How to Kick Your OWN Butt

I’ve found most people don’t push themselves when they workout at alone. Whether it’s a trainer, class or workout partner, most people need something to give them that edge. So what do you do to increase intensity when working out alone? You bring a clock into the mix.

Let’s think about standard training before I chat about the clock. Normally we have a task to complete in a set number of reps. So, I have to do 12 repetitions of shoulder press for 3 sets. That can be as intense or easy as I want it based on my pace, weight and rest time. But what if I gave you that same task but I said you had to do it in 60 seconds? That sure would change things up a bit.

As many of you know, Steve and I lead BCx Boot Camp at wwwFitStudio.com. As we were creating the program, we wanted to design a program that had a certain level of intensity. How did we do that? We threw in a time-component. Every task in BCx is either comprised of a set number of tasks that are done for time or tasks that are to be performed for as many rounds as you can go in a set amount of time. All the sudden, although you don’t have someone to compete with, you have a ticking clock that is your biggest competitor.

What about people who aren’t competitive? Well, I’m really not that competitive myself, but there is one thing that will quickly make me more competitive and that’s dealing with my pride. That’s why we ask people to post their times in the forum. It’s one thing to workout and post your time on paper at home, but to know everyone will see your times – now that changes things. I don’t want to be shamed! Knowing I planned to post my times yesterday made me push further than I would if I was on my own. Ironically, no one judges anyone on the forums for longer times and no one hates on the crazy peeps who have insane times – we all realize that we are each giving our own 100% and that’s all that matters. Just sharing your workouts with your social networks and friends will definitely keep you more accountable.

So what kind of body does this type of training produce? Well, if you want to look like a big bulky powerlifter – this training style is not for you. However, you can gain muscle mass and lose body fat – which is what most people want to do. A woman in her fifties told me yesterday she lost 8lbs of fat and gain 3lbs of muscle in 2 weeks of BCx. (we have a special machine that shows fat and muscle change)

Look at Matthew McConaughey. When I googled him, there was not one photo of him lifting weights, but there were a million of him running, surfing, doing bodyweight exercises (like pushups, pullups, crunches, etc) and yoga on the beach. There are few girls on this planet that don’t like his physique and the same goes with women’s bodies. Most men like a fit look, not a beefy bodybuilder look. So, if this look is what you are going for, this type of training us for you. Another reason Matthew you looks muscular is because he stays lean with all the cardio. The leaner you get, the more the muscles you do have are exposed. Many people have great muscle but it’s just hidden with a layer of fat. Take it from McConau-hey-I’m-so-hot and shed the fat covering your hot bod!

Why does it work? The answer is twofold. One, it increases your heart rate during exercise so you burn more calories completely many of the same tasks you may already do like squats, lunges, shoulder press, pushups, etc. Secondly, it fatigues the muscles which is necessary for muscle developments. Many times people waitt too long between sets, which allows the muscle to recover so it’s strong for the next set. With faster pace training, you don’t allow your muscles to fully recuperate, which tells your muscle it better shape up so it can endure the task you keep giving it.

Few reps and high weight develop power and strength, but not necessarily pretty muscle. Medium to high reps develops shapely firm muscle, but the person may not be as strong (but they’ll likely look hot!). The fact of the matter is most people don’t want to look like bodybuilders or beefy football players who need to lift extremely heavy to be powerful and unusually big. Today’s “look” is fit and this style of training will make you look as fit as you actually are.

How can you use these training principles in your own workout? Of course you can always do BCx at our gym or free online, but you can incorporate the same training methods in with your own workout routine. For example, I may give myself a task of doing 50 pushups as fast as I can. Since I can’t do all fifty push-ups in a row, I will have to take a break. Since I put a time constraint on it, my breaks will be super short and I’ll keep banging them out until they are done. Then I may move on to doing some weighted chest exercises and then finish up with another type of BCx style training. Another thing I do is actually incorporate BCx Missions (circuits) that target a body part and use it as part of my workout. It really takes things up a notch and it forces me to do stuff I wouldn’t normally do.

Why people like this type of training? People like it because it saves time. Instead of doing your cardio and weights separately, you are combining the two and getting more bang for your buck. We live in a busy world and we all need to save time.

Another reason people like this style of training is because it pushes them and they see improvements faster. When we just go through the same mundane routine, we typically find we are doing the same weight, same exercises and, quite frankly, getting the same results. When we push ourselves to perform like this, our body has no other choice but to change in order to be able to handle the new workload. It’s kind of like raking the yard. If we rake the yard once, we may get one blister that will heal in a few days. You start raking yards everyday, your body has to react to that work and so it starts building calluses. That is how repetitive training works. If you challenge your body, you will change.

Additionally, people like this type of training because the actual task takes your mind off of what you are actually doing. For instance, in BCx Boot Camp, you are so focused on completing the task and counting the rounds, that before you know it, you are done.

Lastly, people like this style of training because it increases the value of a calorie. When workouts are more intense, people are less likely to blow it on their diet – knowing how hard they worked to burn off the calories. When workouts are easy, there is no true value to the exercise in comparison to calories. People who perform challenging workouts are more protective over their investment and treat their body better when it comes to their diet. The combination of eating well and training hard = SUCCESS!

So, if you feel you are needing to change things up – maybe it’s time to pick up the pace and watch your progress pick up the pace too!

JOIN BCx BOOT CAMP or try a workout at FitStudio.com, powered by Sears – the #1 Fitness Retailer in the Nation!

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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on May 10, 2011, in Encouragement, Exercise & Training, Goals, Motivational. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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