With January here you are full of motivation and ready to go. You already have your new workout, a kitchen full of lean protein, vegetables, all the supplements you need, and all of your fancy new workout clothes. You seemingly have it all. Then again there is nothing wrong with a little extra help. The following are five super charged fitness tips to maximize your results and your workouts. Increase lean body mass, burn more fat, and not only achieve, but conquer your fitness goals.
Super Charge Fitness Tips – I
Conventional fitness wisdom tells us you should work single body parts with a days rest in-between to maximize results. The thought behind this is to give the muscle group time to rest so you can give 100% next time without over training. All of the “experts” tell you not to overdo it or a myriad of negative will plague you. The truth is that “over training” is one of the most misoverstood theories ever. And yes, I’m well aware misoverstood is not a word, but it sums up my point perfectly. Unless you’re an elite athlete training 5 or more hours a day, or you supplement your workouts with fast food, energy drinks, and no rest; then the body can take and respond to some intense abuse. Proper nutrition, supplementation, and rest are your building blocks to be able to handle an intense workout.
A 2016 study published by Biology of Sport concluded a higher reduction in body fat of their full body training subjects versus the split body. Researchers also concluded that a short dedicated window of full body training can improve strength and body composition. This works due to the fact that full body training activates more muscle fibers that triggers genes that increase muscle mass. More muscle mass also lends to a leaner frame.
How can you use this to your advantage? With a comprehensive nutrition and supplement protocol as your back up undertake a full body workout program 5-6 days a week for 6 weeks. At the conclusion of 6 weeks switch to a split body program.
Super Charge Fitness Tips – II – Rethink
You need to rethink your rests. Traditional workouts have you lift for a set of say ten reps then rest maybe sixty seconds. So, you lift then stare at the wall watching a minute go by. Talk about boring. You never realized how long an actual minute is. Shorter rest periods are your best friend.
As stated by the National Academy of Sports Medicine “Client’s seeking hypertrophy should also opt for relatively short rest periods. High volume resistance exercise targeting large muscle groups with shorter rest periods has been associated with a large increase in serum growth hormone and testosterone levels, particularly in men.”
The flip side of this is active rest. I’ve written a lot about cardio acceleration. This calls for you to perform short bursts of cardio during your rest periods. For example, you lift for ten reps then for 30-60 seconds perform on the spot cardio like running in place, jumping jacks, or shadow boxing then immediately do the next set. This is in effect a form of HIIT cardio which has been proven to have a greater effect on fat loss.
It is interesting to note a 2004 study from Japan that looked at low intensity exercise during recovery periods of rugby players and concluded “The addition of low intensity exercise to the rest period did not adversely affect physiological recovery and had a significantly beneficial effect on psychological recovery by enhancing relaxation.”
Super Charge Fitness Tips – III
You should be choosing a weight that causes you to fail by the prescribed number of reps. This means if your set calls for ten reps you shouldn’t be able to comfortably do five more. Then again who says failing is the end? The use of advanced techniques like drop sets and rest pauses can be great additions to your workout. These advanced techniques can maximize muscle growth and increase fat burning.
Drop set: Take your set to failure then reduce the weight by 20% and continue to do reps until you reach muscle failure again.
Rest Pause: Do reps to failure then put the weight down and wait 30 seconds. Pick up the weight and resume reps until failure again. A 2012 study of the rest pause method by Sports Medicine Australia concluded “that the rest-pause method may be an efficacious training method for resistance-trained individuals.”
Include these methods into your workouts on the final set of each muscle group. Choose either drop sets or rest pause, not both. However, you may alternate on each muscle group or from day to day. It is advised to include these advanced methods in the second week of your current routine.
Super Charged Fitness Tips – IV
Conventional workouts tell you to lift in the range of 8-10 reps to increase muscle mass. That’s great advice, however it shouldn’t be your mainstay in the gym. Instead adapt a periodization method of lifting. Periodization is basically an adaptation response to changing stresses. Periodization has been shown to be more effective in increasing strength and muscle growth.
You can use periodization in different approaches but the most convenient is within a micro cycle. A micro cycle is a phase of training within a workout that lasts about a week. For example, you’ll lift in the 8-10 rep range for all workout within that week be it however many days you train. Longer cycles (3-4 weeks or more) can cause muscles to grow accustomed to that rep range.
Here is an example of a using periodization in a micro cycle
Week 1: 8-10 reps moderate weight
Week 2: 12-15 reps lower weight
Week 3: 3-5 reps heavy weight
Super Charged Fitness Tips – V
Forget that more is less or less is more nonsense. If you really want to super charge your fitness, then MORE IS MORE. I often recommend you train anywhere from 60-90 minutes 4-5 times a week and still stand by that. However, there are twenty-four hours in the day and you don’t need to be limited.
One routine I like to incorporate into my day is to do 25 pushups at the beginning of every hour except the hour I train. On average that can equate to over three hundred pushups in a day.
Another method I’d use is every time I pass by my pullup bar in my house I’d do several then keep going with whatever I was doing. The pullup bar is like passing Go in Monopoly.
As part of the “more is more” add in additional sets. At the beginning of each muscle group you train do 10-15 pushups before you lift the actual weight.