This was taken recently in Maui at the beautiful Wailea Golf course.
1. Combine your exercises
Your goal, whether it be to gain lean muscle or to burn fat, should be to break down your muscle as much as possible in as little time as possible. I used to be under the impression that super-sets and giant-sets had a negative effect on building muscle, but as usual, back then I was wrong.
Combine two, three, even four exercises into one set. You can do this by focusing on 1 muscle group, which is what I normally do, or up to a different muscle group per exercise. I’ve gained 30+ lbs of lean muscle by combining my exercises into mainly giant sets (3 exercises done back-to-back-to-back) and am both leaner, more muscular and in better shape than ever before.
I’m also spending a maximum of 4 hours in the gym each week, 3 hours more often than not.
2. Shorten your rest periods
This may seem like a no-brainer, shortening your rest periods to shorten up your workout, but few people actually stay true to their rest periods. I’ll have a rest period of 60 seconds to even as short at 15 seconds in between sets.
If I’m doing a really short rest period, it’s because I’m combining 3 exercises together and instead of doing them back-to-back-to-back as a giant set with 60 seconds rest at the end, I’ll take the 15 seconds of rest after every exercise and keep this short rest period up for the whole workout.
Believe me, try this and you’ll be completely gassed after even a 30 minute workout.
3. Shorten and intensify your cardio
I’ve told you this before and have talked about High Intensity Interval Training on multiple occasions, but it’s not only a better way to burn fat and hold on to muscle, but it takes a fraction of the time.
Mix up the exercises you’re doing for cardio to keep your body guessing and to keep your workouts fun, but also change up your work periods and your rest periods. Try going 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off, then move it to 60 seconds 4x with 60 seconds rest, and keep mixing things up every week or every 3 week period when you change your workouts.
4. Shorten up your reps
You should be changing your reps and sets up at least every 3 weeks, and adding some heavier sets with lower reps will help you lift more weight while shortening your workouts. Do a shorter number of reps and add an extra set or two in there.
Using bench press as an example, do 4 sets of 5 reps with a heavy weight, you can even add a couple more chest exercises in there with the same rep and set counts to really blast your muscles.
5. Increase your tempo
At least every 3 weeks you should be switching up your reps and sets count, but also the tempo or sped at which you’re lifting. Increasing the speed at which you’re lifting will speed up your workouts big time. But keep in mind that you should be changing this up every so often so don’t rely on a fast tempo workout 100% of the time to get you in and out of the gym quickly and with a great workout.
Different tempos using bench press as the exercise example:
1,1,3 – 1 second press, hold 1 second at top, count to 3 on the way down.
3,1,3 – count to 3 on the way up, hold 1 second at top, count to 3 on the way down.
All-out – whole list is as fast as you can go.
30,30 – count to 30 on the way up, count to 30 on the way down – done for 1 rep.
3,1,0 – count to 3 on the way up, hold for 1 second at the top, drop the weight on the way down and catch before it hits your chest. Do this with a relatively light weight.