Tag Archives: effective workout

How Long Should Your Workout Take?

28 Dec

high-intensity-training[1]There are lots of workout routines that boast the ability to deliver results with just a few minutes of exercise per day.  Conversely, there are others that claim you’ll need to spend hours in the weight room to improve strength, muscle endurance, etc.

Here’s the deal: There’s no specific amount of time definitively associated with measurable progress, as it relates to strength and fitness.  Inadequate training time won’t deliver results, and too-long workouts can jeopardize performance, as well.

Don’t focus on the duration of your workout, because it’s not nearly as important as the quality of your workout.  Rather, you should identify your training goals and direct your attention to two aspects of your training:

  • The intensity level of your workout — how much stress it imposes on your body
  • The recovery time your workout requires — how much rest you need/allow between exercises and sets

The intensity level of your workout is determined by factors such as the amount of weight you lift, the speed at which you lift it, and the number of repetitions and sets.

Generally, higher intensity training requires longer recovery times between exercises and sets.

Although there’s no ideal amount of time, many strength and conditioning experts believe that 45-60 minutes should be an adequate amount of time for an effective, efficient, and focused workout.

Please see related articles, The Fallacy of Workout Duration, and How Long Should You Rest Between Exercises and Sets

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Here’s Why You Should Train With Supersets

17 Jun
Barbell Bench Press

Barbell Bench Press

Seated Cable Row

Seated Cable Row

Supersets are a workout strategy in which you perform sets of two different exercises back-to-back with little or no rest.  They are a great time-saver, and can make your workout more efficient and effective.

Generally, supersets are used for opposing muscle groups, such as chest (e.g., bench press) and back (e.g., row), so that one muscle group can recover while you train the other one, thereby reducing the time needed to rest. These types of supersets are referred to as agonist-antagonist paired sets (or, push-pull sets), since they work opposing muscle groups.  This is an approach we favor at our facility.

Recently the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that subjects who performed leg extension and leg curl supersets also performed better.  In fact, they completed more reps on the leg extension when the leg curl was done immediately beforehand than when done alone, despite getting no rest in between lifts.  Furthermore, when the subjects did rest, even up to 30 seconds, they completed significantly fewer reps and were shown to be activating less muscle in their quads.

Here’s the rationale behind the effectiveness of supersets: Working an antagonistic muscle group increases the nervous system’s activation of the agonist.  In this case, training the hamstrings enabled the quads to work better.  Straight sets (doing a set of one exercise, resting, and repeating) probably have their place when you’re going heavy (although at our facility, we also superset heavy sets), but supersets can boost your workout effectiveness and efficiency.

This is an example of a few of our paired exercise supersets we use at Athletic Performance Training Center:

  • Squat + Glute-Ham Raise
  • Bench Press + Row
  • Shoulder Press + Lat Pulldown

If you need extra time to recover from high-intensity sets of exercises such as the squat or bench press, by all means perform those exercises by themselves.  Then perform your assistance exercises as supersets.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

How Long Should Your Workout Take?

25 Sep

high-intensity-training[1]There are lots of workout routines that boast the ability to deliver results with just a few minutes of exercise per day.  Conversely, there are others that claim you’ll need to spend hours in the weight room to improve strength, muscle endurance, etc.

Here’s the deal: There’s no specific amount of time definitively associated with measurable progress, as it relates to strength and fitness.  Inadequate training time won’t deliver results, and too-long workouts can jeopardize performance, as well.

Don’t focus on the duration of your workout, because it’s not nearly as important as the quality of your workout.  Rather, you should direct your attention to two aspects of your training:

  • The intensity level of your workout — how much stress it imposes on your body
  • The recovery time your workout requires — how much rest you need/allow between exercises and sets

The intensity level of your workout is determined by factors such as the amount of weight you lift, the speed at which you lift it, and the number of repetitions and sets.

Generally, higher intensity training requires longer recovery times between exercises and sets.

Although there’s no ideal amount of time, many strength and conditioning experts believe that 45-60 minutes should be an adequate amount of time for an effective, efficient, and focused workout.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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