Dual Loading – Powerful Combo For Powerful Gains


What does it take to be successful?  Have you ever wondered that?  Why do some people achieve their goals while others do not?  Why does progress seem to come so effortlessly for certain “lucky” individuals?  Aside from not putting in the same quality of effort, the most resounding explanation is these people have a better fitness plan and/or methodology.  While I often preach fitness is not an exact science, this doesn’t mean going out and doing anything at all is going to help you achieve your goals. 

If you are even a casual reader of this blog, you’ve no doubt seen the countless workout programs we create and post.  I’m a firm believer that having access to loads of quality fitness plans will foster success.  It is far to easy to get comfortable, do the same routine every time out, stop making progress, and wonder what the hell is going on.  Having access to tons of tried and true programs will ensure your body stays challenged.  Ultimately, it comes down to you to select and follow the fitness plan posted here.  Learn to accept the fitness plan as a challenge and go about it with your best effort.

One of the key aspirations of this blog is to take advanced training concepts and programs and make them easily understandable and relatable to our audience.  We know who our core followers are; we’re not talking to very many Ironman competitors and professional athletes.  That said, we strive to take the workouts and advanced training concepts from Ironmen competitors and professional athletes and make them something you can easily follow along with at home or your gym.  This leads us to our latest workout program, which relies on the advanced concept of dual-loading.  This training method has produced explosively fast results in tons of real-life clients.  We’re bringing this to our blog audience, so stay right here and we’ll easily break this down and show you why dual-loading is the next concept you need to incorporate into your overall routine.

What Is (and ISN’T) Dual-Loading?

Dual-loading in its simplest terms is the combination of heavy/short workouts with light/long workouts.  Typically, a fitness plan will look something like this:

  • Weeks 1-6 high reps/low weight
  • Weeks 7-12 low  reps/high weight

After the 12th weekly, you’d return to the high rep/low weight sequence of weeks 1-6, but you’d bump the weights.  This is how MOST programs work to bring about progress.  That’s NOT what dual-loading is all about.

With dual-loading, we completely eliminate the exclusive high/low rep training periods.  Dual-loading combines both methods into one workout, thereby affect your body and muscle-fibers in two completely different manners each week.  If you think changing every 6 weeks is shocking your body into change, try shocking your body every few days.  Results have been very impressive in clients I’ve witnessed incorporate dual-loading into their routines

Want to get Toned?

A quick aside – there is no ONE manner for building big, bulky muscles or lean, long, and “toned” muscles.  “Toned” is a buzz word that gets thrown around a lot.  In reality, all “toned” really is, is an absence of body fat covering the muscle, thereby making it more pronounced, ripped, defined, or “toned”.  An effective weight training program combined with a healthy dose of explosive (not long and slow only) cardio results in a “toned” appearance. 

Why It Works…

It’s become almost common knowledge by now that your body makes progress when new stimulus is introduced to a training routine.  Muscle confusion theory is the basis for popular fitness plans like P90x, Insanity, progressive resistance training, etc.  Dual-loading takes the basics of muscle confusion theory, and ratchets them up a notch.  Instead of changing the manner in which you lift once every 4-6 weeks, you’re changing it every few days.  Dual-loading allows you to…

  • Build fast twitch muscle fibers on short/intense cardio days to increase explosive power and performance
  • Build slow-twitch muscle fibers on long/intense cardio days to increase long-term endurance
  • Quickly add muscle mass to your physique which has the added benefit of improving your metabolism and caloric burn

By building both fast/slow twitch fibers, and fatiguing the muscles in a way that promotes maximum growth, you are training in an extremely complete manner.  The reason this dual-loading fitness plan has been so successful is because it allows you to quickly build muscle, incorporate cardio without sacrificing gained muscle, and ultimately leaves your metabolism in a constantly elevated state.  All of this didn’t happen by accident; the combination of weight training/cardio training has been carefully tested and I believe THIS to be the most effective ratio for peak performance.

HIIT vs. Long and Slow

One quick point – while I often say HIIT is better than long and slow cardio, this is true if you are ONLY doing long and slow cardio.  Constant long and slow cardio makes it tough to maintain muscular gains (along with the added bonus of a heightened metabolism that increased muscle mass delivers).  Most people are going to go with one or the other, so I’ll always recommend HIIT.  On a dual-loading fitness plan, we’ll be doing both manners of cardio, albeit still leaning more on HIIT than long and slow.  This combination keeps your cardiovascular system off-balance, thereby promoting maximum benefits of each format.

The 8-Week Plan

This dual-loading fitness plan has been set for 8 weeks.  I believe two months of following this fitness plan will be sufficient for you to start seeing progress.  By no means should you take this to mean that after 8 weeks you will either a) be finished with the fitness plan or b) have accomplished ALL of your goals.  Your body is a constant work in progress, you need to continually try new things to promote progress.  After 8 weeks, I’d recommend running through things again, while incorporating new exercises, heavier weights, etc.  If you need ideas on how to mix it up, head over to the Share It Fitness forums and we’ll be happy to help you out.

One last point: the combinations and structure of this plan are why things work so well for individuals.  The exercises, to a lesser degree, are what have been making this program such a success.  Below, there are a few lists of exercises broken down into groups.  Pick exercises from the groups as indicated.  Try to hit your entire body by choosing a wide variety fo exercises.  If you’d like, feel free to include exercises not found on this list; simply aim for compound movements incorporating multiple muscle groups.

Week 1-2 and 5-6

On “heavy” days, go for 4 sets of 6-8 reps, and use weight that causes failure on the final rep of the last set or two.  On “light” days, go for lighter weights that bring on muscle burn around the 12th-15th rep; shoot for 3 sets. For all group 3 exercises go until failure.

  • Day 1: HEAVY day.  Group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, exercise group 2, exercise group 3.
  • Day 2: CARDIO day. 20 minutes jump rope (30 second jump/30 second rest). 20 minutes HIIT running (30 seconds sprint/60 second jog).
  • Day 3: LIGHT day.  Group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, exercise group 2, exercise group 3.
  • Day 4: CARDIO day.  45-60 minutes bike ride.  Gradually increase/decrease RPM’s over the training period.
  • Day 5: HEAVY day. Group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, exercise group 2, exercise group 3.
  • Day 6: CARDIO day. 30 minute HIIT cycle (30 second sprint/60 second relaxed pace). 30 minute HIIT jump rope (30 second jump/30 second rest).

Weeks 3-4 and 6-8

  • Day 1: LIGHT day.  Group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, exercise group 2, exercise group 3.
  • Day 2: CARDIO day. 20 minutes jump rope (30 second jump/30 second rest). 20 minutes HIIT running (30 seconds sprint/60 second jog).
  • Day 3: HEAVY day. Group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, exercise group 2, exercise group 3.
  • Day 4: CARDIO day.  45-60 minutes bike ride.  Gradually increase/decrease RPM’s over the training period.
  • Day 5: LIGHT day. Group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 1 exercise, group 2 exercise, group 3 exercise, exercise group 2, exercise group 3.
  • Day 6: CARDIO day. 30 minute HIIT cycle (30 second sprint/60 second relaxed pace). 30 minute HIIT jump rope (30 second jump/30 second rest).

Exercise Group 1: Smith Machine Squats, Leg Press, Deadlift, Quad Extensions, Box Jumps, Bulgarian Squat Jumps, Hamstring Curls, Squat Press, Dumbbell Lunges, Dumbbell Step Ups, Long Jumps.

Exercise Group 2: Hang Snatches, Clean and Press, Bench Press, Close Grip Bench Press, Wide Grip Pull Ups,  Single Arm Barbell Row, Incline Dumbbell Press, Bent Over Barbell Row, Barbell Curls, Skullcrushers, Plank Rows, Incline Bench Press, Decline Bench Press, Upright Barbell Row, Dips.

Exercise Group 3: Windshield Wipers, V Sit, Hip Twists, Up Down Planks, Spider Planks, Leg Climbers, Reverse Crunches, Leg Raises.

 

The fitness plan above is a great entry into a dual-loading routine.  Follow along with the instruction, but don’t be afraid to mix things up a little.  If you want to sub out one of the HIIT cardio workouts above for our INTENSE at home cardio blaster workout, feel free.  I’m a huge proponent of keeping things fresh…if you REALLY hate HIIT cycling, don’t do it.  Forcing yourself will only lead to burn out.  Check out some of our OnDemand cardio classes and add those to your fitness plan if you so desire.  In order to have success with this fitness plan, the main things to be strict about are…

  • Lifting to induce muscle fatigue – use appropriately heavy weights depending on the day and feel the burn
  • Stick to the prescribed heavy/light and HIIT/long and slow days.
  • Eat clean – ample protein, eat enough complex carbs so you can perform, whey protein shake after every workout, limit eating bad restaurant/fast food meals out, no high-sugar meals right before bed, etc.

You follow those three points, this fitness plan will bring you success you never thought possible.  Just imagine, you could be one of “those” people…who look, act, and feel like success is coming so effortlessly to them.  It really isn’t hard, it just takes a quality plan and a little determination.  We’ve got the plan part squared away, just follow through on what we’ve laid out above, and you’ll be sporting a healthy body and physique in no time.

Want More?

If you like this and want more help, guidance, and other fitness plans to help you achieve your goals, come check out ShareItFitness.com.  We recently launched our full site and are still giving away free premium memberships to all of our exclusive content, including hundreds of full-length group fitness classes and DVD-style workouts in our OnDemand library.  Streaming to any smartphone, tablet, computer, or wifi-enabled television, get all the benefits of group fitness or expensive DVD programs with the convenience and mobility of choosing when and where you get your work out in.  Come check us out, we’re changing the way fitness instruction is being delivered forever!
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