Let’s face it, running a business translates into long, hard hours often spent sitting behind a desk, in business meetings, or even traveling. But when you’ve finally decided that you want to make a change in your body composition, whether to boost your health, lose fat, or a combination of both, there’s much more to it than just walking into the gym one day and picking up the nearest weights. If you really want to get the most out of your valuable time at the gym and see dramatic results, here are the top three tips you need to be following.
1. Enhance Your Range of Motion
If your body is accustomed to a relatively sedentary lifestyle and has been functioning at a certain level for the past ten years, don’t expect to step into the gym and start performing at the same level as the people who have been training for years. In fact, one of the worst things you can do for your body is to begin overexerting yourself before you’ve acquired the necessary range of motion and mobility necessary to perform complex and highly demanding activities. Not only can this lead to serious injury, but it also hinders your ability to get the most return on your time at the gym. Simply put, think of it in terms of Risk Vs. Reward. If you are unable to perform even basic movement patterns with a great range of motion and control, the chances of you properly executing the same motion under fatigued state parameters are very low. Risk is too high in this case. You should always aim to master basic movement patterns and fullest available range of motion first, then you can venture into more complex exercises and physically demanding circumstances.
2. Know Your Time under Tension
Once you’ve developed your range of motion, adjusting the tempo of your workouts can have a huge impact on the kind of results you can expect to achieve. Let’s think about this in terms of a squat. One possible way of doing it would be to take one second to lower your body and one more second to return to your starting position. Doing five repetitions at that tempo will then add up to about ten seconds of total work.
If, on the other hand, you perform the same five repetitions, but this time, take five seconds to lower, three to pause at the bottom, and two seconds to get up, you’re doing a total of 50 seconds of work–five times the amount of the first scenario. Due to the length of time your body is forced to work (time under tension), it accumulates large amounts of lactate, which later needs to be “cleared” from the system. This causes your metabolic rate to stay elevated for a significant time after the workout has been completed.
Take home point – a carefully designed program with well thought out variables like time under tension is much more effective for fat loss and changing your body composition than just training without any set parameters.
3. Rely on Rest Periods
The amount of rest you give your body between repetitions and different exercises can also change your fat loss game. This, again, comes down to lactate production. When you give your body what we call an incomplete rest, which is, say, 60 seconds of rest in between 45 to 50 seconds of work, your body will produce a large amount of lactate over consecutive sets. This is what you might recognize as that burning feeling in your muscles when you weight train.
When you give your body a longer rest period in between work, your body will produce much less lactate. Depending on your goals, you may want to shoot for a shorter or longer rest period.
Generally speaking, those looking to lose fat will want shorter rest periods leading to an increased lactate production. The more lactate produced, the greater “metabolic disturbance” this will cause. In this case we are looking for activities and rest periods that would create the biggest “metabolic disturbance” with the lowest risk factors – all leading to faster achievement of your ultimate goal.
The Bottom Line
The key to remember here is that because your body composition, past experiences, health status, and goals are unique to you, you will best benefit from a custom-tailored workout plan designed for your specific needs. Many different factors are in play when it comes to how much you’re going to get out of your time at the gym and what kind of results you can expect to achieve within any given timeframe. At Stark, we’re here to help you reach your maximum potential, optimize fat loss, and reveal a better, stronger, healthier version of yourself.