How to get a great body in the least amount of time possible:
The first thing I want to make perfectly clear to you is that I am first and foremost about health. I want you to look your best-yes, of course.
But what you need to understand is that the first step to doing just that is to get your body in shape on the inside.
If you are new to my blog-welcome! Let me review for you 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. Or taking powdered drink supplements-meaning good, non-GMO, organic powdered fruits and veggies that can be made into a drink. You need to normalize your weight.
You need to get rid of inflammation-usually cumetra (a strong curcumin) plus good omega-3 fish oils will do the trick. And certainly you can start doing 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. You should 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 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.
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 that 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 that the weights are much heavier, and the final repetition is “to fatigue” -meaning that you cannot budge the weight for rep 5 or 6 or 7 and “it burns.”
There is actually some good research on the efficacy of the super slow protocol. Two out of three well done studies showed greater strength gains for those using the heavier weights with the longer eccentric and concentric contraction times.
Note that in all studies, the “control group” used one set, while the super slow group used one set, but “to failure.” Studies have not looked a multi-set versus the one set super slow but “regular single set” gives you 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 worldwide 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 importantly- time efficient way to work out, that they would spend less time per client, making clients spend less money, but also allowing them to train 2 clients at a time and also be able to schedule 2 each 1/2 hour rather than 1 each hour. They were more than eager, they were begging for this. And you know what? So were their clients. And that is why YOU are reading this-you too are sick of spending more time than you need to spend in the gym. 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. 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.
I will tell you that because of the heavy weight and the really 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 and you are sore as heck until the next workout.
My elite trainers found this to be true. And then 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 . But 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, had the same amount of DOMS as they were used to with “regular training”, and had about 80% of the results of the other two groups BUT lost body fat just as fast! No one had injuries but after observing my clientele doing “my workout” for 20 years, I truly feel that this is a much less injury-producing workout than a traditional workout.
The workout: how to get a great body in 3+16 minutes, 3x per week:
You’re loving this, aren’t you? Wait until you try it. Let me give you some “setting it up” tips for yourself. Yes, 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.
Yep 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. Here are some 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.
And most exercises will be with machines, not dumbbells due to set up time and stability. This is a solo workout and 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. Unless you want to more than double your time in the gym which is not what this article is about. If you are not really 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.
Let’s discuss the weights you will use:
In a “normal” workout you are using an amount of weight that you can lift for 12 repetitions, and the 12th is feeling 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. That same calculator can be used to see what weight you would use for a super slow routine, which is done 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 less reps. Important note-inhale and exhale properly when lifting, especially doing workouts as I will describe where your contractions are longer than in a traditional workout.
Let’s discuss equipment:
Most gyms have equipment for 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 has all of these machines and so does Planet Fitness. 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 or if you just add that time on to your workout and don’t blame me!
Regarding technique, I’m giving you 30 seconds between exercises, 1 minute for one set and 5 spare minutes 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 actually reduces your intra-work-out strength and overall outcome.
Here’s the how to get a great body pretty darned efficiently 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-but just know it will take you longer than when you are on a roll with this.
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.
But I like to work inner thighs which most men don’t like to work, but most women do. Same with glutes.
So you’ll see the basic workout with suggested rotations and substitutions. Oh-I almost forgot to tell you the concentric/eccentric “formula.” No worries, I would have caught that.
So, you are used to doing 2 sec concentric contractions (curling up the biceps).
And then a one second pause, 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. 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 better yet-a squat machine. The squat works your glutes a lot better and is a great exercise. Just 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 work-outs 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. Yes 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- just use your normal 70% on this and go to 12 reps on only this ONE muscle group.
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. Those can be added here. If you are a male, you want more upper body and if you want to add, let’s say, incline presses, you need to work them in when we’re doing large muscles. Everyone get it? Last exercise coming.
Abdominals: 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 exactly what 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.”
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-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 and 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.”
I know what it is like to “get trapped” at the gym, but 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, you can still do this workout. You can stop and chat. You can 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. And you’ll really appreciate this new style of training. Do me a favor. When you get results and save time, let me know. That would really make me feel good. Happy training.
Enjoy my “good health for life” book.