Fat loss and the choice of a training method is a key element, that will be reflected in the success of our weight loss. Undoubtedly, out training needs to be based on multi-joint exercises, which provide the organism with a strong stimulus, engaging a considerable part of muscle mass, which in turn is reflected in energy expenditure as well as metabolic mobilization. However, we sometimes forget about a few important elements, which will take care about limiting the risk of injury. What should we do?
It is undeniable that warm-up is a basic way to prepare to organism for strength effort. Without the proper introduction, muscles experience shock and hard effort may end up as injury. Therefore, before starting the first series of an exercise you should:
- increase the temperature of your body by cardio-type activity, which will allow you to prepare the musculoskeletal, respiratory and circulatory systems for effort,
- after point 1, it is worth introducing an element of stretching, which before training should be based on dynamic movements, which will allow to prepare muscle elasticity for effort, securing at the same times tendons and ligaments,
- step three are initial sets, which should be based on weight progression and movements, that we are going to perform, before starting a given exercise.
Despite the fact that these issues are quite obvious and everyone knows all of it, we may observe at gyms that a lot of people simply skip this part of training, starting from step three and mechanically performing a set on a bench, which is obviously wrong and exposes us to the risk of muscle damage. We know easy ways to prevent it, but avoid them, why? It is hard to say – lack of time, laziness or lack of knowledge.
I have been working out for 12 years without a more serious injury in my “career” and lately I have been asked “Have you ever stopped working out for longer?”. The answer was quite simple: “No, because I perform a solid warm-up and take care about mobility of tissues, which effectively protects muscles from overstrain and injuries”. Unfortunately a person who asked the question effectively skipped this element and could boast about rich experience of surgical treatments and rehabilitation.
The scope of repetitions and records vs lack of regeneration
This is a key issue in this article. A myth regarding increasing the scope of repetitions in a set, which should “shape” our musculature was disproved centuries ago, therefore, currently, strength training during reduction doesn’t differ much from a training during muscle gain.
However, one needs to bear in mind that negative energy balance may cause certain deficits when it comes to rebuilding and regeneration, resulting from the fact that our organism is subjected to long-lasting deficits of calories, which are needed in order to maintain the work of our organism in homeostasis, which forces out body to derive energy from stores. Therefore, when selecting weights, we should not apply excessively low number of reps, which are often used in the schemes directed at building strength.
The ego of people who train makes them lose reason and forget that our organism currently needs more time for regeneration and tissues may not be so resilient as during the abundance of calories during muscle gain. Therefore before you start doing 2-3 reps in a series, ask yourself a question, if a stimulation of the nervous system is an appropriate moment during fat loss, where building strength is considerably inhibited and usually we are prone to regress.
What is more, inhibited regeneration may cause that additional weight in the form of utilizing a considerable amount of motor entities to perform a movement may lead to the lack of readiness for another training and the necessity to prolong a break.
Hypertrophic scopes should therefore be a basic element, which will allow us to provide our muscles with a signal to preserve their mass and strength. When we want to slightly decrease the scope of reps, we should try to perform one exercise, in which we maximally go down to 6 reps in a set.
How to plan a training?
On my own example, my leg workout looks like this:
- warm-up + elements of dynamic stretching
- working series, 4 sets 12-14 reps, using leg press machine
- the second exercise is my strength exercise which aims at mobilizing the organism to preserve strength, it is usually a classic squat, but often in the form 5×5 or 4-5 sets 6 reps each
- subsequent two exercises are multi-joint exercises based on the hypertrophic scope 8-12 reps in min. 4 sets
- the last two exercises aim at maximally pumping muscles with blood, they are performed in double sets, 20 reps in 3 sets.
Breaks between sets and trainings
Another important element of training during fat loss. Breaks between sets should be adjusted to the character of training directed at fat loss. If you are able to talk with your friend about your last evening, it is a sign they breaks may be too long. If you have a training partner, a break between series should be long enough to let him perform his set and with tears in his eyes say that it is your turn now and he is going to die in a corner. In earnest, training needs to be intensive, shortness of breath is not only a characteristic element of cardio-type trainings or intervals. This feeling should also accompany your training during exercising large parts of the body, which is the indicator that the resting time is appropriate. Maximal break should last 60 seconds, which will allow to take a breath, drink a sip of water and wipe off sweat. If you have the time to read Facebook, it is the sign you are doing it too slow and your training may not be effective enough.
The frequency of trainings during the week is also important. Using an analogy, that Timothy Ferriss once used, comparing the human body to the sewage system in a big city, each of us has certain throughput. Each training session is a production of a considerable amount of waste, which needs to be eliminated from the organism. Excessively large production of metabolic waste will be related to blocking a pipe and lack of the ability to siphon off the waste. Therefore, trainings and their scope should be adjusted to the adapting abilities of our nervous system, as well as regenerative abilities of our systems. Failing to follow these rules will cause inhibiting progress and the necessity to take a break that will allow to decongest the system. It is hard to generalize and provide universal guidelines regarding training frequency, as it is dependent on many factors, which are individually changeable. However, based on my own experience, with full responsibility I may conclude that performing five training sessions during the week is quite demanding, but doable, on condition that our diet, supplementation and regenerative elements are strictly followed.
Listen to your own body
If you feel pain a few days in a row, you feel like your body weighed several tons and each movement makes you cry, it is high time to think about a break, which assumes additional periodical energy growth. It means that your organism sends signals about overtraining, which is not a myth. Fatigue of the nervous system, which will be burdened with effort, as well as frequent use of stimulants (thermogenics, supplements, coffee, drugs) will only discourage you to further work on your body.
You should increase caloric supply for one or two weeks and decrease training intensity, which will allow you to charge batteries and secure your organism from inhibiting metabolic activity and the subsequent stages of fat loss will continue with constant progression.