Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The Three Pillars of Training: What an Efficient Fitness Workout Looks Like

Exercise pioneer Arthur Jones once said, “A workout can be hard, or a workout can be long. There is no such thing as a long, hard workout.”

In progressive resistance training, there are three important pillars: Intensity (how hard you train), Frequency (how often you train) and Volume (how much you train in a single workout). 

In the last few blogs we’ve covered intensity of effort and the need for proper recovery. Today, let’s look at volume in relation to intensity, and why it makes it possible for clients to obtain outstanding results in such little time.

Simply put, intensity necessitates brevity, so the brief workouts at Efficient Fitness aren’t just a selling point, they are a requirement.

If you are properly executing a slow-moving weight training protocol, the muscle fatigue is so great that five or six compound movements involving multiple muscles and multiple joints will honestly be about all you can withstand. After 15-20 minutes of locally-intense muscle failure, you will be begging to be finished.

When I tell people about the brief workouts we give at Efficient Fitness, most people are understandably skeptical of the short duration. The problem is, even the most experienced self-starting trainees are exercising nowhere near the intensity necessary to optimize their workouts, both for time efficiency and for the best results.

If you only view exercise through the lens of your own previous experience, of course five or six exercises won’t be enough. But if you experience a workout at Efficient Fitness, it will not only become abundantly clear that it is more than enough, you might be trying to sneak out the door before we finish the leg press!

For efficiency’s sake, we use what’s called “The Big 5.” A full-body routine composed of 

five major compound movements that covers virtually the entire skeletal musculature from head to toe. These movements include horizontal pushing and pulling, vertical pushing and pulling and a compound leg movement:

  • Compound Row (upper back, biceps)
  • Chest Press (chest, triceps)
  • Pullover (Upper Back, triceps, abdomen)
  • Overhead Press (Shoulders, triceps)
  • Leg Press (Quadriceps, hamstrings, calves)

Someone in a typical gym environment working on just one muscle group at a low intensity might spend 50-60 minutes and 10-15 exercises, barely raise their heart rate and end up with little to no results. 

Instead, focusing on recruiting and fatiguing large swaths of muscle tissue allows the trainee to generate much more fatigue more quickly, as well as get an outstanding metabolic stimulation.

If you want to learn more about why a low volume, high intensity workout can give you all the benefits of exercise in a fraction of the time of “traditional” training, call 425-214-2251 or email matt@efficient-fitness.com to book your complimentary session.