If you want to get lean and build muscle for the summer pay attention closely because this article will be the most important thing you read all day.
Training for fat loss is awesome. You get to experience awesome pumps in the gym, drastically improve your body composition, and directly train your arms.
And it’s a scientific fact that people love training their arms.
But we have one big problem when training for fat loss…
Lack of time.
Higher volume training, which is ideal for shedding fat and building muscle, requires a decent time commitment. For some, longer workouts just aren’t going to happen because of insanely busy schedules.
The key is finding ways to continually increase total volume without significantly taking up much more time than necessary.
In this article, you’ll learn 3 ways to get more volume in your training and boost fat loss without taking up more time.
This is one of my favorite methods of increasing volume.
It’s also one of the most painful (in a good way) ways to crank up the volume.
Drop sets are basically one giant, extended set. The neat part about this technique is that you can use just about any exercise for them to be effective.
In my opinion, drop sets are best used on exercises where you can remain safe even as you fatigue. Machines and dumbbell work seem to be best. Things like squats wouldn’t be such a great idea because the risk to reward just isn’t worth it.
My favorite exercises to use drop sets include:
-DB Flat/incline presses
I recommend saving your drop set(s) for the end of your working sets.
For example, let’s say you have 4 sets of leg presses. You could structure those sets like this:
Set 1 400lbs x 10
Set 2 400 lbs x 10
Set 3 400 lbs x 10
Set 4 Drop Set: 400lbs x 10, 350 x 10-15, 300 x 10-15, 250 x 20-30
This is an extremely effective way to bump up the total volume without adding a significant amount of training time.
Oh, and you’ll experience crazy muscle pumps using the drop set method. Here’s a video of the Mountain Dog, John Meadows, performing a nasty split squat drop set:
When and How to Implement Drop Sets
You don’t want to use these in every single workout, or every exercise in a given workout. I’d recommend throwing this technique in during your last week of training before a deload.
For example, you could pick leg presses, db incline presses, and lat pulldowns as your exercises you’d perform drops with. This will add a good amount of volume to those specific workouts and to the overall week as well.
*Don’t get carried away though and just do drop sets on everything lol. Pick several you want to try and stick with those until the next training program.
If you’d like some help shaping up for summer, shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Increase Time Under Tension
Volume isn’t the ONLY factor in hypertrophy and fat loss.
Increasing time under tension is a fantastic way to improve fat loss and induce more metabolic stress on your muscles.
How do we do this?
By varying up the tempo with which we lift the weight.
There are many ways to change the lifting tempo, but one of my favorites is to do a slow eccentric with a pause, and then an explosive concentric.
For example on a barbell bench press, you could take 3-5 seconds to lower the weight to your chest, pause for 1-2 seconds, and then explode up.
Maybe you’ve seen lifting tempos in programs and there are 4 numbers. Maybe 4010. The first number is the lowering portion of the exercise. The second number is any pause in the bottom position, the third is the concentric or lifting portion, and the fourth is any pause at the top of the movement.
For example, back squats with a 5010 tempo means that you’d take 5 seconds on the lowering portion, no pause at the bottom, and then stand as explosively as possible.
Increasing the total duration of a set is one way to bump up the volume during your training. And a brutal method as well.
This is a sure fire way to blow up your muscles and get you burning more calories per lifting session.
Keep in mind, you’ll need to use less weight because of the increased time you’re lifting. You still want to use good technique regardless of what exercise you choose to implement this technique with.
Below is a video of Dr. John Rusin performing a neutral grip pulldown with an accentuated eccentric:
How to increase TUT in your training program:
Select one exercise from each workout day where you specifically focus on increasing the time under tension. Maybe on a lower body day you choose squats to slow the tempo down.
On an upper body pulling day you could slow down the lowering phase on your chin ups or pull ups.
Slow down the eccentric (lowering portion) of the exercise and feel muscle pumps like never before!
Rest-pause sets are a super effective method for getting in more work in less amount of time.
There are lots of ways to perform a rest-pause set.
The simplest and most straight-forward way is to do exactly as the name implies.
Let’s say you’re doing some barbell bent over rows with 135lbs.
You could do a couple straight sets of 8 reps and then sets 3 and 4 implement the rest-pause method.
Crank out 8 reps.
Rest 10 seconds.
Crank out another 8 reps.
Rest 10 seconds.
Finally, crank out 8 final reps.
That’s one set. You’ve just totaled up 24 total reps instead of 8 just by adding brief rests in between ‘mini sets.’
Below is a video of John Meadows performing some rest-pause reps on the lying leg curl machine. Briefly pausing in between reps is also another highly effective way to increase total volume:
The Next Step
All 3 of these methods are designed to boost your training volume with little to no added time to your workouts.
Maximizing efficiency and burning loads of calories is the name of the game for the best fat loss results.
Don’t try to use all 3 methods at once for every single exercise. Doing so may prevent you from being able to recover fully, which as we know, is very important for fat loss.
Instead, try 2-3 exercises with one method above. For example:
Use the drop set method on leg presses.
Increase TUT during your bench presses.
Try the rest-pause method with your pull-ups.
You can use all 3 during one training cycle, just be smart in how you implement them so that you can still recover.
If you’d like more individualized training and nutritional guidance to help you get ready for summer, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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