This is the second article of a three part series aimed to maximize your workout with the minimal time we each have in our days.
The first step was to ‘Choose Wisely’ this referred to the exercise selection and sequences in your’s or your clients workout. I you missed this article, you can check it out here.
The next step to consider when building your short circuits is to...
2) Think about Tempo
Another way to program brief, high density sessions effectively is to tweak the tempo you’re applying to each exercise. This TRX Programming Lens can be used to complement the exercise selection principles we talked about. When thinking about tempo or speed of movement, you should first decide what your priority is on a given day, such as improving strength or explosiveness, burning as many calories as possible or boosting your speed endurance.
For example, if you wanted to emphasize strength, you could do a grind (high load, low speed) exercise – such as a heavy deadlift – first. Then you could add in a ballistic (low to medium load, high speed) upper body movement, like Rip Jump Press . Or if you wanted to prioritize upper body strength that day, you could reverse this, performing an upper body grind followed by a lower body ballistic. You could also have days in which you just did two or three grinds or two or three ballistics, if you wanted to focus on maximum strength or tax your cardiovascular output.
One common mistake people often make is to make a HIIT workout “high intensity” for too long. For best results it is effective to not always go to exhaustion. Hitting some level of fatigue in workouts is fine, but too much of a good thing can lead to a decline in results and even injury. Using tempo and velocity based training is a great way to get a well-rounded workout. Using grinds for the lower body followed by more explosive, high speed moves not to exhaustion, is a great way to keep the workout engaging and let’s you work on form and technique while still getting the most out of limited time.
3) Play the Long Game
While we’ve focused on single-day approaches to creating brief, efficient workouts that give you the most bang for your buck, don’t simply look at each workout in isolation. Rather, consider how you might combine three, four, or (for you overachievers!) five sessions in a week like a jigsaw puzzle. Again, it’s best to take a step back and think about your top two or three goals. Then come up with combinations of exercises with our selection and tempo lenses that can help you meet these. Also recognize that it takes your body longer to recover from activities that place a high demand on the central nervous system, like plyometrics and Olympic lifts. So if you’re planning a 4-day week, try and do such exercises on days one and four, with two days of endurance and strength work in the middle.
And finally …. TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 3 ... the fourth consideration will be reviewed, and a sample workout will be included for you to try out!
Want to learn more about being an effective Coach? Get started with TRX Professional Education. If you've already crushed the TRX Education Journey and you're ready to dive into exercise selection, sequencing, and programming, check out the TRX Advanced Group Training Course - TRX Advanced Group Training.