I’ve been guilty of going into the gym, knocking down a list of exercises, and two hours later packing up to go home. Sounds good, but the problem is I never really worked out at all. Sure I got a little pumped, maybe even made my quads burn a little. And still, except for my armpits, my shirt didn’t have a drop of water on it – except where I drooled starring at Bonnie doing walking lunges. Ok, moving on…
How do we make our time in the gym more useful, more intense, more productive? Most of us don’t have time to devote two hours of pure isolated exercises to give us bigger biceps. Especially when our goals may be to condition our abs and lean out. Even if you’re like me and you want it all, is it still possible to work on building our bodies while we condition and get lean?
Of course it is. With the right training, nutrition, and rest, your body can evolve into the machine you want it to be. We have to develop a plan to push the limits of what our body is genetically predisposed to settle for – and train and eat for the body we desire. Aesthetics are important, but there is more to consider. If you are prone to tachycardia you must try to decrease your resting heart rate. If you are hypertensive, it may mean lowering your blood pressure. Three sets of preacher curls and a 300-pound bench press are relatively ineffective at making these necessary physiological changes within your body. As a result, our biceps and chest may hypertrophy, but what if we could have it all?
Here are some helpful hints on how to crush your old exercise routine, and turn it into a life changing, muscle building, fat-burning inferno.
1. Pair 2-3 exercises together. While one muscle group is resting, work another. This will take normal anaerobic activity and cause a “cardiovascular crisis”. (FYI: That’s a good thing)
2. Instead of working reps, pick a time interval to work within. Start with a 30-second workload, and 30 seconds of rest. As you gain strength and endurance increase the work time and decrease rest. I.e.: 40/20 or 50/10. Watch as your body starts to become shredded! (We use these principles in our upcoming Design Your Body Program – stay tuned!)
3. Instead of steady state cardio, begin intervals. Set a timed interval to sprint or max out the intensity on the elliptical or bicycle, and follow it with intervals of recovery. This “high/low” interval training will melt fat and tone muscle exponentially faster than steady state cardio – and the time will fly by.
You can’t go wrong if you are having fun, staying safe, and turning up the intensity. If you leave the gym with a dry shirt, you either have some kick-butt Under Armour or you need to train harder.
PFIT TIP: If you train at this level you must replace the precious protein and glycogen that you just destroyed. This is the secret of changing your physique. Post workout, you have a window of about 30-45 minutes to get protein into the blood stream. This is why Whey protein is imperative - your body can break it down and digest it very fast. If you want to make these changes there is no question to the supplementation you must take post workout. For me it’s Designer Whey Chocolate with a little bit of honey. It’s good, and so necessary to refuel those brutalized muscles!