If you are like most people there is never enough time in the day.
Each day we wake up and from the minute our foot hits the ground we are go, go, go. We all understand that working out and eating healthy is an important part of our day but it seems almost impossible to fit it all in.
Right now in our current world the average individual is overworked, over-stressed and probably overstretched as well by you current job.
Over the past 5 years I have been using a style of training that allows me to get quick but extremely powerful workouts done in anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my 1 hour training sessions. Sometimes I need something quicker that will still leave me feeling like I actually did something to move myself forward.
I started using complexes and circuits pretty frequently in my training. I even did a beta study 2 years back. We ran an 8 week transformation using only complexes and circuits. The results were just as good as our 1 hour training sessions.
We even helped Danny lose 100 pounds in less than 8 months using these complexes and circuits.
In this weeks “Metabolic Monday” we are breaking down
• The difference between a circuit and a complex
• How you should use them in training
• How many reps and how long you should rest
• Why these work so well versus traditional cardio
• My favorite equipment choice when using these workouts
What is a Complex?
A complex is a series of exercises done in order without putting the weight down. Example would be taking 4 exercises (Deadlift, Row, Squat & Press) and doing a certain amount of reps before moving on to the next one.
You would do 8 Deadlifts, 8 Rows, 8 Squats and 8 Overhead Presses in that order without stopping or putting the weight down.
Seems challenging right? These are great for cardio because they use a lot of time under tension. The longer you hold the weight, the harder your heart works. The harder the heart works, the more cardio you are getting.
What is a Circuit?
A circuit is a series of exercises done with a direct pause in between each exercise. They don’t all have to be done with the same equipment. Often you might see a person do a mountain climber for 20 seconds followed by a 10 second rest. Then do 20 seconds of pushups followed by more rest.
Circuits are great for beginners because they allow you to build up your conditioning. The better your conditioning gets the less rest periods you need.
When should you use these types of workouts?
If you are a beginner, you can do these 3 to 4 days a week and get tremendous results. Using body weight exercises or light kettle bells are a great way to build some baseline strength.
If you are a little more advanced then these become conditioning workouts in between your strength training days. You can use these at the end of your workout for a metabolic finisher or when you are short on time and just need to get 10 to 20 minutes of conditioning done.
Reps & Sets
I usually like to keep these simple. You only need about 3 to 5 rounds of these complexes or circuits. Too much conditioning can really tax your nervous system and mess with your hormones causing recovery to take a beating.
Complexes – Shoot for 5 to 10 reps for 3 to 5 sets. The heavier the weight is, the lower you want the reps to be. Higher reps should be done
with a quick tempo. If you are looking to preserve muscle stay with the lower rep scheme but if your goal is to burn fat…hit the higher reps.
Circuits – We usually use timed circuits or density. Timed circuits 30 on 30 off is a good starter. You can move it to 30 on 20 off once your conditioning improves. Advanced circuits can go 40 to 60 seconds long but even with advanced students, things get sloppy.
Density circuits are set on reps in a time period. Every exercise might have 12 reps each and for 10 minutes you want to finish as many rounds of each that you can.
These work so much better than cardio because, unlike traditional cardio there is an after burn effect. Due to the intensity of the training and constant need for regulation (homeostasis) in the body. The heart rate goes up and down throughout the entire workout tapping out muscle glycogen in the process.
After the workout is over you force your body to be insulin sensitive. Everything you eat will be shuttled right to the cells for stored energy.
This is why the post workout meal is so crucial.
You might be thinking that you need a lot of equipment to get started right? Wrong you can use Kettle Bells just like in the video below. We use these circuits with just body weight. The object is to be creative.
7 Reasons Why You Won’t Fit Into Your Skinny Jeans
If you are anything like most women, you have your clothes broken down into 3 different categories:
Clothes that you refuse to throw away with hopes to one day wear them proud.
The clothes that you wear when you have put on a few holiday pounds
The clothes that you wear on a regular basis but you absolutely hate.
When it is time for a social event, party or maybe the big day we find the deep external motivation to shed the extra size and fit into that first category of clothing. Our skinny wear! The only problem is we wait and wait until finally we run out of time and we need to do something immediately. Instead of chipping away at it over time, we are forced to do something drastic.
“I am only doing this to get the first couple off and then I will work on my nutrition.”
We find a fad diet, cleanse or a challenge that has a start and end date and we hope to drop those pounds by going all in to a strict workout and nutrition regimen. Hopping on the scale each and every morning hoping to see that bad boy drop.
Think about all the wasted money on supplements that you know are risky to put in your body but you do it anyway. You don’t exactly trust it but at this point you are desperate for something to finally work.
When the scale reads lower than the day before the day is set. But god forbid the scale does not move; it can be the final blow to your confidence and completely destroy your day. Even worse the scale goes up and you quit completely.
Maybe you have tried diets or quick fix programs in the past and they have worked. Usually you lose some weight and inches but it stops working after a while. Usually you gain that weight back and find yourself in that other category of clothes in the closet.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can rock the jeans or that little black dress. You can wear clothes that make you feel sexy, confident, beautiful and know that all eyes are on you when you walk into a room.
The solution is simple. Identify the limiting factor (which we have done for you below) and create a new future. A future where you are confident, strong and beautiful. A future where you finally throw out the “fat: clothes and start wearing the “skinny” clothes you have had stowed away in the closet for years.
Here are 7 Reasons why those skinny jeans will remain out of reach & what you should do to change that outcome so that you can be Strong, Sexy & Sporty.
1.) Poor Body Image Issues
Every day women are reminded that they need to lose weight. You turn on the TV and boom here is this beautiful, thin woman who just looks perfect. She looks happy and confident and only if you could look like that would you be happy, right? Wrong!!??
The average woman wears a size 14 and is 162 pounds. You will never see her on TV or showing off the newest trendy clothes. Instead you are forced to shop in the plus size area. Women are reminded on a regular basis by a backwards society that you have to be small to be accepted .
2009 Los Angeles Times Article titled “Fashion’s Invisible Woman.”
“When it comes to shopping, the average American man has it made. At 189.8 pounds and a size 44 regular jacket, he can wear Abercrombie & Fitch, American Apparel or Armani. Department stores, mall retailers and designer boutiques all cater to his physique – even when it’s saddled with love handles, a sagging chest or a moderate paunch. In menswear, schlubby is accommodated. But the average US woman, who is 162.9 pounds and wears a size 14, is treated like an anomaly by apparel brands and retailers – who seem to assume that no one over size 10 follows fashion’s capricious trends.”
This is the first obstacle you must overcome. It is important to understand that the percentage of women who are below a size 10 is extremely low. It is okay to want to drop a size or two but feeling like you have to will only add pressure and make the task that much harder. Instead of thinking about looking skinny, you have to switch your mindset to Strong & Sporty.
2.) Diets Never Work
We use this term all too often in our society. “I’m going on a diet.” That just sounds terrible. When I think of diet, I picture celery, rice cakes and carrots. Now a days everyone has a new diet or cleanse program guaranteed to help you drop 10 pounds.
Dropping pounds is much different from losing fat. Diets usually restrict a macro nutrient group like less fat or less carbs. Your body will start to lose some pounds from loss of water weight, or worse, losing muscle mass leaving you looking flabby and soft.
After losing muscle mass, your body’s metabolism will slow down, causing you to burn less calories per day. Less calories per day means that you will gain more fat in the long run. This is why most people will yo-yo.
The first step to a successful diet is to change your mindset to fueling your body. You have to start eating real meals each day. Instead of snacking, focus on cooking food. Avoid processed meats, refined sugars and most of all dairy. Eating 3 meals per day with a palm size serving of protein, a fist serving of veggies cooked in healthy fats is plenty enough to change your body for the better. Limiting carbs can also help but for now just think starchy carbs after or around workouts to see the best success in fat loss.
3.) Poor Relationship With Food
In Rachael Cosgrove’s book titled “Drop Two Sizes,” she sited a study done by the University of North Carolina. Three out of every four women between the ages 25 and 45 report having disordered eating behaviors.
Because of this bad relationship with food, women tend to be prime picking for quick fixes and fad diets. There is a huge market for the so called “Magic Pill.”
The reality is, for women to see sustainable body composition changes it is important to take a long term approach to habit changes. Trying to overhaul your nutrition in one month will lead to you causing the yo-yo to continue to happen time and time again.
Habit changes take time so starting small and looking to work on one aspect will actually be enough to see real changes take place in your body. At TFW South Jersey we use a Nutrition Core 4 System. It breaks it down into small chunks to make it easy to focus on the weakest link of the four.
Usually the average person is deficient in either vitamins and minerals, healthy dietary fats, water/hydration and adequate lean protein. By adjusting just one category you will see a change of 5 to 10 pounds of body fat over the course of 4 to 6 weeks.
4.) Lack of Self Confidence
You may have failed at dieting in the past. According to the numbers above it is actually very likely that you did. Failing at dieting can really lower your confidence. You might begin to tell yourself that it is impossible or that you can’t do it.
We usually see people succeeding only to self-sabotage once they are actually getting close to their goal. We often fear failure, but we also fear success just as much. What if losing the weight does not fix the problem? What if once we lose the weight we discover there is another issue keeping us from being happy?
The minute we start thinking what if, our mind and body begin to make the possibility go away. Meaning we will never have to find out “what if”, and we can go back to being where we were. At least if we go back to where we were it will be comfortable until the next time we see a picture of ourselves or get winded running up the stairs.
In order to build real confidence and completely transform our lifestyles, we need to learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable. This will not be an easy road but you will feel accomplished in the end once the work has been put in. Training and taking control of your life builds confidence. If you want to feel empowered, you have to start taking action to create that possibility.
5.) Lack of Support Systems
One night I was at the bar for a friend’s birthday party. I always get questions about fitness from drunk people! Everyone wants to get fit when they are out pounding shots and drinking shitty bar food.
Anyway I start talking to this lady and she was interested in coming to my gym. She said “can you guarantee that I will see results.” I told her no and that it was up to her. If she was ready to see results and do the work required than yes I could. My plan works and it always has. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be in business.
I then ask her husband if he would support her. He told me she wouldn’t do it. He said even if she went, it wouldn’t last and she would quit. He said she has tried it many times in the past and this just like the rest will end the same way.
I actually kind of wanted to punch the guy! He was being a huge jerk. Then it hit me. How many other women have this kind of support system at home? One of my members told me her boyfriend purposely chases her with bad food when she is doing our challenges.
If we already didn’t put enough pressure on ourselves, the people we love most might be the biggest limiting factor in changing our lifestyle.
The solution to this problem? Group training with accountability. Our adult group training program allows like-minded individuals to train together and create a bond. We use a private Facebook group as a forum for them to share their meals and stay connected.
It is not full proof and you will still have to do your part but these systems have allowed our members to stay on track with their nutrition as well as get new ideas on recipes and food prep.
Latonya’s 6 Week Transformation
6.) Continued Comparison to Other
This happens a lot in fitness. Comparing yourself to other women that you would like to look like. Comparing who you are now to who you were 5 to 10 years ago. I get it. I used to want to look like Plexico Burress (former NY Giants receiver) when I played football. The truth is…you will look like you!
We all have different body types and our DNA is very unique. Think about it. No two humans have the same finger print, yet we often think we can have that person’s stomach or buns!
You also can’t compare yourself to your high school weight or the body you had when you played sports, or didn’t have kids or a full time job! Focus on being the best version of who you currently are. Focus on doing the right stuff consistently so that you lose fat and build lean muscle.
7.) Wrong Approach to Training
Fitness has changed, and for the better. Originally we just looked at fit athletes and tried to do what they did. Cyclists are fit so let’s do spin. Runners are skinny so let’s pound the pavement for 3 to 10 miles each week. Don’t get me started on today’s group fitness classes. If I offended you, that probably means we’re getting somewhere. If you want your body to change than it’s time to change your workouts.
It is time to start training with resistance. Doing workouts that push you mentally and physically. If your workout does not challenge you it will not change you.
We aren’t talking about doing burpees until you pass out or puking on the floor from a Cross Fit WOD. The world of fitness has changed and everyone feels they need to get their pants blown off for it to be considered a workout.
We are only looking for slightly above what you are accustomed to doing. We do metabolic training. An incredible workout that elevates your heart rate repeatedly during a workout so that we can create a metabolic disturbance in the body. We call this the Epoc effect or post workout after burn. This leaves your body in recovery mode hours after the training is over leading to extended fat loss.
Training with weights is also essential to fat loss. Most importantly, it leads to muscle definition and a toned physique. Push-ups, squats, and lunges are all great exercises that we do on a regular basis in our training program.
Here at Training For Warriors South Jersey we believe in setting challenges for our warriors to help them realize their full potential. We run various transformations and challenges throughout the year in order to help our students reach their goals. These are by no means a quick fix, and each student is interviewed before being accepted into our program.
We want to make sure we are getting people who are ready to make real lifestyle changes. Our program works and you will get really good results but only if you follow the program and show up for your workouts. There is no quick fix and throwing money at a problem will never work.
If you are finally ready to leave the past excuses behind and move toward a brand new future click the link below to find out more about our training program here at Training For Warriors South Jersey and to apply for our 28 Day Warrior Challenge.