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Show Time Training Overview

Peak your fat-burning while building some muscle with this 4-week lifting and HIIT training regimen.

Show Time Training Overview

Show Time Program Snapshot

  • Length: 4 weeks
  • Workouts per Week: 6
  • Training Split: 3-day split, repeated twice for a total of six workouts per week.
  • Equipment: Commercial gym or sufficiently-equipped home gym
  • Featured Techniques: Supersets, linear periodization, and reverse linear periodization. HIIT cardio using a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio is also used in this program. 
  • Rep Ranges: Most superset pairings consists of one "heavy" exercise with relatively low rep counts and one "light" exercise with higher reps. The rep counts for heavy exercises decrease each week, while the reps for light exercises increase, in this manner: 9-10 reps (heavy) and 12-15 reps (light) in Week 1; 7-8 reps and 16-20 reps in Week 2; 5-6 reps and 21-25 reps in Week 3; and 3-4 reps and 26-30 reps in Week 4.
  • Rest Periods: You can take 1-2 minutes between supersets; or, to move the workout along quicker, drop rest to 30-60 seconds between supersets. No rest is taken within supersets (ie, between the two exercises being supersetted). 
  • Cardio:  HIIT cardio  sessions are incorporated into every workout. You'll do three HIIT sessions per workout, after each muscle group. HIIT sessions increase in length each week during the program – 7 minutes in Week 1, 10 minutes in Week 2, 10.5 minutes in Week 3, 11 minutes in Week 4. 
  • Meal Plan: The Show Time program has its own accompanying nutrition plan: the Show Time Diet . However,  Dieting 101  can also be used for fat loss emphasis, or Muscle Building Nutrition Rules for muscle gain.
  • Summary: Show Time is great for anyone who wants a program that puts strong emphasis on both muscle building and fat loss. And yes, you can do both simultaneously. The 3-day training split is ideal for building muscle, as are the two periodization schemes (linear and reverse linear). Fat loss is ramped up considerably with the HIIT sessions intertwined in the workouts. And finally, supersets are proven to be effective for both muscle building and fat loss. 
  • Note: If you’re a beginner or just getting back to the gym after an extended time away (months or years), this program will likely be too intense/advanced for you. If you’re a beginner, consider my  Beginner to Advanced Program  before taking on Show Time. 

Welcome to my Show Time Program, a meticulously designed combination of heavy weight, light weight, low reps, high reps, intensity-boosting lifting techniques and HIIT cardio – the sum of which will maximize fat-burning and conditioning while also packing on muscle mass in the span of four weeks. At that point, it will definitely be "Show Time" for your physique!

Show Time Program Overview

The gist of the program is that all exercises are done as supersets, with one exercise done with very heavy weight for low reps and the other with light weight for high reps. Typically, the first superset exercise pair of the workout for each muscle group orders the exercises with the heavy one done first and the light one second. The second superset pair, and often the third as well, are done in the reverse order, with the light one going first and the heavy one second.

For many muscle groups, the second exercise pair is done as a pre-exhaust superset with a single-joint (isolation) exercise being performed first with lighter weight and a multijoint exercise being done next with heavy weight. Not only will this setup allow you to build muscle and strength while you drop body fat, but it's all based on cutting-edge research that shows the best ways to burn fat while in the gym.

The use of supersets are supported by research from the College of New Jersey, which showed that resting just 30 seconds between sets burned over 50% more calories during a bench press workout as compared to resting 3 minutes between sets. While supersets theoritcally call for no rest between exercises, it typically takes a good 10-30 seconds to move from one exercise to the next. This will guarantee you're burning at least 50% more calories than you normally would when using traditional straight sets.

Show Time Rep Ranges – Highs and Lows

The reason I included high-rep sets was to instigate more calorie burning during the workout. The same study mentioned above also found that doing 10-rep sets burned more calories during the workout than did 5-rep sets. This makes sense, as you perform more work when doing more reps. And this is why I jacked the reps all the way up to 30 on some exercises in the final week, which will keep you burning fat through every single workout. This "more work" effect is also the reason why I bumped up the total number of sets performed per workout – to keep you burning more calories each and every week while following Show Time.

While burning calories during the workout is important, even more critical for dropping fat is the number of calories you burn after the workout and how long this post-workout burn lasts. This is known scientifically as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). EPOC refers to the fact that after workouts, you take in more oxygen to burn more calories, which is used for recovery purposes. The

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