Ask Rocco: I Want to Maximize My Time and Results

Ask Rocco: I Want to Maximize My Time and Results

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Question: For someone who's considering bodybuilding, or at least training like it, what are good resources or tips? I already devote a lot of time to working out, weights and cardio, but would like to maximize my time and results.
— Sarah

Answer: This is a tough question to answer because I believe that bodybuilders spend way too much time in the gym. On the other hand, I do admire their commitment to their craft.

I prefer to train more like an athlete and, in turn, create more of an athletic body. Body builder’s bodies tend to be more exaggerated and almost cartoonish in nature, therefore I try to stay out of that realm because it takes a totally different mindset to stay in a gym for hours at a time and perform a million repetitions for a million sets. I have too much other s**t to do than spend half my life in the gym.

If you perform some of the same movements that many of my bodybuilding peers advocate, but at a higher intensity – and by that I mean shortening of the sets to one or two sets and increase your repetition range – you will get out of the gym much quicker and get the same results. An example of this would be: instead of 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, perform two sets of 15-20 to almost failure*) In the book Designing Resistance Training Programs, author William J. Kraemer found that 1-2 sets to failure and multiple sets provided the same benefit for strength training and muscle hypertrophy (muscle building). This coming from a "huge" multiple set and explosive training advocate tells us that it is possible to get positive muscle building benefits without spending most of your life in the gym.

*Almost failure pertains to needing help on the last five repetitions to finish the movement with correct form and technique.


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