Fitness Health

Clean and Lean in 2019 Week 3

Hi everyone,

Today I start my new exercise program which I’m kinda psyched about.  The principles it is based on are periodization, functional training, and the Spark method.  Let me explain.

1. Periodization

Periodization is based on the Russian Tudor Bompa’s training schedule he devised in the 60’s for Russian athletes and its how the successful athletes of today train.   Periodization involves changing the frequency, duration, weight, exercises and intensity of your workout on a regular basis, for my purposes every week. This will keep my muscles guessing and not have time to get used to any particular move, which should allow me to continually build muscle without overtraining.  One recent study showed that women who followed a periodization program for 6 months lost 25% body fat compared to a 10 % decrease through circuit training.

2. Functional Training

Functional training was developed by physical therapists and professionals who specialize in high-performance exercise physiology and kinesiology.  It involves movements that integrate many muscle groups a time to mimic things you do in everyday life like picking your kids up, lifting groceries or hoisting your luggage into an overhead bin.  Not only does it help improve balance, strength, flexibility and coordination, but it saves time as you don’t have to work each muscle group separately. Also will be doing lots of Yoga and Pilates based exercises to achieve balance in the body and increase flexibility.

3. The Spark

The Spark method is a lesser known training method developed by an exercise physiologist named Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D. at the University of Virginia.   This method involves doing cardio, strength and flexibility exercises in short blocks or “Sparks” every week. Each “Spark” includes a warm up and cool down and should be done at your maximum intensity (an 8 or 9 out of 10 on the intensity scale), and ideally should be spaced at least a few hours apart throughout the day.  I’ll be doing the recommended 4 to 5 cardio sparks, 2 to 3 strength sparks, and 4 to 7 flexibility sparks every week. This approach is great for new exercisers or people with a lot of time constraints and is one of the easiest to maintain throughout your life. Dr. Gaesser’s research subjects lost an average of 7 pounds in just three weeks and kept the weight off which is a huge improvement over traditional approaches which typically take 3 to 6 months to show the same results, and many different studies have shown similar results. The Sparks I recommend are about 20 min. in length and I love using my Tabata timer for them! I have it set for 20 sec. of work with a 10 sec. rest for 8 rounds (4 min. total) I do this 5 times for my 20 min. workout spark. Great for cardio and especially weights, makes the time go by quickly and keeps your heart rate up, I highly recommend downloading a HIIT or Tabata app and trying them for yourself.

Tomorrow I will post this week’s workout and the full workout plan laid out so stay tuned!

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