Create Your Own Max Out Schedules
How to Create Your Own Schedules.
Schedules provide structure and focus towards a goal.
Schedules provide structure to keep you focused on your weekly goals. They can also provide the structure required to motivate you to push yourself harder where you may have otherwise just taken a day off or taken an easier option. There is a lot of leeway if you follow the basic rules outlined below for creating your own so you can create schedules that will fit around your own personal weekly circumstance. Although you should see excellent results from the preset Max Out schedules, you don't need to restrict yourself to them if they don't fit your circumstance meaning you wont be able to do them. The most important thing is that you find a way of working out regularly in a way that is sustainable in your lifestyle. That's where it pays to have the kind of dual focused flexibility in your workouts that The 4 Minute Max Outs provides.
Learn the rules to give you leeway.
Scheduling is a bit like diet. Like diet, there are so many rules that say, you have to do this, you have to do that. But with scheduling, just like diet, truth is there is a lot of leeway where you can still get great results. However also like diet, depending on what your goal is, there are some rules that you really should adhere to if you want that flexibility in scheduling to get better results. By adhering to the rules below, you should hopefully be able to identify the logic needed to create your own schedules around your own circumstance.
When scheduling for weight loss (to lose body fat).
- First unwritten rule on the schedule is - Above all else, you absolutely must be in a calorie deficit after your activity levels are taken into account. If you are not, you will not lose weight. Period. Use the calorie calculator (or nutrition calculator) to work out what a 25% calorie deficit will be for you. Work out a diet plan and stick to it.
- Second unwritten rule on the schedule is - Try to ensure you intake 0.8 to 1 grams of protein per pound of body weight, as part of a balanced diet, and break up the intake so that you have up to 30 grams of protein every 3 hours if you can. This is not compulsory, but highly recommended, as it will massively reduce muscle loss / help build muscle as you lose weight.
- Routine wise, try to do full body cardio and strength 5 to 6 days a week. Any combination you like is fine. The idea here is to burn shed loads of calories over the week whilst still promoting protein synthesis, testosterone, and growth hormone, so you burn fat and don't lose muscle. You will lose weight either way, but this will get the best results for body composition combined with fast weight loss.
- If you find the bodyweight strength moves too hard, use the modified options or else just do cardio only and try to integrate strength moves in more gradually (ie 24 minutes cardio then 4 minutes strength, then up to 20 minutes cardio then 8 minutes strength, and so forth). Or if you have another form of strength training that you can manage, you could do that before or after a cardio only session too. Strength training is important to encourage greater protein synthesis to retain or build muscle as you lose weight.
- Whilst strength training is beneficial when losing weight, the most important thing for losing weight from exercise is that you are both actively burning those calories and continuously revving up your resting metabolism. This means constantly moving as hard and fast as you can, constantly getting that heart rate up, constantly pushing yourself. This will also generate a calorie burning after effect for the following 24 or so hours to increase the calorie burn even more. The harder you work at HIIT the more HIIT will work for you. As said, for best results composition wise, ensure you are eating enough protein as part of a balanced calorie deficit diet, and incorporate as much strength training as you are able to do along with this calorie burn. But don't worry if you can't, all you can do is the best that you can do. Results will also vary from person to person. But so long as you are in a sustained calorie deficit, you will still achieve your goal of losing weight and massively improving your health.
When scheduling for weight gain (to accelerate muscle gains).
- First unwritten rule on the schedule is - Use the calorie calculator (or nutrition calculator) to work out what your maintenance calories will be after exercise. You can leave it at that or add up to 10% for faster gains. This is because protein synthesis slows proportionately as your calorie deficit increases, so eating slightly more will ensure it wont slow at all. Work out a diet plan and stick to it.
- Second unwritten rule on the schedule is - Try to ensure you intake 0.8 to 1 grams of protein per pound of body weight, as part of a balanced diet, and break up the intake so that you have up to 30 grams of protein every 3 hours if you can. Increased protein levels are vital if you want to build muscle.
- The whole idea of strength training is to promote increased protein synthesis. So as well as eating enough, and eating enough protein, you want to ensure your routines predominantly heavily strength train your muscles for optimal results.
- Routine wise, make sure you have at least 48 hours rest between heavily strength training the same muscle groups. Or in other words, heavily strength train the same region every other day at most. Do strength training at least 3 days a week, up to 6 maximum, and ensure you work your whole body evenly over time.
- Include cardio at least once a week. This can be combined with strength moves for a HIIT style workout, or done on its own purely as cardio HIIT in between strength training days. HIIT is the best option for cardio as it will give you maximum cardio benefits in the shortest space of time and still promote protein synthesis as opposed to reducing it as long slow runs can do.
- Try to keep your workouts progressive. Either extend the volume (more sets so extend the workout duration), shorten the breaks, improve your completion rate, add power moves such as plyometrics, or do the workouts in a different order. Anything you can lever yourself against to increase resistance can also be a good idea as can adding resistance to moves with weights or a weighted vest.
- As you are not trying to lose weight, your main aim is not burning calories at all costs, it is okay to take an extra days rest for recovery if your muscles are in pain from workouts. Your muscles wont grow if they don't get time to repair themselves day in day out.
- Be sure to monitor your body. You need to check that weight gains are muscle not fat. If you are putting on fat too fast in a calorie surplus, eat less and or add more HIIT cardio to your routines to increase your calorie burn. Likewise if you are losing weight, you can eat a bit more.
When scheduling for maintenance.
- Eat a balanced diet at your calorie maintenance levels for your activity levels.
- Get enough protein for your size and activity levels.
- Do the routines you enjoy. Mix things up. Do strength training and cardio. You will still build muscle and burn fat, although much more gradually, as your workouts will likely take you into a small calorie deficit, stimulate sufficient protein synthesis, and put your hormonal balance in a positive state. Enjoy it. Make it a positive part of your lifestyle.
- Exercise at least 3 times, up to 6 times, a week for around 30 minutes. Make it as important as brushing your teeth twice a day... If you don't brush your teeth twice a day, do that too!
- Failing that, do the best you can do. Do what you can, when you can, and don't over eat. It's never a waste of time. Even 4 minutes is better than nothing. You may find you can spare 4 minutes a few times throughout the day even. Considering how much of a day you are forced to put aside to earn money, or sit in a car, or on a bus, or on a train, and then choose to sit in front of a screen, half an hour is such a small fraction of your whole day to set aside for your continued health and to make you look amazing. It's good for the body and good for the mind.
Be flexible and adaptable to make sure you get it done.
One of the many great plus points of The 4 Minute Max Outs is how flexible and adaptable it is. You don't want to necessarily lose that just to ardently stick to a rigid schedule. So if for example your legs had bad DOMS and you were due for lower strength, you could do the upper body, or core instead. Or just do cardio, or maybe 24 minutes cardio and 4 minutes strength at the end. Over time, you'll be able to work out what's best for your body on a given day. Also, schedules dont need to be 7 day rotations. Any amount of days can be good. For instance, a 4 day rotation of 3 on 1 off is fine too and would allow you recovery sooner if you needed it. Listening to your body's feedback is the key to being flexible with your schedules. The most important thing is that you keep working out in some way that fits with your life circumstance and stay motivated to eat healthily towards your goal over the long term.
Be flexible and integrate with other forms of exercise for maximum variety.
Feel free to mix up The 4 Minute Max Outs with other forms of training too. Whilst more variety isn't necessary, and may not even be as efficient as all out HIIT for your goal, different activities can makes things even more sustainable long term. Take a look at the integration section for ways you can do this.