I have found a way to lift heavier weights while burning more body fat than normal in the same workout. This method will extend the fat burning window in your workout, without necessarily working out longer. I kind of stumbled upon this method on accident quite a few years ago, and now I use it to get extra lean while increasing my muscle density simultaneously. I have never read about this method, nor have I seen anyone else in the gym doing this. I don’t think I’m the only person who does this, but this certainly isn’t a mainstream personal training tip at all.
[Bruce Lee is the definition of strength-to-weight ratio. This man could do some amazing physical feats. A true bad-ass for sure!]
A Strange Phenomenon I Discovered On Accident…
About 9 years ago, I really started to hit cardio hard. I really decided to increase the performance of my cardio and take it to the next level. I began hard intervals on various cardio machines and came up with an Interval Training Workout that has suited me well over the years. I would do a variation of this cardio workout after every session of lifting and I was quickly getting slim, lean and defined. The problem was that I was drenched with sweat and my heart was still racing. It felt weird to leave the gym in that state.
One Day I Went Back to Lifting After My Cardio Session
I decided to do flat bench dumbbell presses again (I did them earlier in my workout). I was completely warmed up from doing them, plus my body felt warm and loose from the cardio…so I went straight for a heavy set of 3. I figured I was worn out from the cardio, so I grabbed a pair of 80 pound dumbbells which I would do sets of 5 with back then. When I did the set, they felt lighter than ever! I figured they would have felt heavier! I went on to grab 90 pound dumbells…they felt totally light! I went up to 100 pounders and they felt heavy, but I did a set of 5 pretty easily. This was actually a personal best for me at the time, which is nuts since I expended so much energy from interval training!
I Was So Excited I Decided to Try Dumbbell Rows
Due to my log arms, I’m terrible at pressing exercises and strong at pulling exercises. I can do super slow sets of dumbbell rows with 100+ pounds no problem. Pressing that same weight is a challenge for me. Back to my story…so I grabbed 100 pound dumbbells and did a set of 5 reps. That felt easy…110 pound dumbbells for 5…easy! 120 pound dumbbells…tough, but I got up a strict 5 reps. Yes…another personal best.
What the Heck Was Happening Here?
This really didn’t seem logical at all to me. I should have had a tougher time doing these lifts after HIIT, not an easier time! I was drenched with sweat and breathing hard. How on earth was I setting personal bests in these lifts. It was crazy!
The Next Day I Tried Doing Cardio First, Then Lift…
So the next day I did a similar cardio workout first and then hit the weights. The weird thing is that the weights felt heavier than ever! I felt weak and couldn’t lift even close to the same weights as I normally did. This wasn’t too surprising, since I have tried cardio before lifting in the past and I had a similar experience. I was wondering if the day before was a fluke, or if I was just stronger that day for some reason.
After a Few Weeks, I Figured It Out
What I discovered was that strength training before my cardio workout basically “awakened” the neural pathways to the muscles (remember, strength training is all about sending strong nerve impulses from your brain to muscles). After I did my typical 3-5 rep strength training routine, I would hit cardio hard for 25-45 minutes. During that time, my body temperature would increase and all my muscles and joints would loosen up. When I went back to perform those same lifts, the nerve pathways were already primed from the earlier lifting…but now my body was “warmed up” beyond belief, the joints moved better, etc. The same amount of nerve impulse to the muscle resulted in more efficient contractions.
Lifting Heavy Never Felt So Good
I am always careful to lift slow and deliberately when lifting. Many days I lift light, but contract the muscles hard to mimic the contraction I get when lifting heavy. This is a way to gain strength without lifting heavy all the time. There are other days when I do enjoy lifting heavier weights. Doing my heaviest sets after cardio is a great way to lift heavy without worrying about pulling something. The sets I do after cardio always feel smooth and easy. The weight just glides nicely.
Lifting Weights Widens the “Calorie Burning Window”
What you will notice when lifting after cardio, is that your heart rate will stay at a decent rate. Even if you are just lifting low reps and resting quite a bit in between, your body will be in fat burning mode. You are doing two things at once…burning fat and increasing muscle definition by getting stronger without getting bigger. This is like the “Perfect Storm” of getting in amazing condition…I think I’ll call it that!
Here is an Outline Of The Perfect Storm Workout
A Great Way to Develop Lagging Body Parts
You can use this method to quickly develop weak body parts. Let’s say you are doing chest and back on the same day. You would do your brief strength training routine, hit cardio, and then maybe concentrate on just doing two more lifts for chest instead of one for chest and one for back. You can be flexible here. The one thing you don’t want to do is try to do 4-5 more exercises, as it loses its effectiveness. Just focus your efforts on two, maybe three lifts max.
Note: I found a site called The Positivity Blog, which talks about Bruce Lee’s philosophies on life. Great Post! The guy who puts this blog together is a really good writer.
Bruce Leeâ€™s Top 7 Fundamentals for Getting Your Life in Shape
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