These photos are of the same man, taken just 15 weeks apart. If you want to undergo a similar transformation, keep reading.
If you want to make big changes to the way you look, you need to make a big effort. Just ask Glenn Parker. When Parker approached personal trainer Nick Mitchell, he weighed 98.2kg, with body fat of 23.9 percent. After just over three months of following Mitchell’s fitness plan, he had lost 13kg of fat, added 7kg of muscle and had a body to be proud of, with body fat of just 6.8 percent. This degree of transformation doesn’t happen without hard work: in this case, training twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. While this may sound like a strategy better suited to an Olympic athlete than someone juggling work, family and other commitments, it’s a surefire way to strip fat while building solid muscle. The result? The body you’ve always wanted.
Why two workouts?
“The morning workout is strength-based and designed to fire up your high-threshold motor units, which are responsible for power and muscle growth,” says Mitchell. “Doing this workout first thing will make you stronger in the afternoon session, when you’ll work a wide range of your muscle fibres to increase muscle size.” Put simply, the morning strength session fires up your central nervous system, allowing you to work harder during the afternoon hypertrophy [muscle-size increase] session.
The training program Mitchell built for Parker ran along these lines: train twice a day for two days, take two days off, then train for two more days before taking a single day off. Repeat this the following week, before doing a whole week of low-intensity training. “I’m not going to lie – this was an extreme transformation that required intense effort and commitment from Glenn,” says Mitchell. “You need a lighter week every third week to allow your body to recover, otherwise you’ll overtrain and burn out. But this doesn’t mean put your feet up: work just as intensively, but with about 30 percent of your maximum limit.”
The morning workouts consist of two moves for five sets of five reps, using the same weight for all five sets. “If you lift heavy weights for low reps with a short time under tension, this taps into the high-threshold motor units that are responsible for strength and power,” says Mitchell. “This heightens nervous-system activation, with decreased inhibition of the muscle’s protective mechanisms, both of which will prepare you for the afternoon sessions. The result is the ability to lift more weight, for more reps, leading to greater muscular damage, which equals better results.”
The afternoon sessions consist of drop sets, in which you perform a set to failure before decreasing the weight and continuing, which results it greater muscle-fibre breakdown. For most of these workouts you’ll perform 10 reps of the first move. As soon as you’re done, drop the weight and do another 10 reps before dropping the weight again and doing a final 10 reps. In total, you’ll do three sets of 10 reps of the same move without rest. Then take 60 to 90 seconds to recover before moving on to the next exercise.
Mitchell adds a final word of warning. “This program isn’t for everyone. If you’re generally happy with the way you look, it’s not the workout for you,” he says. “This is designed for people who really want to make a big change to the way they look.”
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