How to get a great body in the least amount of time possible:
The first thing I want to make clear to you is that I am first and foremost about health. I want you to look your best, of course.
However, what you need to understand is the first step to doing just that is to get your body in shape from the inside.
If you are new to my blog, I want to say “welcome!” Let me review the steps you need to take to get “healthy inside.”
You need to eat a healthy anti-inflammatory diet. You need to get rid of oxidative stress.
This is accomplished by eating 12-15 servings of fruits and/or vegetables daily or juicing. Another way to achieve this is by taking powdered drink supplements; good, non-GMO, organic powdered fruits and veggies that can be made into a drink. Specifically, you need to normalize your weight.
In addition, you need to get rid of inflammation; usually, cumetra (a strong curcumin) plus good omega-3 fish oils will do the trick. In addition, you can certainly start following the regimen I’m going to discuss while you get your insides in shape.
I’m just saying you’ll see much better results if you accomplish these things either before or at the same time. Things that will help you lose fat and gain lean body mass include the following: eat the best muscle building protein, take the best weight lifting supplements and if you need to lose weight, consider taking non-stimulant metabolism boosting supplements. Now, let’s talk about the basis for my abbreviated workout.
How to get a great body with Super Slow:
Super slow training is a type of weight training that was basically invented by exercise enthusiast Ken Hutchins in 1982. Ken was working (loosely) with Dr. Vincent Bocchicchio on a strength protocol that would be safe for women with osteoporosis. The result of the osteoporosis study was the beginning of a new resistance training technique, which became known as super slow strength training.
As most of you know, in a “standard and accepted” Nautilus training protocol, 8-12 repetitions for a particular body part are performed. Each repetition represents a two-second concentric action (muscle contracting), a one-second pause, and then a four-second eccentric (muscle lengthening) action. The time for the set is about a minute or slightly more.
Super Slow Steps
The super slow protocol is made up of 4-6 repetitions. There is a whopping 10-second concentric phase and then a four-second eccentric phase. This protocol also requires the same time for completion. One advantage of super slow training is it involves less momentum, resulting in a more evenly applied muscle force throughout concentric and eccentric movements.
A disadvantage of this training is that it is known to be both tedious and difficult to do. One of the reasons for this is the weights are much heavier, and the final repetition is “to fatigue.” To clarify, this means that you cannot budge the weight for rep 5 or 6 or 7 and “it burns.”
There is good, quality research on the efficacy of the super slow protocol. In fact, two out of three comprehensive studies show greater strength gains for those using the heavier weights with, the longer eccentric and concentric contraction times.
Note in all studies, the “control group” used one set, while the super slow group used one set, but “to failure.” Studies have not looked at multi-set versus the one set super slow but “regular single set” results in 75% of the gains with a 50% reduction of injuries, according to the majority of studies.
So how do I do your workout, Dr. Kim?
I’ll tell you! But, first, let me give you a little background, so you know that this is scientific. I used to own fitness centers. In fact, I created the medical model that is used by many hospital affiliated health clubs. I advised the largest global fitness consulting firm regarding putting in wellness programs and efficient strengthening programs in their fitness centers and much more. I had many employees and a staff of well trained and eager personal trainers who were willing guinea pigs.
They knew that if they could offer their clients an effective and, equally important, time efficient way to work out, they would spend less time per client and clients would spend less money. As a result, this would allow them to train 2 clients at a time plus schedule 2 each 1/2 hour rather than 1 each hour. They were more than eager; they were begging for this. Do you know what else? So were their clients. That is why YOU are reading this-you too are sick of spending more time than you need to spend in the gym. Am I right?
I had a total of about 10/10/10 of my smart, savvy and in-shape trainers use one of three protocols for 6 weeks. We controlled for weight, diet, and took alcohol out of the equation. Naturally, no one smoked! No one was on any pharmaceuticals or had any illnesses.
They all begrudgingly agreed to forego weight training for an entire month before starting this experiment. We followed body fat, biceps circumference and total weight lifted at the end compared to the beginning.
Groups A, B, & C
Group A did the standard 3 sets per body part and spent the longest amount of time in the gym. Group B did a “bone-crushing” super slow workout.
Due to the heavy weight and slow concentric phase, each time I personally tried a super slow workout, I was so sore; it hurt to breathe, and I am a total jock!
These Group B personal trainers were in the gym for shorter workouts but only needed two per week due to the amount of muscle damage and repair we see with super slow workouts.
Yes, twice a week would be an advantage. But again, it’s grueling during the workouts. Not to mention, you are sore as heck until the next workout. My elite trainers found this to be true.
Group C did “my workout” which I had been experimenting with for a couple of years, in conjunction with the famed Tasso Kiriakes who is a well known super slow expert.
Group A and B had similar results. However, they had complaints.
Group A wanted less time in the gym, and group B said the workouts and after-effects were “killing them.” They felt that their clients would never “go for it.”
Group C was happy about their time in the gym and had the same amount of DOMS as with “regular training.” Further, they had about 80% of the results of the other two groups, but lost body fat just as fast! No one had injuries either. After observing my clientele doing “my workout” for 20 years, I honestly feel this is a much less injury-producing workout than a traditional workout.
How to get a great body in 3+16 minutes, 3x per week:
First, you need to warm up, but who says it must be at the gym? To make this all go smoothly, you will need to see the row in the parking lot that is a good 3 minutes away from the front door of the gym. Your warm-up will be a brisk walk from your car to the gym and if there’s a check in line, keep stepping in place.
So, that’s 3 of the above minutes. You now have a workout that is not more than 11 intense minutes. Get really familiar with your workout as 25 seconds are what is allowed between sets to travel and set weights. The extra five seconds usually goes to the exercise. It’s very cool once you get the hang of it all and it works. So, here are tips to get ready.
You’ll need to seriously know where all pieces of equipment are that you will be using with back up pieces in case your “next step” piece is occupied. This can be a frustrating workout if you go during crowded times so keep that in mind.
Most exercises will be with machines, not dumbbells due to set up time and stability. This is a solo workout. If you have a workout buddy, you both can swap out and do this routine together, but there will be no waiting 2 minutes while the buddy does her/his workout. That is unless you want to more than double your time in the gym which is not the aim of this article. If you are not familiar with gym equipment and don’t know what a 1 rep max is, then I suggest you enlist the help of a personal trainer for 1-3 sessions.
In a “normal” workout you use an amount of weight that you can lift for 12 repetitions. On the 12th rep, the feeling is like “OK, I’m done,” but isn’t to the point where you have pain, and the muscle is totally fatigued. You are working at about 70% of your one rep max. To calculate that, here is a 1 rep max calculator. This same calculator can be used to see what weight you would use for a super slow routine, which you do at about 90% of a one rep max (ouch!).
Use the calculator if you are currently on a “regular regimen” to see what 80% of your one rep max would be-that’s what you use for my workout. You are using more weight because I’m asking you to do fewer reps. Note: Inhale and exhale properly when lifting, especially when doing workouts as I will describe where your contractions are longer than in a traditional workout.
Most gyms have the following equipment: a lat pull down, a chest press, an incline and decline chest press, a leg press or (even better) a squat machine, a posterior delt machine, a lateral delt machine, a calf raise machine, a biceps and triceps machine, “innies and outies” meaning inner and outer thighs machines and a glute kick-back machine. They also have abdominal crunch machines, but I prefer that you use perfect form and just “crunch away.”
LA Fitness and Planet Fitness have all of these machines. You can use dumbbells if you want for lateral delts, biceps, and triceps if you don’t need to travel 3 minutes across the gym. Otherwise, you can just add that time onto your workout and don’t blame me!
Regarding technique, I’m giving you 1 minute for one set and 30 seconds between exercises.Those 5 spare minutes include time for fumbling with weight stack pins and finding the free weights you need. The point of this whole workout is to “keep moving” while alternating upper and lower body parts, so you don’t fatigue out 1/2 of your body.
You want to have a heart rate that is “up” (about 60-65%-max of 220-your age), but you do not want to get winded as this is not a real circuit workout which reduces your intra-work-out strength and overall outcome.
The Basic Workout:
Warm up with your 3-minute brisk walk into the gym. Be dressed and ready to rock and roll. Hang your keys up on the rack and get going to the lat pull down machine. Know your routine so well that you can substitute upper big with another upper big muscle group or a lower big with same, or upper small with same and so on.
If you get stuck, drop and do abs. Unless you are experimenting, know your weights before you start so you are not “fumbling.” If you are experimenting the first few times, that is totally fine. However, be aware it will take you longer than when you are on a roll with this.
So, you will be starting with either a large upper body group or a large lower body group-it’s your choice. You will alternate upper and lower body exercises. You will work from large to small muscle groups. When you are really familiar with “your routine”, switch it up.
The “substitutions” you are given are to replace the stated exercise with another one to use in rotation with the original exercise as you watch your body and “see what’s needed.”
As an example, men generally need more calf-work than do women. I think it’s the use of high heels, myself. I don’t even work my calves at all; they got huge running track and have never gotten to the point where they need work.
I like to work inner thighs which most men don’t like to work, but most women do. The same goes for glutes.
I’ll reveal the basic workout below with suggested rotations and substitutions. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you the concentric/eccentric “formula.” No worries, I would have caught that.
Concentric and Eccentric Contractions
You are used to doing 2 sec concentric contractions (curling up the biceps). Next, a 1 second pause follows. Then, 4 seconds lowering the bar or dumbbell (eccentric contractions).
What I would like you to do is take 4 seconds up (concentric) and 5 seconds down.
Count in your head to make sure you are doing this. By rep 8 (eight is the absolute end, not twelve) you should only be able to lift it with great effort. In rep 9, you can barely lift it. You can do 6-8 reps per exercise. This routine is not to total failure but to near-failure. Clear? If not, just message me. Watch your form, too. Doing an exercise with bad form will get you nowhere but fast.
Lat pull downs
Leg press or a squat machine (better); The squat works your glutes a lot better and is a great exercise. Don’t squat past a 90-degree angle with your knees. If you are a runner or have any signs of arthritis in your knees, don’t even go down to 90-degrees.
Chest press; Alternate workouts can substitute an incline or decline press. Watch your body symmetry and adjust accordingly.
Leg extensions; This is another one to range limit if you have any knee issues.
Posterior delts; Most of these machines also work other small muscles on the posterior rotator cuff, so this is an early small muscle group to beat the fatigue.
Hamstring curls; Range limit as needed.
Back extension; This is a large muscle, but due to heavier than normal weights sometimes being problematic, I do NOT want you lifting this at an 80% one rep max. Use your normal 70% on this and go to 12 reps on this ONE muscle group.
Calf raises or Biceps or “Your Choice”
Biceps or “Your Choice”
Your last exercise (other than abs) is biceps unless you want to add the “your choice” exercise here. If you do that, you either tack on a minute or you sequentially leave out one of the above exercises. What’s a minute, anyway? If you’re a female, you’ll want to add inner or outer thighs, (can alternate) or perhaps the glute machine. If you are a male, you likely want to add more upper body. Also, if you want to add, let’s say, incline presses, you need to work them in when we’re doing large muscles. Does everyone get it?
Don’t do the seated crunch and don’t try to use the one where you hang and pull up your knees-almost everyone uses that to work their psoas muscles, not their abdominals. This is one exercise where you need to put a hand on your belly and feel the area you are working. I am a “well done crunch” fan. Work up to 100. Do them correctly. Don’t strain your neck, for goodness sakes. This is a frequent “form issue” for many “crunchers.”
To conclude, if you do this three times per week for a month to six weeks you will see the difference. Check body fat before and after. Notably, there will be more muscle, less fat. Increase your weights as you get stronger just as you would doing a “regular” workout. Don’t speed up the workout. Also, don’t get chatty and slow it down unless you want to have me change the title of this to: “How to get a great body in less than an hour per week unless you are chatty in which case it could take 3 hours.”
To point out, I know what it is like to “get trapped” at the gym. However, I also learned that wearing an IPOD with headphones and nodding “hello” to people took care of that problem. I am not someone who goes to the gym to socialize.
If you are, though, you can still do this workout. You can stop and chat; do this however you want to do it.
If you are like me-always short on time-you will want to get in and out. You’ll also really appreciate this new style of training. Please, do me a favor too. When you get results and save time, let me know! That would really make me feel good. Happy training.
Lastly, enjoy my “good health for life” book.