Everything has a price, what price are you willing to pay to reach your goal successfully? What are your goals? Or do you just have dreams and aspirations inside your head in a confortable place that you just admire and they are fun to think about. Where is your plan if action to make your dreams a reality? And most importantly what price are you willing to pay to make it happen? Those are the questions I ask myself everyday some days I have to force myself to make my actions match my goals. Over the last year my goals have been good but that were not great!
Regardless of what method you chose to use for your body composition measurement, it is best to use one testing and analysis method to insure accurate and consistent results to limit conflict and false information. Take a few minutes to research and find the best method for you and measure your progress beyond the scale. No matter what your health and fitness goals body composition testing and analysis will be a game changer for you and give you the information you need to truly transform your body.
As I discussed before in the previous blogs in this series about Energy System Development (EDS) training you can create a training program that is specific to your training goals by training specific energy systems. In this final series, I am going to talk about training within the ATP-CP and glycolytic energy systems with resistance exercises that are programmed using a couple of different training methods.
Lifting heavy weights to become stronger is one of the most popular reasons to lift weights. But the combination of using various weightlifting principles and program variations to improve muscular Hypertrophy (increase in muscular tone and size) is even more effective and fun. Lifting to increase muscular size helps individuals improve not only their physical appearance but also their physical performance. One of the factors that are important is the use of set and rep manipulation. Which means programming different sequences sets and reps to increase the stress applied to the muscles that are being trained and. In theory, the number of sets should be about 2-4 sets and the reps should be 8-12 reps using 65%-85% of the maximum weight you can lift for 1 rep for that exercise to achieve hypertrophy. One other important factor is limiting your rest in between sets to less than 1 minute. This limit in the recovery time will increase the stress on your muscles which increases the growth response your muscles have during the recovery process. THE MAGIC HAPPENS IN THE RECOVERY!
For example, John 1 rep maximum for the Squat is 305 lb, for John to lift for muscular Hypertrophy his squat workout could be programmed in a linear progression either in a progressive overload fashion or in a regressive load fashion or a Drop set.
Linear Progressive Overload
1st set - 65% 198 lbs for 10-12 reps
rest 30-45 sec
2nd set - 70% 214 lb for 10-12 reps
rest 30-45 sec
3rd set - 75% 229 lb for 10 - 8 reps
rest 30-45 sec
4th set - 80% 244 for an AMRAP or 10-8 reps
Linear Regressive Loading (Drop Sets)
1st set - 80% 244 for 10-8 reps
rest 30-45 sec
2nd set - 75% 229 lb for 10 - 8 reps
rest 30-45 sec
3rd set - 70% 214 lb for 10+ reps
rest 30-45 sec
4th set - 65% 198 lbs for AMRAP
These are just a couple of examples of the type of set/rep manipulation that can be applied to your training program, but there other ways that are used to achieve the same result depending on your training schedule and or training goals. I primarily use the Tier system and a combination of Undulating Periodization for the majority of my clients.
There are numerous ways to create a training program the fits your training schedule and access to training equipments the fits your specific training needs. But the most important ingredient is CONSISTENCY. Over the last several years as a health and performance coach I have been apart of some amazing transformations and some disappointing results, and the common tread that all of my successful clients have in common was consistent effort and discipline with their nutrition and rest habits. The common thread in the disappointments and misses was inconsistency, excuses, and looking for a magical drink or pill that would get them out of the working hard and changing their behavior in order to get the results they want to achieve. Everything costs and your time is the most important commodity you have to give, there are no shortcuts that will help you sustain the results your want long term, it will just lead to disappointment in the long term.
I recently rebooted my workout program and I am going back to basics, relearning all the lifts that I learned over the past 30 plus years. the first time I picked up a weight was when I was 8 or 9 years old after my mom and dad divorced I was over my dad's house for one of few weekend visits. He had a two bedroom apartment where one of the rooms had turned it into a makeshift weight room with the old school Sears or JC Penny's weight set (I am not sure which one), it was one of those plastic plate weight sets with the skinny bar and bench that by today's standards would be recalled due to stability deficits. After a dinner of my dad's famous desert dry rump roast and instant potatoes washed down with a few liters of kool-aid went into his weight room just to check it out. I picked up a dumbbell and I have been hooked ever since. Every time I got the chance to go in there on my weekend visits I would try "lift" weights (was lucky I didn't lose a toe). Then my dad moved to Chicago and my lifting weight days were over as far I knew it.
Fast forward to 1988 my sophomore year of High School after football season I meet a 5'10 280 lb Italian guy named Raul Denotti, he was a bodybuilder and part-time volunteer football coach. It was in the weight room talking and "working out" which was basically doing curls and triceps cable extensions in between sets of talking. Raul pulled me aside one day and asked me "what are you in here for?" I said something to the effect I want to bench press 300 pounds and get stronger for football. So Raul told me that you on the wrong track and wasting time talking and just doing "curls for the girls", I laughed but he had my attention. Raul then took me under his wing and gave me a basic training plan that was a "Three day Split", which is 3 training days out of the week (usually the days are Mon-Wed-Fri). He told me to start with the bar and work my way up to 135lb and when I could do 135lbs for 10 reps for 3 sets I would get stronger and be closer to my goal of joining the 300lb bench press club which was mostly upperclassmen. From that point on I was on a mission to be a member of the 300lb club, I started with the 3 day split, then it went to 4 days then I found myself in the weight room 5 days out of the week, if I could have lifted on Saturdays and Sundays I would have. I even began to hate holidays and days off from school because I knew that I could not lift on those days. I was officially a Meathead, without even knowing it. That love of lifting was stayed with me to this day.
With that said just because I love to lift weights does not mean I have been consistent over the last 30 year. I have had my issues with lifting weights, I have even hated lifting (for a very short time) but the one thing that was never needed to reboot that love was motivation. Motivation was a word that was never mentioned to me by any of my coaches, one thing that was made clear was to give great effort and have the resolve to keep moving forward finish goals you set out to accomplish. All good faith effort will be rewarded, it may not be the a reward you were expecting all the time, but you will develop the grit to get things done even if I didn't want to. Motivation can be a good thing but it can also be the poison that kills your goals. Motivation has its place but it should not take the place of giving your best effort and having the attitude to finish. Motivation can get you out of the starting blocks but giving your best effort and some grit will get you over the finish line. So F&#K YOUR MOTIVATION and remember why you started your journey keep the process simple and get to work.
Everyone (including myself) looks for an edge in the continuing battle to lose body fat. The key is to use those energy stores in the most effective way possible, specifically to maintain an balance that allows you lose body fat maintain or gain lean muscle in a healthy fashion. As I sated in the introduction blog post “ESD training should be the foundation of any training plan” which leads me into the question which form of ESD (Energy System Development) training is the most efficient when its applied to a weight loss plan? Some would say that long durations of slow steady state cardiovascular training such as jogging, or walking would be the best way to lose body fat, and technically that would be correct but these forms of training to lose weight will get you just so far on your journey to drop that last 20 lb. or dropping your first 5 lb.
Just a brief overview of what Energy Systems Development training is by definition is training specific energy system to produce a desired training effect that is specific to the goals of the training program. There are there main energy systems that the body taps into to acquire the energy to perform tasks depending on the duration and the intensity the task. Here is a brief description the three energy systems:
· ATP-CP Phosphagen energy System- used during short term, high intensity activities Ex. Throwing a Shot Put, Sprinting, Olympic lifts of 2-4 reps: Last 1-30 sec. Uses glycogen already stored and available in the muscles.
· Anaerobic Glycolytic energy System - used during medium/high intensity activities, Ex. Strength/endurance: lasts 30sec-3mins. Uses stored glycogen form other tissues in the body such as the liver.
· Aerobic energy System- used during long durations of exercise lasting longer than 30 min to 1 hour. Uses oxygen to convert stored body fat into to ATP for energy. The byproduct of this process lactic acid which is also used as an energy source.
As you look at the definitions of each of these energy systems you might think that the best way to burn that unwanted fat is through the aerobic energy system, but you might be wrong. Lets face it Aerobic exercise is an affordable and easily accessible form of exercise in where this energy system actually uses stored body fat to convert it into usable energy (after about 30-40 minutes of exercise). But you must remember the aerobic system is not as efficient in actually conditioning the body to burn more stored fat, the only way to effectively burn fat for energy is to have enough lean muscle mass to increase your resting metabolic rate which should be the goal of any weight loss or body composition improvement program.
This brings us to what most consider to be the sweet spot of energy system training which is the Anaerobic Glycolytic energy System. This form of energy systems training as compared to the aerobic energy system, which used primarily to improve the efficiency of the cardiovascular system in most training programs, it does not help build and maintain lean muscle mass like the Anaerobic Glycolytic energy System does. This is a major flaw in weight loss training programs that primarily use cardiovascular training to improve weight loss or body composition. In fact in most cases aerobic activity maybe limiting the bodies ability to use stored fat as energy especially if the individual's nutrition is not balanced and up to par. As I mentioned before the only way to effectively burn stored body fat is by increasing lean muscle which in turn improves the individual's resting metabolic rate.
Remember fat loss is about calorie expenditure and we are looking for the most efficient way to use or burn calories if fat loss is your goal. There is a simple element to training that everyone ignores or is ignorant of is you want to train (or workout) to help your body work more efficiently in your normal every day activities (which is the inspiration behind the Atlas Pro Training tag phrase -Train With a Purpose-). You can never out training, out run, out lift bad nutrition habits, BUT you can kick your fat loss into high gear by training with in the second energy system listed which is the Anaerobic Glycolytic energy System. This is considered the sweet spot for calorie expenditure and fat loss due to the fact that this type of training has the potential to increase lean muscle mass which helps you burn more calories at rest and during low intensity activities such as walking, or lifting light loads. Also this energy system taps onto to the aerobic system when performed beyond the 3-5min duration with limited rest times of less than 1 min between movements. This allows you to get more bang for your buck in regards to time spent working out,
There are several ways you can tap into the Anaerobic Glycolytic energy System listed below
Sub-Max weight lifting and Sprinting
Some light Plyometric exercises- Jump Rope, Medicine Ball training
Author: Alwyn Cosgrove
November 18, 2013
FACT or Fable: Fat Metabolism starts after 20 minutes of exercise
January 14, 2015
ESD/Energy Systems Development Training
By Coach E. Allen Founder Atlas Pro Training LLC
This Blog series is an expansion of an article of mine that was published in the November 2016 edition of the Nonahood News. All reputable trainer try to tap into one of more of these energy systems to help their clients reach their specific training goals. Educate yourself and make sure you know the fundamentals of your training program. Enjoy the process and -TRAIN WITH A PURPOSE-
Whether you are high school athlete looking to gain an edge on the competition in your offseason/preseason training program or a weekend warrior training in your spare time for an obstacle race, marathon, or an adult athletic league, or trying to lose that last 10-15 lbs of holiday weight, the old way of improving your physical performance and condition has changed. Enter the phrase Energy System development (ESD) training. ESD training should be the foundation of any training plan to improve your performance; it could be the difference between competing at a high level, or coming up short in a game. In order for muscles to contract and produce movement ATP (adenosine triphosphate) must be present. The body’s energy system is responsible for converting ATP to usable form of energy called ADP (adenosine diphosphate). ADP can be produced using three energy system:
· ATP-CP Phosphagen energy System- used during short term, high intensity activities Ex. Throwing a Shot Put, Sprinting, Olympic lifts of 2-4 reps: Last 1-30 sec
· Anaerobic Glycolytic energy System- used during medium/high intensity activities, Ex. Strength/endurance: lasts 30sec-3mins
· Aerobic energy System- used during long durations of exercise lasting longer than 30 min to 1 hour.
So let’s look at the ATP-CP Phosphagen energy System which is used to produce energy for high intensity, quick powerful bursts of movement. This energy system does not require oxygen to produce ADP from ATP. Creatine phosphate (which is stored in the skeletal muscles) is used to produce form ADP from ATP. This process is instant and the energy created is used and depleted almost just as fast, causing the athlete to fatigue faster. The goal when training this energy system is to use short bouts of exercise at a minimum volume (number of repetitions) to insure full recovery. As the athlete progresses through the training program the training load is increased not the volume (number of repetitions). This form of training (called Plyometric and or ballistic training) is used to increase the explosiveness of athlete, which increases the force that is produced during movement. Example of these forms of training are Box jumps, Medicine ball throws, and in Olympic lifting. This stress is beneficial to an athlete’s performance because by increasing the force that is produced during movement the athlete can run faster (by producing more force against the ground i.e. Box Jumps), which is referred to as improving the ground force reaction of the foot against the surface, which is essential to improving athletic performance. This energy system should be stressed in a conservative manor because the recovery time is longer than the duration of the energy systems use, and should be performed on a firm yet energy absorbent surface like rubber flooring. The quality of the explosive movement is more important than quantity of repetitions of the movement.
The second energy system we are going to look at is the Anaerobic Glycolytic energy System, which uses glycogen stores from the muscle and blood glucose to produce energy. This is considered by many trainers (including myself) as the predominate energy system, which is used to produce energy to sustain movements that last 30 sec to 3 minutes. It does not require oxygen but produces lactate acid which causes muscles to fatigue and shut down. The goal when training this energy system is to improve the lactate threshold (which is the time that it take for the muscle to experience limitations due to the accumulation of lactic acid) the athlete. This is an important aspect of improving the muscular endurance of the athlete, which is the goal to decrease the chance of injury and increase their work capacity during competition. Strength training with a focus on limiting the recovery times 30sec to 1min between sets and exercises; also tempo runs (running at 70-80% effort for short distances less than a mile for repetition).
The third energy system we are going to look at is the Aerobic energy system, which uses oxygen to produce APD from body stored fat and skeletal muscle, making it the most complex of the three and the most labor intensive energy system. The Aerobic energy system is used during activities that last for relatively long durations, like 30 min to 1-2+hours. The goal of training this energy system is to improve the cardiovascular efficiency of the athlete. This form of training improves the work capacity of the athlete allowing them to train for longer periods reducing debilitating cardiovascular fatigue. This could be considered the foundation of improving the performance of the athlete. Steady state cardiovascular training such as distance runs between 1-3 miles (depending on the sport the athlete is training) can be used to train this energy system, and some forms of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with recovery times that are limited to less than 1 minute between exercises.
The goal of any training program should be to develop these energy systems and “train” them to produce the energy in an efficient manor during practice and competition so that energy is readily available to the muscles during physical activity. All of three energy systems are interdependent of each other, but in most sports one energy system or a combination of two of the three are required to make things happen. This goes into the concept of sport specific training and how to create training programs that are designed specifically to produce the improvements in muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and improvements in speed and power of the athlete. As your youth athlete enters the offseason training program’s make sure that EDS training is the foundation of their training program.
Over the next few blog post I will be exploring how a training specific energy system can:
- Improve Performance
- Increase Weight Loss
- Increase Muscular size and Strength
Your Comments are welcomed below!
In this second installment of the Atlas Pro Training train like a F.R.E.A.K. blog series were are going to talk about Recovery, where all the "MAGIC" happens! If you have trained or been coached by me you have heard this over and over again, and it has paid off for you. Sometimes its human nature to want to train until you are drained, which is referred to as "overreaching" by most professional strength and conditioning coaches and trainers. This is essential to achieving the maximum physical and mental benefit from your training program, preparing your mind, body, and spirit for competition. BUT there would be no gains without a proper recovery plan that includes three main elements Sleep, Active recovery/dynamic stretching, and massage.
The key to any effective recovery plan is to consistently implement all three of these suggested habits into your lifestyle as an athlete. This may seem simple to just get some sleep right? But in most cases, it is not always easy to find the time to get the recommend 6-8 hours of quality sleep that is required for the body to repair and recharge. It is possible though if your recovery is a priority to you and you want to be the best at what you do, here are a few suggestions that may help you get the sleep you have been missing.
- Schedule your bedtime and stick to it!
- Try chamomile/sleepy time tea
- Read a book in a quiet space
- Remove all distractions from your sleeping area; phone, tablets, television,
- Listen to music with no words like Jazz, Classical music, etc.
These are suggested strategies have helped me (a chronic light sleeper) to this day develop quality sleeping habits, understand that sometimes the quality of the sleep you get is better than the quantity. I have found that the way I prepare to sleep has helped me develop a routine that has changed my behavior beyond just changing my habit.
Next, we are going to look at active recovery and what is actually is. Active recovery is participating is light physical activity, in efforts of maintaining a mobility and flexibility. The low levels of intensity will allow the body to rid itself of lactic acid and other harmful substances by "flushing" the muscles using movement. There are several examples of active recovery that I have suggested my clients do that are light low-intensity forms of movement, here are a few:
- Beginners Yoga
- Dynamic Stretching
- Light Jog
- A pickup game of your favorite sport
- Yard work
The use of massage has been the chose from or rest and recovery for most people for decades. But most people consider massage a luxury, which in some case may be true, but massage is essential to helping the musculature and the tough outer covering called Fascia. During heavy bouts of exercise, there are small micro-tears that occur in the muscle tissue and the fascia and musculature become misaligned and pulled out of place causing knots and kicks that may cause some pain and discomfort. Massage therapy can be applied to everyone recovery plan and should be considered essential to improving your health and performance. Here are a few examples of massage therapy:
- Deep Tissue Therapeutic Massage
- Foam Rolling/Myofascial Release
- Cupping Therapy
- Body Tempering
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF Stretching)
Your recovery plan should be simple yet complete and include all the elements that I mentioned earlier, this could be the difference between gaining the edge you are training for to compete and perform at a high level, or losing that last 10 pounds that have been stuck to you after several months of training sessions. Your recovery plan sets the tone for your training program. To train and perform at a high level you need to recovery like a F.R.E.A.K.
With this oversold focus on nutrition our diets have evolved into an over specialized industry that sells us on the "magic" formula that comes in a pill, powder, or ready to drink mixture of proprietary ingredients that are not listed on the packaging. This is especially true for active athletic individuals at all levels.
Several Years back I wrote a blog called ARE YOU A F.R.E.A.K LIKE ME
this blog post was one of my first as a trainer/coach. This blog was originally published for my youth athletes and clients who wanted to train beyond just losing that first 20lb and are dedicated to the process of improving their quality of life and have the option to participate in a physical activity without the threat of injury or long recovery time due to unmanageable soreness.