Wednesday 25 April 2012

Training for the time poor – a guest post

Yes, I am officially a slacker when it comes to regular blogging. I apologise! Uni is kicking my butt big time. Hopefully I can get a couple out over the next few weeks. But for now, my favourite partner in crime, Aaron, has kindly agreed to write a guest post for me! My very first guest post! Woo hoo! So, without further adieu, please welcome (drumroll) Aaron Callaghan – fellow nerd/husband/personal trainer extraordinaire (in that order???). 

(Side note: I will put my own 2 cents worth in here and there in red – cos’ that’s what wives do, right?)

OK you’ve made some changes to your diet and your energy levels are rising. Hey, you haven’t felt this good in years. Maybe it’s time to start moving again? That would be great but there is no time because of work, study, kids etc.

Here are five tips to accelerate your results in minimal time:
1. The body regards training as a stress. If we get the volume and intensity right the body adapts and increases its capacity to do work. If we get it wrong the body stops improving, gets injured or you get sick. As a general rule for longevity, wellness and vitality - less is more. If your training is well structured it should take you less than an hour a week to get the results you’re after. (Seriously folks – you read right – 1hr per week, not day)

2. To boost your metabolism, perform high intensity intervals once or twice a week. Choose any exercise which uses the large muscles in your body (no, not your guns). For example - squats, bike, sprints, burpees, battling ropes. For best results make the hard hard and the easy easy (jogging is neither). Work intervals between 30-60s with a 1:1, 1:2 or even a 1:3 work to rest ratio (i.e. work for 20s and rest for 60s) have been shown to be very effective for fat loss and increasing work capacity.

3. When in the gym perform paired sets to get a great anabolic effect (this means growth – but not necessarily in a “Madonna-arms” kind of way…unless that’s what you are after…). Here is a basic example template: 

  • A1 Lower body 2-4 sets x 8-12 reps (e.g. squats)
  • A2 Upper body push 2-4 sets x 8-12  (push up)
  • B1 Lower Body 2-4 x 8-12 (lunge)
  • B2 Upper Body pull 2-4 sets x 8-12 (row)
  • Keep rest periods under 60s 

4. If you can’t get to the gym, perform a bodyweight circuit at home or at the park. Again we look to keep intensity high but the overall duration short (under 15mins). Perform a light warm up and then perform 2-4 rounds of this bodyweight blast:

  • 10 squats then 10 push ups, 9 squats then 9 push ups …..1 squat then 1 push up. Rest for 2mins then complete 2 or 3 more sets. (this is a lot harder than is sounds!!)

5. If you’re going to lift weights make sure you work within a rep range of 6-12 reps (i.e. only lift it 6-12 times). Once you have the technique perfect, a general guide with regards to intensity is to leave a couple of reps in the hole e.g. if you’re doing 8 reps select a weight that if you really needed to you could do 10 reps. This ensures that you’re working with enough intensity to boost metabolism but not over reaching and teaching the body and brain how to fail.

So as a quick summary less is more when it comes to vitality, wellness and looking better naked (woot woot – sorry, couldn’t help myself). Listen to your body  - when energy levels are high, you can push a little harder, but if energy levels are low, back it off.....and instead do something more like this: 

Any further questions please contact me at or jump on our site  at for plenty of ideas for your training.

Now get off that treadmill and start getting more done in less time so you can go and enjoy life!!

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