I'm writing this article after what can only be described as a spot of indulgence with both chocolate and alcohol. A great weekend was had, however for me it's back down to the business of writing programs for clients and trying to get them in the best shape possible.
I often find around this time of year clients have a real, specific target in mind for a summer holiday that may be coming up. The thought of strutting around on a beach with their shirt off or being in a bikini is always fine motivation to knuckle down and train hard.
My own personal training regime has been slightly erratic of late with me deviating away from heavy strength training and actually playing around with higher reps and a greater total of volume. These type of workouts produce much higher levels of lactic acid and can be very mentally tough as well as very physically challenging!
A few years ago I used to love these high rep, high volume type sessions but over the past two years since I've tried to develop some sprinting speed on the track I've generally stayed within a lower rep range, rarely going above eight repetitions.
It's with this in mind that I thought I'd share one of the programs that I recently put (tortured) myself through.
It is one of my favourite training programs for delivering fast and effective fat loss and lean muscle gains. For anyone who loves to get a serious sweat on when doing strength training then this is the program for you! It is not for the faint hearted and I'd highly recommend trying to go through it with a training partner for that extra motivation.
Also if you are a beginner with weight training I would stay away from this until you have at least one year of weight lifting experience, otherwise you may be needing a Zimmer frame to walk for a week or two....
The program is called 8-8-16 Triple drop set.
I first learned this method through my mentor Eoin Lacey at the Irish Strength Institute back in 2010. I still remember to the day it being one of the bleakest hours of my life as I and 7 other trainers were put through it..... However what doesn't kill you defiantly makes you stronger and I personally got some fantastic results using this protocol, dropping 3% body fat in four weeks.
There is two different workouts and you alternate between workout 1 and 2 doing 3 sessions a week.
For optimal fat loss I'd recommend putting in one interval based session during the week. So you do a total of 4 sessions in the week. For some ideas on how to implement interval training here is a previous article with some interval methods.
So a example training week may look something like this:
- Monday - Workout 1
- Tuesday - Off
- Wednesday - Workout 2
- Thursday - Off
- Friday - Workout 1
- Saturday - Intervals
- Sunday - Off
- Monday - Workout 2
So basically each week you are doing one of the workouts twice and the other one just once, however the next week it would be the other way around so you are getting the same amount of stimulus for each workout.
There are different ways of doing 8-8-16, some with more of a emphasis on hypertrophy some gearing more towards fat loss. This is for the latter, with the upper/lower nature of the sequencing of exercises creating higher levels of lactic acid. This should create higher levels of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) in the body, which should help increase fat loss.
A1 Barbell Alternating Lunge Reps: 8-8-16 Sets: 4 Tempo: 2010 Rest: 90
A2 Wide Grip Pull Down To Throat Reps: 8-8-16 Sets: 4 Tempo: 3010 Rest: 90
B1 Dorsiflexed Hamstring Curl Reps: 8-8-16 Sets: 4 Tempo: 3010 Rest: 90
B2 Flat Barbell Bench Press Mid Grip Reps: 8-8-16 Sets: 4 Tempo: 3010 Rest: 90
A1 Mid Grip Romaninan Dead Lift Reps: 8-8-16 Sets: 4 Tempo: 3010 Rest:90
A2 Seated 80* DB Shoulder Press Reps: 8-8-16 Sets: 4 Tempo: 3010 Rest: 90
B1 Heels Elevated Barbell Back Squat Reps: 8-8-16 Sets: 4 Tempo: 3010 Rest: 90
B2 Low Neutral Grip Cable To Belly Reps: 8-8-16 Sets: 4 Tempo: 3010 Rest:90
So on the A1 exercise you would pick a weight you would struggle to do 8 reps with. You then rest 10 seconds and drop the weight a little and complete another 8 reps, rest another 10 seconds dropping the weight a little again before completing 16 reps. You then get 90 seconds rest and then you do exactly the same thing for the A2 exercises.
Once you've completed the four rounds of these 2 exercises, resting 90 seconds between each one, you move onto the B1 and B2 exercises. Again complete the four rounds until you are done!
Making sure you are well fuelled for these workouts is of paramount importance to get the most benefit from it. I would not recommend doing this workout fasted on a empty stomach. Ideally try and take on a protein shake or amino acids after the workout to aid the rebuilding process. You generally find women will deal with this program far better than men, what with their ability to tolerate lactic acid.
I would recommend doing this for a total of 4 weeks. If possible try and have your body fat measured at the start and at the end so you can see what results you get from it. Enjoy and let me know how you get on!