It’s no secret, we live in a society obsessed with speed. From drive-thrus to Twitter updates, people are constantly looking for a way to get what they want as quickly as possible. While there are no true shortcuts to gaining muscle, there are ways to get you in and out of the gym more quickly.
I’m not suggesting you workout less in order to save time, far from it. Rather, I suggest you work smarter, and possibly harder, using a more efficient training program. This will allow you to stop wasting time and start building serious muscle.
Cut the Cardio
The first way to make the most of your time is to make some cuts to your cardio. I’m not saying get rid of it, cardiovascular fitness is very important for overall health. However, if you’re currently performing long bouts of low-intensity, steady-state (LISS) or moderate-intensity, steady-state (MISS) cardio, consider switching to high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This is an exercise protocol that calls for alternating periods of sprinting, or all-out effort, and recovery.
HIIT has a few advantages over traditional cardio training. Perhaps most well-known is this technique’s superior fat loss capabilities – one study indicated that fat loss was “ninefold greater” with HIIT compared to low-intensity cardio. Another study noted that HIIT “favors a lesser body fat deposition”, possibly due to the “increase in post-exercise energy metabolism”. But the greatest benefit of HIIT is that it is highly efficient. You get a better, quicker workout than with LISS, and that’s the bottom line.
Abs, Rest and Super-Sets
Speaking of lines, let’s talk about your waistline. In the pursuit of the almighty six-pack, many will spend countless hours doing thousands of crunches. However, this really isn’t helping much – abdominals are muscles just like the rest of your body, and they need time to recover. Cut your ab work down to twice per week, and concentrate on resistance exercises, such as cable crunches and weighted leg raises.
To make things even more efficient, make the most of rest periods. Try throwing in come crunches, push-ups, leg raises or other body weight movements during rest periods to enhance your workout.
Taking the concept of making use of your rest periods to the next level we move on to super-sets. These are a staple for anyone looking to make serious gains.
A super-set is when you perform two exercises in a row, without rest in between.
The best way to implement super-sets is to alternate exercises of antagonistic muscle groups, such as chest and back, or biceps and triceps. This way, instead of sitting around looking at eye candy during your rest period, you are working a different muscle, but not putting a demand on what you just worked. Be aware though, this can put a serious amount of strain on your body if you’re not used to this level of intensity.
Work Harder & Recover Faster
One of the keys to building muscle is working to your maximum potential during every workout, and then recovering faster so you can hit the iron again. Proper supplementation can help you with both of these objectives.
Consider a pre-workout such as MUSCLEPRIME or RAZOR8 to get you pumped and into your workout. Focus and intensity are major contributors to a successful workout, and after a long day at the office sometimes you need a little help getting those first few reps up.
During your workout you want to make sure you have the energy to continue pushing out reps in the middle of that bicep smashing super-set. CARBION+ will flood your muscles with readily available fuel while AMINOCORE will help keep you anabolic. Try 2 scoops of CARBION+ with 1 scoop of AMINOCORE Key Lime Cherry – this is not only delicious, but packs a serious punch.
- Tremblay, Angelo, et al. Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism. Metabolism, 1994; 43(7): 814-818
- Yoshika, M, et al. Impact of high-intensity exercise on energy expenditure, lipid oxidation and body fatness. International Journal of Obesity, 2001; 25: 332-339