Are You Really Doing What It Takes? Part Two

My last post talked about stepping up the intensity during your training sessions.

No matter what you goals when it comes to working out, a greater overall intensity will always yield better results (allowing for proper recovery.) This holds true whether you want to get stronger and lift heavier weights, grow your muscles, get faster, gain more endurance or lose body fat.  It doesn’t matter.  The correct training program done with enough intensity will get you there.  There are a multitude of different training techniques depending on the intended outcome, but without doubt, one of the most important variables is the intensity.

Just as important is the consistency of your training program.  Many of FitterFaster’s clients do not train with enough consistency, but still question their lack of progress.  The absolute minimum frequency to see improvements in fitness and/or see fat loss is to train three times per week.  That’s why it is a requirement that you attend this many times each week if you are a client here.

It’s sad but true, that going any longer than a couple of days without training will result in you going backwards.  Yes backwards after only a couple of days.

supercompensation-after-training

In the above diagram, you can see the initial performance ability (or fitness level.) You can then see how it drops during and immediately after the training session and then how during the recovery time, your body overcompensates and becomes stronger, fitter and/or faster depending on the type of training session.  You will also notice, that the fitness level begins to drop again straight away as soon as it has reached its peak. Your body adapt to the stresses placed upon it, so if there’s no stress after a day or so, it thinks it doesn’t need to stay at that level and it begins to go back to its original state.  Those of you studying at the moment call this homeostasis.  If you don’t know what this means, google it and you’ll see what I mean.

Please also note, that the time frames above, refer to a really hard and intense training session as discussed in my last post.   A training session that consisted of lower intensity activities such as walking, easier running (besides really hard running,) a typical ‘aerobics’ class or half-arsed gym workout will reduce all these time frames considerably.  In other words, training with less intensity requires that you do it much more often, or you’ll go backwards even quicker.  That nicely curved line above will slope downwards even quicker.

So if you only do FitForce or similar training twice in a week (or even less) you are probably going backwards in that week, particularly if you are not giving 110% while doing those couple of infrequent sessions.  The three times per week minimum only holds true if you are giving all you can while training.  If you give any less, you will need to train more often and even then, the results will not be as great.

So it’s a minimum of three times per week, EVERY SINGLE WEEK that will give you  results.  It’s training as hard as you can at any given moment in time.

If you’re not getting the results you think you should, think about it.  Do you come often enough EVERY week?  Do you really push hard enough?  Should you come more often or do home workouts inbetween?  Are you eating a healthy, nutritious diet?  Are you getting at least 7.5-8 hours of sleep every night?  Any of these things will alter the curves on the above diagram.

Be honest with yourself and make the changes necessary to reach your goals.


Are you really doing what it takes? Part One

The majority of people who are carrying excess body fat, forget that it took time for those extra kilos to creep on.  It may have seemed like it happened almost overnight, but if you think about it, it’s actually been happening gradually over many months or most likely years.

You have to be realistic about how quickly you can lose weight, or more correctly how quickly you can lose that body fat. It’s not about ‘you have to lose it slowly to be permanent’ or ‘if you lose quickly it’s all fluid.’  The debate continues on these issues, it’s about being realistic depending on the amount of effort you are really making to get to your goals.  You can safely and effectively lose body fat quickly – IF YOU DO WHAT IT TAKES.

I posted a few days ago about planning your training and nutrition.  Are you really doing this?  Or are you still just coasting along, making good choices sometimes and the wrong ones at other times?  Have you worked out a plan of attack and are you sticking to it?  Really!!!!

I’ve noticed at FitterFaster over the years, that some participants just go through the motions.  They’re more interested in how many sets we are going to do, if I’m counting correctly or what they did last night.  When you are training, you have to be totally focused on what you are doing.

If you’re not totally focused on what you’re doing, you can’t, and therefore won’t, put in 110%.   I’m spotting and pushing YOU and focusing my attention on giving YOU the best workout possible to get you great results.  I”ll worry about the clock, I’ll do the planning and I’ll make sur you’re using correct form and being as safe as possible.

But its YOU who needs to give 100%.  It’s YOU who needs to make sure you’re doing all you can at any given time.

I guess what I’m saying is – while you are at FitterFaster, if you want the great results that you see some others achieving, you have to put in the required effort.  It’s not enough to just turn up and ‘do a bit.’  You must focus all your energy into the set you are doing right now.  Don’t hold back, or save yourself.

There’s no ‘pacing yourself’ with this type of training.  It’s all or nothing if you want to see the benefits.  Even if that means that by the 10th set, you can hardly keep going because you went so hard in the first few rounds.  It’s about going the absolute hardest you can go at any given point in time.

So at your next training session, how about you push a bit harder.  Pick a heavier kettle bell, even if you have to drop back down after a few sets.  Get your butt lower than usual and keep it still.  Run faster, jump higher and get your hips lower than ever before.  If you want to see changes or if you’ve plateaued lately, do something about it.


Stuck for Results? What to do about it

Training has been going strong over the past few months at FitterFaster.  Everyone has fully embraced the 3 week periodisation cycle.  It starts with MetCon week where we use higher repetitions of each drill .  We also include more high intensity cardio focused drills.

Meltdown week follows in which we choose slightly heavier weights, drop the repetitions and use more resistance drills than MetCon week. We also do about a  50/50 split of cardio intervals and resistance training.

The final week in the cycle is Afterburn week.  Afterburn is the week where you choose the heaviest weights you can manage for each set.  Repetitions are dropped right back and rest periods are a bit longer too to allow you to keep using the same weights throughout.  We do a bit less cardio, but each interval set is to be performed at the highest intensity possible.

For each of these phases, you have to give your best effort.  It’s one thing to do a training session and just ‘go through the motions’, and another entirely to keep pushing even when it starts to hurt or you feel like you can’t do any more.

I’m not talking about pushing through any kind of injury or joint pain here.  Its always important to stop straight away if you feel something is not right.  However, you have to give your best effort at all times.  Keeping on going till the last rep is done or the time keeper yells ‘rest’ will yield the best results-no doubt about it. Don’t just give up when it starts to hurt.

So, a checklist of actions you can take starting today to get better results:

Do more reps or use a heavier weight than ‘normal’ when training-and keep going after it starts to hurt.  In other words, up your intensity.  Do this at every workout and you’ll notice that the amount of effort required to do the new number or weight becomes less.  You will get stronger and you will start to notice that muscle tone that you all seek. That’s when its time to up your weights again.