Florida is a coastal paradise where beautiful beaches and beautiful bodies are the norm. Come March, everyone wants to shed the pounds they gained over the winter holidays and things really pick up at our facility, the Institute of Human Performance (www.ihpfit.com). AT IHP, the New Year's Resolution is not the big priority, but the hard body for Spring Break and summer parties is.
In today's busy and instant society, everyone wants the hard body, but few have the time, facility, equipment and know-how to get what they want in the least amount of time. Being the director of IHP, many of the hard cases end up at the door of my office. Whether it is a figure competitor fine tuning her body for the bathing suite rounds, a professional athlete getting lean and mean for competition, or a fitness client looking to get rid of the perennial 10 pounds, everyone wants to get lean and hard quick! Servicing our diverse and demanding clientele has allowed us to develop some of the most cutting edge routines in the fitness industry. This article will feature a few of our miracle protocols that take about 10-15-minutes to complete and produce unbelievable results.
Standard bodybuilding protocols work moderate constant loads, over a full range of motion (ROM), at slow speed. The whole idea with bodybuilding is to keep the muscle under load for a prolonged period of time, thus the load and volume of work are the stimulus for muscle growth. Our approach to training is much more dynamic and concentrated. Bodybuilding gets its loads from eliminating momentum; we get ours from speed and momentum. We hypothesize that the speed and high volume of movement stimulate and overwhelm the type IIa fibers and eventually call on new IIb fibers. These type II fibers the ones responsible for strength and are more susceptible to grow in size. The highly metabolic nature of these protocols also has a positive impact on testosterone and growth hormone; two hormones that great influence muscle size and fat utilization, respectable. Bodybuilding uses the constant mass of weight for its resistance; we will be using the variable resistance of bands and the constant mass of our body's weight. When moderate loads and constant mass as the resistance for muscle strength and hypertrophy training, it must be moved slowly. Otherwise, the momentum sends the weight flying and the muscle no longer sees a resistance, even when using cables. When working with bands one can work at very high speeds and still keep the muscles loaded through the entire ROM being trained. Therefore, the variable resistance of a band is perfect stimulus for high speed and continuous loading. Additionally, when properly applied, variable resistance can provide more work over the complete ROM. When properly used, bands can accommodate the variable lever arm of any exercise. As the biomechanical leverage of a muscle gets stronger through the ROM, the band can be used to provide more resistance at that angle. Nautilus and Universal spent hundreds of thousands of dollars developing this technology in the 1960s and they still use it now. The legendary Westside Barbell powerlifters also use the concept of variable resistance, using chains and bands, to enhance their strength and dominate the powerlifting world.
Bodybuilding gets its volume from the slow movement and moderate rep range (i.e. time under tension over 10-15 repetitions). Using my metabolic (Meta) training approach, the volume comes from high repetitions (i.e. 50-90 reps) of fast movements, with constant variable resistance. Since power can be defined as work divided by time or a force time speed, there are several ways to increase power output. Increasing the amount of work done in a given time, or doing the same amount of work in less time, will increase power output. Moving moderate loads at very high speed will also increase power. Why power is so important to muscle quality and performance, is still a question that is being investigated? However, when comparing high power animals to slow strong animals, it is clear that high - power training provides aesthetic and performance qualities we all prefer. Just look at a quarter horse, a draft horse, and a long distance thoroughbred. Also, look at a sprinter and a marathon runner or a strongman. Which of physical and performance characteristics do you want?
The highly metabolic nature of these protocols produces high amount of lactic acid, which in turns creates a cascade of hormonal adaptations that lead to fast fat loss and muscle growth. The concentrated, intense, and dynamic nature of my Meta protocols work on the big, fast twitch fibers (i.e. IIa and we hypothesize IIb). This is very important since these are the fibers that have the best potential for growth, and they are the ones that count in the moment of truth (i.e. during explosive events). The cardiovascular benefits are also beyond anything we have seen; you will be able to dominate the weekend pick-up games and run your friends down in the second hour of play. The prolonged exercise time (e.g. some of the progressions of the JC Leg Cranks require 164 reps in about 3 non-stop minutes), and speed of movement, gets your heart pounding to almost 200 beats per minutes, so the cardio is no problem. These protocols will definitely change your mind about doing treadmill work to get in shape.
My Meta protocols provide concentrated work for specific muscle systems. Although we also have various total body protocols, we want to share our "integrated isolation" routines. This means that the protocol will focus on one muscle group, but the exercises will be performed in positions that allow other related muscle systems to receive functional benefit. Now, let's get to the actual programs.
There are many ways to structure your weekly program, and all will work to some degree. I like to exercise frequently, throughout the week instead of doing everything in one day and taking off the rest of the week. Using this approach, we will use the following weekly schedule.