Tips to maximize results in half the time
Yes you read that right. Though I’m not saying that you should train only once a week, I actually mean that you should focus on important things, such as working with weights instead of spending most of your gym time with cardio, use free weights instead of the machines since the metabolic costs of it is much more rewarding. By choosing better alternatives for exercises or even lifestyle modifications can cut down the time in the gym and increase effectiveness. The following are different options in every aspect of the ”iron game” that will bring in more results and will cut down your time spent at the gym.
Cardio vs. High intensity interval training (HIIT)
If you are serious about your results and are always searching for the best and newest information, you should know by now that long steady pace cardio vascular sessions are not the best way to maximize your time and results. It can even make you gain fat, lose strength and even increase your risks of respiratory tract infections. Researchers have proved that over training promotes upper respiratory tract infections. A study done on 2311 participants of the L.A. Marathon have revealed that those who ran 97km per week in the weeks preceding the event had twice as more infections than those who ran 32 km per week.
Interval training can help you get leaner, faster. Would you rather have the shape of a marathon runner or a sprinter? Look at their workouts, one does distance for time trainings and the later uses the HIIT methods, where they use short bursts of sprinting alternated with some active rest like light jogging.
Time optimizer: Don’t forget that it is the treadmill that is telling you to walk; you are just following the speed of the treadmill. You are not driving yourself forward as if you were outside, so everything you do inside on a treadmill will be much tougher if you would do intervals outside. So Instead of doing long boring 30 min. sessions of hamster workouts on the treadmill, do 5 short bursts of 1min high intensity followed by a 2 min rests, and once you master the treadmill, go outside on a track for a real workout.
You cut your cardio time in half and have time to spare to jump in the steam bath, or just go home and have fun with your kids. Sure, maybe you felt like your spleen wanted to come out, but you still added 20 minutes to your day. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t do more than 2 sessions of HIIT a week as it is the equivalent of four 30 min sessions of long boring cardio sessions. The effect of HIIT sessions can last as much as 48 hours without the muscle wasting effects of hamster sessions.
Most bang for your bucks
Do we agree that free weights are tougher than machines? So then you must agree that if you devote more time to working out with free weights and barbells, you will maximize your results. I see guys at the gym wasting so much time and getting nowhere with their results, when I am doing about 30 min 4 times a week and still kick the ass of the young guys at the age of 35 (I’ve been weight lifting since I’m 12 years old) Actually, I’m in even better shape now than I was at 25. I even train less than I used too. Why? Because I’ve learned that you should devote your workouts to exercises that give you the most bangs for your bucks.
Time optimizer: most of the guys spend more than 60 to 90 min in the gym which I think is way too long. First, take out the unnecessary bla bla with the cute floor trainers (10min.) Warming up like a numbnuts in front of the mirror (5 min.) time and muscle wasting cardio (30min.). You now have 45 minutes left for some real gut wrenching work. Depending on your goals, losing weight or gaining lean mass, this is more time than you need. I rather train more often with shorter workouts which cut down recuperation time. For mass gains, I would rather use big compound exercises which will involve major muscle groups, and help gain strength as well. My favorite is the german volume workouts which in fewer than 40 min. gets the job done. 10 sets of 10 reps of compound exercises such as benchpress, pull ups, squats or deadlifts will bring more results than fixed machines resistance training. For more experiences athletes, I would decreased the reps as the weeks advanced, thus increasing the weight, and I would also cut 40% of the volume (6 sets instead of 10) in the 3rd week to prevent overtraining and give a partial rest.
What I like to do for fat burning purposes, is to take the German body composition principle, and do it for 2 major body parts, with again, ‘’most bang for your bucks’’ exercises. It would look like this:
A1 Incline benchpress
A2 wide pronated grip pull ups
A3 Decline db press
A4 Bent-over barbell rows
I would do the sequence from A1 to A4, only allowing 20-30 seconds between each of them and then rest 90 sec to 2min. after A4 before starting over again. 4-5 sets of 8-10 reps of each should do the job. All sets should be done in less than 30 minutes. Another option is to take a german body composition style workouts, alternating upper and lower body exercises, and instead of going for a total of 4 sets, I would keep the rest short between exercises (10-20seconds) and repeat the circuit as many times as possible in 30 minutes. It would look like this;
A1 Barbell split squat
A2 Incline close grip barbell press
A3 DB romanian deadlift
A4 supinated grip pullups
Gain lean mass in record time.
This is a tough one but not impossible. The secret for success is to put all your eggs in the same basket. When people complain that they know people who gained or lost weight only because they, were young, have time, were able to eat the right food at the right time, slept like rocks, used the right supplement protocol or that they have no life to obtain those results, well they are mostly right. Do you really think that if you the opposite of what they are doing, you’ll get almost the same results? Are you really convinced that the habits you had for years, the same habits that made you out of shape, just needed some strength training and you would like they do? Come on. As a matter of fact, 80% or more of your results comes from your eating habits.
Time optimizer: first get an assessment to figure out your bodyfat, lean mass and structural balance. It’s the only credible way to know if you gained lean mass or fat mass and if there is any unilateral muscular discrepancy to avoid possible injuries. Then, if you put all the elements in your favor, you should be able to gain a fair amount of lean muscle in a relatively short amount of time. Here are the elements in order of importance:
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep to maximize recuperation and regeneration
- Make sure your digestive enzymes are up to par. For a little rundown of how to verify if you are at optimal levels read this: the HCL acid test by Charles Poliquin.
- Eat at least 4-5 quality meals a day consisting of protein, veggies and healthy fats.
- You should consume your weight (lbs) in grams of protein in a day. Ex.: 150lbs of lean mass = 200 gr. Of protein /day
- You should have one binging day per week. With the exception of the breakfast, go all out on the rest of the day’s meals. This will kick your metabolism into high gear and make you store glycogen into your hard earned muscles and make you lose unwanted bodyfat as well. Your body will become an anabolic muscle packing, fat wasting machine.
Warm up efficiently
Doing cardio before working out, or simply doing 10 minutes on the bike or treadmill to warmup is totally counterproductive for your weight lifting sessions. There is a direct correlation between high VO2 max scores and low vertical jump, so imagine what it would do strength wise when it comes to lean mass gains. If it is because the gym owner keeps the gym areas cold, then dress up in warm clothes or long sleeves. Unfortunately, the chicks won’t be able to see your nice arms, but aren’t you training for yourself? Aren’t you there to have results or just to show off?
Time optimizer: Keep your warmup specific. If you train legs, do a set of your first exercise with very light weight, than a with 50% of the weight you used the last workout, or the weight you would use normally for the given amount of reps. The articulations will warmup progressively by doing the correct range of motion with much lighter weight. It is very important to do exactly the same tempo and range of motion of the exercise you are going to do, even with 50% of the weight on the bar. Squatting like speedy Gonzalez will only make you look like an accident waiting to happen.
Doing all these little tweaking techniques will ensure that results will keep coming your way. You have to commit at least 4 to 6 weeks to a program to know if you are on the right path, and keep track of your records, weight and bodyfat, which leads me to my last point. Have a plan and set goals. How can you know where you are going when you don’t even know where you are starting from? So have a plan and be specific about your goals. It has been proven that by writing down your goals, your success rate increases.
“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”