What are your goals?

Goal: Increase Strength

Use exercises with low repetitions and heavy weight.

• Use compound exercises.

• 80% of your one rep maximum.

• 4 to 6 repetitions per set.

• 3 to 5 sets per exercise.

• Rest 1 to 3 minutes per exercise.

Goal: Increase Muscle Mass

Use exercises with, medium repetitions and medium weight.

• Use a combination of compound and isolation exercises.

• Load or weight should be 60 to 80% of your one rep maximum.

• 6 to 12 repetitions per set.

• 3 to 4 sets per exercise.

• Rest 1 to 3 minutes per exercise.

Goal: Burn Fat

There are two specific periods of time that are optimal for burning the most fat in your workout, first thing in the morning and immediately following an anaerobic workout. Glycogen levels are severely depleted during these times, so the body must use fat for fuel.

1. First thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

Recall, when we wake up our body is in a fasted state. The level of glycogen stored in your muscles and liver is extremely low because it has been 10-12 hours since you last ate any carbohydrates. The depleted level of glycogen is optimal because the body must tap into its reserve energy source, body fat. Studies have shown up to 300% more fat is burned in a fasted state.

2. Immediately following an anaerobic workout, such as weight lifting.

Typically, it takes 20 minutes for the body to deplete its glycogen storage. The body is in the perfect state to start burning fat because the weight lifting workout already burned off most of the carbohydrates. The switch to fat for fuel is the perfect time to start an aerobic workout.

Goal: Increase Aerobic Endurance

Endurance is the ability to withstand a high level of activity before the onset of fatigue or stress. 

• Perform an aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming, etc.) for at least 30 minutes in duration.

• 65-75% of your maximum heart rate.

• No more than 3 to 5 times per week.

• Cycle the exercise, pace and distance to keep your body from adapting to a specific routine.

Goal: Increase Anaerobic Endurance and Burn Fat

Anaerobic endurance is the ability to perform extremely intense physical activity over a very short period of time; 95% to 100% of your maximum heart rate for a duration of a few seconds, up to about a minute.

Anaerobic exercises produce a byproduct called lactic acid, a key determinant of anaerobic endurance. Lactic acid is a waste product that is produced when the muscles perform intense work. The lactate threshold (also known as the anaerobic threshold) occurs when the buildup of lactic acid exceeds the body’s ability to clear waste from the cells. When we reach our lactate threshold, we experience an intense burning sensation in the muscles performing work, and can no longer continue. At lower intensities (aerobic activities), the body can easily clear the lactic acid, but during more intense physical activity, we must reduce or stop activity to give our body time to clear the lactic acid.

To increase anaerobic endurance, we must increase the rate at which our body removes lactic acid. The best way to do that is to repeatedly train at the point of maximum “lactate“ so that the body can learn to adapt and process the lactic acid more efficiently.

High volume training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are the two most efficient ways to improve anaerobic endurance. Additionally, these routines simultaneously increase muscle definition and stimulate fat loss. In the next post, I will discuss these two programs in more detail. 

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