I want To Drop Fat and Build Muscle… Which System is Best?
So this is something I here all the time, when I am coaching clients and even when I am tutoring other personal trainers. They all want to know, which training system is best to get results. Now before we go on, I am going to give you a very honest answer. It will be a definitive answer but it may not be the one you want to hear.
In the above picture, there is a list of different training systems that are taught to all sports science students and personal trainers across the world (there are many more than this by the way). All of them have been designed by very clever people at universities who have designed and tested a variety of ways to build muscle mass and strength.
Guess what? All of them work really, really well. As for which one is best, “I genuinely have not got a clue”. This is the answer I give to all my clients and students.
The results of each different method will vary from person to person. What I do know however, “Is that the body will stop adapting and your progress will slow unless you challenge it in a variety of different ways.”
So what exactly does this mean???
In short, variety is king, your body’s nervous system is the cleverest thing on planet earth by a million miles, it adapts very quickly and becomes conditioned to things it is used to. That’s why you need to change things up regularly. Here are my top tips on how to do just that.
1. Make some changes every 2-3 weeks
Now this does not have to be hard, simply changing your reps by 2-3 per set, adding an extra set, shortening your rest periods by 20-30 seconds or just increasing your weight will keep the body guessing and keep you making progress.
2. Add Testosterone boosting exercises to your workout.
These are exercises that use the whole body. Stuff like the clean and jerk or snatch, or combo drills like adding a bent over row or an overhead press to a lunge or a squat thrust to a press up. These will get you out of breath and get more testosterone pumping around your body. It will jack up your metabolism leading to better fat loss and better muscle growth.
3. Move in a different direction
Add some functional variations to the exercises in your program. Change foot positions in a squat, hand positions in a press up, lunge in a different direction other than forwards or backwards or add rotation and/or lateral movement to shoulder presses or any other exercise.
As well as making your training way more fun, these tweaks will get you targeting muscle fibres in different ways. Ways that your nervous system is completely unprepared for and they will need to reconfigure themselves to adapt to the new movement patterns.
4. Make a big change every 6 weeks or so
So this could be changing your split routine into whole body workouts, completely changing the design of your sessions from super sets to pyramid training or negative reps. Basically making wholesale changes to make your body adapt in a big way.
5. Program in a rest week every 8 week or so
FACT! We do not grow in the gym. As you know our training sessions are responsible for breaking down proteins in our muscles to help them re-grow bigger and stronger. It is our recovery time when our muscles repair that our body is really changing.
A lower impact rest week will help recharge your batteries and help prevent injury. So I’m not saying do nothing but maybe drop the weights down a little and reduce the number sessions you do for that week.
Trust me! Your body will thank you for it and it will really help in the long-run.
Sorry it’s not the straight forward answer you were hoping for. If you think about it though, it really makes sense. There are thousands of so-called experts out there who all claim to offer the most amazing solution and the best system ever. There are simply loads of disagreements in the industry as to what works best. Which really means, nobody knows.
Although many of look like meatheads, the whole, personal trainers and fitness coaches are a pretty clever lot. If there really was one method to rule them all then we would all be doing the same thing.
So I try to take a different route, instead of telling you how wonderful I am or how amazing my training systems are I am simply honest.
“ I will help you make sense of the confusion, work with you to figure out what your goals are and come up with a good place to start. Then we can figure out the right time to vary your program and your nutrition in order to keep you progressing. I will also make sure I offer you the right advice to and guidance to ensure you stay on track, as nothing screws up your results like inconsistency.”
So if that makes sense, and you would like a little help to get your training and nutrition heading in the right direction, why not hit the button below and book a free 30 minute call. That way we can work together to establish a defined and clear path to get you working towards your goals with direction and purpose.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Darren has over 10 years experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, sports injury therapist and most recently as an educator to other trainers. Originally from South Wales, he went to Liverpool University to study Sports Science and liked the city so much, he decided to stay. Since finishing his degree he set up a thriving personal training and injury rehab business which continues to this day. He has recently moved over to Denby Dale in West Yorkshire and has opened Faster Fitness Solutions, a multi-purpose training and rehabilitation facility located in the heart of the village.