If you want to build super human strength give this routine a try.
The Fuel Rule
Don’t Be Afraid of Fat
“The thing that most radically improves athletes’ performance is proper nutrition,” says Schaeffer, who developed the recipe below to help clients push harder in workouts and recover faster afterward. “Most of the calories come from high-quality fats, a more efficient source of energy than carbs,” he says. “Plus, your body is actually less likely to store fat as fat.”
Combine 1 cup raw oats, 4 Tbsp coconut oil, 2 Tbsp whey protein, and 1 cup applesauce. That makes four servings (no baking). Eat one, wait an hour, and hit the gym.
The Clock Rule
Brief Workouts Are Best
Muscle growth and fat loss are proportional to hours spent lifting, right? “They’re not,” says Schaeffer. He points to Ohno’s workouts leading up to the 2010 Olympics, which rarely lasted longer than 30 minutes. “But he did more in that time than most guys do in two hours,” Schaeffer says. “Workout density trumps duration because it forces you to keep the intensity high.”
Slice “fat” from your workouts—that is, socializing at the water fountain, chatting up the brunette on the treadmill, and watching SportsCenter highlights. Then give your rest periods the same attention you do sets and reps. “Keep them to 30 seconds or less,” says Schaeffer.
The Brain Rule
Reaction Speed Can Be Trained
A brain that can process what it sees and respond quickly has an edge. “You can grab a steal, tip a pass, or land a jump faster and more efficiently than your opponent,” says Schaeffer. TheJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research reports that NBA players with faster reaction times log better stats. “It’s a game-changer for athletes,” says Schaeffer. “But regular guys can do better in everyday tasks, from driving to kid-watching.”
HONE YOUR REFLEXES
Face a buddy from 10 yards away. Close your eyes and have him bounce a tennis ball to you, yelling “left” or “right.” When he does, open your eyes and catch it with that hand. Training solo? Use a wall.
The Rest Rule
Pack In More Work
No matter how hard you go in the gym, you can probably go harder. The reason: You set the weight down between sets. “Staying under load for the entire exercise and then immediately doing one set of a ballistic move—like explosive stepups or pushups—will recruit dormant motor neurons and condition your body to recover under stress,” says Schaeffer. “It will also trigger a surge of muscle-building hormones.”
MIX IT UP
Add Killer Combos (see right) to your fitness plan. “These can be very difficult, mentally and physically,” says Schaeffer. “So don’t just grind through them. Focus on good form.” If you feel your form slipping, use less weight.
The Finishing Rule
If You End Slow, You’ll Be Slow
Many guys think of strength and cardio as separate entities. But interval training can be beneficial at the end of a resistance workout. “Your body remembers and adapts to what it does last in a training session,” Schaeffer says. “If you end slow, you’ll be slow. That’s why my athletes finish their workouts with speedwork.”
HIT THE AFTERBURNERS
When the last lift is done, hop on a treadmill, rower, or Airdyne bike for 5 to 10 intervals. “For each interval, sprint all out for 30 seconds and recover 30 seconds,” says Schaeffer. “But don’t dial it back too much during the recovery—I typically have Louie sprint at 14 miles an hour and recover at 8.”
Activate muscle and torch fat with these two brutal exercise pairs.
Hold a barbell across your upper back and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Pause, return to the start, and repeat.
Holding a barbell across your upper back, place your right foot on a step or bench. Push your body up until your right leg is straight. (Keep your left foot elevated.) Step down. Repeat with your left leg. Continue alternating legs.
Lie on your back on a bench and hold a barbell above your chest using an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder width. Lower it to 2 inches above your sternum. Pause, and push it back up to the starting position.
Assume a pushup position with your arms straight and hands slightly beyond shoulder width. Bend your arms to lower your chest until it nearly touches the floor. Then push up with enough force for your hands to leave the floor.