida you should hit him up for a training session or if anywhere else, a scientific discussion about “maximizing your training by going beyond accepted norms and protocols”.
You can reach him here.
Drew Baye cites Mike Mentzer and Ken Hutchins as the two people who had the greatest impact on his life, first learning about HIT through Mentzer’s Heavy Duty column in Iron Man magazine. The owner of the gym Baye worked for while in college was a phone client of Mentzer and introduced the two, leading to phone and e-mail communication until Mentzer’s death in June of 2001; the Heavy Duty training philosophy that he learned from Mentzer “influenced my general training philosophy.”
In 1996, Baye moved to Florida to work for Ken Hutchins, a former Nautilus employee and researcher who developed the SuperSlow protocol; “Ken’s understanding of and attention to the details of exercise form is on a level most people, even trainers with decades of experience, don’t even know exists.” His work with Hutchins greatly influenced him and left an irrevocable impact on the specifics of how he teaches and instructs exercise form.
PERSONAL HIT PROTOCOL
Baye considers the defining feature of his HIT Protocol to be adaptability, adapting a general set of guidelines to an individual based on their goals and how their body responds to exercise, rather than strictly employing a specific repetition method or routine; “Depending on various factors, I might have one person doing very brief, Heavy Duty style routines using rest pause reps, and another doing something very different like 3×3 metabolic conditioning routines or even SuperSlow.”
He advocates that “people should try to keep their training as simple as possible,” focusing on “hard work and progression and a few basic exercises and getting plenty of rest,” rather than focusing on “unnecessarily complex” high volume and high frequency routines; “Arthur Jones summed it up pretty well when he wrote, ‘…work harder, but very briefly and infrequently.’”
Drew Baye outlines the underlying mental warfare that must take place in order to employ proper HIT technique and principles, winning the battle in the mind before the war can be won over the body. He describes the necessity of “dialing in” focus before a workout, taking a few minutes to mentally relax and rehearse the exercises, enabling them to “train harder, with better form, and push themselves further.”
In order to “maintain strict form in the face of extreme discomfort and really dig deep and give 100%,” it is necessary to hone focus and determination, exerting as much mental effort as physical effort to truly high intensity training. By quelling distracting or negative thoughts and making yourself present in the workout, you prepare your mind for a high intensity workout.
Drew Baye’s Weekly Training Routine
Baye alternates between two brief full-body workouts performed once every 3 to 4 days.
Currently, they are:
- BB Squat
- Weighted Chin Up (Nautilus OME)
- BB Standing Press
- Arm Curl (Nautilus OME)
- Weighted Dip (Nautilus OME)
- BB Stiff-Legged Deadlift (Standing on two 2×12 boards for extra ROM)
- Gripping (Ivanko Super-Gripper)
- Shrug-Bar Deadlift
- BB Bench Press
- BB Bent Over Row
- DB Side Raise
- BB Pullover
- Standing Calf Raise (Nautilus OME)
- Wrist Curl (Nautilus OME)
- Wrist Extension (Nautilus OME)
Baye performs only one set of each exercise, aiming for between seven and ten repetitions done at a “strict 3/3 cadence” with a pause and squeeze in the fully contracted position and a five to ten second rest pause between repetitions. Although he does not rush between exercises, he does not rest much either, pausing only “as long as it takes to unload the weights after free weight exercises and set up the next bar or machine.” Baye performs each exercise to failure, defining failure as “the point when I can’t complete a repetition in reasonably good form after a rest-pause of not more than ten seconds,” continuing contraction for five to ten seconds after failure or continue with two or three negative-only reps on exercises like weighted chin ups and dips.
He usually performs the exercises in the outlined order; however, if his progress slows on a particular exercise, he moves it up to the beginning of the routine for a few workouts, adjusting the rest of the routine accordingly. Another consideration for the order of his routine is to perform direct forearm and grip exercising last, so that grip fatigue does not become a limiting factor on pulling exercises.
Baye’s views on cardio stand in complete opposition to all traditional teaching, finding that “‘cardio’ burns so few calories I don’t feel it is worth doing for achieving or maintaining low body fat” calling it “generally a waste of time.” He propones that anything that can be accomplished with cardio “can be accomplished far more effectively, efficiently, and safely with proper strength training,” finding that although his workouts are not specifically geared towards metabolic and cardiovascular conditioning, “they are effective for that purpose.”
DREW BAYE’S DIET, NUTRITION, AND FITNESS TIPS
Drew Baye propones eating beef “and plenty of it,” preferably grass-fed, whether your fitness goal is to gain muscle or to keep muscle while losing fat. He cites the biggest mistake “skinny guys” make when they are trying to gain muscle as the failure to intake enough quality protein and calories. For those trying to cut fat, the biggest mistake is the failure to get enough protein to maintain lean body mass or enough fat to maintain testosterone levels. “Eating plenty of steak solves both problems.”
He cites rest as one of the most underrated aspects of getting into great condition; “the biggest mistakes most people make with their training are doing too much, too often.” It is an often overlooked fact that exercise does not directly produce any improvements in the body, serving only as the stimulus. In order to produce the improvements that were stimulated during an exercise routine, “the body requires adequate time for recovery and adaptation between workouts, and most people underestimate the amount of rest they need and overestimate the amount of exercise required.”
FAT LOSS PRINCIPLES AND GETTING RIPPED ABS WITHOUT PERFORMING DIRECT ABDOMINAL EXERCISE
To produce effective fat loss results, it is necessary to create a hormonal environment that is “conducive to fat loss” through eating meat, fish, and leafy vegetables, consuming plenty of water, and getting as much sleep as you can. Training should reflect fat loss goals by training all of the major muscles groups as hard as possible to maintain lean body mass while fat is lost.
While exercise can be utilized to strengthen the abdominals and increase their muscularity, it produces no direct effect on the overlying fat; “all that is necessary to have ripped abs is to have a low enough level of body fat.” Baye accomplished the highly coveted “ripped abs” look without performing any direct abdominal exercise by modifying his diet to reduce fat and making no changes to the workouts that he was performing at that time.
Although some bodybuilding websites have cited the effectiveness of spot reduction through increased blood flow during direct abdominal exercise, “the effect is so incredibly small as to make no noticeable difference at all… People who do set after set of various abdominal exercises thinking it is going to make a difference in the appearance of their abs are wasting their time.”
Baye has embraced and proponed a lot of training principles that go against traditional training and mindsets, which has sparked a wide range of reactions, making him both revered and lambasted in the fitness world. He has received reactions from “all over the board” challenged with ridicule, insults, and hate e-mail from people who follow “the popular nonsense” and are “upset at being told they’re wrong.” On the other end of the spectrum are “people who seem to view me as some sort of guru (I’m not)” and clients who react with “disbelief at how fast or how much their bodies and the way they feel improves when they actually start eating and training properly – especially the ones who previously experienced repeated failure with conventional approaches.”
He finds it rewarding to help people improve their lives through exercise, which “contributes to everything else that they do.” When properly performed, HIT is more effective, time efficient, and safer than traditional forms of exercise, “so in addition to helping people get better results from their exercise program, you’re allowing them to do it in a way that gives them more time to spend with family or friends or to pursue other interests” and helping them achieve their fitness goals “in a way that isn’t going to undermine their health in the long run like some training methods can.” Baye is the consummate master of HIT, using his vast knowledge to greatly influence and change lives, establishing himself as a leader in the fitness industry.
Incredible stuff from Drew. Take heed to what you just read.
TMC is going to be making some announcements soon. We’re going to be competing twice this year and will be announcing both venues shortly. We have some incredible interviews just around the corner as well.
Have a great weekend!