• Tricia Arriagada

Short on time? Build muscle the easy way.

When you think of weight training you may imagine muscle head gym rats working out for hours in the gym. I'm sure many of you are used to seeing people sitting around resting between sets. If you are like me, you may be thinking what a waste of time sitting around. They don't even look like they are breaking a sweat. However, the rest they are taking between sets is necessary when it comes to building muscle. To build muscle you need to lift weight that is at least 70% intensity of your 1 rep max. In addition, you need adequate rest time, at least 60 seconds, after each set for your muscles to replenish the energy necessary to exert force. This is why many traditional strength training programs require large volumes of work for each muscle group. That is, 6-12 reps and 3-5 sets for each muscle group.


Fortunately, there is another way to train your body that allows you to save time while giving each muscle group the rest that it needs. It's called vertical loading. With vertical loading you will start with a full body exercise, then work the body from top to bottom alternating body parts. You can work each body part with a desired number of reps. What you end up with is a circuit style format, performing exercises back to back. This style of training allows you to continue working while giving each muscle group time to recover. For example, after you have completed the chest press, your chest will have at least 6 minutes of rest by the time you come back to it in the second round.


You can run through the circuit 3-5 times. Choose a rep range between 6-20 reps. Rep ranges between 6-12 are for building mass. Rep ranges between 12-20 are for building lean muscle mass.


When creating your routine put the exercises for each body part in this order:


1) Total Body Exercise

2) Chest

3) Back

4) Shoulders

5) Biceps

6) Triceps

7) Legs


Here is a sample routine:


1) Squat Curl Press

2) Chest Press in bridge position

3) Bent-Over Row

4) Overhead Press

5) Bicep Curls

6) Tricep Kick Backs

7) Lunges


Remember to always warm-up for 5-10 minutes before every workout routine to avoid injury.

I have included the exercise demonstrations in this video. Enjoy!




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