Are you ready for this?
I’m about to answer the 2nd most pertinent question in the universe. (The first of which is obviously How do they get the cars in the shopping malls?)
So straighten up, skooch to the edge of your seat, and perk up those lovely little ears of yours.
Consider this a PG epilogue to Pat’s previous post entitled “5 Ways Kettlebells Make You Better at Sex.”
What is the best way to look good naked?
From now on, your goal is to “be dense.”
When it comes to training, you’re familiar with the variables: frequency, intensity, volume, and density.
Frequency = how often (usually expressed as “times per week”)
Intensity = how much resistance/load (usually expressed as “percentage of max”)
Volume = how much work total, daily or weekly (usually expressed as “number of sets of a number of reps”)
Density = how much work over time (usually expressed by how much volume was accumulated over the duration of a workout)
Of course, if your workouts are frequent, intense, high-volume, and high-density, you’ll drop fat for sure. And make tons of progress.
For like a week.
Then you’ll get hurt and/or utterly beaten down.
And that doesn’t make you look better naked. In fact, it tends to put quite a damper on that whole scene.
Ya know what else doesn’t make you look better naked? Fat loss alone.
What does make you look good naked? Losing fat and gaining muscle, of course!
And what causes you to lose fat and gain muscle with alarming efficiency?
Why, training density does just that.
Density considers volume and intensity, and it exploits them in such a way that you put forth tremendous effort. However, smart programming limits them in such a way to prevent needless “overtraining.” [<–in this context, I intend “overtraining” to describe any training beyond what is necessary, thus becoming inefficient and wildly anti-minimalist.]
A high-density workout is one that accomplishes a whole heck of a lot of work smooshed into a relatively short amount of time. It’s compact. It feels demanding.
In other words, high-density workouts allow one to cram a hefty workout into a time frame that does not allow for excuses.
Now, what’s this about “smart programming”?
You’ve gotta use your noggin. When aiming to keep density high, volume and intensity must have balanced, inverse relationships.
That is, do lots of sets and reps with a lighter load, do medium sets of reps with a medium load, and do few sets and reps with a heavier load.
High density dictates that you’ll have to manipulate those three arrangements such that you’re working really, really hard, regardless of the combination of volume and intensity.
Naturally, the higher the density, the shorter the duration. BUT, typically, the shorter the duration, the higher the frequency–and we all know that workout frequency is the holy grail of fat loss.
So how does one ensure density?
Remember, density => lose fat + gain muscle => look good naked. If that isn’t motivation, I’m not sure what is.
Here are some tricks, tips, and ideas to maximize your workout density, getting the most out of every workout without wasting time.
- Give yourself a time limit and a borderline unrealistic goal to achieve within it. Always be slightly concerned you won’t get it all in.
- Have a clear workout plan (i.e. “borderline unrealistic goal” for your workout). Before you begin your workout, know which exercises you’re performing, the load you’re using, how many sets, how many reps, and how much rest. Know your order. Look ahead.
- This is especially important in a corporate gym setting. If I have three rounds of a circuit before I head to the next, you better believe I’m using my between-round rests to eye up the equipment I’m going to be using next–and possibly even marking my territory with a towel or water bottle or something. (And don’t scoff. You know you do it, too. Or wish you had the audacity to.)
- Bonus tip for a corporate gym setting: Practice your “RBF,” and employ it during your entire workout. Do not, under any circumstances, give the impression that you are friendly.
- Manage rest periods. Always use only as much rest as needed. (When you’re lifting really heavy weights [high intensity], your rest will need to be long-ish. That’s ok. Just don’t lollygag, and be sure you’re resting only intentionally.) And to that point…
- Stay off your phone. Use it to check your plan and/or to set a timer. That’s it. No time for selfies; no time for chit-chat; log your workout later.
- Recover fully between workouts. If you want to hit each workout hard, you need to be well-rested and well-nourished. If you are sluggish, your workout duration will likely suffer, causing your density to suffer.
- Jam-pack your workout session by utilizing circuits, active recovery movements, timed AMRAP portions, and timed intervals. Further, focus on full-body movements that recruit as many muscle groups as possible and engage as many large muscles as possible. (Special caveat, though: For looking REALLY good naked, you might want to throw in some vanity moves at the end of your workout. Add glute bridges and bicep curls after you’ve already taxed those muscles and you’re winded.)
- Do kettlebell swings. To that end, do kettlebell swings. By that, I mean, do kettlebell swings. So, go ahead and do lots of kettlebell swings.
“Density” in diet is another great strategy for looking good naked.
But that’s another post for another week.
Next week, as a matter of fact!
Here’s something dense for you to try out in the meantime:
Bear Crawl – in a square (facing same direction) x 1 min
BW Squat x 30s
1.5-Rep BW Squat (lower, rise halfway, lower, rise to standing) x 30s
BW Squat w/ slow lower and powerful return to standing x 30s
BW Squat w/ emphasis on slow, intentional return to standing x 30s
BW Squat Jumps x 30s
Bear Crawl – in a square (opposite direction) x 1 min
Plank Mountain Climber x 30s
P.S. Pat’s Fat Funeral is a super-accessible way to get started looking better naked. It’ll ensure you lose fat, but not in the hollowed-out, saggy kind of way. Your initial investment here will be nothing compared to your savings on Spanx.