We do like to bring you the latest in evidenced-based research but also plenty of applied material that comes from our work as practitioners. Forget the “Insanity” workout, here is a great method for maximising your physique development and calorific expenditure that we use with our own clients. We call it “compound sessions” and it came about from noticing that successful players in team sports often continue training after a practice match.
For example, they might play a game of 5-a-side football and follow this with a 10k run. With our clients we might suggest something in this order: After a 15-mile cycle ride stop off at the gym and do a 30-minute strength endurance circuit. On the surface of it, that sounds like madness so it’s time to spell out exactly why we think this is a 27-carat training system:
- It uses the positive mindset and energy of the first session to springboard into another session. When we’re fired up and feeling successful it’s just a matter of doing a “little bit more”. That’s a whole lot easier in psychological terms than getting off the couch and going out into the cold in the first place.
- It maximises recovery time. Instead of straining our bodies six or seven times a week it makes it easier for us to have longer recuperative periods and hence faster development and greater longevity. Greater recovery periods also reduce stress and equalise our hormonal balances!
- It burns more fat- longer workouts necessitate a switchover from burning mostly carbohydrates to mostly fat. What this means is that, the longer we carry on past one hour, the more likely it is that we’re going to be burning fat.
- There are economies of scale- we only have to prepare for the session once rather than twice, only need one shower, only need to break from our work once. It makes more time for other aspects of our lives- seeing family and friends and achieving awesome things at work.
- It develops our endurance capabilities and stresses our body in new ways helping us to overcome training plateaux. How much easier will it be to lift that 100kg weight in the bench press today if we have done it after a cardio-vascular session 4 days ago? We are not saying that quality work should always be preceded by gruelling cardio (or vice versa) but it makes a good change now and again.
- It’s hardcore and we feel great about ourselves and the commitment we have shown. Let’s face it, not everyone down at the gym has the “cojones” to do this!