This program is not new, but my guess is that you haven't seen anyone go through it at your gym or fitness club. There's a reason for that and the reason is it is hard work - very hard work. But, you only get out of something what you put into it, or as someone once said, 'successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people won't." If you want to be ordinary, do ordinary things, if you want to be extra-ordinary, well, that's a whole new ball game.
Let's Be Extra-Ordinary, Shall We?
This routine is usually called the 3 x 3 workout and the simple reasoning for that is that you perform three exercises in a row, three times without stopping.
Yes, that's nine sets in a row without stopping. But that's all you do for the workout and then you can go home. And it's a full body workout so it's as time efficient as it gets. Of course, it's also about as hard as a weight workout gets. This isn't your grandparent's circuit training routine.
There are a number of variations you can do but the key is to select three exercises that target the whole body. So you will want multi-joint compound movements that target the lower body, the chest and the back.
A few examples are the leg press, bench press, and the curl grip lat pulldown*. You would do each exercise without stopping and repeat three times. In other words you would do the following without stopping:
Leg Press, Bench Press, Pulldown,
Leg Press, Bench Press, Pulldown,
Leg Press, Bench Press, Pulldown.
* Regular grip shown, curl grip is reversed.
Make sure you use a curl grip on the pulldown due to the more direct biceps hit from the exercise.
Now, when you begin, you may want to try a 30 second rest interval between each set. High Intensity training in this manner is brutal, but you get out of it what you put into it so be prepared to go through the whole routine without stopping as soon as you possibly can.
|Leg Press||20, 15, 8||3|
|Bench Press||12, 10, 8||3|
|Pulldown||12, 10, 8||3|
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Keep the weights the same until you hit the target repetitions on the 3rd and final set.
Try starting out by doing this program twice per week. Those really interested in burning fat may want to throw one interval training aerobics session in between the two weight workouts, but no more.
As you really start progressing you may find you get better results working this routine 3 times every two weeks. For example, during the first week do the workout on monday and friday and next week only do it on wednesday.
If you work it right, this is as demanding a routine as you will do. That's the main reason you never see anyone performing this routine. After a couple break in workouts you shouldn't do this routine for more than 4 weeks, 6 weeks max, before downshifting the intensity for a week or so.
The workouts are short, but very taxing. If you tried to adopt this type of workout at every workout, you'd eventually start dreading your workouts, then giving them a half hearted effort, then skipping them altogether. And no matter how result producing a routine is, it can't produce results if you stop training, right?
What's So Special About This Routine?
Now, what's so special about this routine? A few things, really. It makes sure you increase the intensity of your workout, which is a key to muscle growth. By cramming more into a shorter amount of time your intensity increases greatly over what you were doing previously.
By shortening the workout so much, you are more likely to go all out on each set because you won't be pacing yourself for a silly two hour workout. If you've been doing a routine with a decent amount of volume and numerous workouts per week, this will be a change and your intensity levels will skyrocket, spurring your body into new growth.
On the fat burning side, the routine will elevate your heart rate, giving you a good cardio workout. Believe me, if you do the typical cardio routine of most gym goers, this weight workout will be more of a cardio workout than you are used to.
You will burn more calories during the actual routine. In addition, due to the intensity level your body's metabolism will stay elevated long after the workout, burning more calories at rest, and helping to melt the bodyfat away.
Numerous studies have shown that high intensity training (both weight training and high intensity interval cardio training) can keep your metabolism elevated for up to 38 hours after your workout is over. In other words, train intensely enough, and you'll be burning fat while doing nothing. Not a bad deal, for a brief period of working hard.
This workout should only take about 20 minutes, maybe slightly longer with a few warm up sets. And you'll be doing it only 2 times a week or less, 3 times max, and only the first week or two when you are breaking it in. And the workout will build muscle, burn fat and rev your metabolism to much higher levels, throwing you headfirst toward the body you want.