Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Are You Ready for Your Next Challenge?


Challenges are not just for the fun of it. They serve a purpose. Actually, they can serve more than one purpose.  

1.     They can help you break through the plateaus that everyone hits more often than we’d like.
2.     Challenges can shake things up a bit when you start to get bored with your current program. They add some energy and a little excitement when you get into a rut. They raise your interest again.
3.     A major change like a 4 to 6 week challenge can often give you a huge burst of growth or strength when you system needs it move forward. Often after a short challenge the body gets “re-primed” and will continue to move forward after the challenge even if you just go back to your old program.
4.     It’s fun for me to watch you squirm! On the other hand, I’m squirming right along with you. If I haven’t tried it I don’t ask you to.

You should be finishing your last challenge (100 rep challenge) in a week or so and be ready for another jolt. Even if you don’t start this new one right away, save it and come back to it later.

This challenge was developed by Dave Tate, CEO of Elite Fitness Systems. Dave is a power lifting champion in three different weight classes. He has a 935 squat, 740 pound dead lift, and 610 pound bench press for 2205 total pounds in the big 3. And he has over 20 years coaching experience.
Coach Dave Tate

Although Dave is best known as a power lifter this challenge is all about hypertrophy (muscle growth).

The challenge doesn’t really have a name. Let’s just call it “The Longest 30 Seconds of My Life”. If you have suggestions for a name after you try it let me know. I’ll pass your suggestions on to Dave.

Dave Tate got the idea after a conversation with Dr. Eric Serrano regarding a study he did that indicated that maximum muscle hypertrophy occurred between 30 and 45 seconds of time under tension (TUT).

The average time to complete a set for most “average” lifters is only about 10-12 seconds.

“The Longest 30 Seconds of My Life” works like this:

·        Length-Follow the program for 4 weeks
·        The split you chose to use is up to you but Tate suggests 4 workouts per 7 day week with an “active rest day” between each workout but it’s really your choice.
·        3 muscle groups per workout
·        2 exercises for each muscle group. 3 sets for each exercise
·        Work each muscle group 2x per week. Use a different exercise for each muscle group every other workout.
·        Weight-Suggested load is your 12-15 RM for the first 2 sets. (60-65% of your 1 RM for most people) On the third set, lower the weight by 50%. Use the same weight for the entire 4 weeks. The 3rd set is a high rep “pump set” designed to increase blood flow to the muscle.
·        TUT- There are no rep guidelines but each set must be for a timed 30 seconds for the first week. Increase the time each week by 5 seconds for each set. On the third set rep to failure. Adding additional time on each set will take care of the progression without changing the weight.
·        Rest-Use a 3:1 work-to-rest ratio. (30 second set=90 second rest)

You’ll want to skip squats and heavy barbell exercises during this challenge unless you have a very good spotter. You need to be able to bail without hurting yourself! Go with dumbbells instead.

If you hit more than 15 reps on the first two sets you’re lifting too light or reping too fast.

You’ll need to be able to see a clock. Or you can use a timer. I use an Everlast Round timer set to the allotted time. It has a vibration mode so you can turn off the bell.

Use any of several methods to keep the set going the allotted time without going over 15 reps on sets one and two;
·        Slow the eccentric motion on each rep
·        Use static holds
·        Partial reps
·        Static stretches
·        Pause Reps (pause half way up for one second and pause again half way down)

Note: You actually want to be using these to extend the set

 Or, use all of the above to keep the set going for the full time.

Does it work? The first day I ran it I was sore before sundown!

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