Body Blueprint 12 Week Challenge Q and A

Body Blueprint 12 Week Challenge Dashboard

1) What’s the idea behind using 6,10 and 20 repetitions for each exercise? +

The goal is to recruit as many muscle fibres as possible - slow, intermediate and especially the fast twitch muscle fibres.

In doing so you’ll produce the greatest adaptive response in terms of strength and hypertrophy (muscle gain) and transform your body faster than traditional programmes that use the standard 8 to 12 or 12 to 15 repetition ranges.

2) Why is there so much emphasis placed on stimulating fast twitch muscle fibres? +

Because when fast twitch muscle fibres are recruited there is an accompanying cascade of fat loss hormones such as HGH.

For this reason, when you train your fast twitch muscle fibres on a regular basis, you’ll find it easier to burn body fat and stay lean year round.

Case in point: It’s no coincidence that sprinters are lean and muscular (they have one of the most sought after body types) and it all relates to the type of training they do.

(Nb: This is also why steady state cardio, group fitness classes and regular weight training programmes fail to produce rapid and ongoing fat loss as this type of training doesn’t adequately stimulate the fast twitch muscle fibres.)

3) How do I stimulate the fast twitch muscle fibres? +

There are 3 ways…

1: To train to muscular failure with very heavy weights.

For example, your 6 repetition sets.

2: To train with acceleration

For example, your cardio interval workouts where you quickly accelerate to maximum speeds.

3: To perform your repetitions explosively.

This can be achieved when doing your 10 repetition sets using a tempo of 1,1.2. For example, on a chest press you would move the weight explosively (yet under control) from your chest to arms extended at a count of no more than 1 second, pause for 1 second, then lower the weight for 2 seconds.

4) It is normal to be sore after these workouts? +

Like any new exercise programme, you will experience a degree of muscle soreness for approximately 2 to 3 days after your initial workouts. (Also known as DOMS which stands for delayed onset muscle soreness)

This muscle soreness quickly dissipates as your body becomes accustomed to the new demands.

To lessen muscle soreness you can use hot baths, sauna, and the supplementing with magnesium citrate can also help. My personal preference is the addition of cacao nibs or powder to my smoothies as cacao has one of the highest concentrations of magnesium as well as other beneficial nutrients.

5) As a female I’m concerned that lifting heavy weights will make me bulky and look like a bodybuilder? Should I be concerned? +

In a word, NO. Building large muscles takes many years of hard work, copious amounts of food, and a hormonal profile that the majority of women don’t have.

Unfortunately this myth has existed in the fitness world for some time, mainly due to the ‘pharmaceutically enhanced’ women that appear in various muscle magazines and which has scared many women away from the weights room for fear that they might turn into Ms Olympia…

In reality, you’ll gain toned, sexy, lean muscle, a far cry from the images you’ll see in the magazines and on the internet.

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6) When I finish my workouts I feel as though I haven’t done enough. Can I add some more sets, ab work, cardio etc? +

40 minute weight sessions 3 times per week, and 30 minute cardio sessions 2 times per week is ALL you need to obtain amazing results.

By adding more exercise you risk eating into your recovery time which is when your results really occur. This is especially important if you lead a busy lifestyle, get less than 8 hours sleep, and/ or you’re over 40.

If you’re tempted to do more, ask yourself…

Did I work hard enough?

Did I reach muscular failure on the majority of my sets?

Did I make every set and every repetition count?

Don’t forget, it’s the intensity of your workouts – not duration - that produces the most positive changes in terms of body composition. (in concert with adequate recovery and good nutrition)

When it comes to body transformation, quality, versus quantity, wins hands down every time.

7) Why do you start with heavy weights and low reps and proceed to low weights with high reps? (instead of the other way around) +

Starting with your heaviest weights first (for low repetitions) followed by lighter weights (for  higher repetitions) is known as a 'reverse pyramid.' This weight training protocol allows you to use heavier weights overall. Training this way allows you to achieve your body transformation goals faster, than following a tradition pyramid starting with lighter weights and proceeding to heavier weights for example...

8) Should I do a warm up set prior to my heavy set of 6 repetitions? +

Prior to the first set on your chest, leg and shoulder workout, I highly recommend doing a warm up set of approximately 30% of the weight you'll be using for your first work set of 6 repetitions. For all other body parts it is not necessary to do a warm up set as you're muscles will be sufficiently warm (and have ample blood flow) as you'll have carry over from the other body parts you've already trained.