Strength training for athletic development

  • The Best Exercise For Fat Loss

    A lot of people ask me ‘what is the best exercise for fat loss?’ I have long been an advocate of the Conjugated Method of training during my time in elite sport and it is from this basis that I recommend exercise for fat loss. The Conjugate Method is a form of periodisation that incorporates maximal effort strength, dynamic strength and work capacity training throughout the training cycle and sometimes in the same training sessions. 

    What Is The Best Exercise For Fat Loss?

    In order to maximise fat loss from exercise, you must ensure that you are using exercise to firstly burn energy but also increase mitochondrial efficiency, increase muscle mass and to produce a subsequent hormonal cascade that is conductive to fat loss.

    best exercise for fat loss

    One of the most time efficient ways of getting benefits from your exercise is using high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Research has shown that HIIT enhances the metabolic machinery in muscle cells that promotes fat-burning and blunts fat production. A Laval University study discovered that the HIIT subjects’ muscle fibres had significantly higher markers for fat oxidation (fat-burning) than those in a steady-state exercise group.

     

    And a study published in a 2007 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology reported that young females who performed seven HIIT workouts over a two-week period experienced a 30% increase in both fat oxidation and levels of muscle enzymes that enhance fat oxidation. Moreover, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim) reported that subjects with metabolic syndrome – a combination of medical disorders that increases one’s risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes – who followed a 16-week HIIT program had a 100% greater decrease in the fat-producing enzyme fatty acid synthase compared to subjects who followed a program of continuous moderate-intensity exercise.

    Although the exact mechanisms of how high-intensity cardio trumps steady-state cardio aren’t fully understood yet, scientists have isolated quite a few of the factors:

    – Post-exercise appetite suppression.
    – Increased resting metabolic rate for upwards of 24 hours after exercise.
    – Improved insulin sensitivity in the muscles.
    – Higher levels of fat oxidation in the muscles.
    – Significant spikes in growth hormone levels (which aid in fat loss) and catecholamine levels (chemicals your body produces to directly induce fat mobilization).

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    Remember though HIIT is obviously very intense and if you have not exercised for a while build up your exercise tolerance before you start smashing out the intervals.  And for HIIT to work so MUST you to the point of 100% exhaustion.

    My favourite session is randomised or instinctive training where I mix HIIT/resistance training and aerobic training in one session.  And in my book ‘The Science of Fat Loss‘ I give examples of a number of these workouts which have had a great effect on dropping my body fat%.

    But, what I do before training is equally important as the training session. For example, training after you have consumed large amounts of carbohydrates will just result in you burning all of the stored glycogen that you have in your system. But, while training on an empty stomach can mean that you are tapping into those fat stores for fuel, you also start to use your muscle protein. The combination of the HIIT training can result in the exercise for fat loss.

    So, What’s The Answer?

    Before training, I take 1-2 scoops of Amino Work Capacity which contains branch-chain amino acids to help reduce muscle protein breakdown and give you the energy to fuel your workouts. Metabolic Enhancer is specifically formulated to boost your metabolism and help you achieve your fat burning goals. THis can be used as a pre-workout or taken throughout the day to increase your metabolism.

    If you are taking any prescribed medication or have any medical conditions ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist BEFORE taking vitamins or supplements. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. If pregnant or lactating, ALWAYS consult your doctor before use.  Or if you have any queries about any supplement ALWAYS consult a QUALIFIED medical professional.

     

    Please click here to read our legal disclaimer on all products and advice.

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  • The Conjugated Method of Training

    During my time in professional sport I was never as successful as when I was employing the Conjugated Method in my training plans

     

    What is the Conjugated Method

     

    It is a form of periodization that incorporates maximal effort strength, dynamic strength and work capacity training throughout the training cycle and sometimes in the same training sessions. Unlike the westernised periodisation model, I have found that the Conjugated Method allowed players to train consistently at a high level.

     

    I was introduced to this method by Louie Simmons at Westside Barbell. When I applied the methods I learned into the training we used at the rugby clubs, the results were phenomenal. I saw average athletes become good athletes and good athletes become great athletes. Not only that, this method meant that we could train maximally pretty much all year round without any detriment to our performances on game day.

     

     

    I witnessed players going from 110 kg bench to 170 kg bench in a season and this is while the player as to train and play as a professional rugby player which trust me is brutal. I also witnessed players squats going from 130 kg to 250kg in the same time period it was incredible and made a huge contribution to the players performance on the field as that was obviously the whole purpose of our strength program in rugby to improve performance, as there were no trophies for the best bench or squat at the end of the season.

     

    How did this training look then?

    Well, one of the things I introduced was frequent maximal effort lifting. If you continue to use 3-12 reps then you are not training yourself to apply maximum force in minimum time which is what the majority of sports require.

     

    For example, in rugby, you don’t get 5 or 6 chances to tackle a player. You have to apply maximum force in one, quick movement.

     

     

    Another key to the Conjugated Method is to keep changing the program so that the body has to keep adapting and trying to adjust to the program. These changes do not have to be big. You can use different stances, grips, thickness of bar etc to make small changes to the same exercise. This is exactly what I did with the teams and athletes I worked with.

     

    The only way you can judge how good your program design can be summed up in one word, RESULTS! And results are exactly what I got when I applied this training method

     

    I remember when I was the head strength coach of a professional rugby team; my head coach got a call from the national coach complaining about the fitness levels of the players from our team saying they needed to be more aerobically fitter. My head coach’s reply was simply – “when we stop winning league titles and cup finals I will then review what changes we need to make!”

     

    I have gone in to great detail of how I formulated a training period and individual training sessions in the Ultimate Strength & Conditioning Book.

     

    This book is the culmination of 30 years of my experience and I have even included some of the sessions are programmes that I used with Amir Khan, Olympian Stuart Stokes and Professional Rugby clubs.

     

     


     

    If you are taking any prescribed medication or have any medical conditions ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist BEFORE taking vitamins or supplements. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. If pregnant or lactating, ALWAYS consult your doctor before use.  Or if you have any queries about any supplement ALWAYS consult a QUALIFIED medical professional.

     

    Please click here to read our legal disclaimer on all products and advice.

     

     

    Please follow and like us:

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