If you thought High Intensity Training (which is the kind of training we coach and practice at Rock Solid Fitness of Florida) was for men only–think again.
High Intensity Training can help women build shapely muscle, gain functional strength, and melt away unwanted body fat.
Provided, of course, they have the mental where-with-all to train that hard. No different than us men.
One woman I know lost over 30 pounds of fat (and kept it off), doubled her strength, completely transformed her body and mind, and took on an entirely new career path, all as a result of High Intensity Training.
Actually, I know her pretty well. She also happens to be my wife, Patty.
I’ll let her tell you the details in her own words, in this re-post of an interview I did with her in 2000.
Since the interview, she has been working as a full-time personal trainer and owner at Rock Solid Fitness of Florida.
Prepare to be educated, entertained and inspired by this interview–Don’t forget to leave a comment and let Patty know what you think of the interview!
WOMEN H.I.T. HARD TOO-
Interview with Patty Durell
Q- When did you first start weight training?
A- I first started weight training in 1988 when I was approximately 22 years old.
Q- How did you train when you first started and what kind of results did you get?
A- I first started training in a place that had a lot of Nautilus equipment, so I would do their circuit, however it was lined up, and whatever the guy at the gym told me to do, or whatever my friends were doing, is how I would exercise. I would put the pin in the stack at a weight I could handle and do 3 sets of 10. I don’t remember really getting results, other than a feeling of satisfaction that I was doing something good for myself. I would do some type of aerobic exercise, either on the stairstepper or the bike or play racquetball, and then whatever I felt like doing that day, whatever machines were open, is what I would do. Sometimes I was there like an hour and a half and I was a smoker at the time so I might take a break in the middle of my routine and go have a cigarette and then come back and play a game of racquetball or finish my circuit training. I don’t smoke anymore.
Q- How were you first introduced to High Intensity Training (H.I.T.)?
A- I was first introduced to H.I.T. when I met Dave Durell, who is now my husband. That was in January of 1993. He introduced me to a different style of training, and I have used that style of training ever since.
Q- What kind of results have you gotten from H.I.T.?
A- Well, I’m at least 20 pounds lighter than I was when I was when I first started doing this, and at the time when I met Dave I was teaching karate and working out in the gym daily for at least an hour, sometimes 2 hours, so I was doing a lot of aerobic activity and weight training on a daily basis in the gym, so I was training probably 5 days a week in the gym and doing 10 hours or more a week of aerobics. Now, I’m about 20 pounds lighter and in the best shape I’ve ever been. I workout about once every 5 days and I only do aerobic activity for pleasure. I like to ride my bike and it makes me feel good to get out and ride. When I first started training I remember doing leg extensions with 50 pounds. I’m currently using 180 pounds on that machine (note: Patty’s bodyweight is in the mid 120’s). My strength has increased by leaps and bounds, and it continues to increase, although at a much slower rate now as I’ve been training like this for 7 years now. In the beginning I just couldn’t believe the strength gains I was making, or that I had the potential to lift such kinds of weights.
Q- What changes, if any, have you made in your training program as you’ve progressed?
A- When I first started doing this style of training I can remember working out every other day, which was a difficult step for me to make because I was working out every day for a lot of hours and all of a sudden I was working out every other day for maybe 45 minutes at a time. I noticed that I wasn’t progressing like I would like to or like I thought I should, and after a lot of education Dave convinced me to decrease the amount of exercises I was doing and increase my rest time and increase the intensity of my workout, so I started to make gains again. We started to work out every 3rd day, and again reached a plateau, not increasing with strength, and then started to add more rest time again, cut out some of the single joint movements and put more compound movements in and just work at an all out intensity until you just can’t work anymore. I think the plateaus that we reach now are just the end of our genetic limits.
Q- Describe a typical workout.
A- A typical workout for me is, I might do a leg press, I’m currently using 405 pounds on a Cybex leg press, and then I’ll go to a seated calf raise and I’m currently using 140 pounds on that. Then I’ll do a Hammer shrug; I’m currently using 135 on that. Hammer bench, currently using 85 pounds. Pulldowns, I can use 120 pounds. Although I have shoulder problems, I try to add a rear delt or lateral raise in after that exercise, and I try to do some kind of ab work either with that routine or the next routine. I have an A routine and a B routine that I typically use- that was my A routine. The B routine is, I use leg extension-180 pounds, hip abduction and adduction-130 pounds on both of those, Hammer decline-I’m up to 130 pounds on that, Hammer seated row-I’m doing 95 pounds, and again I’ll either do a Hammer lateral or rear delt, whatever I didn’t do on my A workout I’ll do on this workout. Sometimes that’s a little variable; it depends on how worn out I am. Sometimes out of boredom or just for a mental push we’ll change up the routine and we’ll do what we call crazy 5’s where we’ll maybe lower the weight a little bit and do a 5 second positive, hold for 5 seconds and a 5 second negative and do as many of those as we can. Or, we might do what we call 50 percent where we’ll do as many reps as we can with the weight we’re using, rest one minute and then try to get at least half as many reps as we did the first set. It’s just to try and keep it a little more interesting so you don’t get bored with your workout. Other than that we warm-up, maybe a little stretch before, maybe do half your weight for a couple of reps just so your ready and you’ve got good form. Form is essential, to have proper form throughout the whole set. After warm-up, just go for it, do as many reps as you can with proper form.
Q- What kinds of psychological changes and/or benefits have taken place as a result of your training?
A- I’m definitely more confident in myself. I feel stronger, I don’t have as many aches and pains as maybe I used to. I have a very physical job, so it makes my job easier. I’ve kept weight off, which has always been a struggle of mine; my workouts are definitely getting my heart rate into its target heart rate zone every time I have just a weight training workout. I just overall feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I like the way I look a whole lot more than I did 7 or 8 years ago.
Q- How do you motivate yourself for your workouts?
A- If my husband isn’t watching a H.I.T. training video right before we go to the gym, which will also motivate me, then I try to think about my workout. On the way to the gym I try to think about what exercises I’ll be doing and how much weight I’ll be lifting and I get psyched up knowing I can move that much weight around, so by the time I get to the gym I try to be in a zone, ready to workout and ready to push as hard as I can until I can’t push anymore. I think knowing I only have to torture myself once every 5 days and push to my limit for only a half hour to 45 minutes also helps me get psyched up, knowing that I can handle that.
Q- What type of diet, if any, do you follow?
A- I follow just a well rounded, good eating diet. I would say I probably eat 60% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 15% fats. I try to stick to that and watch what I eat so that I can maintain the energy to get my workouts done but also maintain my physique. I drink a lot of water; I try to drink a gallon of ice cold water a day. I take a multi vitamin, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Q- What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you in the gym?
A- I guess I would have to say there’s two. The first time I was working out with my husband to the max (he was my boyfriend at the time) and I told him I felt like I was going to throw up, and he thought that was really cool, that I was going to throw up after one set of bicep curls. And in fact I did throw up, and when he realized I had done that he thought that was really cool. The second funniest thing was while I was doing a set of chest flyes on a machine and I was obviously working hard, working my butt off and gasping for every breath I could take, this woman was yelling at me during the set that if I decreased the range of motion on the lever arms and decreased the weight I wouldn’t have to work so hard.
Q- What advice would you give women who read this interview who are interested in starting an exercise program?
A- The first advice I would give them is to get the “I want to tone” idea out of your head and that “if I lift heavy weights I’m going to look big”. I think I’m pretty strong and I think I lift pretty heavy weights and I’m definitely not a Lenda Murray-looking woman. I would say you can lift heavy weights and achieve your desired results without bulking up- I think that’s a genetic response only and not a response to lifting heavy weights. I also think it’s very important to have a good, reliable training partner who has the same goals in mind as you do to achieve through weight training.
Q- What advice would you give women who have training experience but are not making progress?
A- I would say they have to take a close look at the 3 variables to weight training- that’s intensity, duration and frequency. You really need to look hard at what your intensity level is. It’s easy to think that you’re putting an all-out effort into your workout, but I think we all have a little bit more in us that we can push through. So if you’re not making progress, one of those variables needs to be changed. Either you have to increase your intensity, decrease your frequency or increase your rest time. Change those variables accordingly and you’ll probably start to make progress again. You also probably need to take a look at your diet. Maybe you’re not taking in enough energy or fuel to get the job done too. If you are training at a high intensity rate, maybe you just don’t have enough gas in your tank to get your engine to run as hard as it can and as far as it can.
Q- Do you have any parting comments for the readers?
A- GET SERIOUS! Don’t believe everything you see or read, especially when it comes to weight training. As with everything in life, you should apply logic and reason to your decisions. I also recommend doing your own research on proper training techniques. A good place to start would be this website. And of course read articles written by my husband, Dave Durell, for a logical understanding of high intensity and proper training techniques.
Don’t forget to leave a comment and let Patty know what you think of the interview!