To be efficient is a matter of what must be done rather than avoided. “Getting things done” approach is what it takes you there. Training twice a week for 1h is no magic pill. You must cover certain exercise sets numbers within short time frame. Understanding that, constant progressing in terms of weights and intensity through consistent training and eating is the procedure that determines your achieved fitness goal. Remember that muscle regeneration takes more time if not using anabolics – no need to train more but should feel hard and good.
Ketogenic diet supported with nutrition-dense foods, enough rest and patience is what will get you there through keeping your body in anabolic state. We know by now, that high/heavy intense workouts are best option out there for faster fat-burning and more lean muscles. Constantly overcoming your limits will later allow training once a week! Yes, you get stronger and faster and you will feel it and push harder. You must understand that bodybuilding is time consuming profession. It takes time to succeed which might get you quit and we do not want it therefore we focus on efficient ways of approaching it.
This training plan is designed based on effective exercises and techniques to optimize your time management. Hitting main groups of the body while going for multi-joint exercises to target more muscle groups where you overload your body to higher extent which initiates better gains through more stress. There are also two types of muscle fibers responsible for all your gains and the type of training suited best for you. The training targets both of them through applying heavier weights with lower and higher repetition count. You can read more on fast and slow-twitching muscle fibers and get tips on setting up your training in reference section.
First phase of the training must start with dynamic stretching to prepare the muscles you intend to use. This should be with moderate intensity so that, you increase the pulse and get your body warmed up. Try between 5-7 minutes not too much to exhaust your body before hitting weights. It should take max 15% of your training. You can also choose cardio instead dynamic stretching, the point is to get warmed up.
Now is time to hit weights where starting with squats and moving to deadlifts the most hated one first because you have the most strengths in the beginning which makes it more count even though you do not always give maximum. This is also good for testosterone boost as squats proved very efficient. However, if you lack motivation tailor exercise methods to your taste, just focus on compound exercises. You can also add some isolations for better definition over time with advancing fitness level.
The optimal number of sets and exercises differs individually based on your current physical condition and health. According to some studies training 12 minutes a week proves to be efficient both in health and performance of athletes. However, the book fails to make a connection with professional bodybuilding and it can be dangerous for the beginners to manage such an intensity to cover all muscle groups.
The other point is that, you are constantly progressing which allows capability of working out more often or longer but this can also turn your body in catabolism which is not favorable for muscle and performance. However, the fact that, you can train less and achieve decent results, and your muscles need longer regeneration unless, being a pro or taking anabolics is scientifically proved.
Doing 3 to 4 sets per exercise while focusing on main-body muscle groups or compound exercises (multi-joints) to improve strength and speed-up gains. Applying the same number of reps proved to maintain better focus. Although, it must be challenging hitting those 10 reps with increasing number of sets. On the other hand, adding more reps in the end until failure will get better pump (better gains) and contract slow-twitching muscles. The breaks must be 30-60s between sets and max 10s when drop-sets to stay intense. When losing fat, I suggest lowering weights adding more reps and keep breaks max 30s or less.
Raising weights every two weeks, preferably the middle ones for each exercise to optimally warm your body and avoid injuries. This will allow further strength and muscle growth. When you start feeling that, training twice a week is not enough to progress or regenerate you should focus instead more on regeneration and train once a week but stay disciplined!
Finishing with static stretching after cooling down for 5 minutes depending on your fitness health. Static stretching is very important as it promotes better regeneration and avoid further injuries, and above all better physique development (10-15 minutes). Do not be afraid of intensity or pain but be prepared for it through getting proper rest, stretching and food.
For better gains and strength, train when you are well-rested and have not much on your schedules so you can always give your best and progress fast and efficiently. It is best to train in the mornings due to cortisol level peak or in the afternoons (before 6pm) where having couple of meals consumed giving you extra strengths.
Dough Mcguff (2014). Body by Science: A Research Based Program for Strength Training, Body building, and Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week (NTC Sports/Fitness). McGraw-Hill Education, England.
Marina Aagaard (2012). Fitness til topform: konkurencefitness og avanceret allround fitness. Aarhus.
Shane Giese (2007). Slow & Fast Twitch Muscles Fibers (online). Available at: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/teen-shane6.htm
T-nation (2017). The best damn workout for natural lifters (online). Available at: https://www.t-nation.com/training/the-best-damn-workout-plan-for-natural-lifters
Livestrong (2015). Dynamic & Static Stretching Exercises (online). Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/466280-dynamic-static-stretching-exercises/
Livestrong (2015). Best Multi-Joint Exercises (online). Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/176977-how-to-get-your-legs-butt-bigger/
Diana Rini (2014). Compound Exercises Bring Compounded Results: Get More In Less Time! (online) Available at: https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/powerful_workout_exercises.htm