Who would you rather look like – a sprinter or a distance runner? Sprinters are lean and mean, while distance runners are just skinny. I want to look more like a sprinter, which is why I’m going to train like a sprinter.
The idea is to train your fast twitch muscle fibers, which respond best to high intensity exercise. They look better then slow-twitch muscle fibers, but also fatigue easily, which is why you can not sustain high intensity training for a long time.
How do you train these muscle fibers? Well, start off with making your workouts more explosive. Go slow on the negative portion, and explode in the positive portion. So for example, if you’re doing pushups – go down slow, and go up fast.
Step 2 – Cut your Program in Half
Once you master explosiveness, it’s time to make your workouts more intense, which means cutting your workouts in half. Take half of the exercises you do, and throw them out the window. This means that if you do 10 movements per workout, you are now doing 5 movements.
Which are the best movements to choose? Choose ones that work the most muscle groups at once. So, a pushup is better then a bicep curl. A squat is better then a leg extension. A plank is better then a crunch.
Step 3 – Train your Full Body
If you’ve been splitting up your body until now, start doing full body workouts. This means that hit your chest, back, legs, arms, and shoulders all in workout. How do you do that? Especially when I told you to use just a handful of movements?
Well, here’s an example:
- Clean and Press (works shoulders, chest, triceps, lower back, and hamstrings)
- Goblet Squat (works chest, quads, lower back, and abs)
- Pullups (Upper back, chest, biceps, shoulders, and abs)
3 movements, full body..never thought of it that way, did you?
Step 4 – Focus Focus Focus
Increasing intensity isn’t just about making your workouts shorter, it’s also about getting yourself mentally prepared. How do you get there? Well, you know that time when you’re supposed to warmup…well that’s also a mental warmup.
Use that time to clear your mind, and don’t start until you’re able to leave your thoughts outside the gym/home gym. Another great idea is to train with dedicated individuals. Push each other, yell at each other, and conquer it!
Step 5 – Reduce Rest Periods
One other way of making your workouts even more intense is to reduce rest periods. So, go from 60 seconds to 45 seconds, and eventually down to 15 seconds. Maybe even try to perform the whole workout without resting!
Step 6 – Get rid of Cardio
You don’t need it. If you’re training super hard core with each session, you don’t need any additional cardio, especially not steady state cardio. Remember, we want to look like sprinters, not distance runners, so stop distance running!
If you must do cardio, then choose interval training.
Step 7 – Engage even more muscle!
To engage even more muscle with each movement, start to combine movements. For example, we can combine clean and press with squats to engage our legs. We can add in a knee up with pullups to work our abs more.
Combining movements makes our workouts shorter and saves us more time!