The difference the 20% makes

By: Quinton de Bruin

Recently we spoke about the fact (and it is a fact) that what you do in the gym, in the park, out on the pavement forms your training program and accounts for about 20% of the changes you want to make to your body. The other 80% comes from what you put down your throat. Or think about it this way, let's assume you eat three meals per day and train six days per week. By the end of a 30-day period I have eaten 90 meals and trained 25 times. Only 25 sessions! That seems so few, and we need to make every single one count.

Today I thought I would share my training program with you so you had an idea of what I mean when I say I do 'Back and Biceps' or whatever the case may be. Bear in mind this is my own training program and it specifically crafted for what I want to do through trial and error over many years of trying, failing, then sometimes succeeding. My suggestion is to have a discussion with a trainer and get a program written for you and the outcomes you want. Be specific during these conversations, a trainer can't guess what you want – if you want to put on muscle mass, say "I want to put on muscle mass" or "I want to lose fat and look toned", not "I want to put on a bit of muscle but not get too bulky" because you are shy or in your mind you are thinking you don't want to look like a body builder. They will create a plan for what you need but can only do what you say you need – I get to talk to trainers all the time and many of them say they could get great outcomes for people if they just stated more specifically what they want.

Carrying on the objective of providing clarity and potentially giving you some ideas, this is what my week looks like from a training perspective:

Weight training

Monday and Thursday – Chest and Triceps

Tuesday and Friday – Back and Biceps

Wednesday and Saturday – Shoulders, Legs and Abs

Below is the table I select exercise from to train the corresponding muscle group.

When it comes to cardio. I tend to do this straight after the weights session. I do this mainly from a time management perspective, life is a bit busy to break it up into two sessions. I have heard that it is ideal to do your cardio early morning and then your weights later on… life isn't often an "ideal world" though is it J

Each session during this 30-day challenge is about 20 minutes long. On three days, I do a low intensity session which is still interval based:

On the treadmill – 60 seconds at a speed of 6 km/h (so a walk) on each incline level eight, then level 10, 12 and fifteen. I then drop back to incline eight and start that again and repeat (20 minutes).

On the Cybex Sparc – I do 30 second sprints on level eight, 90 seconds rest on level five – repeat till 21 minutes is up (14 sets). The machine has this built in, just pick intervals and the number of sets you want to do.

On the days I don't do legs, I like to turn up the intensity with an interval session, I like to have two options here too:

First is on the Matrix S-Drive, which is a great machine – Body and Motion has two of them, check it out here. I do intervals of 20 seconds with 40 seconds rest in between. This is for 'sled pushes' just to be clear. So, on the 2nd bar down at level five for 20 seconds as hard and fast as possible then on level 0 for the rest just walking it out. I alternate two sets there then drop to the bottom bar on Level 10 resistance for two sets and repeat, so a full 20 sets – it is a killer!

The second session I do is a mini circuit I set up in the group training room with four stations: step ups onto the stage; battle ropes; kettlebell swing and burpees. Each station is 30 seconds work and then a 30 second break in between for a full five rounds of four sets at each station. A simple workout but a great cardio session.

By all means take what you like from this and apply it to your workout. I say again though that this is a program I have set with the objective of increasing muscle mass and reducing fat – that is all. It will not help me to be faster, more explosive, a better cyclist or better runner. I would need to modify my program to achieve any of those, and in most cases totally change it. So, if you are unsure, have a chat to the trainers at Body and Motion about a program that is right for you and your personal training objectives.

The small print: now is probably a good time to encourage you to have a discussion about your personal situation with your doctor, a nutritionist and the Body and Motion trainers to work out how best to achieve any challenges you have in mind. The thoughts in these blogs are my own personal opinion and shouldn't be taken as direct advice. Some of the choices around what I consume or what activity I partake in may not be endorsed by Body and Motion. However, the team will always be keen enablers of your fitness goals! Talk to us today.


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