The quickest way to lose fat or build muscle training system!
Catchy title huh?!
It annoys me I have to write such click bait titles but if I don't people just read them and at the moment I get 40+ people that read my blogs weekly so I need to keep going with the click bait titles. To all my old readers Thank you for staying with me, especially with my bad grammar! I really hope these blogs are helping and to the new readers I hope I can inspire and educate you.
The only way to lose weight is a calorie deficit however, you can create that deficit through diet and/or training – this blog is about the training side. We have and will cover diet in other blog posts but whether you're a beginner or advanced this system is easy to understand and relatively easy to programme for a regular gym goer.
The system is known as the A1/A2 system, double sets, push/pull sets, blood shunts, PHA (peripheral heart action) sets, or upper/lower sets, so a few different names!
As you can see this system can be called a few different names but the best and easiest to describe it is the 'A1/A2 sets' as the other are a lot more specific and the ‘A1/A2’ name covers them all.
It’s widely known now that splitting body parts and training chest on a Monday, back on a Tuesday, leg on Wednesday, shoulders Thursday, and arms on Friday is not a good way to train, you do get enough volume on the muscle through the week and if you're training for weight loss the intensity and calorie burning effect just isn’t high enough.
To solve these problems, we found the 'A1/A2' system, which means you can train 3 or 4 times a week and a cardio, core and mobility day in there for some active recover work if you wanted to and have the willingness! I know you have enough time to, that isn’t a valid excuse. 128 hours in a week and you can’t spare 5? Come on, Eastenders isn’t that important!
There are different ways to programme the 'A1/A2' system but we’ll stick to the basics and then cover the more advanced programming in a different blog where we talk about the speed/strength curve and how-to best programme that.
Let’s cover weight loss first as that’s probably what you want to know about, again there are different ways to programme this and the exercises depending on your ability, strength, mobility and injuries etc so this obviously can’t be specified to you, if you did want a specific programme then please fill out this contact form and we’ll arrange something.
The main way I programme most of my personal training clients is a lower exercise for A1 and an upper for A2, an example of this would be
A1: Squats – rep range of somewhere between 6-20 depending on day and other factors, sets typically range from 3-5 and we may include some tempo (we will touch on it here but will be explained in another blog)
A2: Bent over Row – and same conditions as above, we would then rest for 1-2 mins depending on rep range, up to 2 mins as this isn’t for strength specific training.
Tempo very briefly is the time it takes to do each phase of the lift and depending on your goals determines the tempo, if at all.
43X0 – the first number is the lower(eccentric phase), the second is the time spent in the bottom position for example, how long you sit in the squat, how long the bar is almost by chest etc, the third number or X(explosive) is how long or how quickly you move the weight back to the start position (concentric phase) and finally the fourth number is how long you stay in the top position before starting your next rep.
For example, of the above on a squat it would be;
4 seconds down, sit in the bottom of the squat for 3 seconds and then explode up as quickly and as powerfully as you can as soon as you get to standing start the lowering(eccentric) phase again.
I will typically do A1/A2, B1/B2, C1/C2 and D1/D2 this takes about 45-60 minutes depending on rest time, reps, sets etc and then I will give the client a short and intense little circuit to finish to get as many calories burnt as we can in that hour.
The part that makes this difficult is knowing what to programme so the client doesn’t get muscle soreness (DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness) and can still walk pain free or relatively pain free, A lot of Personal Trainers sole aim is to make their client hurt so bad drinking a cup of tea, standing up and just walking is just horrific and they are quite simply shit PT’s.
The hour you're exercising with me is not enough to control the other 127 hours of the week, so if I make you hurt so much you can’t walk or move for the other 127 hours are going to be spent sitting down and eating to try and recover, no amount of text or phone help will stop that - which mean your day-to-day energy expenditure goes down, massively hindering or even stopping weight loss.
It’s one of the main reason I want all my clients to see me at least 3 times a week because it then changes the whole equation of 1 and 127 hours left, it's more like 1 hour in every 43, I get to speak to you and properly check up on you, make you work hard and give you motivation that lasts for the few days, you get to be honest and can make proper clear changes if needs be in a matter of days rather than weeks, also if you miss a session it means I still see you twice that week rather than once in 2 weeks! the Bottom line is much better results for you, much better!
It's better to have a PT for 1/2 months doing 3-4 sessions a week than have a PT for a year doing 1 session a week.
Anyway got side tracked, here’s an example of a day and circuit that I would use with a client with tempo:
In terms of muscle building we would most definitely use tempo as it keeps the muscle under tension for longer, more tensions means more volume, more volume means more growth! What’s slightly different though is I personally would do 4 or 5 days split like Lower, Upper, Lower, Upper and if you can do the 5th day add in a tough met-con circuit on the 5th day instead.
An example of a 5 training day week might like this is below:
These programs were created while I was sitting on my sofa and just writing them, these aren't with a client in mind, the reason is because I don't want you reading this and thinking 'oh forget it I'll just copy what Dan put up for a bit' - everyone moves differently, has different training history, has different levels of skill and mobility, strength, aches, pains and niggles, likes and dislikes all these are a factor when programming for a client. so please do not copy these, HOWEVER use them, look at the types of exercises that are used and adapt it to you!
I hope that by reading this and my other blogs you will see that the typical ‘bro-split’ is dead and the best to lose fat and build muscle is by doing upper/lower and in this fashion, it means you get a lot more volume in the week, which means you’re more likely to grow and grow faster, or lose and lose faster, it also means you're session are more entertaining and you can be in and out in a hour but have done double or triple the amount you would have previously done.
The skill in this is the picking of the exercises in regards to your needs, picking exercises that helps your bad knee, bad hip, lower back pain, weak core whatever it may be that is personal to you. That is then where the programming of this gets difficult. Having said that it only takes a bit of research on your end to find out. Like everything you need to put in the work to reap the rewards. So, go reaping!
Have fun in your training, I hope you have an amazing few months of training ahead of you.
Like always if you have any questions then comment on the blog and I’ll answer.
We are currently taking on more clients for Personal Training in Sutton Coldfield, so if you're local and interested you can sign up here.
The Main Author is Dan Grimes, Guest authors will be posting too.