"The word aerobics came about when the gym instructors got together and said, 'If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it jumping up and down.'"
3 Proven Workout Techniques for Weight Loss Success
By Steve Edwards
At Beachbody, we're not scientists; we're fitness trainers. We don't have a lab with a bunch of medical equipment where we hook our clients to various apparatuses and make them exercise to exhaustion while living on a diet of Slimming Formula and protein powder. Instead, we use scientific findings along with our experience of working with people in the real world who have needed to lose weight. We're always looking at the latest research, then molding it in a way to fit our clients' needs. This is how we've come up with many of our training terms and philosophies that seem unique. But they're not unique from a scientific perspective. They're only unique in how we've applied them to you and your individual needs. So let's take a look at some of our Beachbody fitness techniques and how they work to make you slimmer, fitter, and healthier.
Where it differs is that it's done circuit-style. You've probably heard of circuit training (prior to Beachbody) as well. Training in circuits eliminates the standard rest period most people take in the gym between exercises, so that each "weight training" session also has a cardio element. If you're only going to do one thing for exercise, circuit training is the most effective way to use your time.
The combination, termed "Sectional Progression," takes us through each body part to failure (or nearly), circuit-style. This combination is the most efficient way to exercise. If you have a very limited amount of time to exercise, Sectional Progression is where it's at.
Utilizing a similar concept, we expanded on Sectional Progression by adding a repetitive element. By working the same body parts with less rest in between similar workouts, the body is forced into a different type of adaptation. Like a marathoner's body shows, repetition limits the amount of muscle growth that can occur. Wanting our clients to achieve a more well-rounded appearance than that of a marathoner, we reduced their massive number of repetitions and used a full-body circuit. This is done daily to limit the amount of resistance (weight) that can be used while working the entire body for a lean, slim look.
While very effective, this style of training can't be done all of the time. For this reason we made Slim in 6® a six-week program and recommend a recovery cycle in between rounds. A recovery cycle is a period of time when you reduce the intensity of your workoutsgenerally the weight and speedto allow your body to recover, get strong, and become ready for another round of high-intensity training.
Athletes train with what are called training blocks. These are periods of time of increased intensity with a recovery phase between each block. The more fit you are, the quicker the body adapts and the more often you need to move into the next training block. This is termed periodizational training, and we use it in P90X®.
The reason athletes train this way is that when you begin an exercise, your body goes through a period of time when it adapts to the new movements. Once it's adapted (learned how to do it efficiently), you get a growth phase* where your muscles respond to training and make enormous fitness gains. This period is short because your body is always trying to get more efficient. The more efficient, or better, you become at something, the less it affects you so, naturally, your results level off. This is called a plateau.
To offset the plateau effect and keep your results skyrocketing, the most advanced training programs alter what you do often. This is to keep your body adapting just as your growth phase begins to level off. If this sounds confusing, that's because you're not a sports scientist. And because it's confusing, we've termed this process "Muscle Confusion," because that's the state in which your body's response is highest and results come the fastestthe secret of success with P90X.
So there you have ita synopsis of our Beachbody terms and why they work. Still confused? That's okay. The reason we've made these home fitness solutions is not to make you a sports scientistthough it's okay if we dobut to make getting in shape as easy as possible. So understand it or not, all you've got to do is Keep Pushing Play.
* It's important to note that a "growth" phase does not mean that you're going to grow. Growth is used to identify an acceleration of results, which should not be confused with muscle growth (hypertrophy). Hypertrophy may or may not be the goal of a training block, but the term "growth phase" is still used. In an attempt to lessen the confusion here, the latest edition of P90X has used the term "mastery phase" in place of a "growth phase" but "growth" is the scientific term.
For Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.
5 Quick Tips for Working Out in Small Spaces
By Jude Buglewicz
Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali once said he could train in a phone booth. His point was that commitment and determination are more important to reaching fitness goals than fancy equipment or spacious facilities. I thought about that when I lived in Manhattan and worked out in a place not much bigger than a storage unitit was called a "studio apartment." For tips on how to maximize your workout when you've got minimal home-gym space, consider these options: