By Robert Schinetsky | Tue, Jan 01, 2019

Does Workout Length Matter?

We’re often led to believe that if something is good, a lot more of that something will be that much better. Nowhere is this mindset more prevalent than in the world of fitness, especially when you consider the popularity of the #nodaysoff movement.

For proof of the lengths we will go to, to show how hardcore we are, spend 30-60 seconds scrolling through your instagram feed and see how many posts are talking about “epic” workouts lasting hours on end.

The thing to understand from the get-go is that the length of a workout is not solely indicative of its effectiveness.

In other words, just because a workout lasts 2+ hours does not inherently mean it is superior to a 30 minute workout.

And that brings us to the topic of today’s article -- does workout length matter, and how long should I workout to see results?

How Long Should I Workout?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn’t a one-size fits all answer. The simple truth of the matter is that how long you workout, as well as how frequently you train, is going to depend on a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • Training Experience
  • Goals
  • Age
  • Time alloted for training
  • Workout Structure (e.g. straight sets vs supersets, upper/lower vs bro split)
  • Rest time between sets
  • “Wasted” workout time (how many times you snap selfies, check insta-face, and text during your workout)
  • How crowded the gym is

Basically, there is no such thing as the “perfect”, “right”, or “ideal” amount of time that your workout should last. There’s simply too many factors involved to give a blanket recommendation to everyone that hits the gym. The exact same thing can be said of training programs. Not every program (or even every exercise) is right for every lifter.  

Furthermore, the length of time your workout takes isn’t really indicative of the quality of your workout.

For instance, let’s say two lifters take 2 hours to complete a workout.

Lifter A is an elite powerlifter whose training typically involves heavy triples. As such, he requires long rest periods in order to regain his strength ahead of the next working set. If you’ve ever trained with heavy loads on the deadlift near your 1-rep max, you know full well it can take up to 5-10 minutes to fully recover and feel ready to attempt another heavy triple.

On the other side, is Lifter B. He’s your average joe who hits the gym three to four times per week just to get fit. He also takes 5-10 minute breaks in between sets, talking all the while to his buddies, mindlessly repping out set after set of curls, but not pushing anywhere near his one rep max.

While this example is a tremendous over-exaggeration  it serves to prove a point. Just because you’re in the gym for a long time doesn’t mean you’re training hard, or that you are training effectively, let alone efficiently. 

The truth is, you shouldn’t be so concerned with the length of time your workout takes. What you should be concerned with when training is improving from the last workout. This can be done in the way of adding weight to the bar, increasing the number of repetitions, or decreasing the amount of rest you take between sets, to name a few. 

The instance when you should be concerned about the length of your workout occurs when, you’re training under a severe time crunch. In that case, you need to maximize every second of time you’re in the gym. And at this point, things like supersets, brief rest periods, circuit training, etc. can be used.

So, does this mean I can take as long to workout as I want, provided I have the time available to do so?

Of course not.

Everything has an upper limit, and just because you have 3 hours to train doesn’t mean you should. The main goal when lifting weights is to stimulate (not annihilate) the muscles so they have a reason to adapt and grow bigger and stronger.

That’s it.

Use the rest of your time to recover, relax, work, spend time with family, friends, etc.

What About Cortisol Levels and Long Workouts?

If you’ve ever been told that working out for longer than 60 minutes is detrimental to your results, you’ve been told a lie. Research has shown that short, intense workouts can increase cortisol levels just as much (and potentially higher) than longer workouts.[1,2]

It’s not as if your body suddenly realizes you’ve been training longer than 45 or 60 minutes and magically floods your system with cortisol, eating up all of your precious lean muscle mass. The body simply doesn’t work that way.

OK, so how much should I actually workout then?

Provided that you understand that actual training frequency and duration will be highly variable on your own individual circumstances, training experience, and goals, here’s a few “general pointers” on training:

  • If you’re looking to build muscle and improve body composition, lift heavy weights 3-4 times per week totaling around 5-6 hours.
  • If you’re wanting to burn unwanted body fat, add an additional 1-2 hours of cardio on top of your resistance training. Remember, fat loss and muscle gain is ultimately determined by your nutrition. Calories burned from exercise is just a very small fraction of your total energy output each day.
  • Take at least one complete rest day per week to support recovery and reduce the chances of experiencing “burn out” from the gym.

Takeaway

There’s a good bit of misinformation and bad advice about how long you should workout. On the one hand, you have the “hardcore” lifters out there preaching the mantra of “more is always better”, promote the idea that training 6, or even 7, days per week using extremely high volume routines, workouts is the only way to make gains.

On the other hand, you have the ultra-minimalists who subscribe to the belief that training anymore than three times per week for 45 minutes each session is unnecessary and puts you at risk for catabolism.

As with most things in life, the answer to “how long should I workout” or “how frequently should I workout” will depend on a plethora of facts. While it’s easy to get mired down in the minutiae of programming, and succumb to paralysis by analysis in search of the “most optimal” program for making gains, as long as your hitting the weights 3 to 5 times per week with a focus on heavy, compound lifts, training every muscle group, and employing the rules of progressive overload, you will build muscle and get the body you’ve always wanted.

References

  1. Kraemer WJ, Fleck SJ, Dziados JE, Harman EA, Marchitelli LJ, Gordon SE, Mello R, Frykman PN, Koziris LP, Triplett NT. Changes in hormonal concentrations after different heavy-resistance exercise protocols in women. J Appl Physiol. 1993; 75:594-604.
  2. Kraemer WJ, Dziados JE, Harman EA, Marchitelli LJ, Gordon SE, Mello R, Frykman PN, Koziris LP, Triplett NT. Effects of different heavy-resistance exercise protocols on plasma beta-endorphin concentrations. J Appl Physiol. 1993; 74:450-9.
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By Matt Villanueva | Mon, Dec 17, 2018

Gains On the Go: Your Guide to Muscle Growth While Traveling

Dr. Matt Gaston Villanueva, Ph.D.

Be assured: once you’ve finished this article, never again will you have to worry about losing your hard-earned gains while you travel. For one, not having access to a gym or a lot of training equipment will no longer be a reason to miss a workout (thank goodness!), especially while you’re on the road. Second, when you’re on-the-go, there are specific and crucial nutritional “quick-fixes” that can boost your performance and keep your body’s anabolic switch turned on.

THE TRAINING

To design training protocols for your travels, focus on four primary elements.

  1. First, think Minimal Equipment: Your workouts can, in fact, be completed with the use of your own body weight and either a pair of dumbbells or a single kettlebell.
  2. Second, be aware of Time Efficiency: Your workouts need to be effective and efficient and can easily be completed in under 45 minutes, including a 5- to 10-minute warm-up.
  3. Third, focus on Intensity: Your workouts should be flat-out hard. You won’t stand around much, you will sweat, and you should step outside of your comfort zone. A relatively short session means you have to train with an all-out mindset.
  4. Finally, target your Total Body: Your workouts should hit the entire body and primary (large) muscle groups. Emphasize multi-joint exercises, and take a balanced attack approach by selecting a battery of exercises that work (opposing) muscle groups for both the upper and lower body.  

Minimal Equipment: As counterintuitive as this may sound, some of my best workouts have taken place on-the-road with only the use of my body weight and a single “tool,” such as one kettlebell. What makes this maximally effective, though, is the weight/load you choose. While load specificity depends upon several factors, including your relative strength level and training experience with certain types of equipment, here are some general guidelines to consider.

  • For Men: Select a kettlebell or two-dumbbell load that is equivalent to between 30% and 40% of your body weight. For example, in general: a 200-lb. man would select a kettlebell between 60 and 80 lbs. or a pair of 30-40 lb. dumbbells.
  • For Women: Select a kettlebell or two-dumbbell load that is equivalent to between 20% and 35% of your body weight. For example, in general: a 125-lb. woman would select a kettlebell between 25 and 45 lbs. or a pair of 12.5-20 lb. dumbbells.

Whether male or female, select a load that you can move well and without stopping. In other words, this load should be challenging, but it shouldn’t be so challenging that you break your form for any given upper body or lower body exercise. Along these lines, you should be able to train proficiently with this load for at least 30 seconds without stopping.

Time Efficiency: Travel often means you’re on vacation or at work, and no one necessarily wants or needs an inordinate dose of training time to interfere with the other main objectives and purposes of the trip. Accordingly, I outline three different and highly effective work:rest templates — use the option that best suits you and your current state of fitness — that will leave you feeling pushed, challenged, AND unstoppable after a fast and furious training session.

  1. Do repeat bouts of 30 seconds of non-stop work with 10 seconds of passive rest.
  2. Do repeat bouts of 45 seconds of non-stop work with 15 seconds of passive rest.
  3. Do repeat bouts of 60 seconds of non-stop work with 20 seconds of passive rest.

I prefer to create my own unique timer in my phone (e.g., using “Seconds Pro”) and, for example, mix and match the 3 different work:rest templates above. Make sure to prepare, mentally, for “sprint-type” work, which means you will drive your physical capacity to go all-out for the designated work interval and train yourself to recover as quickly as possible during the corresponding passive rest interval.

You will exhaust and highly challenge your immediate, ATP-CP, and glycolytic energy systems, which operate during work bouts lasting between roughly 3 and 60 seconds, depending on your fitness level and training experience.

In terms of total time to complete a workout, following a thorough and well-rounded warm-up, here are two examples (Workout A and B). Note that, here, one round equals 30 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, 45 seconds of work, 15 seconds of rest, 60 seconds of work, and 20 seconds of rest, for a total of three minutes.  

  • Workout A: 10 Rounds = 30 minutes of total time = 22.5 minutes of work and 7.5 minutes of passive rest
  • Workout B: 13 Rounds = 39 minutes of total time = 29 minutes, 15 seconds of work and 9 minutes, 45 seconds of passive rest

Intensity: It may not be easy, but it’s simple and more than worth it: go hard, and then go home! If you examine the two example workouts closely, you’ll see that the time you will spend actually moving is less than 30 minutes in either case! From plenty of personal/professional experience, that is a perfect amount of time that allows you to work extremely hard and come out of the workout feeling both challenged and accomplished.

Remember, make it your number one priority to lift non-stop during your work intervals; intermittent/occasional pausing of your timer is perfectly acceptable, and I do it all the time, especially to hydrate, sip on my supplements, and ensure that the quality of my training session remains sky-high.

Ideally, you would never set down your weight(s) during a work interval; you will recover as quickly as possible during your very brief rest periods, and you will be ready to rock ‘n’ roll at the very beginning of every new work interval.

Total Body: The 3 other main elements of “Gains On-The-Go Workouts” are founded upon exercise selection. To sum it up, here’s what you will aim for:

  • Multi-Joint Exercises: squats, deadlifts, lunges, RDL’s, swings, high pulls, shoulder presses, chest presses, push-ups, rows, upright rows, and the like.
  • Balance and Variation: Most often, you should select 6 to 12 different exercises, including upper body and lower body that hit agonist and antagonist muscle groups.
  • Head to Toe: Select 2 to 4 exercises that are non-resistance based. These can be viewed as “cardio” and/or active recovery exercises and can include: jumping jacks, mountain climbers, body weight squat jumps, split squat jumps, sprints/high knees, planks/bridging, ab/trunk work.
  • Exercise Sequencing: So that your output and technique can remain very high-quality, strategically sequence exercises within a complex, by emphasizing multi-joint exercises + isolation exercises and/or agonist + antagonist sequencing (specifically, stacking opposing muscle groups and/or upper body + lower body muscle groups/movements)   

SUPPLEMENTATION IS KING  

Whenever I travel, convenience trumps all. So, make it easy for yourself to properly fuel your body with minimal prep’ time. No solid food and Tupperware, just one shaker bottle and 2 main supplements…easy breezy! 

To START: approximately 15-30 minutes before beginning your warm-up, grab and smash a C4 ON-THE-GO, for a pre-mixed pre-workout drink you easily pack in your suitcase and take with you when you're traveling. Above all, I love C4 ON-THE-GO’s cutting-edge, science-backed, and results-proven formulation that augments energy and mental focus, in addition to priming your body and energy systems for a stellar workout. It only has 8 Calories, 2 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of sugar and the taste is outrageously good (my favorites are Watermelon, Cherry Limeade, and Icy Blue Razz!).

PERI-WORKOUT (immediately pre-, intra-, and immediately post-workout): Scientific research tells us that, even at rest, you can stimulate muscle protein synthesis by ingesting branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) or a complete protein source. On the road, I recommend you remove the guesswork by having one of my favorite BCAA powders – Scivation’s XTEND – on hand with a shaker bottle and water OR a supplement/water bottle funnel and water (the latter is my GO-TO!).

As a convenient muscle-building quick-fix, drink a serving or two of your BCAA’s peri-workout AND between solid-food meals as well, in order to trigger muscle protein synthesis and keep the gains pouring in!

BLAZING THE ROAD TO GROWTH

Now, THERE’S NO EXCUSE STANDING IN YOUR WAY, and wherever you go, your gains will come with you!

Plan ahead: write up a few different training protocols using my results-driven guidelines and recommendations, pack your supplements, and bring your equipment and workout clothes. Then, find an open space — whether it be an open field, your hotel room, or even the hotel fitness center — focus your mind, and do what we do best: get the job done!   

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By David Sautter | Wed, Oct 10, 2018

Training Guide for Size: How Much Volume Should You Use?

When the temperatures start to drop at summer’s end, most people begrudgingly store their bathing suits and sun-tan lotion. For those with muscle on the mind, they know it’s the time of the year when they can focus on size and getting as big as possible. Let’s take a look at the training methodology to follow to maximize your muscle mass.

Key to Size: Know Your Volume 

Studies show that if you want to increase the size of your muscle mass, you should focus on the volume of your workouts. Volume refers to the number of exercises, sets, and repetitions that you perform each workout. The mistake that many lifters make is asking, “What is the ideal set-to-repetition range per workout?” It’s important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture first.

If you want to increase muscle size, the real question is, “How many total repetitions should be completed each week?” Once we have this number, then we can break everything down by workout.

For higher volume workouts, studies suggest that larger muscle groups such as the quadriceps and the back require between 90 and 120 weekly repetitions, depending on the amount of weight used. The heavier the weight you use, the fewer repetitions are required. The smaller muscle groups such as the biceps and triceps need between 50 and 70 repetitions.

Now how can we effectively reach our target repetitions for each muscle group?

Same Muscle, Two or Three Times per Week 

If you want to reach your weekly repetition goal and increase muscle size, I recommend training each muscle group two or three times per week. Sure, you can dedicate one day per week to hammering out 10 or more sets, but there are a few reasons I would suggest against this:

Proven Science: Studies show that targeting each muscle group two or three times per week with fewer sets results in greater muscle mass than once-per-week workouts that contain many sets.

Avoid Burnout: Aside from volume, the amount of intensity you bring to your workouts is important for tearing down muscle tissue and triggering hypertrophic growth. Training each muscle group two or three times per week with fewer sets allows you to maximize your intensity in each workout.

Lower Risk of Injury: Fewer sets spread out over a few workouts can help you avoid overuse injuries. What’s more, if you can avoid burnout and stay in the zone during the entire workout, this will decrease your risk for absent-minded injuries.

Which Workout Split is Best for You?

There are two ways that I would recommend splitting up your workouts to increase muscle and achieve the repetitions goal mentioned above: 

Beginners

If you have less than a year’s experience with weight training, I would recommend using full body workouts (one exercise per muscle group) three times per week. Your workout schedule would look something like this:

Monday: Full-Body Workout #1

Tuesday: Rest Day / Cardio

Wednesday: Full-Body Workout #2

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday: Full-Body Workout #3

Saturday: Rest Day / Cardio

Sunday: Rest Day

Advanced

If this isn’t your first rodeo, I would recommend using an upper body, lower body split. Each week, you’ll perform two upper body workouts and two lower body workouts. There should be two exercises per large muscle group and one exercise per smaller muscle groups in your workout.

Monday: Lower Body

Tuesday: Upper Body

Wednesday: Rest Day / Cardio

Thursday: Lower Body

Friday: Upper Body

Saturday: Rest Day / Cardio

Sunday: Rest Day

How to Breakdown Volume Per Workout 

If you choose the full-body workout routine, you’ll be exercising each muscle group three times per week. Here’s how you can break that down per workout:

Large Muscle Groups:

  • 90 to 120 weekly repetitions divided into three workouts
  • 30 to 40 repetitions per workout
  • 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions per exercise

Smaller Muscle Groups:

  • 50 to 70 repetitions divided into three workouts
  • 15 to 25 repetitions per workout
  • 2 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions

If you choose the upper, lower split workout routine, you’ll be exercising each muscle group two times per week. Here’s how you can break that down per workout:

Large Muscle Groups:

  • 90 to 120 weekly repetitions divided into two workouts
  • 45 to 60 repetitions per workout
  • 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per exercise (two exercises per muscle group)

Smaller Muscle Groups:

  • 50 to 70 repetitions divided into three workouts
  • 25 to 35 repetitions per workout
  • 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions

Which Workout Will You Choose? 

Will you go with the full-body workout routine, training your muscles three times per week? Or are you ready for more volume per workout with the upper-lower split? If you’ve already been using a similar program, what results have you noticed? Let us know!

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By John Papp | Thu, Sep 27, 2018

Trainers Reveal the Worst Fitness Advice They've Heard

When your career is helping others with their fitness and you spend your work week in the gym, you tend to come across some...let’s say, questionable, advice that clients have received or we ourselves have received.

The “best,” worst advice, that I have ever received is the ever constant, “Full body workouts are only work for beginners.”   

Sure, full body workouts work great for beginners and are arguably the best option for someone just starting out in the weight room. But you don’t have to leave the full body split behind as you progress past those “newbie gains.” 

I am a very big proponent of full body workouts at all levels, for almost any goal. Whether you are trying to slim down, gain mass, get stronger, or improve sports performance, they can be very useful. As a plus, you won’t have to spend as much time in the gym but you can still get great results.

Let’s compare a few styles of splits and just examine one movement. For this example, we will use the squat.

In a 6 day split, you would only find one or two days that include some form of a squat. In a upper/lower split you will most likely find yourself squatting two days a week. Now, lets compare that to a three day full body split. Don't you think that is going to be better for gains?

That said, there is a caveat. Just like Uncle Ben told Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” It is important to control intensity of the various lifts in a full body split. Because we are squatting, hinging, pressing, pulling, and carrying three times per week we must control the intensity and total volume for the day and adjust based on how our body feels. Consider cycling through a low, medium, and high intensity day for each main movement pattern to control.

Give it a shot. I think you may be surprised!

In order to share some of the best stories and worst advice, I recruited a handful of fellow coaches and friends from across the country to find out the worst fitness advice they've heard.

 

Johnny Tea

Strength Coach, Manual Therapist

"I would have to say the worst fitness advice I've heard someone receive is the need to pick only one diet to lose weight. 

There are so many different types of diets (ex: flexible dieting, ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, carb cycling, etc.) and the key thing to remember is they ALL work because each diet has strategies and rules in place to help you eat fewer calories (usually by eliminating processed foods which are high-calorie foods). 

What it really comes down to is which diet is sustainable for you, allows you to continue making progress in the gym, and doesn't deprive you of the foods you enjoy."

Where to find Johnny:

www.jtstrengththerapy.com

Instagram: johnny_tea_

 

Justin Ochoa

Strength Coach 

“When John told me about this topic, my brain was flooded with a flurry of really funny (but, kind of not) memories of really bad fitness advice I’ve heard over the years. Before I detail the absolute worst advice I’ve ever received, I want to take some time to highlight some fantastic runners up.

'Muscle weighs more than fat.' Umm, what? One pound is one pound. One pound of muscle weighs the same as one pound of fat. I don’t understand how this could ever be advice, but here we are in 2018 still hearing it.

'Lifting weights will bulk you up.' Sorry, but getting ‘bulky’ is extremely difficult. Trust me, I’ve been trying to get bulky for 10+ years and it’s not going great. People think adding any type of resistance training is going to add size. In all reality, your body composition is very dependent on caloric intake. Lifting weights won’t add bulk, but it can help you add size with the right nutritional plan.

Okay, now that I’ve got those off my mind, I want to share the absolute worst piece of fitness advice I’ve ever heard. 

'No pain, no gain.'  Lifting weights doesn’t tickle. You have to push yourself to great levels to add strength and/or size. With that being said, you should NEVER train in pain.

Pain is different than momentary discomfort, acute soreness, or just general difficulty. Pain is unhealthy and SHOULD NOT be ignored. This is your body, which is extremely complex and smart, trying to tell you that something isn’t right.

Ignoring those signs by “toughing it out,” is only going to lead you to darker levels of pain.

No pain, no gain is a terrible approach to fitness. Being “hardcore” seems cool, but even the most badass lifters in every gym will tell you that nothing about pain is fun. Pain-free lifting is the key to longevity and ultimately lifelong results. Chase progress, not pain."

Where to find Justin:

www.pacefitnessacademy.com

Instagram : @justin_m_ochoa

 

Mitch Gill

Strength Coach, Athletic Trainer

“The worst advice that I have heard when it comes to general fitness is that 'you should be going all out in every workout.'

Sure training hard is important to see results but sometimes going all out when things just don’t feel right can have the opposite effect you may be looking for. It could lead to a drop in results and even lead to injury. The thing is the injury may not happen in that workout but could present itself down the line.

Pick your spots on when to train hard.

It could be as simple as 1 to 2 hard training sessions a week over the long haul with the occasional a 4-6 week phase where you really hammer it hard.

Remember, your body is just like a car, if you are driving it hard every day, eventually it will break down.” 

Where to find Mitch:

www.gilltrainingsystems.com

Instagram: @gilltrainingsystems

 

Kevin Warren

Strength Coach

“When my wife was pregnant with our son, I went with her to the OBGYN for one of her routine check-ups. The results of her blood test showed that her blood sugar levels were slightly elevated. Nothing to be too concerned about, but the doctor took us into her office to discuss some precautionary measures.

'Do your best to avoid processed sugars.'

'Stay away from soda.'

'Exercise regularly.'

'Don’t eat any food after 6 PM...'

That’s right, a doctor literally told my 8 month pregnant wife not to eat at night.

My hand clenched my wife’s, and she already knew what I was thinking. I could tell by the look on her face that she didn’t want me to make a big deal about it, but I had to question it.

I asked, 'Why shouldn’t she eat anything after 6 PM?' The doctor nonchalantly replied, 'Because anything you eat after 6 PM just turns into fat.'

YEP, A DOCTOR SAID THAT.

Needless to say, we didn’t take her advice and neither should you. Nutrients don’t just magically turn to fat if you consume them after 6PM.”

Where to find Kevin:

www.kevinwarrenfitness.com

Instagram: @kevinwarrenfitness

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By Jen Jewell | Tue, Sep 04, 2018

How to Overcome a Weight-Loss Plateau

You workout, you eat healthy, but after a while the progress begins to stall and the results aren’t as rapid as they once were. It sounds like you may have hit the dreaded plateau. It’s OK, it happens to all of us.

Whether you have stopped getting results, or your workouts are becoming more of a chore than something you look forward to, the important thing is to stay focused, keep at it and shake some things up in your daily routine. By implementing these principles, you'll be making progress in no time.

REMIX YOUR WORKOUTS

If you have been doing the same workout over and over again, no wonder your results have been less than desirable! It’s time to switch it up. When it comes to weight loss, most people turn to cardio. They spend months on the same machine hoping to melt away fat. But in fact they should also be hitting the weight room. In the weight room, try new exercises and get out of your comfort zone. Even something as simple as altering your rep range (higher, lower, drop sets, etc.), can spark a change because it requires your body to adjust. 

Do your workouts primarily consist of machines? Switch up your strength training and use the dumbbells or barbells instead. Even going from dumbbells to cables can create some muscle confusion and lead to progress. Challenge yourself in a new way and your body will thank you.

PRACTICE CARDIO CONFUSION 

What have you been doing for cardio? The same old routine? Practice cardio confusion and make sure that NONE of your cardio workouts are the same during the week. 

Alternate from taking a spin class, running or walking outside, busting out a HIIT session, taking a cardio class at the gym, or even preforming exercises like the jump rope. Do a HIIT session one day and a steady state session the next. 

Vary levels of intensity, amount of time and the type of cardio that you’re doing, and results will be yours.

WRITE IT DOWN

Time to come clean! What are you eating? No…what are you REALLY eating? For those of you that may be stuck at a plateau, it’s time to tell the truth and only the truth. Do you graze, or snack on extras all day long? Are you consuming excessive liquid calories (think lattes, sugary energy drinks, juices, etc.)? Write down everything you eat and drink within a day so that you can evaluate your choices. Most people consume far more calories on a daily basis than they believe they do. 

Another great thing to keep in mind is portion size. You may think you’re only eating one portion, but make the extra effort for a few days and actually measure out everything before you eat. That includes "healthy" foods!

More often than not, I’ve found that people will actually consume "healthy" foods in excess because "they are good for you." Not all healthy foods are created equal, and with the recent onslaught of fit food buzzwords such as “organic,” “vegan,” “paleo,” “gluten-free,” etc., there’s been quite a bit of confusion. Just because the label has one of these catchy buzzwords, it doesn’t always make for a healthy option. 

RE-EVALUATE YOUR STACK

Are you supplementing according to YOUR goals? It’s great that you’re adding supplements into your regimen, but make sure they are in line with what you want to achieve. Knowing when and how to stack your favorite supplements appropriately will help you bust through that plateau and achieve those results you’re after. 

STEP BACK AND TAKE A BREAK…

Alright, before you say that this sounds counterproductive, allow me to elaborate. We put our bodies through some serious work in the weight room, during cardio, training for and competing in athletic events, and oftentimes we think of ‘rest’ as a nasty little four-letter word. 

When you workout you are tearing your muscles down, but when you rest, you allow the muscles that have broken down to heal and recover. Recovery is crucial for progressing your strength and allowing you to handle the increased weight, and number of sets and reps needed for further gains. I don’t mean take weeks off from the gym to rest and watch countless hours of TV, but making room each and every week for allotted rest days will definitely help you in the long run.

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By Ron 'Boss' Everline | Wed, Aug 15, 2018

BOSS x Cellucor: HIIT Workout

 

Looking for a quick HIIT workout you can do anywhere? Grab C4 On the Go  and try this routine from Cellucor Athlete Boss!

5 exercises

40 seconds of work

10 seconds of rest

Get to this work! 

Want more inspiration from Boss? Watch him push himself to the limit doing a CrossFit workout with Brooke Wells. Click here for video.

Follow Boss @justtrain 

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By Ron 'Boss' Everline | Mon, Jul 30, 2018

Ep. 1: On the Go x Ron "Boss" Everline ft. Brooke Wells

Brooke Wells, Boss Everline

Here's the first episode of an upcoming series featuring Cellucor Athlete and Fitness Motivator, Ron "Boss" Everline. In this episode, fellow Cellucor Athlete and Competitor, Brooke Wells, challenges Boss to a grueling workout. Is he up for the challenge? Watch the episode to find out!

This series is brought to you by C4 On the Go, for wherever your workout takes you.

 

 

 

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By David Sautter | Mon, Jul 23, 2018

Fat Burning Series: Essential Exercises for Weight Loss

Fat loss on paper is simple: burn more calories than you eat every day. What sounds easy can quickly become overwhelming as you realize there are dozens of exercises per body part to choose from. One of the three pillars of weight loss, exercise, can help to burn excess calories, placing you into that necessary caloric deficit to trigger fat burning.

Let’s take a look at the best exercises for weight loss and the training methodology to follow to maximize caloric expenditure. 

Compound Exercises for Weight Loss

When you want to maximize the number of calories you burn each day, you need exercises that utilize the greatest number of muscle groups. Compound exercises require several muscle groups to work together to execute the movement. As a response, you’ll be burning more calories than you would during an isolation movement.

Compare the squat with the leg extension. Sure, both work the legs, but the squat demands a lot from your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and core. Leg extensions only focus on the quadriceps. Which one do you think burns more calories?

Ten of the best compound exercises you can start with include the following:

  • Squats
  • Romanian Deadlifts
  • Bench press
  • Push-ups
  • Barbell Rows
  • Pull-ups
  • Standing Military Press
  • Plank
  • Superman
  • Burpees

Now that you have your exercises, you’ll need to learn the best way to use them to maximize fat loss.

Change Up the Intensity 

Both weight training and high-intensity cardiovascular training have been shown to be effective at supporting weight loss.

Weight training with compound movements can help to improve muscle connectivity and the working relationship between the upper and lower body. Cardiovascular workouts can improve your endurance, strengthen your heart and lungs, and lower your risk for disease.

Most workout programs separate weight training from cardiovascular workouts, leaving cardio for resting days or the weekend. In order to maximize your fat loss, I would recommend performing a workout that combines both weight-based compound exercises with high-intensity, bodyweight-based cardio exercises.

You’ll be strengthening your muscles and developing lean mass while safely elevating your heart rate into a fat-burning zone. This type of workout will also boost your excess post oxygen consumptions (EPOC) levels, allowing your body to burn even more calories long after you leave the gym.

Hybrid Weight Loss Workout

For beginners, I would recommend performing the following workout three days per week (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). If you have previous experience with similar workouts, you can add a fourth day (e.g., Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday).

The workout will be based on the training methodology of supersets. This is where you will complete one exercise (A) and immediately perform another exercise (B). Only after you’ve completed the second exercise (B) should you take a break of no more than two minutes. Once your break is finished, return to the first exercise. When you’re finished with all three sets, move on to the next pairing of exercises.

We’ll be combining opposing muscle groups so that you can safely perform the secondary exercise without worrying about burnout.

  • A: Barbell Squats: 3 x 12 to 15 repetitions
  • B: Push-ups: 3 x Failure (Do as many as you can with perfect form)
  • A: Romanian Deadlifts: 3 x 12 to 15 repetitions
  • B: Pull-ups: 3 x Failure 
  • A: Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 x 12 to 15 repetitions
  • B: Superman: 3 x Failure
  • A: Barbell Rows: 3 x 12 to 15 repetitions
  • B: Plank: 3 x Failure
  • A: Standing Military Press: 3 x 12 to 15 repetitions
  • B: Burpees: 3 x Failure 

Starting the Workout? Keep Us Updated!

If you’re starting this workout, be sure to let us know how it’s going or if you have any questions. Don’t be afraid to show off your results by submitting before and after pictures.

It’s important to remember that nutrition is the second pillar to fat loss. Check out my next article on the best meals to trigger fat burning.

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