Everyone, more or less, would like to be fit, but many of us don’t have much patience for slow routines that show slow results, either in terms of cardio conditioning, or in terms of overall strength gains.
While getting into truly great shape will take time, and there’s no way of getting around that, certain workout styles and approaches can and will yield faster results than others. The trade off, of course, is that these approaches take more consistency and intensity, and may be harder to stick with.
However, if you’re the kind of person who’d prefer to go all-out for faster results, these are some training methods that might just be perfect for you.
Tabata training has become quite famous in recent years, after various studies revealed that it had a series of immense benefits over more conventional and low-intensity forms of training.
Tabata training stimulates rapid cardiovascular development, boosts muscular endurance tremendously, and might even boost hormones such as testosterone which are instrumental in building muscle and strength. On top of all that, a Tabata workout can take as little as 4 minutes per session.
Tabata training works by having you do sequences of exercises, one after the other, in rounds, repeated with either no breaks, or very short breaks in between. A Tabata workout could look like the following:
20 jump squats
Repeat for 10 rounds, with a 20 second break between each round.
HIIT stands for “High Intensity Interval Training”, and when it comes to cardio, HIIT essentially means doing “sprint” intervals, where you’ll go all out at max intensity for a time, then go at a regular pace, then go back to full intensity.
Typical HIIT cycles could include getting on an exercise bike, pedaling as hard and fast as possible for 30 seconds, followed by a slow pace for 30 seconds, followed by another 30 second sprint.
These workouts are typically short, lasting as little as 10 minutes. Don’t be deceived, though. It will leave you feeling tired.
The benefits? Studies have found that HIIT is more effective for cardiovascular conditioning than steady-state, conventional cardio, such as jogging. Even 10 minutes of HIIT will tend to outperform a 1 hour jogging session. You’ll also get to enjoy a serious endorphin rush when you’re done.
If you’re looking to buy an exercise bike to do HIIT on, be sure to look up reliable exercise bike reviews. To maintain full intensity, you’ll ideally want a bike which you can adjust resistance on.
Daily powerlifting workouts
Most people looking to gain strength stick by the conventional wisdom of training each muscle group to failure, with high reps, once or twice a week.
The strength and conditioning author, Pavel Tsatsouline, recommends another way in his book “Power to the People”. Using Soviet-era strength research, and the habits of old-school powerlifters as his basis, he recommends doing the same heavy compound lifts each day.
The trick is in keeping the rep range low, never going to failure, and cycling back the weight when it seems too heavy. By following this system, you can make strength gains much faster and more reliably than on a conventional program. The catch? It probably won’t be quite as effective at building size.