Boost Your Workout Efficiency
Last week, when I warned you of all the understated downsides of kettlebell training, I mentioned the unforeseen challenges of workouts that are just too short to provide ample time away from other interests, hobbies, & responsibilities.
I mean, who wants to accomplish in 20 minutes what you could accomplish in 60?
[For the sake of transparency…and since I know some friends & family who may call me out here…I will admit that I actually DO sometimes fall into this camp. What can I say? I like to workout.
But I realize I AM the anomaly.]
My point is this: Kettlebell workouts are notoriously potent, thus the perfect modality for the fitness minimalist.
Today, though, I want to talk about how to boost your workout efficiency, even if you aren’t training primarily with kettlebells, and, specifically–our favorite efficiency protocol–kettlebell complexes.
In other words, here is how to boost your workout efficiency [pretty much] regardless of the workout routine and the strength-training implements.
Therefore, you could consider the following alternate titles for this post:
“Make ANY Workout a FAT-BURNING Workout”
“Increase Results, Decrease Workout Time”
“How to Make Any Workout Harder”
“Twice the Results in HALF the Time”
Or, in your case, maybe it’s simply,
“Reformatting Your Workout Routine to Increase Your Results While Decreasing Your Time Commitment”
Regardless, let’s look at 3 ways to Boost Your Workout Efficiency.
But first, let’s set the stage.
The guiding light of what we do at Chronicles of Strength.
In the realm of fitness, minimalism is the principle of putting in the least possible effort in pursuit of our goals. It’s not about being lazy, though. Far from it.
It’s about smart programming to maximize efficiency. We’re always after getting the biggest return on our investment.
We spend as little time as necessary doing as few movements as necessary with as little equipment as necessary–but sometimes, of course, the time, movements, and equipment required to pursue lofty goals is..well…lofty.
By the same token, we never want to waste our efforts on the little things that provide little return. At the risk of oversimplifying just a bit, we never want to spend 15 minutes on biceps curls each day if overall strength gain and fat loss is our goal.
One way you can “adopt minimalism” into any standard strength-training regimen is through the use of what I will call boosters.
Adding boosters to your workout routine is a simple, yet powerful method to straighten your path from here to your next fat-loss or general fitness goal.
So what’s a booster?
It’s a complementary exercise inserted between work sets of a strength program. It’s a way to allow some recovery during the “rest” period while also keeping overall demand high. It helps you accumulate an impressive amount of work in as short a time as possible.
[This is obviously a terrible approach for anyone looking to develop maximum strength. Like, if you’re training for a powerlifting program, DON’T do this. You’ll need lengthy full-rest periods during your training sessions.]
The booster can vary in intensity, depending on your goals and or just your energy level on any given day.
In lieu of extensive mobility work before or after your workout, add it between sets.
Whereas, “Metabolic Finishers” have nearly become the norm for well-rounded strength-training workouts that are aimed at simultaneous fat-loss, “Boosters” sprinkle that effort throughout the workout itself. Rather than tacking it on at the end, extending your workout by 5-10 minutes, you make use of your inner-workout recovery time to continue your skyrocketing calorie-burn.
Boost Your Workout Efficiency.
Shorten your workout. Speed up your progress.
Add a mobility element to your routine by crawling between sets. This can be as low-demand as hands-and-knees crawling or as high-intensity as spider crawling. Or, rest and stretch your legs while working shoulders with a high-butt bear crawl. You can’t go wrong here, folks. Throw in a lap, or do it for time.
2. Kettlebell Swinging
You saw this one coming, right?
Kettlebell swings paired with deadlifts will provide a burn like no other. Conversely, paired with bench press, they’ll keep your workout intensity high while allow rest for the muscles you’re focused on building. Throw in light sets of 10-30 reps to keep the metabolic fire stoked.
3. Jumping Rope
It is as straightforward as it appears. Just skip, hop, or dance between sets for a little cardio and coordination fix while you boost your workout efficiency.
Today’s Sweaty is a bit different. Consider it just a 5-minute practice session. If you’ve never tried walking up a wall before, now’s your chance! You might end up in a plank position with your feet just slightly elevated–or you might surprise yourself! Either way, it’s super fun. AND, it also does a great job of developing core strength and shoulder stability.
Slow-Mo Burpee … to Backwards Crawl … to … Wall Walk-Up
- Plant hands
- Right leg to plank, then left
- Transition to backwards crawl (knees 1-2 inches from floor, butt low)
- Transition walking up the wall by planting feet on wall and moving chest towards wall in a plank position
- At desired peak (possibly a full handstand with lockout), begin walking down the wall
- Transition to forward crawling on hands and knees
- Transition back into plank
- Right leg to bottom-squat position, then left
- Stand up