So, can 5 seconds REALLY improve your results?
Seriously, though, 5 seconds can improve your results, whether you're trying to improve your fitness levels, melt away body fat or even build lean, sexy muscle.
Who knew 5 seconds could be so talented?
First, here's how it can give you a serious boost when it comes to your metabolism, post-exercise calorie burn and dropping fat.
One trainee recently cranked out a circuit workout consisting of 5 exercises non-stop (55 total reps per circuit). He did 6 circuits with 45 seconds between circuits.
The total workout took 20 minutes and 1 second. He hit 90% of his max heart rate and his average heart rate for the workout was 75%. He burned 226 calories or 11.3 calories per minute.
He did the same workout two days later but only rested 40 seconds between circuits. Total workout time was 19 minutes and 30 seconds.
He hit 92% of his max heart rate and his average heart rate was 79%. He burned 240 calories or 12.3 calories per minute.
With only 5 seconds less rest between circuits this trainee burned more calories in less time. His calories burned per minute jumped 8.8%.
Based on various studies measuring EPOC (calories burned at rest after a workout) he most likely would also burn more calories post-workout, making the differences even greater.
Once you get past the beginner stage, losing fat, building muscle and improving strength are not nearly as easy as just working out longer or adding weight to the bar on your resistance exercises.
You have to start learning and understanding how different strategies can work to "trick" your body into burning more fat or igniting new muscle growth.
One great way to improve results is to increase the quality of the workout instead if the quantity. This means utilizing density training.
Put simply, density training is the idea of more work in less time.
A fantastic example of this is Vince Gironda's famous 8 x 8 workout. Vince Gironda was a legendary fitness trainer, known as much for getting fantastic results with his clients as he was for outrageous training concepts. Oh, and his client list was a who's who of Hollywood stars and top bodybuilders, like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Simply put, this is 8 sets of 8 reps per set for each exercise with only 15 to 30 seconds rest between sets.
It's pretty brutal and definitely something you can't just jump into unless you've been training for awhile.
It doesn't just trigger muscle growth, but it's a very tough cardio workout as well and will burn a serious amount of calories, both during the workout and after.
Think about it. If you are doing a full body workout and just do one exercise for each of your major body parts, such as legs, back, chest, biceps, triceps and shoulders, you might do as many as forty-eight to sixty-four sets in one workout.
And at most, you will rest only thirty seconds between sets.
That is some real training density.
If you start off with the maximum of 30 seconds of rest between sets and instead of adding weight over time, just work on reducing the rest period to 15 seconds between every set, don't you think the workout will be more intense?
And you'll do a lot more work in less time and ignite new muscle growth, while burning a butt load of calories, too!
There are a lot of ways to increase training density. Shorter rest periods is just one, but it can work wonders.
Another option, especially of all those sets sounds daunting to you, is performing four sets of ten repetitions per set, with thirty seconds of rest between sets.
Each set is NOT taken to failure. You should use a weight that allows you to get about fifteen repetitions but you are only doing ten reps. The first two sets should feel relatively easy.
The third, well, you'll start to feel it. For the fourth, you might not get ten reps, you may fail at only six or seven. That's okay, keep working until you get ten repetitions on all four sets. When you can do that, add a little weight at the next workout.
The same thing works for strength increases.
Let's say you are using the 5 x 5 system with 3 minutes of rest between sets. Eventually you get stuck and can't seem to increase the weight.
You may need a little time off to make sure you aren't over training but lets put that aside for a second.
Instead of trying to increase the weight you can slowly working on reducing the rest time between sets 5 or 10 seconds a time until you get down to resting only 2 minutes between sets.
At this point, you can go back to 3 minute rest periods and slowly add weight to the bar, even if it's only 1 to 2 pounds at a time.
Give these density training strategies a try in your workouts and feel the difference!