Jason Statham, a world famous actor and arguably the face of physical fitness in Hollywood, is an action star that turns heads with some of his physical feats. And when a guy can be that athletic and in shape, it’s no wonder he continues getting calls for action movies.

Since his 2008 film Death Race, Statham has been working with trainer, and former Navy SEAL Logan Hood to get and stay in shape for his roles. Hood has the 50-year-old action star training 6 days a week with changes to the routine everyday. The workouts are designed to be high-intensity and alternate between static and dynamic routines. This helps increase the heart rate, tone muscle and burn fat.

Give it a try for yourself!

Statham Routine

Day 1: Pyramid Circuit
7 reps each

-Warming up: 10 minutes on a rowing machine at a speed of 20 strokes/minute
-Pushups
-Ring pull-ups
-Squats with bodyweight only
-Stiff leg deadlifts
-Hanging leg raises
-Cooling down: 10 minutes freestyle aerial work on a gymnastic trampoline (or cardio for those of us wanting to stay on the ground)

Day 2: Static Hold Circuit
Static Circuit (four sets of each exercise with the weights held for 30 seconds and 10 seconds of rest between sets)

-Warming up: 10 minutes on a rowing machine at a speed of 20 strokes/minute
-Flat bench chest press
-Military press shoulder exercise
-Dumbbell chest flys
-Triceps pressdowns with dumbbell
-L-sit hold on dip bars
-Farmers hold with kettlebell
-Bodyweight squat hold
-Cooling down: 10 minutes on a gymnastic trampoline

The ‘5’ Circuit (still day 2)
5 exercises done 10 times without rest, starting with 10 reps of each and decreasing by 1 in each set: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 times

-Front squats with weights
-Pull-ups
-Decline pushups
-Power cleans with a barbell
-Knee to elbows

Day 3: Interval Training

Rowing

-Warming up 2000 m at 15-20 strokes/minute on a rowing machine
-Six intervals of alternate rowing and rest; between each 500 m, 3-min active rests that involve walking around the gym or house

Boxing

-Warming up with shadowboxing and lunges for legs
-Three min intervals of punching and kicking against a padded target (5 times)
-Two min rounds against a heavy bag (3 times)
-Three min session against a speed bag (once)
-Kettlebell farmers hold (3 sets)

Day 4: Lower Body Workouts and Pushups

-Warmup: Rowing 2000 m
-Squats with bodyweight only (20 reps)
-Front squats with 175lb weight (5 sets, 5 reps, rest 90 sec between sets)
-Stiff leg deadlifts (4 sets, 1 rep at 130, 140, 160, and 180 percent of the bodyweight, rest 3 min between sets)
-Reverse abs crunches
-Cooling down: 200 pushups (sets of 15-20-25-20-15 reps)

Day 5: Cumulative Workout Routine

-Warming up: Rope climbs, bear crawls (20 yards), and crab walks (20 yards), 5 reps each

One set each

-Front squats with 120% bodyweight (5 reps)
-Medicine ball slams (5 reps)
-Rope pulls (5 reps)
-Flat bench press (10 reps)
-Medicine ball slams (10 reps)
-Pull-ups (15 reps)
-Medicine ball slams (10 reps)
-Dips (15 reps)
-Medicine ball slams (15 reps)
-Rope pulls (20 reps)
-Medicine ball slams (20 reps)

Day 6: Contextual Workout

-Trail running for more than an hour

Day 7

-Rest day

Staham Diet

According to Statham, about 95% of his diet is made up of fat- and carb-free foods. Any sweets and any ‘cheat’ meals happen in the morning so the carbs can be worked off throughout the day, as well, he tries not to eat ANYTHING past 7pm. Here’s an example of what his day looks like.

-Breakfast: Fresh fruits such as pineapple and strawberries, oats, poached eggs; granola/porridge in cold wintry places
-Lunch: Brown rice, steamed vegetables, or miso soup
-Dinner: Lean beef, chicken, fish, a vegetable/salad; he avoids eating after 7 o’clock in the evening
-Peanut butter, nuts, or other high-protein snacks between meals
-At least 3 liters water per day

Kryss DeSandre is a 22-year-old up and coming fitness star. The bikini competitor has been training seriously since 2015 after her physique was noticed by a trainer who insisted she begin competing. As Kryss recalls, “I was excited, but I didn’t know where to begin. [the trainer] ended up training me, and the rest is history!”

The Utah native was always a competitor and athlete, growing up playing sports like track and basketball, as well as cheering throughout her life. It was not until she started working that she got back into the gym to regain her fitness peak, which she has certainly accomplished.

Here’s how she stays in shape, and how you can too!

Monday: Off Day

-Rest day

Tuesday: Quads/Hams

-Front Squats 5 x 10
-Wide Stance Leg Press 4 x 12
-Lying Leg Curls 5 x 10
-Bulgarian Split Squats 4 x 10 per leg
-Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts 4 x 15
-Lying Leg Curls 2 x 20

Wednesday: Arms/Cardio Circuit

-Standing EZ-Bar Curls 5 x 12
-Cable Curls 5 x 12
-Preacher Curls 3 x 20
-Skull Crushers 5 x 12
-Overhead Dumbbell Extensions 4 x 15
-Bench Dips 3 x 25
-Tricep Pulldowns 10 x 10
-Cardio Circuit
-Kettlebell Swings 20 x 5
-Upright Rows 20 x 5
-Box Jumps 15 x 5
-Planks 45 Seconds x 5

Thursday: Full body/Cardio

-Seated Machine Press 4 x 12
-Seated Cable Rows 4 x 12
-Reverse Pec Dec Fly’s 4 x 20
-Close Grip Lat Pulldowns 4 x 18
-Side Lateral Raises 3 x 15
-Russian Twists 3 x 30 (Superset)
-Lying Leg Curls 5 x 20
-Treadmill Sprints

Friday: Quads

-Leg Press 8 x 15
-Box Squats 5 x 10
-Leg Extensions 6 x 20
-Close Stance Hack Squats 4 x 12
-Walking Lunges 3 x 15 per leg

Saturday: Chest/Shoulders/Cardio Circuit

-Smith Machine Incline Press 5 x 12-15
-Machine Fly’s 3 x 15 (Drop Set)
-Incline Push Ups 5 x 15
-Side Lateral Dumbbell Raises 4 x 10 (Superset)
-Front Dumbbell Raises 4 x 10
-Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 x 30
-Cardio Circuit
-Kettlebell Snatches 10 x 4 per arm
-Kettlebell Swings 20 x 4
-Burpees 10 x 4
-Planks 40 Seconds x 4

Sunday: Back/Shoulders/Cardio Circuit

-Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns 4 x 15
-Close Grip Lat Pulldowns 3 x 10
-High Rows 4 x 15
-Rear Delt Fly’s 4 x 15
-One-Arm Dumbbell Rows 4 x 8
-Assisted Pull Ups 4 x 10
-Dumbbell Shrugs 5 x 20
-Standing Calf Raises 5 x 30
-Cardio Circuit
-Kettlebell Swings 20 x 3
-Box Jumps 15 x 3
-Renegade Rows 10 x 3 per arm
-Russian Twists 20 x 3 per side

Along with working out and staying active, eating right will secure your gains. Kryss offers her daily diet, as well as some advice for satisfying cravings, saying:

“When I find myself craving junk food like delicious French fries, I don’t always cut myself off completely from having them because let’s face it, that would be depressing. Instead, I am able to find healthier alternatives for what I am craving, and I will cook them at home.

Daily Diet

-Meal 1: 1 Whole Egg, 3 Egg Whites, 1/3 cup Oatmeal, 1 tablespoon Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, 1 tablespoon Honey and 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
-Meal 2: 5 ounces Ground Turkey, ½ cup Brown Rice, 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce and 2 cups Cooked Broccoli
-Meal 3: 1 Banana, 3 tablespoons Almond Butter or 30 Almonds and ½ tablespoon Honey
-Meal 4: 1 Scoop Protein and 8-12 ounces Water
-Meal 5: 5 ounces Grilled Chicken, 2 tablespoons Almond Butter and 1/3 Avocado
-Meal 6: 5 ounces Salmon, 1 cup Mixed Green Vegetables and ½ Avocado
-Meal 7: 1 scoop Protein and 8-12 ounces Water

Need some motivation? Here’s Kryss’ favorite quote!

“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” – William Ernest Henley

Okay cheat meals- the double edge sword. This is the meal you look forward to but also dread at the same time. Once the meal is over you automatically start thinking of what the physical outcomes is going to be. Here is the thing:

Cheat meals actually have benefits, here are a few:

Benefits:
Speeds up metabolism
For some, a boost in testosterone levels
Restores glycogen
Give your body something different to deal with and creates confusion

There are also Re-Feeds

Re-Feeds

Re-feeds and cheat meals are different.
A cheat meal is something that you would not have in your typical diet
A re-feed is a planned day where you increase in caloric intake, mainly consisting of a large amount of carbs
For those on low-cal diets and looking to restore glycogen re-feeds are the way to go

Remember it is a Cheat Meal, 1-2 cheat meals a week are totally fine if you keep them to what they are, MEALS. Cheat meals do not become cheat days, when they do you get fat storage.

Person Goals Must be Kept in Mind

Someone below 10% body fat can get away with more cheat meals per week then those higher into the 20’s. I would recommend that if you have a certain goal then stick it through and get to where you want to be before you start setting aside cheat meal days. Re-feeds are a better option at this point for those dropping fat. Once you are where you want to be it is always easier to handle that cheat meal.

The Psychological Aspect
Many people include cheat meals to deal with cravings, emotions, just life in general
Having a certain day where you can have a cheat meal tends to keep others in line during the week with their diet making this tactic beneficial to them.
A proper cheat meal will not ruin your diet, it is one meal- the psychological part is what can be the killer. Are you mentally strong enough to limit yourself to just one meal that day?? Or will it continue on for a few days?
Once the mental aspects of cheat meals are conquered it becomes smooth sailing when dealing with these meals.

Strategies:
Use that cheat meal as an energy source hours before your workout
Use the meal for post-workout refuelling
There are always healthier versions of meals that taste just as good
Remember your usually daily caloric intake, stay in the ballpark- not go 2-3X usual amount
Relax and Enjoy it!

Eat well, drink well and smile while doing it!

Since a young age Ashley Nocera was active and athletic. She started swimming at the age of 4 and eventually began doing it competitively. After 10 years of competitive swimming, Ashley turned her focus onto the fitness world, but the change of passion did not come without its criticisms.

“My new lifestyle seemed silly to them. But once I focused on myself and learned to ignore the negativity around me, I was able to continue my fitness journey with confidence.”

But Ashley was not deterred and by the age of 19 she won her first ever fitness competition and earned her Pro Card. Now she is 22 and looking as lean and fit as ever. Check out her weekly routine and see what you might need to add to your next gym day.

Monday: Lower Body

-Squats 5 x 6-8
-Dumbbell Lunges 3 x 20
-Straight Leg Deadlifts 4 x 10-12
-Barbell Good Mornings 4 x 10-12
-Leg Curl 4 x 10-12

Tuesday: Arms/Abs

-Dumbbell Curl 3 x 10
-Hammer Curl 3 x 10
-Skull Crusher 3 x 10
-Tricep Pushdown 3 x 10
-Dips 3 x Failure
-Russian Twists 3 x 20
-Cable Chops 3 x 15

Wednesday: Lower Body

-Cable Kickbacks 4 x 15
-Hip Thrust 3 x 15
-Box Jump 4 x 10
-Step Up 3 x 10
-Adduction Machine 3 x 15
-Standing Calf Raise 3 x 20

Thursday: Shoulders/Back/Abs

-Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 x 10
-Dumbbell Front Raise 3 x 10
-Pull-Ups 3 x Failure
-Cable Pullover 3 x 10
-Seated Cable Row 3 x 12
-Weighted Decline Crunches 4 x 15
-Hanging Leg Raise 4 x 15

Friday: Lower Body

-Squats 5 x 8
-Deadlifts 4 x 8
-Leg Press 4 x 12
-Leg Extension 3 x 12
-Barbell Lunges 3 x 20
-Abduction Machine 3 x 15

Saturday: Cardio

-20 Minutes Stairmaster
-15 Minutes Treadmill

Sunday: Rest

-Recovery

Treadmill Routine

-1 Minute Side Shuffle
-1 Minute Sprint
-1 Minute Lunge
-1 Minute Walk
-1 Minute Back Pedal
Repeat 4 times

Stairmaster Routine

-Level 10 (15 Minutes)
-Level 11-15 (5 Minutes)

Daily Diet:

-Meal 1: ½ cup Oats and 1 scoop Protein
-Meal 2: Fruit Smoothie
-Meal 3: 6 ounces Chicken, ¼ cup Brown Rice and 1 cup Vegetables
-Meal 4: ¼ cup Almonds
-Meal 5: 6 ounces Chicken or Tuna, Salad and 1 cup Vegetables
-Meal 6: 4-6 Egg Whites

Always stay motivated and take a lesson from Ashley’s favorite quote:

“Strength does not come from winning; your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender that is strength.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Much of the allure of bodybuilding is that it carries with it a mystique of “gym-lore” that began in the Steve Reeves era, blossomed in the golden era of Arnold and has now been cultivated by the industry into a veritable encyclopedia of tricks, secrets, methods and techniques for both eating and training.

This is exemplified in magazine articles that dramatically discuss chest routines that Arnold followed, dieting techniques that Rich Gaspari used, or the elegant and strategic posing of Ed Corney and Frank Zane that allowed them to stand next to giants on equal footing. The back-pages of popular muscle magazines are filled with bodybuilders and gurus discussing these methods with a secretive-fervor that reminds one of kung fu movies, in which the hero beats his opponents by using secret techniques that are named by combining a body part with an obscure animal or stony or rocky material like: “Iron Foot”, “Tiger Fist” or the “Stone Hand Technique”. I admit this melodramatic and mysterious aura to bodybuilding is what still gets me excited about it to this day. That feeling in my gut hasn’t changed since I first read Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding and picked up the weights years ago. I hope it never does, and my intention is not to create a paradigm shift in bodybuilding culture. My intention is however, to look at some of the underlying factors that determine whether an approach has merit scientifically as a way to progress, or whether an approach purely has merit for reader enjoyment and entertainment.

Often times both occur simultaneously, but far too often an article can lead excited readers down a path of stagnation or worse, moving backwards.

In the Beginning…
To understand how and why we grow muscle tissue, lose body fat and see physical changes in response to eating and training, we have to go back to the beginning. We have to forget all of the articles, conversations, anecdotes, studies, books and supplement advertisements we’ve read and look at the human body as what it truly is: an organic adaptation machine. The body is built for survival, every trait we have today came from natural selection; the folks who could survive the ice age, climb the tree before the saber tooth tiger caught them, and go the longest on the hunt without food, supplied us the genetics we have today. We must keep that in mind when evaluating information. Often I criticize bodybuilding-science for being stuck in the past, but considering the mainstream popularity (or lack thereof) of bodybuilding, it’s not surprising. Most exercise research (and the grant money that backs it) focuses on the obesity epidemic or performance in popular sports that bring money, interest and prestige to people, society, nations and businesses.

Let’s face it, writing a research proposal entitled “Best Ways to get 20 inch Guns” probably won’t make it past the first reviewer.

So, often what we are left with is second hand sensationalized accounts from champion bodybuilders. For the most part, the same accounts from muscle magazines forty to fifty years ago are now being repeated endlessly by their successors with only minor tweaks and changes to the original formula. This is not to say that there is no merit to any of these methods, just that there is no way to separate what works, what doesn’t work and what could work a hell of a lot better. Think about it, if you combine the obsessive work ethic common among bodybuilders, the genetics it takes to get attention at the highest level, and yes let’s face it, the drugs that are used by the most popular bodybuilding icons of old and new, you will see great success no matter what training and dieting techniques are being used. What we often forget is, that for every Pro who trains, diets, and approaches muscle growth in the way that got him or her such great success, there are a couple thousand gym-rats doing the exact same things day in and day out and not looking one tenth the part of bodybuilder they are idolizing.

So here is the question: If an approach works for one out of every couple thousand people who tries it, would you try it or call it a good or efficient approach?

I would hope not. So getting back to this “organic adaptation machine” mindset, we can now start to separate fact from fiction. Anytime an approach is trotted out as truth beyond question, ask yourself “Does this serve an adaptive purpose?” For example, “High rep sets get you cut bro!” Your first thought should be: How would my body adapt if I challenged it with many high rep sets? Well, as simplistic as it may sound, doing high reps makes you better at doing high reps! Why would it burn the local body fat off in that area? Even if it did, why wouldn’t the body just restore more body fat in that area since you are constantly utilizing it? Lastly, how could any statement about burning body fat be made if we don’t know the nutritional status of the person in question? In fact, if it was the case that high repetitions caused localized fat loss, every teenage male you encountered would have one normal forearm and one shredded forearm. I’ll let that sink in, and once you’re done shaking your head, I’ll continue.

Now the example I just used is a relatively easy one to myth-bust and figure out, but often you will come across other claims that are harder to evaluate and it’s important to discuss why this is.

Well, to really get to the heart of it, we have to realize that hypertrophy (muscle growth) in and of itself is not a “direct-adaptation”. In the context of muscle growth without pharmaceutical assistance, the body doesn’t just get big for big’s sake. When you really think about it, being big has no adaptive purpose. Looking jacked and shredded didn’t help us survive the ice age, however being stronger, having more muscle endurance, and better blood and oxygen supply to muscle tissue did. And it just so happens that these adaptations tend to occur alongside muscle growth. What we have to realize, is that muscle growth is more or less a secondary adaptation. The body will grow muscle, but always in order to achieve a different adaptation. If you train heavy, more muscle is grown to allow you to be stronger. If you train with higher volume, more sarcoplasm (all the stuff in the muscle cell that isn’t the contractile tissue itself) is needed to supply the energy demands of the sets and reps you are doing. The take home message here is the body doesn’t give a rat’s ass about getting bigger; in fact “training for size” is a misnomer because size is a secondary characteristic to other adaptations.

This is why so many different approaches to training work!

Mike Mentzer and Arnold trained on opposite ends of the spectrum, so did Dorian and Lee Haney, and you can find high volume and low volume proponents among successful natural bodybuilders as well. That being said, there are some things that must occur in order for muscle growth to happen.

1. Overload
First, your training must provide overload. This simply means that whatever training approach you are using, it has to be something that your body is not currently adapted to. The amount of volume needed is completely dependent on where you are currently at. For example, it is theoretically possible that sedentary populations (those who move much less than the average person) put on walking programs could gain muscle [1]. So you don’t need to go from being a couch potato to doing 4 hour long gut-busting workouts initially, and in fact you shouldn’t, because where do you go from there?

This comment leads right to the second principle, training must be progressive.

2. Progressive Overload
So often you hear about bodybuilders switching things up so that “the muscle won’t adapt”. This is the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard! You want the muscle to adapt! The muscle adaptation is growth! Once it adapts and you stall in your progress, it doesn’t mean you need to change your program, it means you need to ensure it is progressive!

Simply going into the gym, getting a nasty pump and feeling thrashed does not ensure continued growth, but doing more work, either by lifting heavier or doing more sets or reps will provide overload once again because it is progressing past the body’s current level of adaptation.

3. Nutrition
The third tenet, has to do with nutrition, yes there is no getting away from needing to pay attention to your diet. Muscle cannot be grown out of thin air even if your training is providing progressive overload, so you must be eating enough to provide the building blocks for muscle growth. Notice I did not say gain a lot of weight quickly, as faster weight gain will result in more fat gain without necessarily increasing the rate of muscle gain [2].

Additionally, while the intentional intake of an appropriate energy level assists in lean body mass gains [3], a sufficient intake of protein to build that tissue helps as well [4].

Getting the Big Picture Right
Now, once the big picture is in order, and you’ve got a foundation of proper nutrition and training that provides an overload and is also progressive, there are other things to focus on to maximize your physique. Sadly, beginners often focus on these details before a foundation is even in place! Trust me when I say this, for a drug free trainee progressive overload and nutrition are truly 95% of the equation. Everything I mention after this paragraph is very low on the hierarchy of importance in comparison to the basics. If you find yourself stressing about these details, you are doing more harm than good as high stress levels are more counterproductive than getting this final 5% perfect. I have seen countless OCD bodybuilders stressing over supplementation, nutrient timing, and esoteric training approaches when they don’t even know how many calories a day they are eating or don’t have a plan to ensure progress in the weight room. So let me be very clear before I get into the minutiae: if you don’t know how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat you are eating daily, stop reading.

If you don’t have a training plan that has some sort of structure and a planned approach to progression, stop reading. No seriously, stop. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 (and as we commonly see, spend $200 on supplements).

Okay, if you are reading the words I’ve written right now, you are someone who not only takes care of business in the kitchen but also in the weight room, and for this I applaud you. This is something many don’t have the patience or mental focus to actually spend time learning to do and follow through with. I have spoken to countless bodybuilders who think they “work hard” because they make themselves puke on leg day and eat everything in sight when bulking and starve themselves only eating broccoli and chicken when dieting. While that is hard work, equal effort should be spent on learning the science of the sport. If you don’t have the patience and focus to educate yourself and develop a sensible plan, don’t fool yourself into thinking you are working as hard as you could be.

The most important body part in this sport is your brain, not your quads, pecs, or lats. Neglect and under use your brain at your own peril.

Beyond the Basics
So yes, the basics will get you far, so far in fact that with the right drive and genetics they can take you to the world championship level. However, not all of us are blessed with great genetics, and even those of us who are won’t be able to beat other genetic supermen without paying attention to the fine details. Beyond the basics, there are a few things you can do to maximize your physique; to include intelligent supplementation, intelligent nutrient timing, and intelligent application of specific training techniques. Many bodybuilders, supplement companies, magazines, coaches, researchers and others (myself included), will tell you there is much more beyond what I am going to lay out that should be discussed.

However, I am only going to focus on the tried and true, researched and validated “extras” that will make a difference (although in the end only comprise the last 5% of the equation in my opinion).

Supplements
When it comes to supplementation, it is easy to get overwhelmed by a sport propped up by an industry that endorses every Olympian with a different product, and that fills our magazines with ads and pseudo-science. But to this day, there are only a handful of supplements that seem to make a measurable difference with regards to bodybuilding (that aren’t hormonal). They are: creatine monohydrate [5] (the non-monohydrate derivatives aren’t better [6, 7]), a basic (not mega, sport or super) multi-vitamin/mineral supplement [8] (which may become more important when dieting [9]), supplemental dairy based (whey and/or casein) protein powder [10] (optional if you eat dairy and less important if you have no trouble achieving a high protein intake with your diet [11]), and an essential fatty acid supplement [12] (I’d suggest a low mercury source and targeting 2-3g of epa/dha per day from it, also optional if you regularly eat fish). Yes there are others that may benefit you, but they either don’t have the same level of benefit that the ones I listed do, or need to be researched further.

Again, I am not making a comprehensive list (in fact I take and recommend more than what is on this list for most people, this is a minimized list), but instead I’m giving an unbiased account of what is most likely to make a measurable difference for almost anybody.

Protein
When discussing protein, time and time again the debate of how much to consume to maximize muscle gains comes up. Well let’s be honest, even bodybuilders who are on the low end of the of consumption spectrum in our community (you know, “only” eating 1g per pound of bodyweight) are getting plenty, especially if they are in a caloric surplus. However, what might also be important is the timing of protein intake relative to training. In fact, some researchers would go so far as to say that taking in slightly too little protein, but timing it properly would give you a better growth response than taking in enough protein without regard to when it is consumed [13]. While this might be an overstatement, there is a body of evidence that suggests that eating protein around training can confer a small benefit to muscle mass gains from resistance training [14]. In terms of other nutrients such as carbohydrate, likely if you are eating an appropriate caloric intake from a mixed diet, timing will not be important [14]. However, if you are in a calorically restricted, fasted or glycogen depleted state, it may be theoretically beneficial to consume carbohydrate at least a few hours prior to training.

If you are in a fed state (meaning you ate a meal at some point earlier that day that included protein and carbs) before training, what you consume afterwards and how quickly you consume it is less important.

Progressive Tension Overload
There has also been extensive research done on muscle growth and training, and it is has been long understood that progressive tension overload is the key to contractile tissue growth [15]. However, there is more to muscle than contractile tissue and other training styles can influence non-contractile growth. For this reason high rep, high volume, lactate-inducing training that produces the traditional pump may have its place [16]. Volume is the primary mediator of muscle growth given the load is heavy enough [17], and it is difficult to achieve high volumes of training with heavy weights that only allow a handful of repetitions and require long rest periods [18]. For this reason bodybuilders for ages have included varying degrees of “pump up” training into their programs. Low load training does not produce the same anabolic stimulus [19] or muscle activation[20] that heavier training provides, so the back-bone of a bodybuilding routine should be heavy compound lifting focused on gaining strength. However, to achieve adequate volume some attention should be given to accessory work of a more traditional “pump it up” style.

This can be done with isolation movements and high rep sets to accumulate volume on the muscle. Just to throw out a figure for application, I recommend a 80/20 ratio of heavy strength training to high rep, traditional, pump-up isolation training.

Summing it up
To conclude, if your training provides progressive overload, truly any approach will work. For continued muscle growth, the body must be forced to make new adaptations. Training with the same weights over time will leave you with the same physique over time. We have to continually challenge our bodies with higher levels of tension if we want to continually grow. So if the weights aren’t moving up, you can expect yourself to be looking the same. Secondly, your nutrition has to support your training; sufficient dietary protein and enough calories to gain muscle are absolutely required. If you’re focusing on other details before these basic requirements are met, you’re missing the forest for the trees. However, if the basics are in order, there are a few other things you can do to maximize your physique and progress. Although I have not laid out a comprehensive list of what “extras” should be focused on, I can say with confidence that what I’ve outlined is probably the most worthy of mention.

But again, one should not even spend time thinking about supplementation, nutrient timing, advanced training methods and other extras until they have their basic nutrition and training firmly in place.

Depending on who you ask, every trainer is going to give you a different answer when it comes to nutrition.

Do you need carbs or do you avoid them altogether?

You can’t eat bread, ice cream and pizza, but you can and should eat celery, chicken and spinach, right?

What’s the deal with sugar?

Are 8 meals per day better than 6?

Depending on what you read and whom you listen to, getting your eating right for fat loss can become a real pain as you struggle and stress over what to eat, when to eat it, and how much you need. To answer all of the above and more, we need to look at the underlying principle of nutrition.

Calories are King

A calorie is a unit of energy and your body needs them to survive. They are ultimately what determine whether you lose, maintain or gain weight. Weight management, in reality, is a very simple equation.

    Eat fewer calories than you burn and you lose weight.
    Eat more calories than you burn and you gain weight.
    Eat as many calories as you burn and your weight will remain stable.

That’s it. The very crux of weight loss and weight gain comes down to the amount of energy you’re putting in versus the amount of energy you’re putting out. Ultimately, the rest of your diet doesn’t really matter until your caloric intake has been addressed.

A General Guide

As a very (very) general guide, the more calories you eat, the faster you’ll gain weight and build muscle provided you’re training accordingly, however the faster you’ll likely also gain excess body fat too. The fewer calories you eat, the faster you’ll lose weight but the greater chance you have of burning through muscle too.

As you can see, it’s something of a numbers game and a bit of a balancing act, in ensuring you’re gaining or losing slowly to reap the rewards without necessarily experiencing the potential consequences in excess.

Optimizing your approach with Flexible Dieting

If you really want to split hairs and optimize your approach, you’re going to need to consider calculating your daily macronutrient requirements. The three macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates and fats. This is going to help you build and maintain muscle mass when bulking or cutting in the best way possible, whilst allowing freedom within your calorie intake – known as flexible dieting or ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ (IIFYM). Flexible dieting involves restriction free eating and focuses on the nutritional content of food, rather than specific foods being ‘good’ or ‘bad’. You monitor your intake by tracking calories and/or macronutrients and place a focus on nutrient-dense, healthy foods.

However, if you fancy a little “junk food” you can have it, provided it’s in moderation, and still fits the parameters of your daily calorie/macronutrient requirements.

The power of IIFYM

Flexible dieting is so successful, because it completely eradicates the need for cheat meals, greatly reduces your risk of binge eating and ensures you’re far more likely to stick to your diet and, ultimately, get results. It’s all about forging a healthy relationship with food and promotes consistency and sustainability in your approach to eating and gym progress.

You could consider it the scientific approach to eating – a way of tracking and quantifying what you’re eating in a bid to control and manipulate your body composition.

As mentioned, it’s also arguably the most sustainable way to diet, as it’s easy to stick to for a long period of time.

Science Factor

Now, despite the fact that we have more scientific knowledge and more access to research and literature than ever before regarding the importance of calories, the energy balance and how to structure our diets for optimal muscle building and fat loss through the use of flexible dieting, much of the training and dieting community is still stuck in the dark ages. There are so many myths and misconceptions floating around out there it’s scary. Guys and girls and self-acclaimed fitness models alike are still promoting outdated practices that just don’t make sense and aren’t even close to necessary.

Let’s take a look at some of the more common myths that the big jacked dude at your gym is likely going to share with you, despite the fact you’re now clued in to the science behind why/how you gain/lose weight:

Eat Small, Frequent Meals to Speed Up Your Metabolism

The theory that your body would find it easier to handle and digest multiple smaller meals per day in comparison to larger, more infrequent feedings makes sense to a certain degree, right? It’s reasonably similar to the notion that dumping an enormous pile of wood onto a fire might not be as advantageous as gradually adding in one log at a time – but your metabolism isn’t a fire.

Every time you eat, you burn calories digesting the meal you’ve just consumed. This is referred to as the thermic effect of food (TEF). Whilst different macronutrients contain a different increase in TEF, whether you look at the percentage increase from a meal perspective or a day’s worth of eating, that percentage is going to remain the same.

Different macronutrients have a slightly different thermic effect, but at the end of the day, 10 x 250 calorie meals is ultimately going to burn the same amount of calories through digestion as 1 x 2500 calorie meal, provided the macronutrient breakdown is the same of course. So quit with the stop-watch – there’s no need to time your meals to the minute just to lose fat, so long as you aren’t consuming too many total calories.

Your diet should work for you and so long as you’re meeting daily requirements from a calorie/macronutrient perspective, the amount of meals you eat is largely irrelevant to body composition outside of affecting things such as mood, energy levels, training intensity etc.

Low Carb Diets are the Only Way to Lose Fat

For a long time now, carbs have been made out to be the enemy – they’re evil, dirty, body fat increasing monsters. One of the main reasons behind this belief is due to the apparent success of eating approaches such as the Atkins and South Beach diets that focus on severely restricting carbohydrate intake in favor of proteins and fats.

People tend to get pretty excited during the initial stages of a low-carb diet as you tend to lose a lot of weight almost immediately. Trouble is, this is mostly water and glycogen – not necessarily body fat.

Over the long term, any differences between low carb diets and other diets balance out and show that it isn’t beneficial to opt for one over another. Plus, when people tend to opt for a low-carb diet, they consume an increased amount of protein that tends to have a higher thermic effect and provides more satiety, further contributing to the illusion of lower-carb diets being more effective. Outside of personal preference, certain medical conditions and very few other scenarios, there’s just no need to remove the most readily available source of energy from your diet.

So long as you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, you’re going to be losing weight, whether you’re consuming no carbs or a diet that is filled with calories from Twinkies.

Eating Carbs at Night Makes You Fat

You aren’t planning on training after a certain hour in the day, so you won’t likely require any more carbs right? They are the number one fuel source for the body, so it seems like it might have some truth to it yes? No.

Just no. Burning fat requires eating fewer calories than what you’re burning. It really doesn’t matter whether you choose to eat the calories before you burn them, so long as the net result at the end of the day is the same.

It is best to implement periodic cheat days after you stick rigidly to your “clean” diet

The ironic thing about people who criticize “flexible dieting/IIFYM” followers” is that they rigidly cling to their “clean” eating regimen only to give in after a short period of time and go on absolute binge-a-thons (colloquially called “cheat” days). Don’t be fooled; those intermittent binge episodes will wreak havoc on your body composition quickly.

Many gym-goers assert that “clean eating” is the key to success when trying to build muscle and burn fat. In their mind, “clean eating” entails a day full of nothing but tuna, broccoli, and brown rice. Reality check…eating plain, bland, fresh-from-the-can tuna chunks all day won’t make you healthier, or better looking than the next guy. What it will make you is someone who dreads their diet and can’t wait for the next cheat day to roll around.

The solution is quite simple—be creative in the kitchen! Have some variety in your diet, and quit looking at certain foods as being either “good” or “bad.” There is little reason to believe that a little “junk” food here and there will make or break your health and physique as long as you’re hitting your nutrient goals. There are millions of ways to eat a healthful diet rife with nutrient-dense foods and make it taste good. Get over the idea that dieting to have a lean body has to be some sort of sacrifice or process of suffering.

There is no reason you can’t achieve your physique and performance goals while also enjoying the foods you like, just exercise moderation; a sliver of cake won’t break you, but a whole cake probably will.

The human body can only absorb 30g of protein in one sitting

For some odd reason, people seem to believe the body is only capable of absorbing this rather random (and small) amount of protein at a time. If that supposition isn’t already ludicrous enough to know it’s bogus, then read on and we’ll take a scientific/methodical approach to this. Essentially, the idea that your body can’t absorb/digest more than 30g of protein at a given feeding is inherently suggesting that you will be excreting any amount of protein over that mark in your feces. Basically, instead of your body digesting the “excess” protein, it magically bypasses the highly conserved/intricate digestive process and is sent directly to the colon.

Note that we would be screwed physiologically if this is what actually happened; we would be bound to the toilet all day.

Furthermore, there is next to no literature that confirms the body can’t absorb more than 30 of protein at a given feeding. In fact, the literature supports that the body can digest quite a large amount, it just takes longer to digest and absorb than a smaller dose. Rather than just redirecting excessive protein to your colon, the rate of digestion compensates to reduce the supply of nutrients being sent to the anterior small intestine (i.e. the stomach delays gastric processes).

For the absolute extremists who want to know if their body can absorb 200g of protein at once? The short answer is “yes,” but not all of that will be put to “good use” so to speak.

Protein, like carbohydrates, can be converted to fat, but the pathways to do so are inefficient biochemically so it happens to a lesser degree. The majority of amino acids that aren’t used for muscle protein synthesis are likely subject to oxidation and/or hepatic gluconeogenesis, therefore being subsequently stored or used for energy.

Don’t worry too much about eating a lot of protein at once, the body can handle pretty much whatever amount you give it. However, it is still best to space out your protein intake over the course of 3-5 meals rather than eating it all at once.

Training Myths Busted!

When it comes to training, it seems like broscience just won’t go away. No matter how much nonsense is behind certain lifting ideologies, there’s always a generous amount of gym-goers who remain caught up in their unfounded habits.

Hopefully you’ll approach these myths with more of an open mind and see that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. Read on as we uncover some of the biggest training misconceptions that pervade the fitness industry.

Cardio is Essential for Fat Loss

Lifting weights is great for building and maintaining muscle mass, so in order to burn body fat we’re going to need to elevate our heart rate for extended periods of time and ‘sweat’ that fat off, right? Wrong!

Cardio isn’t essential for fat loss, but it may help. Science tells us that we lose weight when we burn more calories than we consume, so if performing cardio helps with that equation, then sure, it’s advisable. But consider this – lifting weights also elevates the heart rate and burns calories. In fact, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn. So there could be an argument for the fact that burning calories through lifting weights is arguably more beneficial in the long term, but we won’t get into that here.

Adding cardio into your routine may very well help swing that energy balance (calories in versus calories out) in your favor, but no more effectively than eating fewer calories. Again, it’s all about that calorie equation – are you burning more calories than you’re consuming?

Fasted Cardio Is Best for Fat Loss

If you haven’t eaten in around 8 hours because you’ve been sleeping, surely it’s easier to tap into those unwanted fat stores, right?

Well, not really. In fact, research shows that so long as the energy balance of your diet is on par with your goals (i.e. you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming as mentioned above), fat loss is similar whether or not you choose to eat before performing cardio.

Findings indicate that body composition changes associated with aerobic exercise in conjunction with a calorie deficit are similar regardless of whether or not an individual is fasted prior to training. Hence, those seeking to lose body fat conceivably can choose to train either before or after eating based on preference.

Take home point? When it comes to cardio, stick to what you prefer.

Light Weights and High Reps Helps You ‘Tone’

The media is obsessed with this one but the reality is that when people consider the term ‘toned’ or ‘toning’, they’re really just referring to muscular definition and shape, resulting in a firmer, more widely attractive body. Here’s the thing, looking ‘toned’ is possible, but it requires muscular development and lowering your body fat percentage in order to show off said development. Typically speaking, the best way to go about this is to engage in regular hypertrophy (lean muscle building) training with an emphasis on progressively overloading your muscles, or challenging them more and more over time, while eating at a surplus to support said growth. From there, it’s simply a matter of sending yourself into a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than you’re burning in order to shed enough fat to get lean enough to show off those hard earned muscles once you’ve achieved the size you’re after.

There are obviously a few more intricate details worth paying attention to such as protein intake, optimal training methods for muscle retention etc., but that’s the core of it. You can look ‘toned’ but there’s really no way to actively ‘tone’.

When cutting, it’s best to lift lighter weights for higher reps

There seems to be a variety of misconceptions attached to weight training; a popular one in particular is the idea that lifting lighter loads for more reps (say 15+) will “tone” muscles better than using heavy loads for fewer reps (6 or less). Aside from the fact that “toning” is a nonsensical term when it comes to muscle morphology, there is little basis to the presumption that using light weights and doing many repetitions is superior for muscle hypertrophy over using a weight that you may only be able to complete 5 reps with per set.

At the end of the day muscle hypertrophy is muscle hypertrophy; muscles grow or atrophy, which is what changes their shape. Using a mix of several rep ranges with both higher and lower loads will ultimately be best for building and maintaining muscle.

Let your diet do its thing for fat loss and keep training much like you would when trying to gain muscle—what builds muscle best retains it best. Moreover, you cannot “spot-reduce” certain body areas no matter how much you target/stimulate them. If you want an etched six-pack of abdominals, skip the marathon sets of sit-ups; work instead on providing progressive overload to the abdominals and losing sufficient body-fat. The best way to ensure you’re building or maintaining muscle is having a progression scheme in place. When you go into the gym one of your main priorities should be trying to progress from your previous workout.

Keep in mind that progression doesn’t always have to mean adding weight to the bar, but can come in the form of adding more volume, increasing frequency, adding various intensity techniques, etc. Just focus on progressing/improving in some capacity each week.

You can “etch details” into your muscles depending on what exercises you perform

This sort of plays off the above myth, but there is simply little basis to the idea that a muscle will appear more etched/detailed if you train it from 1,000 different angles. What will make it appear more vividly is simply making it grow and losing sufficient body-fat. Apparently many bodybuilders have taken the idea of “sculpting their physiques” far too literally. You can sufficiently stimulate just about all of your chest muscles using a press exercise and a flye exercise. You don’t need to do 6-7 different chest exercises in hopes that you will suddenly carve in striations that would otherwise be absent.

Assuming an equal amount of training volume is being performed, you won’t see much difference in your bicep growth whether you choose to perform just barbell curls and hammer curls or 9 different bicep exercises. We could go on and on with examples, but hopefully this will suffice.

It is best to only train each muscle group once a week

Many bodybuilders follow training routines that have them exhaustively train each muscle group only one time per week. While this may provide decent results over time, it is actually a rather inefficient way to train.

A study in the “Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology” found that muscle protein synthesis dramatically increases 65% above baseline 24 hours after a heavy bout of resistance training, and then drastically declines back to baseline at about the 48-hour mark post-workout.

Therefore, a much more prudent way to train would be to hit each muscle group 2-3 times per week and split the volume across each session. Think of each training session as an opportunity to induce growth; would you only want to grow your chest 52 times per year or, say, 104-156 times per year? Still not sure how to answer this? Well a second study in the “Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research” found that subjects who trained only one day per week had only 62% of the strength gains compared to subjects who split their training over 3 days per week (volume was matched between the two groups).

Here’s an example of what an efficient training split may look like:

    Monday: Chest/Back/Shoulders/Arms
    Tuesday: Rest Day or Cardio
    Wednesday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves
    Thursday: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
    Friday: Back/Biceps/Abs
    Saturday: Rest Day or Cardio
    Sunday: Quads/Hamstrings/Calves

In an industry saturated with under-qualified coaches, trainers and professional competitors who all preach about the methods and practices that have ‘worked for them’, it’s important to understand and consider the underlying reason certain approaches work.

Don’t confuse correlation with causation. Common sense is best applied liberally and if in doubt, do your research. The whole dieting and physique progress thing shouldn’t be as complex as some make it out to be.

The reality of fat loss

Fat loss is a simple mathematical equation that becomes a touch more complex in reality – there’s no need to further complicate the situation by self-imposing ridiculous old-school beliefs and mantras. Having the drive and determination to put the seemingly perfect plan in place is one thing, but to ensure that plan is as perfect as can be is another.

There have been a handful of James Bond’s throughout the years, each one as suave and smooth as the one before. However, Daniel Craig brought a physique to the Bond character that hasn’t been seen before.

In 2006, Craig started his portrayal as 007 in Casino Royal and ten years later he continues his role in Spectre. When you think about how he looks in 2006, to see him look just as fit in 2016 is insane! But as an international super spy, you’ve got to stay in shape.

In fact, according to Craig, he was even more fit 10 years later!

“I needed to get as fit as I possibly could [for Quantum of Solace]. Although I was big and muscled last time [for Casino Royale], I was actually not as fit as I am now.”
-Daniel Craig

Here’s how Craig transformed into Bond. James Bond.

Monday’s Workout
Power Circuit

-Clean and Press: 3 x 10
-Weighted Knee Raise: 3 x 10
-Weighted Step-ups: 3 x 12
-Pull-ups: 3 x 10
-Incline Pushup: 3 x 12
-Triceps Dips: 4 x 10

Tuesday’s Workout
Chest and Back

-Incline Bench Press: 4 x 10
-Pull-ups: 4 x 10
-Incline Pushup: 4 x 12
-Incline Pec Flys: 3 x 10

Wednesday’s Workout
Legs

-Squat: 3 x 10
-Straight-Leg Deadlift: 4 x 10
-Hamstring Curl: 4 x 12
-Weighted Lunge: 4 x 10

Thursday’s Workout
Shoulders and Arms

-Incline Biceps Curls: 4 x 10
-Triceps Dips: 4 x 12
-Lateral Raises: 4 x 10
-Shoulder Press: 3 x 12

Friday’s Workout
Power Circuit

-Clean and Press: 3 x 10
-Weighted Knee Raise: 3 x 12
-Weighted Step-ups: 4 x 10
-Pull-ups: 3 x 10
-Incline Push-ups: 4 x 10
-Triceps Dips: 3 x 10

Saturday’s Workout

-Cardio and Stretching

Sunday’s Workout

-Cardio and Stretching

The Bond diet varies. It’s not all shaken martini’s, as many may think. Try to aim for 6 healthy meals a day, keeping calories at around 2700, with high counts of carbs and protein while cutting back on the amount of fat you are consuming.

After a few months of dedication, you may not have the skills of a spy, but you’ll have the body of one!

Coffee is one of the most consumed drinks around the world, and for a pretty good reason. Coffee wakes you up, gives you energy, and gets your morning started on the right track, but coffee actually has quite a few benefits that are not normally talked about, including the benefits it has when mixed with exercise.

Without the sugar and cream, regular black coffee can vastly improve your workouts and gains. Along with waking you up, coffee has unique fat-burning properties when mixed with exercise that allows your fat cells to be used instead of glycogen for energy, resulting in higher and quicker fat burning results.

It is common knowledge that coffee has a ton of caffeine, which increases your metabolism and burns calories throughout the day, even when you are not exercising. When coffee is added to your pre-workout routine, that calorie burning effect is amplified. But the benefits don’t stop there. Coffee also suppresses your appetite, causing you to eat less without getting that starving feeling.

Science backs up the benefits of using coffee as a pre-workout. In fact, a study publish in Sports Medicine reported that there is an obvious correlation between caffeine and athletic performance. It allows athletes to “train at a greater power output and/or train longer,” which is what we are all looking for.

Lastly, and just as important, coffee has been proven to decrease muscle pain in workouts. A study done by researchers at the University of Illinois showed that the participants who had not consumed coffee before the same workouts had experienced significantly more muscle fatigue and pain, and if that doesn’t make you want to start your workout with a cup of joe then I don’t know what will.

28 year-old Hattie Boydle is the first ever Australian woman to win the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion (WBFF) World Championship back in 2016, but this is not anywhere close to where she started her fitness journey. As a matter of fact, Boydle actually started out with a very unhealthy lifestyle.

After a childhood filled with competitive gymnastics and national competitions, starting at the age of 4, Boydle has always had the drive to compete. However, life changed when she went through high school. After a personal tragedy, Boydle began to struggle with depression which led to an unhealthy lifestyle and she eventually faced “a long and hard battle against anorexia that took its toll.”

It was after Boydle had been hospitalized and placed in in-patient care that she decided she needed to make a change, and that change is astounding!Boydle now advocates body positivity and hopes that her story can help women who may be going through some of the things she has overcome.

Here’s how she stays FIT:

Weekly Routine

Monday: Legs/Back

High Bar Squats 5 x 5 (Superset)
Lying Leg Curls 5 x 8
Good Mornings 8 x 8 (Superset)
Back Extensions 5 x 20
Lateral Raises 5 x 12 (Superset)
Single Arm Rows 5 x 12

“I love making improvements on my own physique and then sharing it with my girls from The Sports Model Project. I am a firm believer in ‘progress not perfection.”

Tuesday: Legs/Chest/Cardio

Front Squats 5 x 5 (Superset)
Lying Leg Curls 5 x 5
Flat Bench Press 5 x 8
Face Pulls 5 x 12
Incline Dumbbell Press 5 x 12 (Superset)
Pendlay Rows 5 x 12
P.M./HIIT

Wednesday: Legs/Back/Shoulders

Low Bar Squats 5 x 5 (Superset)
Lying Leg Curls 5 x 5
Good Mornings 8 x 8 (Superset)
Back Extensions 5 x 20
Lateral Raises 5 x 12
Single Arm Rows 5 x 12

Thursday: Legs/Chest/Cardio

Front Squat 5 x 5 (Superset)
Lying Leg Curls 5 x 5
Flat Bench Press 5 x 8 (Superset)
Face Pulls 5 x 12
Incline Dumbbell Press 5 x 12 (Superset)
Pendlay Rows 5x 12
P.M./HIIT

Friday: Legs/Back/Shoulders

High Bar Squats 5×5 (Superset)
Lying Hamstring Curls5 x 8
Good Mornings 8 x 8 (Superset)
Back Extensions 5 x 20
Lateral Raises 5 x 12 (Superset)
Single Arm Rows 5 x 12

Saturday: Legs/Chest/Cardio

Front Squats (Superset)
Lying Leg Curls 5 x 5
Flat Bench Press 5 x 8 (Superset)
Face Pulls 5 x 12
Incline Dumbbell Press 5 x 12 (Superset)
Pendlay Rows 5 x 12
Sled Sprints

Sunday: Rest

Recovery

Dieting is just as important as the workouts. Here’s how Boydle breaks it down:

“Off season, my macros are around 160 grams of protein, 280 grams of carbs and 70 grams of fat. During contest prep my macros are around 170 grams of protein, 140 grams of carbs and 55 grams of fat. I have no restriction on my food, but I must meet my target goals daily.”

Daily Diet

-Meal 1: 2 Poached Eggs, 2 Slices Soy and Linseed, 1 tablespoon Butter and 1 Skim Cappuccino
-Meal 2: 1 Scoop Whey, 1 tablespoon Almond Spread, 7 ounces Skim Milk, ½ Banana and Cinnamon
-Meal 3: 7 ounces Teriyaki Fish, 1 cup Rice, and 3 ½ ounces Mixed Greens
-Meal 4: 7 ounces Chicken Breast, 1 Apple, Piccolo Latte – Full Cream and Salad
-Meal 5: 1 Scoop Whey, 1 Apple and Water
-Meal 6: 6 ounces Rib Eye Steak, 5 ounces Sweet Potato Fries and Salad
-Meal 7: 1 ounce Chocolate

High-Intensity Interval Training has quickly become one of the most popular forms of fat burning and weight loss among the fitness community, but how do you get the most out of it? High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is exactly what it sounds like: interval workouts that switch from high intensity to low to high and so on for a number of sets or rounds. HIIT can be used during your weight training, bodyweight training, while jumping rope, or just plain cardio. The key to these HIIT workouts is to push yourself as hard as you can during the ‘on’, increasing your heart rate to about 95% of your max heart rate, and staying active while resting during the ‘off’, lowering your heart rate to around 65-70%.

There are many different ways to go about this, but keeping a constant on to off ratio is always a must. Whether you are running 1 minute on 1 minute off (1:1), or a 15 second sprint to a 1 minute jog (1:4), the important thing is to push as hard as possible during your ‘on’ periods, raising that heart rate and keeping a constant ratio throughout all of your rounds. For starters, it is better to do less rounds, obviously. Start with 5-6 sets of intervals and slowly work your way up.

Here’s a basic Weekly HIIT Routine perfect for burning fat:

HIIT Workout

Monday – Full-body weight training
Tuesday – HIIT workout: 30 sec. active rest, 30 sec. work/sprint (8 total rounds suggested)
Wednesday – Full-body weight training

Thursday – HIIT workout: 30 sec. active rest, 30 sec. work/sprint (8 total rounds suggested)
Friday – Full-body weight training
Saturday and Sunday – Rest

If you are looking to gain muscle while taking advantage of the benefits that come with HIIT, trade out your “Full-body” days for upper-body on Monday’s and lower-body on Tuesdays, with your HIIT every 3rd day.

HIIT can also be used as a supplement to the workout plan you already have in place. Next time when you go to do your cardio, try interval training instead.