I am a firm believer that one of the secretâ€™s to success in life is identifying what you are good at, and milking it for all itâ€™s worth.Â Conversely, it is also useful to identify what you are not so good at, and avoiding it.Â Or if that is neither possible nor sensible, surrounding yourself with those who are infinitely better than you at your weaknesses.Â For example, I am totally disinterested in admin and technical financial processes and as such I rely upon, and trust, the wonderful Ridhi Sharma to steer UP through many complicated commercial waters.Â And other than for photography, where I actually think Iâ€™m not all that bad, I have zero creative visual flair or feel, and have utilised the skills and calming influence of Geoff Stewart to build our new Mayfair personal training gym that I think is going to become THE serious gym in Central and West London!Â Interestingly enough, and totally off on a tangent, Geoff has managed to keep me from blowing a gasket with all our Mayfair build problems simply because he himself was feeling the frustration.Â You know that when Geoff starts expressing venom and vitriol, then its OK for you to feel that way too, and that was curiously cathartic for me.
On the flip side, what I am good at â€“ creating brutal training programmes and then pushing trainees way beyond their comfort zones, is really how I made my name, and returning to it just feels so good and so right.Â Where a lot of people miss the point with so-called â€œhardâ€ exercise routines is that a series of exercises does not necessarily constitute an effective programme.Â We can all throw a few ingredients into the cooking pot, but it doesnâ€™t make us Gordon Ramsey!Â On the other hand, if I am allowed to stick with cooking parlance for a wee while longer, it is possible to over-egg the pudding and make everything way too complicated for what is needed.Â A pre-Olympic periodisation programme for example, is not required for the bread and butter of most personal trainers’ work â€“ improving fat loss and conditioning.
The workout included in this blog is, I hope, a good example of both principles at work.Â The primary thing one needs to do when writing a programme is look at the purpose.Â This applies to ALL aspects of training, including what we are dealing with today, something that is most commonly referred to as energy systems training.Â The purpose behind the “Jedward Get Fit workout” was simple â€“ to create a brief, but tough, fat burning workout that mimicked our Viking & Valkyrie modified strongman sessions, whilst using the minimal of equipment so that it would be easy for you to try out / modify at home.Â I also wanted to create a workout that most people could have a crack at, slightly differed from our weight training norm, and would **** ** the two key participants, James Langley and Eddie Baruta.Â James and Eddie, better known to all of us as the famed instructor â€œJeddieâ€ from Viking & Valkyrie strongman training fame, are a pair of very fit men, but they are used to relatively complete recovery periods and straight anaerobic training.Â So it was time to shake things, and them, up a bit!
Â Jedward Baruta “resting” between sets…
The Jedward workout programme:
This is not a strength training session, nor is it hypertrophy oriented.Â Certain limited strength and muscle gains could come from such a protocol, but these would be mere side effects and restricted .Â The goal here is to promote fat loss by elevating the metabolism both during and after the workout, improve stamina and both anaerobic and aerobic fitness.
Exercise duration – 30 secs Time Under Tension /Â minimal concern with tempo / simply unleash on each rep trying to get as much done as possible in the 30 second window.Â Think of it as â€œsprintingâ€ on each exercise.
I chose 7 exercises, which equate to 7 minutes â€œlive trainingâ€.Â Anything more and form would most likely go.Â Plus I wanted them to able to go for each exercise with maximum focus.Â Quality always beats quantity. Â This strategy has a huge bearing on exercise selection and order, as the most neurologically complex and challenging movement (chin ups) needed to go first.
Yes, I know that the final exercise of â€œtakedownsâ€ could arguably be classed as neurologically complex in one respect but there is no extra resistance added, and it would not have challenged them as anaerobically as the more traditional resistance training movements. Â In my opinion part of the effectiveness of this programme is built around an exercise order that structures the energy systems being used as moving from anaerobic to aerobic pathways. Â Hence chin ups and lunges performed earlier in the circuit lend themselves more to being anaerobic (because they require something closer to maximal intensity) than our make-do version of the prowler or takedowns at the circuitâ€™s end.
A1. Mixed Grip Chin Ups (changing the grip every fourth rep)
30 secs rest
A2. Walking Lunges (using chains around the neck to add load and save the grip)
30 secs rest
A3. Mirella Clark Press Ups
30 secs rest
A4. Sled Pull (moving backwards)
30 secs rest
30 secs rest
30 secs rest
120 secs rest, repeat 3 times in total.
PLEASE INSERT VIDEO HERE
A Word on Energy Systems Training
The type of metabolic resistance workout written up here is best described as an energy systems workout.Â This is because the set work to recovery ratios suggest a focus on energy systems work over something such as hypertrophy or strength.Â I will hold my hands up and say that I am not an expert on the nuances of energy systems training, and my research around the subject has led me to the conclusion that the only real experts who can define what exact energy pathways a specific workout might hit are probably exercise physiologists.
The Jeddie workout was written with no distinct energy systems parameters in mind, it was more about putting something together that would tax both aerobic and anaerobic systems and leave Jeddie as masses of quivering jelly on the ground.Â It did its job!Â And if I were putting together a conditioning workout for an athlete then Iâ€™d pay far less attention to theories and definitions, and instead focus on replicating the very specific work to recovery ratios and attendant energy system demands of their given sport.
Normally James only looks like this after a long night out…
I asked a few bone fide professional Strength & Conditioning coaches about the Jeddie workout as I was unclear whether one energy system would dominate, my suspicion was that we would hit them all as the workout progressed from being anaerobic to aerobic.Â One answer I received was that it works anaerobic lactic capacity (which upon further reading is the opinion I am inclined to follow IF all the exercises had been ones that allowed for maximal intensity), although other responses from highly credible sources suggested that the rest periods are too insignificant for the lactate system to predominate, and that aerobic contribution will kick in.Â This would be especially true when performing movements such as the takedowns.
In all honesty I am not a sports scientist, and as fascinating a subject as energy pathways are to me, I suspect they are convoluted and overly detailed for many of my readers.Â The fact of the matter is that having an understanding and appreciation of these things can only do you good when seeking to optimize conditioning and performance, but it is something that should concern the professional sports coach more than is my own forte â€“ which is helping people to get into the best shape of their lives.
I will say that the resource I dug out that explains energy systems in a very clear and cogent fashion can be found at the broad ranging and extremely interesting website of UK Athletics Coach Brian Mackenzie www.brianmac.co.uk/energy.htm.
As ever, if you have any comments to add please feel free to speak / write up and I’ll do my best to respond as soon as possible. Â Do bear in mind that there is no magic bullet when it comes to this type of training and many other exercises would have worked just as well as alternatives. Â I was working with what we had at hand, circumventing pre-existing injuries, and wanting to showcase a quite different fat loss workout than that featured in the popular cardio training programme blog and it’s “weight training for women” video. Â If you have liked this blog in anyway then I’d also be grateful if you can just click on the like / share buttons to your left so that more people can potentially learn that the right way too train is far less mystical than some would have you believe!
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