There are a lot of misconceptions and myths that exist in the world of strength and conditioning; and I will be addressing some of those over the next few weeks. One of my favorites is that “in order to have the results you want, you have to spend HOURS in the weight room everyday”. This is simply NOT true, time does not necessarily equal results.
For example, I was visiting a friend of mine who was working at a big box gym. As him and I were catching up, we were walking around the gym and I saw a woman who was sitting on a tricep extension machine. She did 1 set of 10 and she sat there for about 2-3 minutes and then did her second set, and the same thing for her 3rd set. The problem here is that I’m sure she was in the gym for a long time, but just because she was in the gym for a long time, she wasn’t working hard enough during that time to drive the results that she wanted (her main goal was fat loss).
A better strategy for her would have been to chip away at her training with shorter, more intense sessions. For example, let’s say she was going to the gym 2-3 times per week for 60 – 90 minutes per session with an average intensity of 50% for each exercise. A better alternative for her would be 3-4 sessions per week with a time cap of 30 minutes per session and increasing the average intensity to 70% for each exercise. By reducing the time allowed in the gym and increasing her average intensity, this forces her to work at a faster rate with better effort that will help facilitate her results.
I really like the strategy of “chipping away” for both fat loss and strength clients. I believe that by cutting your time in the gym down, it naturally makes you work at a higher intensity and it prioritizes the most important exercises early in each session. Also, one more tip; instead of just sitting there after you do a single exercise, try super-setting two exercises in succession. For example, push ups for 10 reps, immediately followed by chin ups for max reps. Or, a super-set could also be structured by having a big lift (i.e. squat/deadlift/press) and pair that with a mobility, flexibility, or core exercise.
If you have questions about training, please fill out the form below and I am glad to help any way I can.