BODYBUILDING BOOTCAMP INTERVAL TRAINING

A Method Behind the Madness Post on Bodybuilding Bootcamp Interval Training by Chanhassen Personal Trainer & Weight Loss Expert Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

 

Continuing research shows when we perform high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for maximum fat loss and fitness results it’s best to perform exercises in a non-competing circuit fashion.  There are a number of different ways to perform non-competing or alternating sets and each has its own merit:

  • Supersets: Alternate between 2 different non-competing exercises (e.g. upper body and lower body such as pushups and lunges)

  • Trisets: Alternate between 3 different exercises (e.g. push, pull, and lower body such as pushups, rows, and lunges)

  • Circuits: Alternate between four or more different exercises

However, every once in a while it’s fun AND effective to take a different approach – a more old school approach with a new school twist…

I’d like to share one of my personal favorites.  I call it…

BODYBUILDING BOOTCAMP!

 

BODYBUILDING BOOTCAMP (BBBC) combines classic old-school bodybuilding style training with new-school metabolic training for maximum muscle building and fat melting results for all fitness levels.  This program is really gonna burn…

BBBC is a method of intentionally overloading each target muscle group by performing consecutive sets of the same exercise with short rest periods between sets in an effort to stimulate maximum hypertrophy – much like a bodybuilder would.

Hypertrophy is just a fancy word for muscle growth.

Hypertrophy training employs moderate to heavy loads (65 – 85% of your 1-Rep max) and moderate to high volume (3-6 sets of 6-15 reps). Sets must be performed to momentary muscle failure.

Momentary muscle failure is pretty much what it sounds like.  You lift a weight until you simply cannot lift it anymore.  This is beyond the point of muscle fatigue.  Your goal is to select a resistance where your muscles completely fail at a predetermined number of reps or time under tension.  This may sound scary, but it’s really nothing to worry about.  In fact, once you get used to it it’s a lot of fun and it really shows you what you’re made of!

When you train at this level of intensity you send the signal for muscle growth.  Remember, we want muscle growth because lean muscle tissue is highly metabolic.  In other words, the more muscle we have the more calories we burn at rest and the more fat we can melt off over the long-haul.

In fact, some studies show that for every pound of muscle we add to our bodies we increase our daily caloric burn by about 50 calories. That means if a person gained just 5 pounds of muscle they would burn an extra 250 calories per day or 1750 calories per week.  That’s equivalent to ½ pound of fat loss per week while at rest!! Though many experts disagree over the exact number of calories burned with each additional pound of muscle gain, they all agree that you do burn more calories each day with every pound of muscle you do gain and that’s good enough for me!

I know what you’re thinking…

“Am I going to end up looking like some sort of muscle freak??”

DON’T WORRY!  YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GET BIG AND BULKY!

We’re not talking about massive gains in muscle like professional bodybuilders train for (often under the influence of powerful and illegal performance-enhancing drugs).  One pound of muscle is only about the size of your fist- hardly noticeable when spread across your entire body.

And here’s a quick disclaimer for all the ladies- please know that you have 10-20 times less testosterone (a top muscle-building hormone) than men do and there are lots of men who struggle to gain size and put on muscle.

 

In other words, you’re not going to rip through your clothing and start looking like the Hulk (unless you eat like him and experiment with high doses of gamma radiation). Rather, you’re gonna come away with a tighter, more toned physique and a couple more cuts in your arms, legs, and shoulders to boot!

Now, how exactly do we combine the benefits of a traditional bodybuilding workout with the proven efficiency and effectiveness of high-intensity interval training like we perform in our bootcamp workouts?

That’s where my BODYBUILDING BOOTCAMP program comes in:

Alternate between 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest for a single exercise for 4 consecutive rounds followed by a 1-minute transition period. Perform 4 total cycles for a 20-minute workout.

Many muscle-building experts believe that 120 seconds of time-under-tension (TUT) for each body part is ideal for maximum hypertrophy and this is accomplished with the 30-30 for 4 rounds protocol.

You also need to select a load or an exercise variation that sufficiently challenges your muscles for about 6-15 reps in each 30-second work period. Intensity is the key to stimulating maximum muscle-growth and you absolutely need to push it to the limit while maintaining perfect form and technique on every set, particular towards the 3rd and 4th rounds when it’s starts to really burn.

The short, incomplete 30-second rest periods heavily exhaust your working muscles and stimulate the release of growth hormone (a potent muscle-builder and fat-burner) to shock your body and make it change for the better.

There are 4 total exercises within each workout that work your whole body, though some of the workouts will preferentially work certain areas of the body more than others. Why? Well, that’s just my little secret, he he! Of course, if I’d told you then I’d have to kill you

Below is an outline of the BODYBUILDING BOOTCAMP workout: 

 

Workout A

Station 1:  Push-ups

Station 2:  Suspension Trainer Leg Curls

Station 3:  RBT Low Row

Station 4:  DB Front Squats

Metabolic Finisher:  Swings

 

Workout B

Station 1:  DB Chest Press

Station 2:  Suspension Trainer Rows

Station 3:  RBT Split Squat – Left

Station 4:  RBT Split Squat – Right

Metabolic Finisher:  Mountain Climbers

 

Workout C

Station 1:  Split Stance RBT Deadlift Variation (Left)

Station 2:  Split Stance RBT Deadlift Variation (Right)

Station 3:  RBT Chest Press

Station 4:  Seated RBT Row

Metabolic Finisher:  Skater Jumps Variation

 

It’s critical to note that since we’ll be performing straights sets of a single exercise with maximum intensity and an incomplete rest between sets, these workouts will generate a lot more delayed muscle soreness than usual.

Some tips to mitigate this soreness are:

  • Perform body-part specific stretches and flexibility training during the rest and transition periods

  • Perform lots of self-massage both pre and post-workout on any sore and tight muscle groups via foam rollers, softballs, tennis balls, rolling pins, etc.

  • Drink lots of water and consume a high-quality workout support formula such as Prograde Workout before/during/after your workout.  

One final thought…

I threw in a special 60-second metabolic finisher employing a total body exercise just to make sure we really ramp that heart rate up and cause an additional metabolic disturbance and thus a greatest post-workout afterburn.

Now, I need you to get mentally ready because this programming is EXTREMELY INTENSE.  I recommend it only be used for a short period of time followed by a mandatory active recovery week. In fact, most of the muscle growth will probably occur during the rest week as your muscles finally get to truly regenerate after weeks of pushing them to the max.

OK.  Enough talk.  Let’s build some muscle baby!

 

HAVE FAITH & TAKE ACTION!

                   Signature BODYBUILDING BOOTCAMP INTERVAL TRAINING

Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

Justin Yule is the President & Chief Fitness Officer of Fitness Revolution in Chanhassen, MN.  He also runs an at-home weight loss & fitness training program – Fitness Revolution Inner Circle – providing the same great high-intensity intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts for all fitness levels as Chanhassen Boot Camp

Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with a Concentration in Adult Fitness.  He is also a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and holds multiple specialty certifications including Metabolic Training Expert, Kettlebell Coach, and Resistance Band Training Specialist.  Justin is also certified to administer the Functional Movement Screen.

Justin has been helping clients achieve their health and fitness goals since 1997, and became a Best Selling Author in 2011 with his contribution to Total Body Breakthroughs.  In addition, he has been nominated as one of the top Rising Stars in the Fitness Industry, and was featured in USA Today as a member of the World Fitness Elite.  To contact Justin for training, education or to have him speak at an event please email jyule2@gmail.com.

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Meal Planning & Preparing for Weight Loss Success

Chanhassen Weight Loss Expert and Nutrition Coach, Janell Yule, BS, CPT, FDN Shares Her Tips (and a NEW SECRET WEAPON) for Meal Preparation

 

I say this phrase almost EVERYTIME I do a workshop or talk to a group about nutrition. 

 

“Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail”

 

If you are really SERIOUS about making a change in your nutrition then meal planning is a must. 

 

Think for a moment about the areas in your life that you excel at… Maybe you run a successful business or household, you have a successful career, you exercise consistently, [insert your thing].  Whatever it may be, my guess is that the success you are experiencing didn’t just happen, there was a lot that went into getting where you are right now…including planning.

 

When I made the conscious decision to start preparing the large majority of our meals and changing the composition of those meals, I had to make some tough decisions.  You see; we all have the same 24 hours in a day.  We have to choose wisely how to spend it.  If eating nutrient dense whole foods is a priority for you then you will make the time to plan your meals and prepare them. 

 

The things we spend our time and money dictate what are important to us.  If you are not spending your time and money on things that are moving your closer to your goals, then it’s time to make some changes. Read More

Isometric Interval Training

A Method Behind the Madness Post on Isometric Interval Training by Chanhassen Personal Trainer & Weight Loss Expert Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

 

An isometric contraction is a contraction of the target muscle in static positions at a specific joint angle in which tension is developed, but there is no change in the length of that target muscle (no movement).  Tension can be developed by exerting force against immovable objects (overcoming isometrics) or by statically contracting a muscle to resist against an external force (gravity or added resistance) that ‘s attempting to force you into an eccentric contraction (yielding isometrics).

 

It is important to note that isometric training only increases strength at the specific joint angles in which the exercise is performed (e.g. statically holding the bottom of a push-up position about 1-2 inches off of the floor) where the classic dynamic exercises (e.g. dynamically performing a push-up where you lower your chest to the floor and back up to the top position) increases strength throughout the full range of motion of an exercise. However, isometric contractions can improve maximal strength at specific joint angles better than their dynamic counterparts. This is because dynamic exercises are often performed very quickly and engage the stretch reflex – the natural bounciness, or elasticity, of your muscles and connective tissues – so that some muscle fibers will not be fully activated due to force contributions from your tendons. The best example of this is how much more your muscles burn when you slowly walk up the stairs rather than quickly running up the stairs.

 

Though isometric training has traditionally been popularized by yoga and Chinese martial arts like Kung Fu, it can and should be used for general strength and conditioning as well.  It’s also a popular training tool in rehab situations because as I mentioned earlier, it helps strengthen the muscles at very specific joint angles and weak points. Plus, when properly applied, isometrics don’t place undue stress on the joints like other fast, high-impact dynamic exercises can because it takes the tendons out of the movement (think tendonitis of the knee caused by lots of running and jumping).

 

Isometric holds can also be used to significantly increase training intensity because you generally are able to hold a heavier weight than you can actually lift (concentric training).  Bodybuilders and strength athletes will often use isometric holds at the end of a set to train “beyond failure” thus creating a greater stimulus for muscle and strength gains.

 

In a boot camp setting, where the goal is to develop a “tight and toned body” along with improving strength, endurance, balance and function isometric-only exercises can add great benefits.  They’re also mentally challenging and can be a lot of fun.

 

In this case, isometrics work best with core exercises like pillar variations and postural exercises like resisted scapular retractions and depressions.  Isometric training is also great for single-leg balance hold variations, and specifically targeting weak points of movements such as the bottom of a squat or at the top of a hip extension hold.

 

Furthermore, isometric holds performed at joint range of motion extremes are great for increasing muscle flexibility and joint mobility. For example, holding the bottom of a split squat with your front thigh parallel to the floor is a great weight to not only strengthen the muscles and knee, hip, and ankle stabilizers of the lead leg, but also to increase the quad and hip flexor flexibility of your trail leg.

Now, I believe the best way to get the most out of your isometric training is by opting to perform short 10-second work periods of isometric contractions with brief rest periods between them.

Why 10 seconds for the core stability holds?

Well, it’s simple- it’s about QUALITY over QUANTITY.

When most people perform isometric holds for 30-60+ seconds they tend to spend a majority of the time in compensated positions due to fatigue. This really prevents the trainee from getting the maximum benefit from performing the exercise. In other words, long sets make us weak and make us cheat.

However, if we shift the focus on maximum activation and contraction with short, focused 10-second holds we get more bang for our back.

For example, which option outlined below sounds like it has a greater benefit:

Perform ONE low intensity, wobbly, shoddy front plank for minutes on end OR perform many sets of maximum effort 10-second front plank holds with perfect form and technique for the same total time-under-tension (TUT)?

If you chose the latter then you are indeed correct. If it’s the same total volume (or TUT) there will be greater muscle recruitment with the submaximal repeat set format and thus a better overall training effect.

In fact, it’s quite similar in nature to the whole Escalating Density Training (EDT) format popularized by legendary strength coach Charles Staley in his book Muscle Logic. Staley claims that better short and long-term results will occur from multiple sets of submaximal reps then a single set of maximal effort.

I believe this whole 10-second core stability concept stemmed from Gray Cook who is a world-renowned physical therapist well known for his Functional Movement Screen (FMS).

I asked one of my good buddies and master Physical Therapist Dr. Kareem Samhouri about the whole 10-second isometric hold concept and here’s his direct reply:

“10 seconds for isometrics?  I give exception to the plank b/c your ‘core’ needs to be ‘on’ for up to 60-90 seconds at a time during various activities.  Athletes need to go longer than this if they are endurance athletes, but this is not max contraction. Other exercises, with a non-lengthening/shortening contraction, as follows:

- Your muscle takes 2 seconds to ramp up intensity

- You can sustain maximal motor unit recruitment for 6 seconds

- Your muscle will then ramp down for 2 seconds

- 2 + 6 + 2 = 10 seconds: The optimal isometric contraction is 10 seconds as a result

Hope this helps!”

Does this mean you can or should never do 30-60+ second core stability holds again?

NO!

As Dr. K noted, long-duration core stability holds have their place for endurance athletes or people with advanced core stability.

But it does mean that 10 seconds is the optimal length of time to work on isometric strength and it’s most likely a better fit for the general population, especially for entry-level core programming.

There isn’t much in the way of studies or literature supporting this 10-second core stability concept, but I’m sure there will be in the years to come as some of the top trainers and coaches in the world are using it with great success with their clients and athletes.

Below is the Isometric Interval Training workout we’ll be performing in our Group Personal Training (Boot Camp) sessions at Chanhassen Fitness Revolution this phase:

 

Alternate between 10 seconds of an isometric hold and 5 seconds of rest for 6 consecutive rounds for a single exercise followed by a 30-second transition period.  Perform 5 total exercises and 2 total cycles.

 

Station 1:  Push-up Hold

Station 2:  Suspension Trainer Row Hold

Station 3:  Goblet Squat Hold

Station 4:  Feet-Elevated Straight-Legged Hip Extension Hold

Station 5:  Pallof Overhead Press Hold

 

Get ready… It’s going to be glorious!

 

HAVE FAITH & TAKE ACTION!

                   Signature Isometric Interval Training

Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

Justin Yule is the President & Chief Fitness Officer of Fitness Revolution in Chanhassen, MN.  He also runs an at-home weight loss & fitness training program – Fitness Revolution Inner Circle – providing the same great high-intensity intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts for all fitness levels as Chanhassen Boot Camp

Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with a Concentration in Adult Fitness.  He is also a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and holds multiple specialty certifications including Metabolic Training Expert, Kettlebell Coach, and Resistance Band Training Specialist.  Justin is also certified to administer the Functional Movement Screen.

Justin has been helping clients achieve their health and fitness goals since 1997, and became a Best Selling Author in 2011 with his contribution to Total Body Breakthroughs.  In addition, he has been nominated as one of the top Rising Stars in the Fitness Industry, and was featured in USA Today as a member of the World Fitness Elite.  To contact Justin for training, education or to have him speak at an event please email jyule2@gmail.com.

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends using the social media buttons below.

P.P.S. – Please ask a question or share a comment with us in the Leave a Comment section at the very bottom of the page.  We love your feedback and will use it to develop future blog posts.

 

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Turkish Get-up Interval Training

A Method Behind the Madness Post on Turkish Get-up Interval Training by Chanhassen Personal Trainer & Weight Loss Expert Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

 

I’m bringing back a workout that I haven’t done in our Group Personal Training (Boot Camp) program at Chanhassen Fitness Revolution for almost 2 years.  It’s an awesome workout that requires a little bit of skill, but with patience it’s a truly awesome total body blitz….

 

It’s called Turkish Get-Up Intervals and it involves a single exercise, the Turkish Get-Up, that works your entire body from head to toe.

 

Though there’s a bit of a learning curve associated with this high-skill exercise, it will be well worth the total body muscle-building, fat-burning, and metabolism-boosting benefits it provides when performed with perfect form and technique.

 

This may very well be the hardest exercise you ever perform. But don’t get mad at me… blame the Turks, ha ha!

 

Want to learn more? Then keep reading icon wink Turkish Get up Interval Training

 

I. What is a Turkish Get-Up (TGU)?

 

In essence, a Turkish Get-up (TGU) is the proper series of movements that will have you safely and effectively coming from lying with your backside on the floor to standing fully erect while holding a weight directly overhead… and then of course reversing that movement under control.

 

 

II. Benefits of the Turkish Get-Up:

 

The TGU is the ultimate total body functional exercise and it is a foundational movement that people of all walks of life should seek to master.

 

In fact, being able to properly get-up off of the floor is one of the first things we lose as we age. In other words, you never want to have fallen and not be able to get-up!

 

Here are some more specific benefits to this classic strength movement:

 

  • Serves the dual role as an excellent whole body warm-up drill to grease the groove before more intensive exercise using lighter loads and as a whole body workout routine using heavier loads and longer work periods
  • Dramatically strengthens wrists and forearms, areas that are particularly weak in the modern era due to the proliferation of sedentary occupations and the demise of manual labor
  • Bulletproofs your lower back and shoulder girdle
  • Helps develop a strong upper back and V-taper that makes your waist appear smaller
  • Develops most-ability, the combination of motion and stability. This term was coined by world-renowned physical therapist Gary Gray as he describes it in his own words as “the ability to functionally take advantage of just the right amount of motion at just the right joint in just the right plane of motion in just the right direction at just the right time”
  • Works your core in all 3 planes of motion (sagittal plane- front to back and up and down, frontal plane- side to side, and transverse plane- rotational) where most core exercises only address a single plane of motion, usually in the already overtrained sagittal plane. In doing so, it really strengthens the all-import oblique (love handle or side abdominal) muscles which are critical to optimal health and performance
  • A much, much safer and more effective core training alternative to crunches and sit-ups which promote excessive flexion of the lumbar spine and lead to lower back pain/injury
  • Great for developing hip and upper back/thoracic spine mobility which is essential for people who sit at their desks all day long at work
  • Excellent for building core, knee, hip, and shoulder stability
  • Great tool for teaching proper lunging mechanics. Just like with squatting, lunging is best learned from the ground up

 

 

III. Learning How to Perform the TGU One Stage at a Time

 

The best way to teach the full TGU is to first break it down into its 3 basic stages with step-by-step instructions:

 

Starting Position:

 

  1. Begin in a fetal position by holding the weight close to your chest with both hands
  2. Then roll onto your backside and use both hands to press the weight up so that your right arm is fully extended overhead
  3. Fully extend your left leg straight out in front of you and then fully extend your left arm at a 45-degree angle from your trunk
  4. Bend your right knee so you right heel is close to your right glute

 

1st Stage TGU- Bottom Section: Moving from Lying Down with Back on Floor to Hips on Floor

 

  1. With your eyes looking up at the weight overhead, drive through your right heel to move in a diagonal pattern onto your left forearm and left hip
  2. Then move onto your left hand with your shoulders down and back

 

NOTE- If you struggle with this stage, you lack core strength

 

2nd Stage TGU- Middle Section: Moving from Hip on Floor to Split Kneeling/Lunge Position

 

  1. With 2 active shoulders, raise your hips and sweep your left leg underneath you and perform a windshield wiper motion with your left foot
  2. Then extend your trunk to square your body off into a split kneeling/lunge position with your front knee and ankle directly aligned

 

NOTE- If you struggle with this stage, you lack shoulder and core stability and hip mobility

 

3rd Stage TGU- Top Section: Moving from Split Kneeling/Lunge Position to a Full Stand

 

  1. Load the heel of your front leg (right leg in this instance) and stand up until your feet are parallel to each other while focusing on reaching the weight overhead throughout the movement

 

NOTE- If you struggle with this stage, you lack lower body strength and knee and hip stability

 

Reversing the Movement:

 

  • Now slowly step your left leg back into a reverse lunge and slowly sink your hips down into the split kneeling position so your knee kisses the floor and then slowly reverse the entire movement moving from 3rd to 2nd to 1st stage to the starting position

 

Clearly, this is a complex set of steps but when broken down into stages it makes it much easier to learn.

 

The key coaching cues that apply throughout the entire movement are:

 

  • A famous kettlebell saying is that the shoulders are poison to the ears. So keep both of your shoulders down and back and active throughout the exercise to keep them safe
  • Keep your loaded arm straight throughout the entire exercise. If you let the elbow bend, you’ll overly fatigue your arm muscles and lose stability at the shoulder joint and will feel wobbly during the movement
  • Perform the exercise in a very slow, controlled, and deliberate manner to get the most out of it. Going too fast results in instability which can put you at the risk of injury. In addition, we want to eliminate any bouncing or momentum to make your muscles work harder

 

Another great thing about working this exercise in partial stages of movement is that it allows you to strengthen individual weaknesses inherent to each stage as noted above.

 

Lastly, like all kettlebell training experts suggest, I highly recommend you perform TGU’s while barefoot because it will help strengthen the muscles of your feet and promote greater ankle stability while also providing greater feedback from the ground to better perform the exercise.

 

 

IV. The Turkish Get-up Interval Workout

 

Get-Up Intervals: 20 Total Minutes.

Begin by performing partial get-ups in 3 stages in a 30-30 interval format. Then perform 3 minutes of continuous alternating full get-ups followed by a 2-minute rest and transition.

• LEFT Side 1st Stage Partial Get-Ups: 30 s on, 30 s off

• RIGHT Side 1st Stage Partial Get-Ups: 30 s on, 30 s off

• LEFT Side 2nd Stage Partial Get-Ups: 30 s on, 30 s off

• RIGHT Side 2nd Stage Partial Get-Ups: 30 s on, 30 s off

• LEFT Side 3rd Stage Partial Get-Ups: 30 s on, 30 s off

• RIGHT Side 3rd Stage Partial Get-Ups: 30 s on, 30 s off

• Alternating 1-Repetition Full Get-ups: Continuous 3 Minutes

• Rest for 2 minutes and Repeat

 

Here are a couple final recommendations:

 

  • During the 30-second work periods for the partial get-ups, you should be getting about 4-6 reps per set. If you are getting more reps than that, then you are either going too fast and/or using too light of a load. If you are getting less reps than that, then you are using too heavy of a load.
  • During the 3 minutes of continuous alternating full get-ups, you should be getting about 1 full rep every 30 seconds for a total of 3 reps/side in 3 minutes. If you are getting more reps than that, then you are either going too fast and/or using too light of a load. If you are getting less reps than that, then you are using too heavy of a load.

 

Are you ready for the Turkish Get-Up Challenge??

 

We shall see icon wink Turkish Get up Interval Training

 

HAVE FAITH & TAKE ACTION!

                   Signature Turkish Get up Interval Training

Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

Justin Yule is the President & Chief Fitness Officer of Fitness Revolution in Chanhassen, MN.  He also runs an at-home weight loss & fitness training program – Fitness Revolution Inner Circle – providing the same great high-intensity intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts for all fitness levels as Chanhassen Boot Camp

Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with a Concentration in Adult Fitness.  He is also a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and holds multiple specialty certifications including Metabolic Training Expert, Kettlebell Coach, and Resistance Band Training Specialist.  Justin is also certified to administer the Functional Movement Screen.

Justin has been helping clients achieve their health and fitness goals since 1997, and became a Best Selling Author in 2011 with his contribution to Total Body Breakthroughs.  In addition, he has been nominated as one of the top Rising Stars in the Fitness Industry, and was featured in USA Today as a member of the World Fitness Elite.  To contact Justin for training, education or to have him speak at an event please email jyule2@gmail.com.

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends using the social media buttons below.

P.P.S. – Please ask a question or share a comment with us in the Leave a Comment section at the very bottom of the page.  We love your feedback and will use it to develop future blog posts.

 

PLEASE CLICK THE “LIKE” BUTTON (ABOVE), POST A COMMENT AND SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS…

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Eccentric Interval Training

A Method Behind the Madness Post on Eccentric Interval Training by Chanhassen Personal Trainer & Weight Loss Expert Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

 

Science is proving what many bodybuilding experts have been preaching for years – that the negative, or eccentric, part of a repetition is extremely important for size and strength gains.  In fact, in a now famous (among fitness geeks like me) informal study, Nautilus creator Arthur Jones put Casey Viator on an eccentric-only training routine.   According to Jones, “in five weeks of negative-only workouts Casey added seven pounds of bodyweight while increasing his muscularity.”  In other words, he built muscle AND lost fat!

 

Eccentric training focuses on slowing down the elongation of a muscle and tendon group. In other words, it serves as a braking mechanism to protect your joints from damage prior to a subsequent concentric contraction. It’s critical to note that the vast majority of all chronic and acute injuries occur during deceleration type movements such as landing from a jump, quickly changing direction, or suddenly falling down. Think of eccentric training as sharpening your brakes so that your muscles and tendons are properly able to absorb kinetic energy and thus control any sudden or repetitive deceleration forces that may come your way. For this reason, it’s second to none for improving performance and reducing the risk of injuries in sport.

 

For example, when doing an eccentric step-up, you begin standing on top of a box or bench and then slowly take 5-seconds to lower yourself to the floor while staying tall up top and loading the heel of your support leg so the knee and ankle stay aligned. This exercise is unmatched for developing knee, ankle, and hip stability and building your quad and glute muscles to take pressure off of your knee during explosive movements like running and jumping. For this reason, this is one my favorite exercises to bulletproof the knees and is just what the doctor ordered for people with chronic knee pain from conditions such patellar tendonitis (“jumper’s knee”) or arthritis. In fact, if you are unable to do multiple sets of multiple reps of eccentric step-ups with 5-second lowerings on a high box where your front thigh is parallel to the floor at the bottom of the movement in a pain-free environment, then you have no business running or jumping whatsoever unless your goal is a traumatic knee injury.

 

Why 5-second lowerings? First it’s important to note that tendons connect muscles to bones. Using the step-up example above, your patellar tendon connects your quad muscle to your knee cap. Well it takes a full 4 seconds to eliminate the aforementioned stretch reflex, or stored elastic energy, in your muscle and tendon groups. Subsequently, this is why eccentric training works great in rehab settings for conditions because it takes the bounciness of the tendons out of the movement and forces the muscles to do all of the work. In this way, the muscles grow stronger to take pressure off of the tendons it works in conjunction with working against deceleration forces.

 

One reason eccentric training may be so effective for muscle growth is because of the significant microtrauma it causes to muscle tissue. This skyrockets metabolism as the body is forced to busily repair all those damaged muscle fibers. “Eccentric actions place a stretch on the sarcomeres to the point where the myofilaments (myosin and actin) may experience strain, otherwise known as exercise induced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)” (Aaron Bubbico & Len Kravitz, 2010). There’s a large body of evidence suggesting that muscular damage is associated with increased muscle growth, although research is still inconclusive in this area (Brentano et al. 2011; Komulainen et al. 2000; Zanchi et al. 2010). 

 

Plus, you are much stronger eccentrically than concentrically because your muscles can oppose more force than they can generate. Think about how much easier it is for you to sit down into a chair than to get up and stand out of it. This is why the best way to be able to learn how to perform challenging bodyweight movements like push-ups and pull-ups through a full range of motion is by first mastering the lowering portion. Finally, since your muscles are elongating during the eccentric portion of a movement this leads to greater total muscle recruitment and subsequently a great stimulus for muscle growth. For all of these reasons, eccentric training is a well known tool to break through any frustrating strength, muscle-building, or weight loss plateaus.

 

However, caution is advised when it comes to eccentric-only training.  It is extremely taxing and can lead to severe soreness as mentioned earlier.  It’s very important that eccentric-only training is performed in limited amounts for a limited period of time. 

 

Finally, when designing an eccentric-only workout, it’s best to choose exercises that are “self-limiting” meaning that you won’t be able to finish a rep if your form is bad. Also, be sure to choose exercises that won’t place you in a dangerous position when you reach total muscle failure that would require a spotter like barbell squats or bench presses.  That’s why exercises such as push-ups, bodyweight row, single-leg squat, and step-up variations work great for eccentric-only training. After all, no one has ever died from collapsing to the floor while lowering from the top of a push-up – but sadly they have from bench pressing.

 

Below is the Eccentric Interval Training workout we’ll be performing in our Group Personal Training (Boot Camp) sessions at Chanhassen Fitness Revolution this phase:

 

Alternate between 5 seconds of eccentric work (lowering) and 5 seconds of rest for 6 consecutive rounds for a single exercise followed by a 30-second transition period.  Perform 4 total exercises and 3 total cycles.

 

Station 1:  Eccentric Push-up Variation

Station 2:  Eccentric Suspension Trainer Row Variation

Station 3:  Eccentric Split Squat Variation – Left Side

Station 4:  Eccentric Split Squat Variation – Right Side

 

Brace yourself… It’s about to get real!

 

HAVE FAITH & TAKE ACTION!

                   Signature Eccentric Interval Training

Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

Justin Yule is the President & Chief Fitness Officer of Fitness Revolution in Chanhassen, MN.  He also runs an at-home weight loss & fitness training program – Fitness Revolution Inner Circle – providing the same great high-intensity intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts for all fitness levels as Chanhassen Boot Camp

Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with a Concentration in Adult Fitness.  He is also a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and holds multiple specialty certifications including Metabolic Training Expert, Kettlebell Coach, and Resistance Band Training Specialist.  Justin is also certified to administer the Functional Movement Screen.

Justin has been helping clients achieve their health and fitness goals since 1997, and became a Best Selling Author in 2011 with his contribution to Total Body Breakthroughs.  In addition, he has been nominated as one of the top Rising Stars in the Fitness Industry, and was featured in USA Today as a member of the World Fitness Elite.  To contact Justin for training, education or to have him speak at an event please email jyule2@gmail.com.

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends using the social media buttons below.

P.P.S. – Please ask a question or share a comment with us in the Leave a Comment section at the very bottom of the page.  We love your feedback and will use it to develop future blog posts.

 

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7 Tips & Tricks for Adding More Movement into Your Day

A Post About Adding Movement to Your Day by Chanhassen Personal Trainer Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

Feet Walking on the Sand Tips and Tricks to Add More Movement to Your Day Chanhassen Fitness Revolution Half Million Steps Challenge 7 Tips & Tricks for Adding More Movement into Your Day

 

In my last post we had a frank discussion about the deadly effects of sitting too much.  We saw that too much time in the chair can cause cancer, blood sugar spikes, heart disease, mental health problems and even early death.  By the end of that article, we all probably wanted to toss the chairs out of our homes and offices, but of course that is not practical. 

We even learned that working out every day doesn’t completely solve the problem.  As it turns out, the problem has more to do with how long our muscles are inactive rather than how much time we spend working out.

So what is the answer?  Our lives are very sedentary—much more sedentary than even our parents’ or our grand parents’ lives.  And as a result, we are a sicker society.  Is there a way to fight the threat of our chairs? Read More

Sitting Can Kill You

A Post About the Dangerous Effects of Sitting by Chanhassen Personal Trainer Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

Recliner Chanhassen Fitness Revolution Half Million Steps Challenge Sitting Can Kill You

Your comfy chair may be your worst enemy

 

Sitting may be the new smoking.

What are you doing right now?  Chances are you are sitting down while you read this. 

Brace yourself; this is going to hurt.  You might be better off smoking a cigarette than sitting – not that I’m condoning that!

In study after study, researchers are showing that people who sit for several hours each day are harming their health and shortening their lives, and in some cases the damage is as deadly as smoking—or more so.1

How much sitting is too much?  The effects are different depending on the time spent sitting, but if you sit anywhere from 3 to 11 hours each day, you are going to adversely affect your health. Read More

Adrenaline Abs

A Method Behind the Madness Post on Adrenaline Abs Interval Training by Chanhassen Personal Trainer & Weight Loss Expert Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

 

AdrenalineAbsImage Adrenaline Abs

 

If you’re after awesome abs, look no further…

Our Adrenaline Abs program is a fat-burning, belly-blasting experience that you will never forget.  The brainchild of my friend BJ Gaddour, Adrenaline Abs has been a favorite of my Chanhassen Fitness Revolution members for years now.  Like all of our group personal training workouts, it is researched-based and has proven results.  Adrenaline Abs literally boosts adrenaline as a way of blasting the fat off your abs while using stability exercises to whittle your waistline.

 

Adrenaline Education

First, the basics…  Adrenaline is a catecholamine hormone.  This means that adrenaline is a chemical in your body that enables you to either fight or flight when you perceive danger or engage in intense activity or exercise.

 

Adrenaline At Work Adrenaline Abs

Image source: www.bodybuilding.com/

 

The Science

When Steven Boutcher, a scientist at the University of South Wales, did a study on adrenaline and exercise, he found that more fat is lost during shorter, maximum intensity intervals than during slower and longer workout periods.

Obese women were divided into two groups with identical diets, but different exercise protocols for fifteen weeks. 

The first group exercised three times each week for only twenty minutes.  Their high intensity workouts consisted of intervals with eight seconds of max effort (on a bike) and twelve seconds of recovery. 

The second group also exercised three times each week, but for forty minutes, and the intensity was steadier.

The results?  In spite of the second group’s longer exercise periods, the first group saw a higher loss of body fat, especially in the belly, thighs and hips.  The reason, according to Boutcher, was more catecholamine release in the first group.  The catecholamines make it possible for more fat to be burned from under the skin and inside the muscles!

What is so important about the eight/twelve second ratio of intervals?

Boutcher found that longer intervals are too painful, but shorter intervals do not bring significant results.  The eight/twelve ratio turned out to be the best for maximum benefit.

In an earlier study (2004), Boutcher found that short intervals not only burn more calories and disturb the metabolism at a higher intensity, but those engaging in them do not feel as though they are working as hard as people doing longer intervals. 

 

The Mode

The mode matters.  In the research study, participants used a bike.  However, a better way to turbo-charge adrenaline is with total-body exercises.  These types of exercises result in max heart rate, fat burn and muscle building by engaging both your upper and lower body at the same time. 

Swings and squat to presses are examples of the total-body exercises that are beneficial, as are the clean, the snatch and the jerk.  Of course you can also run, leap, hop, jump and skip.

These moves also preserve and strengthen your Type II-B muscle fibers.  These muscles start atrophying when you are in your 30’s and 40’s.  Since they are the strongest and largest muscles that you have, you need them to maintain strength and good metabolism as you age. 

DB Thrusters Adrenaline Abs

Image credit: www.wchealthandwellness.wordpress.com

 

Stable Core:  Don’t Leave Home Without It

This is crucial if you are going to have rockin’ abs.  And in case you don’t know, crunches and sit-ups will only get you neck and back pain:  NOT great abs.  You can’t spot reduce, but you can set yourself up for some serious back trouble if you keep doing crunches.

Crunches only engage your superficial abdominals–the so-called “six-pack”–and cause extreme flexing of your spine.  This can in turn cause bulging discs.  In addition, sit-ups and crunches do not work your abdominal stabilizers, and unless these are trained properly, you will not have the health and stability that come from a neutral spine position.

To safely and adequately train your core, you need to stabilize it in three planes:

1.  Sagittal (front to back and up and down)

2.  Frontal (side to side)

3.  Transverse (rotation)

The goal of stability training (ideal for the core muscles) is to train anti flexion, anti-extension and anti-rotation.  This can be achieved by doing moves that stabilize the core such as plank variations (front, side and back), different types of hip extensions and a variety of bird dogs.

Anatomical Position highlighting core Adrenaline Abs

Image credit: www.menshealth.com.sg

 

10-Second Abs

Why do we recommend a ten-second hold for core stability moves? 

Because quality beats quantity when it comes to your abs.

When you try to hold a stability move for longer than thirty to sixty seconds, you tend to fatigue and spend much of your time in less than ideal positions.  This means that even though you may be holding a plank for two minutes, you really are not getting the benefit of a full two-minute plank. 

But if you concentrate on holding that plank correctly for a shorter time, you are going to see much better results.  The bottom line is that it’s better to hold several, ten-second planks with perfect form than to hold a messy, bad form plank for two minutes.

It’s actually very similar to what we learned in the beginning of this post:  longer duration doesn’t always equal better results.  Longer intervals didn’t bring about greater fat burn, and longer planks do not guarantee better core stability.  If you are working in shorter periods, you will burn more calories and have much better form. 

Gray Cook, a world-renowned physical therapist, also promotes a ten second hold for core stability.  By the way, Cook is the creator of Functional Movement Screen (FMS), which we do here at Chanhassen Fitness Revolution. icon wink Adrenaline Abs

Master Physical Therapist Dr. Kareen Samhouri has this to say about the ten-second hold idea:

“Your muscle takes 2 seconds to ramp up intensity. You can sustain maximal motor unit recruitment for 6 seconds.  Your muscle will ramp down for 2 seconds.  2 + 6 + 2 = 10 seconds.  The optimal isometric contraction is 10 seconds as a result.”

Does this mean that there is never a place for a longer core stability hold?

No.  Athletes who are training for endurance or those people who are advanced in their core strength can find the longer holds beneficial.  But for most everyone else, holding for ten seconds is the best strategy.

The ten-second core stability hold concept is still not widely recognized in mainstream literature, but you can expect to see more about it as more people learn how top trainers and coaches are finding such success with it.

 

Adrenaline Abs Game Plan

A few key points:

  • I have increased the work times from Boutcher’s eight seconds to 10 seconds.  In my experience in group training settings, the extra 2 seconds are needful in order to ensure that participants achieve enough muscle contraction, especially since we are doing resistance training rather than cardio.
  • We are using a 5 second recovery period, because that is just enough time to move from floor to a standing position while transitioning between exercises.  For Adrenaline Abs, in fact, you will be required to move from floor to standing and back to floor a minimum of about 60 times in 20 minutes!  This will be very fatiguing and is beneficial training for both sports and everyday living.
  • This 1 to 1.5 work to recovery ratio will ensure that we get the same fat burn as the participants in Boutcher’s study.  Essentially, you get a 15-second rest in between each 10-second exercise.  This permits max intensity, since the total-body and core moves do not compete with each other.
  • You will notice a 1-minute recovery time between the 5-minute stations.  This ensures a little rest to maintain peak performance as you move further into the workout session.  You might also want to take a drink of water during this time.
  • Finally, there is a finisher at the end of each workout.  The finishers are work periods of 2 minutes of continual, total-body exercise.  When added to the previous ten second work sessions, they really round out the workout.  The added benefit is that they provide endurance training and deplete glycogen.  This has the effect of kicking up the level of fat burn that you get for the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours.  And finishers are good mental training as well!

 

Adrenaline Abs Program

  • Total time:  20 min.
  • Switch between 10 seconds of maximum effort for a total-body exercise and a core-stability exercise with a 5-second rest between exercises.
  • Complete for 5 continuous minutes and follow with a 1-minute recovery/transition period.
  • End with a 2-minute finisher of non-stop work of a total-body exercise.

 

Workout A

Workout B

Workout C

Station 1A

Station 1B

Swings

Front Pillar

Squat Chest Press

Mountain Climbers

Skater Jumps

Bottom ½ Push-up Hold

Station 2A

Station 2B

Squat Row

Side Core Hold

Skier Swings

Bird Dogs

Vertical Jumps

Side Pillar

Station 3A

Station 3B

High Pulls

Glutebridge Hold

Snatch

Single-Leg Balance

Split Hops

Fighting Dead Bug

Finisher

Curl + Squat + Press

Swings

Burpees

Get ready for six-pack abs!

 

HAVE FAITH & TAKE ACTION!

                   Signature Adrenaline Abs

Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMS

Justin Yule is the President & Chief Fitness Officer of Fitness Revolution in Chanhassen, MN.  He also runs an at-home weight loss & fitness training program – Fitness Revolution Inner Circle – providing the same great high-intensity intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts for all fitness levels as Chanhassen Boot Camp

Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with a Concentration in Adult Fitness.  He is also a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and holds multiple specialty certifications including Metabolic Training Expert, Kettlebell Coach, and Resistance Band Training Specialist.  Justin is also certified to administer the Functional Movement Screen.

Justin has been helping clients achieve their health and fitness goals since 1997, and became a Best Selling Author in 2011 with his contribution to Total Body Breakthroughs.  In addition, he has been nominated as one of the top Rising Stars in the Fitness Industry, and was featured in USA Today as a member of the World Fitness Elite.  To contact Justin for training, education or to have him speak at an event please email jyule2@gmail.com.

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends using the social media buttons below.

P.P.S. – Please ask a question or share a comment with us in the Leave a Comment section at the very bottom of the page.  We love your feedback and will use it to develop future blog posts.

 

PLEASE CLICK THE “LIKE” BUTTON (ABOVE), POST A COMMENT AND SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS…

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Good for Fitness… Yoda’s Wisdom Is

A Post Inspired by Jedi Master Yoda in Honor of George Lucas’ Birthday by Chanhassen Weight Loss & Fitness Expert Expert Justin Yule, BS, CPT, FMS

 

Getting into better shape does not have to be an impossible task if you set your mind to it.  In fact, success is usually determined simply by your approach to a given challenge.  If you do not have enough will power or self-esteem to keep going in the face of adversity, you will likely never achieve that ideal physique.  It is time to stop coming up with reasons why getting fit is impossible for you.  You may have given it a try a thousand times to no avail, but there is a first time for everything and trying isn’t always enough… 

In the wise words of Jedi Master Yoda, “Do, or do not.  There is no try.” 

0 Good for Fitness… Yoda’s Wisdom Is

When people “try” something they’re generally already in the mindset of it not working; they’ve got their out – “I tried, but it just didn’t work for me.”  REALLY?!

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Posted in Personal Development by Justin | 10 Comments

Sugar: Is it a Toxic Substance?

Chanhassen Weight Loss Expert and Nutrition Coach, Janell Yule, BS, CPT, FDN Shares the Danger of Consuming Sugar

 

I don’t think it is a secret to anyone that the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer is higher than it has ever been and continues to rise.  I hope at this point we can all agree that our diet and lifestyle directly correlate to these statistics.  In the early 1980’s, about one in seven Americans were obese, and almost six million were diabetic.  Fast forward to the early 2000s, when sugar consumption peaked due to the “low-fat” craze we went through, and one in every three Americans were obese, and 14 million were diabetic.

 

“Sugar:  The Bitter Truth”

 

On May 26th, 2009, Robert Lustig gave a lecture called “Sugar:  The Bitter Truth,” which was later posted to YouTube.  The video has since received over 800,000 views. 

 

 

0 Sugar:  Is it a Toxic Substance?

 

 

Lustig is a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders as well as a leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.  Lustig takes a pretty hard stance against sugar calling it a “toxin” or “poison.”  In addition he refers to sugar as “evil.”  He is not only referring to the white granulated stuff but also high fructose corn syrup, which Lustig argues has become “the most demonized additive known to man.” 

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