Restore: The Bodyweight Strength Program
SETS and REST
Now that we have a good understanding of what it means to train with time under load vs. repetitions as our guide, and we’ve discussed temporary muscle failure in detail, we can now talk about how many SETS you should do. At least at the start of the course.
How many should you do?
Your goal is to do ONE SET.
That’s right, you read that correctly: Your goal is only ONE SET OF each exercise, where you go to complete but temporary muscular failure. Of course, the other important goal is always maintaining your “best” possible form.
Why only one set?
It’s possible you’re sitting there reading this and thinking, that’s just too little “work” or training volume.
If you do it the right way.
Sure, if you do it the way some people would or perhaps the way you have strength trained in the past, (think: sloppy, passive, using elastic rebound and momentum to accomplish the movements) you won’t get much benefit and it won’t seem very challenging.
However, if you do it the RIGHT way, moving slowly and continuously and MAINTAINING CONSTANT MUSCLE CONTRACTION and RADIATION of tension, going to complete – total temporary muscle failure, you’ll get incredible benefits. And you’ll be challenged!
The BONUS is that this course and this training will be incredibly time-efficient in addition to being effective. It’ll be done and over quickly! After all, with one set, each movement will then take only around 60 to 90 seconds.
If you add up the total time under load, it could be 9 to 10 minutes for the entire workout, which if you actually think about it, might be a LOT more than you might typically experience in a “normal” strength training session.
One more thing before I move on to the next training principle: you should rest as little as possible once you are done with a movement, and then move on to the next one, doing the exact same thing.
MOVE SLOWLY maintaining maximum tension within each exercise, AND QUICKLY between exercises.
The “secret” is in the intensity.
- If you train hard and intensely enough, you don’t need a lot of volume or a ton of exercises.
- Remember what I said earlier? Exercise doesn’t make us stronger. What makes us stronger is STRESS to our body, which in turn causes an adaptive response to become stronger.
- Yes! Your body WILL NEED recovery time between workouts to RECOVER FROM the sessions and adapt a new higher level of strength to meet future demands. Keep in mind that recovery isn’t just a “thing,” it’s everything. Once you do the work that is.
- PAY CLOSE attention to whether you are recovering from your training and make sure you are ready for each session. If you are not, for whatever reason, wait one additional day. That’s smart training.
What About REST?
As I just mentioned, when you begin the training, you should take ONLY enough rest between each movement to avoid being light-headed or dizzy. Move as quickly as possible from one movement to the next, trying to keep the rest under 1 minute.
As you become stronger and better able to perform the program, try to reduce your rest interval to only a few seconds between each exercise. You’ll find this is difficult at first but gets easier as your skill and ability to perform these movements improves!
Your GOAL is a very high DENSITY, or work to rest ratio. You want maximum work in a minimum amount of time.
Remember your goal with each session: to MOVE SLOWLY maintaining maximum tension within each exercise, AND QUICKLY between exercises.
It’s A SKILL!
One last thing on this topic and it’s important: your ability to push yourself a bit further each time you perform these movements and wring out every ounce of energy (and benefit) from the exercises, is a skill.
That is hard for some people to grasp but it’s the truth.
By skill I mean simply that the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it.
The better you’ll be at finding the edge – the better you’ll be at realizing that you will feel very normal in a few seconds, even when you push yourself very hard temporarily.
A whole new world of potential will open up to you because you are simply more skilled at this aspect of training.
The take-home lesson? Don’t give up too soon or give in. Keep at it. You can do it! And you will!
Take a minute to listen in to the video where I will discuss these principles in detail!
If you don’t train very hard, you won’t give your body the impetus it needs to adapt and change, it’s that simple.