Crossfit’s been doing it for years. We’ve all seen the results first hand in the 2006 hit film, “300.” And in the same year, Canadian researchers stated that shorter routines involving bursts of high-intensity exercise offer the same health benefits as programs involving longer-duration exercise at a lower intensity.
Health officials recommend 30 – 60 minutes of exercise, daily. How many people actually satisfy those requirements? Not many. In fact, the primary excuse for not being able to workout is that you don’t have time.
The professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton found that both groups showed similar improvements in exercise performance and the way their muscles used oxygen.
In Tabata’s study, he separated subjects into a high intensity and a moderate intensity group. Results showed the the high intensity group had a 14% increase in their VO2 max (aerobic fitness) as opposed to a 10% increase with the moderate intensity group. In addition, he found a 28% increase in anaerobic capacity (muscle power) in the high intensity group. There was no improvement in anaerobic capacity with the moderate intensity group.
From the Tabata study, Crossfit, 300 guys, the Canadian study, and my own empirical evidence we find that short, intense workouts increases aerobic capacity, burns fat, improves sports performance, improves aerobic recovery abilities, burns more calories overall, releases GH (Growth Hormon) into the blood, and increases your lactic acid threshold.
With all these benefits, you’d think that everyone would be performing short, intense workouts.
Those that are ready to start training at a higher intensity, I have outlined an 6 – point program to help you steadily transition from low intensity, long duration to high intensity, short duration:
A-1) Incline Bench Press
B-2) Cable Crossovers
Follow the basic parameters outlined above. For the chest workout, I would perform a heavy set of flat bench press, then triset the three following exercises.
Once again, start off with 1 minute of rest between each exercise, then work your way down to 0 seconds.
With circuit training, what you are doing is putting together all four exercises and performing them back to back in the fashion described earlier. These have also been called Giant Sets. Call it whatever you want, the concept is the same. Progress the same way as before.
Note that you may not have to increase the weight that you lift during this time. You may even see new growth due to the fact that your workouts are becoming harder.
This is a very difficult concept to understand for those that are used to split training. Read my article on transitioning from split training to full body
Start off with straight sets, then slowly transition into supersets and trisets. You can add in a few more exercises if you wish to try circuit training. Be aware that this would then become an extremely intense workout.
Now we’re getting into real Shah Training mode! Start timing your workouts. Timing your workouts adds another level of competition into your training. It is no longer just you and the weight. It is you, the weight, and the time. I know from experience that just a 5 second improvement in time requires a lot of work. Take a month to time every single workout that you perform in the gym. You’ll notice the difference.
3 rounds for time of:
400 meter run