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Burst Training

Article Submitted By: Gregg Williams – Sports Performance Specialist (SPS)

Training in the Fast Lane

At the age of 14, I received my first weight set as a Christmas present. One of the best gifts I have ever received. That night I was so excited and ready to begin my quest and desire for big strong muscles. Then I went from working out with my weight set to training at school, to the ultimate of getting a membership at Gold’s Gym where only the “serious” train.
Any experienced lifter would tell you that if you want big strong muscles you must train heavy and rest 2–3 minutes between sets. I was taught that heavy weight of 3-5 reps will produce big muscles and high repetitions will shape the muscle and give definition.

However, there was one rule that I broke, the rule of rest. I would train moderately heavy but fast to exhaustion. In fact many of the weightlifters at that time viewed my concept as strange. Who would have known that 30 years ago the concept would catch on and would be proven as a scientific fact.

Today, that style of training is known as “burst training”. Burst training is moderate weight at a fast safe pace to exhaustion. The concept behind it is simply to train the muscle or muscle group to exhaustion for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds then perform the movement again, three times total while training at a high intensity.

Here is the science: by exercising to exhaustion, the muscles are depleted of oxygen. The muscle needs energy, the brain tells the glands to begin the production of growth hormone and testosterone thus building more muscle.

Studies have shown that when training moderately or at a low level, the body produces the hormone cortisol, which is a fat enhancer. Back in the early 80’s the key to fat loss was performing aerobic activity for at least 20 minutes at 65% of your max. The problem with that was people were losing lean mass. Now you can turn on the TV and see the fitness experts training at a much higher intensity and incorporating athletic movements.

Since I have changed my style of training with my clients, I have seen a much conditioned and fit client and a more muscular well conditioned client.

This style of training is for everyone. Now I realize that there are safe protocols and all first timers should consult with their doctor or health professional but that’s with any exercise start up.

Burst Training is a proven and safe form of exercise.

I challenge you to take on the burst challenge and take a trip down the fast lane the next time you workout.