Why the Best Workout Is the One You’re Not Doing

Find out why the best workout is the one you’re not doing—plus, discover what you can do about it. 

Ben Greenfield
3-minute read
Episode #268

If you check out the title of a very recent study that looked into the best way to workout, then you may get a very good clue as to what the conclusion of the study was. Here’s what it was called: “Short-term effects of different loading schemes in fitness-related resistance training.” You’re about to learn exactly what this study found, why the best workout is the one you’re not doing, and what you can do about it.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the strength-building effects of four different loading schemes (aka workouts). Fifty fit and trained participants were randomly divided into four different sample groups, in which the subjects trained as follows:

  • CL - constant load and constant volume of repetitions over six weeks. This means nothing really changed in terms of volume or intensity. 
  • IL - increases in load and decreasing volume of repetitions made every two weeks. This means weight went up, but reps went down every two weeks.
  • DL - decreases in load and increasing volume of repetitions made every two weeks. This means weight went down but reps went up every two weeks.
  • DCL - daily changing load and volume of repetitions. This means every day participants were thrown a curve ball, with both weight and reps changed around.

Rest periods were held constant between all groups, as were the exercises, which were all pretty straightforward resistance training exercises, such as horizontal leg presses, chest presses, butterflies, lat pulldowns, horizontal rows, dumbbell shoulder presses, cable triceps pushdowns, and dumbbell biceps curls, all performed over the full range of motion (ROM) in each workout.

So what did the researchers find?


About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.

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