Optimum Performance Workout:
Build Muscle, Lose Fat, and Increase Power and Strength
Workout crazes come and go. Most have little or no scientific justification, but many bring results anyway. The question is, do the results reflect your efforts, and do the programs help you reach your goals? Muscles are highly adaptable, so almost any program that stresses the muscles will cause some improvements in muscle tone, strength, and shape. Often, hard work in the health club does not produce enough results to justify the effort. High-speed training brings rapid results, and we have the science to prove it. The Optimum Performance Workout uses a combination of high-stress weight training exercises to build strength and explosive movements, to build power. It also turns on hormone systems that trigger muscle protein synthesis and promote fat loss instead of fat storage.
An effective weight-training program should create high levels of muscle tension. High speed, explosive training overloads the fibers and creates more muscle tension than any other form of training, yet few people incorporate it into their exercise programs. High-speed training can cause injury if you progress too rapidly. Start off with light weights and progress slowly. Also, incorporate all the elements of a healthy lifestyle that promote physical fitness, including healthy diet, stress management, adequate sleep, and a sensible exercise program that doesn’t promote overtraining. High-speed explosive training is a scientific breakthrough that will bring rapid results and help you achieve optimum performance.
Explosive Training Turns on Your Inner Fat-Burner
Muscle is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body. The more muscle you have, the more calories you use during the day and night. Muscle is also important for using calories during and after exercise. Building muscle mass is an important way to increase metabolism, burn more calories, and lose fat. Intense weight training builds muscle and cuts fat. Since muscle is more dense than fat, your body looks toned and buff.
Lifting weights will increase muscle mass and burn more calories. Don't be a wimp. Train intensely and explosively during each set and repetition. This will build metabolically-active muscles that will help you burn more calories and fat. Hard work will bring you closer to your goal.
The Optimum Performance Workout
The training program includes high-intensity weight training, explosive exercises, high-intensity interval training, and aerobics. The explosive weight-training program includes traditional exercises, such as squats and bench presses, each followed immediately by high-speed power exercises.
East German and Soviet coaches developed the technique of pairing muscle overload exercises with unloaded explosive exercises (e.g., plyo box jumps, Marine push-ups, rope skipping) in the 1970s. Do each pair of exercises without rest; rest two minutes; do the next pair of exercises, etc. Do this workout two times per week. On two other days per week, do a high-intensity interval training workout. We have described a sample program and included exercise instructions. Warm up for at least two minutes before doing any of these workouts.
The Optimum Performance Workout Exercises
For the weight training exercises, choose a weight that you can lift for 6-8 reps with some difficulty. Do 6 reps for each exercise as fast and explosively as possible, followed immediately by the plyometric or speed exercises, also done at maximum speed. For example, the first set of exercises involves heavy squats, followed immediately by maximum-intensity rope skipping for 1 minute. Rest for 2 minutes, then do the next pair of exercises. Perform each exercise rapidly and explosively, while maintaining good form and posture. Do the Optimum Performance Workout 2 times per week (e.g., Monday and Friday).
Exercises (Sets X Repetitions): Do the following circuit 1-3 times.
Squats (1 X 6; max weight; lift weight as fast as you can)
– Rope skipping (1 minute)
– 2-minute rest
Dumbbell front squats (1 X 6; max weight; lift weight as fast as you can)
– High knee, fast arms (30-60 seconds, max effort)
– 2-minute rest
Bench press (1 X 6; max weight; lift weight as fast as you can)
– Marine (clap) push-ups (1 X 10 as fast as possible)
– 2-minute rest
Standing press (1 X 6; max weight; lift weight as fast as you can)
– Plyo box jumps (1 X 10; jump as fast as you can)
– 2-minute rest
Pull-ups (1 X 6; with weights if possible; do exercise explosively)
– Kettlebell swings (1 X 10)
– 2-minute rest
Bicycle exercise (1 X 10; do exercise explosively while maintaining a neutral spine)
– 2-minute rest before repeating circuit (if appropriate for your fitness level)
High-Intensity Interval Training
The treadmill is the best exercise machine for building aerobic capacity and burning fat. HIT on the treadmill involves running or walking for 30 to 60 seconds at maximum effort followed by slow walking or rest. Increase the exercise intensity by walking or running faster and raising the treadmill grade. Use the built-in programmer— if available— because it will automatically change the speed and elevation of the treadmill during the workout. You can substitute sprints on a running track, elliptical trainer, or stationary bike for variety. Practice HIT two days per week.
HIT Treadmill Walking Program
Getting in shape for the HIT treadmill walking program: Begin by walking at a brisk pace that you can manage easily. For example, set the treadmill speed at 3 mph and the elevation at a 0 percent grade and walk for 2 minutes. Then, raise the elevation to 10 percent and walk for 1 minute. Return to a 0 percent grade and walk for another minute. Alternate between walking at a 0 percent or 10 percent grade each minute for a total of 10 minutes. Gradually increase the time and intensity of exercise. Begin the HIT walking program when you can walk briskly for 20-60 minutes without stopping.
The HIT walking program involves walking repeated high-speed intervals for 60 seconds at 100 percent of maximal effort with 4 minutes rest between exercises (complete rest or slow walking). Adjust the speed and elevation of the treadmill to achieve maximum exercise intensity.
HIT Treadmill walking
Time per Interval
|60 seconds (adjust speed or grade for maximum effort)||100 percent maximum effort||8-12 repetitions||4 minutes light
exercise or rest
HIT Treadmill Running Program
Getting in shape for the HIT treadmill running program: Run on the treadmill for 30-45 seconds, and then walk for 30-60 seconds. Gradually, increase running time and decrease walking time until you can run continuously for 20-30 minutes without rest. Try to run at a fast pace. You can begin the HIT treadmill running program immediately if you have been running regularly.
HIT Treadmill Running
Time per Interval
|30-45 seconds (adjust speed or grade for maximum effort)||100 percent maximum effort||6-10 repetitions||4 minutes slow walking or rest between repetitions|
Aerobics: Treadmill Walking or Running
Aerobics are important for losing gut fat. Walk or run on the treadmill for 30 to 60 minutes, 2 to 4 times per week. Exercise at a pace you can comfortably carry on a conversation or train at your target heart rate. Heart rate is a good measure of exercise intensity.
Determining your target heart rate: First, estimate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For example, the predicted maximum heart rate for a 20-year-old is 200 beats per minute (220-20 = 200). Try to exercise between 60 to 90 percent of maximum heart rate. This range of heart rates, called the target heart rate zone, corresponds to an increased metabolic rate that produces positive changes in fitness. Calculate target heart rate range by multiplying the maximum heart rate first by 0.6 and then by 0.9. These two heart rates represent the upper and lower limits of the ideal exercise intensity. Exercise heart rates vary greatly, so use this as a general guide.
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