A question I get asked quite often is: what should I eat before training? Followed by a look of keen inquisitiveness as if I am about to release the greatest secret known to man. I’m sorry to tell you, but the answer isn’t that complicated at all; which is a good thing!
Think of it like this, you wouldn’t plan a drive across a desert with no fuel in your tank, would you? This is the exact mindset to have when thinking about workout preparation.
It's really not as hard as you think.
Casting aside all fad diets, weight-loss supplements, and tricky machinery; the key to fat loss really boils down to simply burning off more Calories you consume.
Let's say your total caloric intake for one day is 2,000 Calories (Calories in), your goal is to burn off 2,500 Calories in that same day (Calories out).
Try this 7-day fat-loss challenge:
I've got your back!
The perfect back workout for an otherwise lazy Saturday afternoon is right here:
2 x 10 bench dumbbell pullovers
2 x 10 reverse rows (Smith machine)
3 x 10 bent over dumbbell rows
5 x 6 heavy seated cable rows
3 x 12 narrow grip lat pulldowns
3 x 12 bent over dumbbell flyes
2 x 16 dumbbell shrugs
5 minutes of rowing. Aim for 800 meters !
There are endless studies that say this, that, and the other about the optimal weight you should be lifting to reach your goals.
Here's the Mustard Fitness opinion:
If your primary goal is to increase your strength (your peak force), you should be going heavy.
That means working with a weight that only allows you to hit 1 - 5 reps per set. Take longer rest periods and aim to increase the weight used every week or two. Personally, when training for my deadlift strength, I go for 5 sets of 4 reps, with 3 minute breaks between sets. (the Mustard 5, 4, 3 System... not copyrighted)
If your primary goal is purely hypertrophy/fat loss (bodybuilding/looking incredible with all your clothes on the floor), you should also be going heavy, though not quite at a strength-training level.
Find your 'burn weight' with exercises. This means that you should aim to fail with a load somewhere between 6 and 12 repetitions. If you reach 12 reps and feel the ability to hit 1 or 2 more, the weight is too light and you should increase. Of course, if you can't hit 6 reps, the weight is too heavy and should be reduced a tad. Keep your rest periods between 60 and 90 seconds. Cue the red carpet.
If your primary goal is muscular endurance, then, you've guessed it, your reps need to be high and your weight low.
Aim for a weight that allows you to hit between 12 and 20 repetitions before failing. Reduce the rest periods here to 30 - 60 seconds and get all sweaty and intense!
I hope this helps!