If you lift free weights as part of your workout routine, how long is your typical workout. I have a free weight workout that I’ve done every other day since 1990. Other than increasing the weights over the first couple of years, the actual amount of weight I lift, the exercises and the number of sets has remained the same. I know this isn’t optimal, and that research has shown that “muscle confusion” continues to stress, break-down and build-up muscle more effectively. I do some things to mix it up, but I’d by lying to say that my training cycle has a lot of variance.
One thing I have done over the past couple of years is to dramatically decrease the time between lifting intervals (aka sets). Since I work out at home, I use a simple timer that I downloaded on the computer and I set the “interval” for two minutes, and I adjust the setting to “repeat”. Thus, the timer goes off every two minutes and instantly begins again. My rule is that when the timer goes off, I do the next set, regardless of how much residual burn I’m still feeling. Since my sets take me 30-45 seconds each, it means the recovery period is about 1:30 to 1:15 minutes. When I start each muscle group the time between the first and second set seems adequate, but by the time the timer goes off for the fourth set, a “you’ve got to be kidding me” thought always seems to come to mind. It cut my overall weight training time (less core – sit-ups, crunches and super-crunches) from about 60 minutes to 45 minutes. More so, the results from basically the same workout are more pronounced.
When traveling I do the same thing, but use the timer on my smartphone. It was a simple way to increase the intensity and effectiveness of my workout. If you haven’t tried it, you may be surprised at how cutting back the recover period between sets impacts your results.
Small steps add up!!!