Do you have 90 minutes a week?
If your answer to this question is "yes" - then you have sufficient time to reach your maximum potential
for strength, fitness, and physique. Believe me, I'm not making this up. Everything we know about exercise science
supports this statement. There's no catch!
I've written a lot about training routines that take 90 minutes a week. But, I'm not sure the message has been as clear as it should be.
Here's what we know.
You see everything really revolves around being able to progress a little bit at a time while maintaining great exercise form with high intensity. Nothing else seems to matter. This is the essence of progressive resistance training.
Now keep in mind that everyone responds to training differently.
Virtually all of these differences are the result of genetic factors.
Some people are genetically programmed to develop large muscles. Some people have very good leverage for some movements. And, some people are able to recruit a high percentage of muscle fibers and are often far stronger than they look.
Knowing how much genetics influence your results is liberating.
You can't change your genetics, so just go out and see what you can do.
There's no magical routine. Just training longer or more frequently won't make any difference either.
So, do the simplest science-based routine.
You may think that you are "genetically-limited", but you may surprise yourself.
I'm frequently asked this question;
"Don't you need different routines to maximize strength, or muscle mass, or get very cut and defined?"
The answer is "no".
If you get stronger, you'll get bigger and as you get bigger muscles, you'll be able to use more resistance.
When you can use more resistance for 5, 10, 15, or 20 repetitions, the amount of resistance you can use for one repetition will proportionally increase.
Likewise, if you use specific movements that are the usual barometer of strength such as the deadlift, squat, or bench press or their machine equivalents, you'll get as strong as you're going to be in these traditional movements.
Can you get really defined using the same training routine?
Of course you can.
Being defined means having a low percent body fat and has virtually everything to do with the number of calories you consume in a decent healthy diet and your genetics. Getting defined has almost nothing to do with a specific training routine!
Getting defined doesn't involve eating lots of supplements either. Nothing is required except a healthy diet.
If you need to gain weight, you slightly increase calories. If you want to lose body fat, you slightly decrease calories.
For an example of eating Real Food instead of using supplements, click here.
For an example of a good workout that takes minimum time, look at My Favorite Routine. It's not the be all and end all. It's just an example of what I've been talking about. But, it works well and it's worth a try.
If you count up the time it takes to do my favorite resistance training routine, you see that it takes 70 minutes per week.
So, we still have 20 minutes left. That's our time for cardiovascular training.
The notion, especially for cardiovascular training, is that you need to be spending a lot of time to get fit. It's just not true.
Gaining and maintaining fitness is similar in many ways to gaining and maintaining strength. It's training intensely and following a prescription that counts. How long you train isn't the key.
Frequency of training is important for cardiovascular training but an ideal frequency is only twice per week. You won't gain much more by training three times per week.
The Graded Exercise Protocol or "GXP" takes 10 minutes to do and really fits the bill.
It's very prescriptive but very simple to do on almost any cardiovascular training piece or walking, biking, jogging or running.
Click here for instructions on how to do the GXP.
That's it. That's the whole deal. If you've got 90 minutes per week, you can maximize your strength, fitness, and physique. For those of you, who still have questions or don't believe this approach can work, here are some commonly asked questions.