Get Your Lift On – Part 2

by | May 15, 2018 | Fitness, Health

In part 1 of this series we talked about three alternative lifting strategies you can use to rev up your metabolism,

Lose fat,

Gain strength to pick up and play with your kids,

Gain energy to be a productivity powerhouse,

And form some solid habits for modelling healthy behaviour for your kids.

These methods included:

High intensity continuous training (HICT) to make your high-power muscle fibres more resistant to fatigue,

Tempo lifting to increase the size of your slow-twitch muscle fibres that are heavily involved in metabolism,

Explosive repeats to increase the ability to repeatedly produce high force, high quality efforts in the gym.

All of these adaptations increase your EPOC, the “afterburn” effect that continues to burn Calories long after your workout is done.

In today’s article, we’ll outline 3 more methods you can use to make losing fat,

Being a productivity powerhouse,

And being a super-mom that much easier.

Check them out…

Cluster sets

Before heavy loading,

Before performing a certain number of reps,

Before getting super-fancy with your workouts,

You need to use the right form.

Technique is just too important.

Really.

It’s pretty hard to train and lose fat if you have to hobble into the gym on crutches.

There is just no use risking poor technique and thus, your own safety.

A great way to stay safe and still push the intensity is to use cluster sets.

Cluster sets are a way to break sets down sets into mini-sets interspersed with mini-recovery.

For example, instead of performing 10 reps of an exercise, you could perform 5 reps,

then rest 10-15 seconds,

Then perform another 3 reps,

Then rest for 10-15 seconds,

Then perform a final 2 reps.

That way, the mental challenge of performing 10 reps with perfect form is alleviated as you only have to focus for at most, 5 reps at at time.

The added benefit here is that when you break your sets down into mini-sets,

You can usually perform your 10 total reps with more weight.

So, instead of using a weight you can do 10 reps with,

Choose a weight you can do 6-8 reps with.

So, not only are you being a responsible adult by practising good technique,

you are producing more high quality, high force work.

And more high quality, high force work means you’ll burn more Calories not just in your workout,

but in the hours after your workout as well.

Pretty awesome, right?

Density training (EDT)

Density training is a way to cram more work into a specific amount of time.

So, instead of doing 3 sets of 10,

You would set a timer for 10 minutes, pick a moderately heavy weight and do as many sets of 3, 5 or 8 reps as possible in that time.

You choose the duration of the rest period needed to keep the form tiiiight.

Again, always make sure the form is on point.

So, in the time that it takes Jerry, the slick-talking gym rat, to do 3 sets of bench presses,

You could get in…..like, 10, 15 or even 20 sets.

Now, that is efficient!

You can use this method with one exercise,

Or you can pair up two exercise and go back and forth between the two of them.

For example, you could pair up squats and push-ups.

You would do 5 reps of squats,

Rest as long as you need to keep form perfect,

then do 5 reps of push-ups,

Rest as long as you need to keep form perfect,

Do 5 reps of squats,

And so on and so forth.

Either way is awesome,

And either way is a method of getting more work done in a fixed amount of time.

And the more work you can do in the same period of time,

Guess what?

The more fit you become,

And the greater your EPOC or post-workout “after-burn”.

This method also “tricks” your brain into doing more work.

Here’s what we mean…

Many of our limits when we work out are regulated by a Central Governor in our brain that basically says to us

“Okay muscles, you’re done. If you keep going, you’re going to get hurt”.

Which is a pretty useful system, but it often shuts us off way before the point of injury.

And depending on your training experience….way before the point of injury.

To safely override your Central Governor, do as many sets as your technique will allow In week 1 of doing your density training,

Then progressively increase the amount of work you do over a 4-week period.

You’ll be shocked at how much more you can achieve at the end of 4 weeks when you try to get a couple more sets every workout.

Over this 4-week block of time, your brain starts to see the work you are doing as safe and sets your limit higher.

This increases your body’s capacity to do more work.

This can make your potential to lose fat that much greater,

Give you all sorts of energy to chase down your kids,

give you the fuel to get stuff done around the house

and to simply just enjoy everything life has to offer.

Eustress training

We talked about the different kinds of stress in this article here.

Many times, our workouts are quite stressful on our bodies.

And if you’re going through a ton of other stress in your life,

Excess stress from workouts can compound it and make it all worse.

Here’s how we work around this.

Eustress training.

I learned this one from Craig Weller from Precision Nutrition.

Eustress training is a way to get in some high quality exercise without running yourself into the ground.

The great thing is you can still make awesome progress with these workouts.

They aren’t just an “off-day”.

When done properly, these workouts can make you stronger,

rev up your metabolism,

Build muscle,

And make everyday tasks that much easier.

Here is how you can use the eustress method:

Pick a moderately heavy weight

Select a total number of repetitions for an exercise,

Anywhere from 30-50 is a great start.

Perform 1-3 reps at a time, resting only as long as you need to keep the form perfect,

your mental state calm

and your heart rate below 150 beats per minute.

You can alternatively ensure that you can breathe through your nose between your sets of 1-3 reps.

Accumulate these sets of 1-3 reps until you reach your desired total rep count of 30-50.

Again, just be sure to keep the form perfect,

your mental state calm,

Your breathing through your nose

And your heart rate below 150 beats per minute.

If the workout is really easy, move faster or select a heavier weight the next time.

If the workout is too hard and you’re gasping for air, perform fewer reps (1 instead of 3),

Use a lighter weight,

Or rest a little longer between sets.

Wrap-up

The methods presented here can be valuable tools in your fat loss tool-belt.

They serve the primary purpose of increasing both your metabolism and the efficient functioning of your body.

So, not only are your fat loss efforts more fruitful,

but everyday actives are that much more fun and enjoyable.

It is worth noting that you will not reap the full benefit of these methods if you do not follow sound nutritional principles like

Eating slowly,

Eating mindfully to 80% full,

Eating lean protein and colourful vegetables at most meals,

Eating high quality, nutrient-dense foods,

Sleeping and recovering well,

And doing all of this about 80-90% of the time…consistently.

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