More is not Better
For those of you not familiar with the concept of minimum effective dose (MED), I am going to resort to my standard analogy. If you are boiling water for a nice pot of tea, you heat it to 100 degrees Celsius causing it to boil. Making the water even hotter, say 200 degrees, will not make the water â€˜more boiledâ€™. The minimum effective dose for boiling water is thus 100 degrees Celsius. This mechanism applies to many things in daily life and especially to working out and sports in general. For one of my personal examples check out my gaining 5 kilos of lean muscle in 2 weeks with 1 hour workout per week.
Shorten your Warming Up
Getting a good warm up is essential for a nice and efficient workout. Most people however forget that a warm up should prepare you for the actual activity ahead. This results in many a sportsman getting quite tired after their warm up leaving them an ineffective workout. A study by researchers at the University of Calgary showed that doing a shorter and less intense warm up will significantly boost your performance. This study was done on cyclists but may as well be applied to any type of sport.
When you Train for Volume
When training for bigger muscles a tiny 2 workouts of 30 minutes per week will yield incredible results. You do have to pay a lot of attention to what you eat though, and the workout is quite specific. The details can be found in this Hive Health MediaÂ Â post I wrote but it all boils down to a couple of simple principles. The first is â€˜set to failâ€™ which basically means that you never put down the weight or lock your joints (your muscles are under constant pressure) and you hold the weight for 5 seconds in the lowest and highest position until your muscles give out. In combination with that you eat like a pig while focusing on protein, though some supplements might be useful in addition to that. Check this post (LINK) to see what I used.
When you Train for Strength
When training for strength an over smaller time under tension is necessary, namely 15 minutes per week. When I first heard this I had a thought along the lines of â€˜sure man, and what chemicals are you taking with that?â€™. It turns out however that the Russian Power Lifting team and the Chinese ice skaters have been using this for quite a while. The basics of this program include a few simple guidelines (I will post a full post on this later).
Basically you should lift in sets of 2 to 3 reps with a maximum of 10reps per workout (yes you read that right). You should lift at 95% to 85% of your max and hold a 5 minute break between sets. Other guidelines include dynamic stretching as a warm up. The goal of this workout is to leave you feeling exhilarated rather than exhausted.