Get More Out of Your Training
The first few months of any new training program is where you see the most results. After that your body starts to adapt and your results don’t become as significant. Changing up your training methods and increasing the intensity to keep your body continuously improving and getting closer and closer to your goals.
Increasing the length of your workouts and the amount of repetitions has its place, however shorter sessions with lower reps and heavier weights will raise the intensity and stimulate muscles more effectively, getting you better results, faster.
There are several methods that will assist in raising your intensity and take a bigger step towards seeing desired results.
Increase load- Increasing the weight load you use for each exercise is a quite obvious, but you need to be able to select the correct load, rule of thumb is to choose a weight load where you struggle to lift the last few in each set. By not using a heavy enough load, you won’t be getting the most out of your workout.
Get Eccentric- Every exercise is made up of two ‘phases’, the concentric and eccentric. Concentric is the ‘hard phase’ of the exercise and eccentric is the ‘easier phase’. For example, the concentric phase of a bicep curl would be lifting the weights up, whereas the eccentric phase will be lowering them down. Training eccentrically requires you to increase the time it takes you to do the ‘easier part’. The eccentric part of the exercise recruits less muscle fibres to do the same movement as the concentric, therefore adding extra stimulation to the muscles. Try a tempo of one second up to four seconds down in each exercise.
Time under tension- The longer you hold your muscles under tension the more stress you place upon them increasing the intensity. Try slowing down each rep to four seconds up and four seconds down.
Decrease rest time- Taking less time in between each exercise will keep your heart rate up and burn more fat. If you were running for five minutes, walking for two minutes, try decreasing you walking time to one minute or 30 seconds to raise the intensity of your workout.
Decrease stability- Decrease your stability by doing squats with your feet on a Bosu ball or stability pad. You could also try doing crunches while lying on a fit-ball or planks or pushups with your arms or legs on a fit-ball. By adding the element of instability automatically engages muscles mainly in your core, but also around your hips or even shoulders to contract to keep you stable.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)- This type of training is ideal for burning fat in the shortest amount of time. It combines, short bursts of high intensity energy output (i.e. sprinting or fast movements such as boxing, jumping etc) followed by a short rest. The idea is to keep your heart rate up high for the whole workout which will maximise fat burn both during and even for hours after the workout. Some examples for HIIT training would be two minute sprints followed by a one minute jog five to ten times through or 20 seconds of fast and hard exercises like high knees, squat jumps or burpees, followed by 10 second rest, six to eight times through.
Super-Sets & Drop-Sets- Supersets and drop sets allow you to get that little bit extra out of your muscles. Supersets involve choosing two different exercises that use the same or similar muscle groups. For squats and lunges, you could start with doing six to ten squats, then the same for lunges straight after, without rest, rest at the end of the lunges and repeat 3-5 times. For drop set, start the exercise with the heaviest weight you can, then when you feel you can’t do another rep, drop the weight and repeat the process. For example, do six to ten reps of 10kg shoulder press, then four to ten of 9kg, four to eight of 8kg and so on.
These just a few examples of the ways you can get more out of your training, to lead to quicker results and closer to your fitness goals
For more techniques and/or ways to better implement these methods into your training regime, drop me an email or come see us at our Group Fitness classes in Como