Tag Archives: guidance
Progress, it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
An old school method for strength & lean mass.
You may have guessed that I enjoy things from yesteryear.
For good reason too, I might add.
Everything that worked back then still works today, in fact it’s usually more effective than what most people do these days.
You will find many a person runs to a fitness magazine, or some form of social media for a workout routine, which is fair enough, if something is free you’d be silly not to use it.
The only issue is that while the info might be good, the people using it only apply around 50% effort, especially when the weights get heavy.
This is bad… very bad.
Low effort means low results.
This is where for those of you who are a little more focused 1-2-3 will be something you enjoy.
Here is what to do:
– Pick an exercise or two (A1/A2 fashion)
– Put some weight on the bar, say 80% of your max
– Do 1 rep, rest a little, do 2 reps, rest a little, do 3 reps, rest longer
– Add weight after each successful 1-2-3
– Do 3-5 sets
You’d be surprised how this rest pause style of protocol allows you to lift heavier than normal and get in some decent volume too.
You’ll find that this style of protocol is are more sustainable than a standard 5×5 with repeating weight as you can manage fatigue levels far better while still lifting heavy-ish.
In between each of the prescribed reps you could rest 15-30 seconds, just enough to allow you to get the next reps easily while still lifting heavy.
Rest 2-5min after each full set.
After you’ve done your reps/sets you can finish off with some loaded carries and perhaps some isolation work for weak points, or for vanity reasons, your choice.
This is so easy to apply you’ll probably ignore it.
You can use 3 week rotations before adding more total load to the bar if you choose, it will look like this:
Week 1: 3×1-2-3×80%
Week 2: 4×1-2-3×80%
Week 3: 5×1-2-3×80%
Week 4: 3×1-2-3×82%
And so on.
I’ve it a try and watch your strength, lean mass, skill in the lift and enjoyment of training soar through the roof.
HIIT (high intensity interval training) is one of the most popular training methods of a great many people these days.
While the concept is a solid one, it’s something that is being abused because there is only so much HIIT you can do each week.
Given this fact people actually end up doing MISS (moderate intensity steady state).
It’s not uncommon for people to do claim the do 4 and sometimes more session of HIIT per week, now the intentions are good however the body just can’t keep up with those kinds of metabolic demands.
I’m one to admit I couldn’t keep up with those kinds of demands and I’m actually quite conditioned.
If you’re one of the people doing this then I’m sorry to say that you’re not actually doing what you think you’re doing and the chances are your body composition reflects this too.
How many people do you know who claim to train this way, in this amount of frequency and unfortunately still have a fair amount of excess body fat, or at least more than you’d expect someone who does a lot of HIIT to have.
Quite a few I’d imagine.
One quick way to establish if your training has been successful if to test your VO2 max (the maximum or optimum rate at which the heart, lungs, and muscles can effectively use oxygen during exercise, used as a way of measuring a person’s individual aerobic capacity.).
You will find that most of the time people who have a high VO2 Max are typically quite lean.
Do you know yours?
If not then I suggest doing a test.
Here is a link to some tests and also a chart of averages:
So what can yo do with this information?
Well, once you know your VO2 Max you can correlate working to a % of it to your heart rate (this is what you should do for HIIT), that way when you’re training you will know where your HR should be for your intervals and so on.
If you do this you’ll soon find that your 4+ HIIT sessions of 1hour per week are perhaps reduced twice per week for at tops 20min.
Here is a quick example to try:
If you are lifting weights 2-3 times per week, do this after two of those sessions.
60 interval sprints at 92% HR (this is around 85% of your VO2 Max), rest 2min.
Try repeating that 5 times, this means 5min of work with 10min of rest.
Remember that each interval that your heart rate needs to be at or around 92% for the majority of the 60 second sprint, that’s how you maximise your training.
If you do this 2x per week (after you’ve lifted) you’ll notice a few things happen.
– Your fitness improves
– Your body fat starts to drop
– You learn what real HIIT is all about
It’s also advised to do perhaps 1-2 steady state sessions (70% average HR) for say 30-45min, I’d probably go for the 30min target.
So perhaps you weekly plan looks like this:
Monday – Weights + HIIT – as above
Tuesday – 30min Steady State Training (run, swim, row etc)
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – Weights + HIIT -as above
Friday – Off
Saturday – 30-45min Steady State Training – as above
Sunday – Off
Try it and you’ll find things start to fall in to place.
Oh, also ensure that if fat loss/body composition is your goal then you have a sustainable calorie deficit in place and a decent nutritional protocol.
What is there to write about training anymore?
The internet is filled with so much content, it’s almost impossible to read it all.
Keeping this in mind it’s probably best to keep things simple and hopefully point you in the right direction and to do that we need to circle back around to the basics and the simple sciences of training.
What should you look to circle back to first?
– Energy Systems
These are essential for understanding how the body works and what fuel is used for what training styles (aerobic – fat, anaerobic – glucose etc), here is a nice resource for that:
Next it has to be muscle anatomy.
– Muscle Structure
Once you know how they work you can conclude what style of training is best for your goal. Here are a couple of links:
One last topic that is crucial to have a basic underrating of in training is hormones.
– Testosterone, Cortisol and everything in-between.
This is a massive topic yet it’s one people ignore all the time and it really shouldn’t be. Your hormones are influenced not only by training but also your nutrition, sleep, life style and mach more, thus it is worth knowing how they work and what they do.
Above are some starting links to help you on your way, however it’s worth remembering that the body is a complex organism and if you don’t want to do the digging yourself then you’ll do well to hire a coach/trainer who can do it all for you.
Remember the basics, without those nothing else can be understood.