I might as well have been six feet under at that point in time. Another metabolic session complete as I lay in a pool of my own sweat; thankfully absent of vomit.
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Conditioning sucks BUT not being in condition sucks a hell of lot more.
You probably have been here before. Hearing your heart beat louder than the music in your headphones. The buzz of the timer sternly stating “session complete”.
When it comes to fat loss, high intensity intervals have become the sultan of sweat. The king of crash. The colossus of clout! The colossus of clout!
Just like thee Babe Ruth, one protocol distinguishes itself above the rest when it comes to making your fat cry, improve body composition, and question your sanity as you torture your poor body. You damn sadist.
All for the glory of looking damn good naked.
You know this holy grail of metabolic work as 30-30.
Thirty awful seconds of all out, balls to the wall work followed by a matching thirty seconds of “rest” where you do anything possible to catch your breathe, lower your heart rate, and muster up enough motivation to do the next set.
Problem is…this protocol SUCKS for you.
Yup, we said it.
You see we’ve been in the same shoes as you. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced bad ass.
At one point, we weren’t ready for 30 seconds of all out work. Our conditioning just couldn’t handle the demands. On the other hand, we reached the point where we needed far less than the allotted 30 seconds.
But we went on and poured our heart and soul into 30 seconds of work and rest only to have our fat loss dreams crushed without improvement.
There in lies the biggest reason why 30-30 sucks…
How do you know if you are actually improving?
Unlike resistance training, this type of conditioning leaves us without markers of improved performance. When strength training, you can mark your progression by increasing intensity (weight), volume (sets and reps), or density (time).
Aimlessly doing HIIT work is inefficient and ineffective. One day you hit that 30 second sprint at 11 MPH. The next session, you’re cruising along at 8.5. There is no rhyme or reason to your madness.
Sure, there is some validity to listening to your body and basing your intensity off how you feel. Leave that to the seasoned veterans. [SPOILER: These methods will actually adjust your intensity and recovery periods specifically to you every single session.]
We want results and we want them now.
Statistics are extremely motivating. It is down right inspiring to see the scale move in the right direction, add more weight to the bar, or hit a PR for more repetitions.
High intensity intervals leave us without that motivation to do better.
Here’s where we reveal two methods of conditioning for fat loss that are completely customizable to you, specifically.
In order to achieve just that, we will be strapping up my fellow gangsters. With heart rate monitors, of course. But before you go digging to find yours in that junk drawer, let us give the nitty gritty.
If you don’t have one, this is the model we recommend to all of our clients. Grab it here:
METHOD #1: EFFICIENCY
As Ryan breaks down in this episode of More Than Meat and Potatoes, our first method [2:02] is about improving efficiency or the amount of time you can complete a certain number of sets.
The goal in this method is to complete a specific number of sets – i.e., 10 to 20 rounds – in the shortest time frame as possible. Week to week, you will look to improve upon that TOTAL DURATION.
The constants will be your specific number of sets and the duration of those sets. We recommend between 15 to 45 seconds for any metabolic exercise of your choosing. Just be sure that the exercise you select allows you to reach a maximum heart rate within the time frame.
Say you decide to take our awesome advice and implement this today. You start off with 20 rounds of 20 seconds of rope. You will bring your 100% effort to making those battling ropes your bitch. Then you will rest until the heart rate monitor reaches 135 BPM. Then repeat. You complete that in 15 minutes.
BADA BING! You savage, you.
When you come back to hit it again later in the week or next, you should look to complete 20 rounds in less than 15 minutes.
METHOD #2: DENSITY
The second method [3:12] Ryan explains is through density. The goal here will be to complete as many rounds or sets as possible in a given time frame.
The duration of your exercise will be different here. In addition to improving density, you should choose an exercise and intensity that allows your heart rate to reach 170 BPM as fast as possible. Then you will rest until your heart rate reaches 135 bpm and repeat. Aim for 10 to 30 seconds.
Say you go with some hill sprints like the legendary Walter Payton. You have only 20 minutes until the premiere of HBO’s Vinyl (so friggin’ amped to see our hilarious client Jack Quaid in this). You complete 10 rounds in that time frame.
Sprinting up as fast as possible and going up the hill until your heart rate reaches 170 BPM. Then you walk down and repeat once your heart rate reaches 135 BPM.
Next week, your goal will be to complete 11 rounds in 20 minutes.
There you have it. These two battle tested methods are just what you need to customize your conditioning to your specific needs.
Not only will they be a sure way to drop more body fat but they will keep you motivated with targets to improve upon week to week.
Get a heart rate monitor, put these protocols into effect immediately, and let us know how we can help you win the war on body composition.
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