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OTHER ITA SITES:
A.C.T. - Acute Conjugated Training
Acute: sharp or severe in effect; intense
There are tons of articles trumpeting the benefits of high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.), making claims of accelerated fat loss and increased heart function when compared to steady-state cardio. There are tons more articles espousing the benefits of high intensity weight training for these same goals as well as increased bone density. Literally, there are tons. I've printed them out and weighed them all.
Luckily for you, I also read all of those articles I found and I've come to the conclusion that they're onto something. H.I.I.T. is much better for most individuals' overall health and fitness than long endurance-type cardio sessions. Weight training builds bones, just like milk was supposed to. Both forms of exercise affect the hormonal system positively, eliciting a post-exercise response that uses a substantial amount of energy from optimal sources throughout the day. This is the basis of A.C.T., or Acute Conjugated Training.
Benefits of High Intensity Exercise
Heart Health Overview
Bone Mineral Density
While there is only a small amount of research regarding direct fat loss benefits of H.I.I.T., increased growth hormone, raised EPOC (exercise post-oxygen consumption), and mobilization of lipids are all indicative of a body that is burning fat and building muscle.
The Birth of A.C.T.
Acute Conjugated Training is the melding of the two most effective training methods into one (conjugated), in order to maximize the reward for time spent exercising. In other words, you should only have to be moving intensely for short periods of time (acute) to get your desired result. By performing resistance training and some form of sprint intervals together, you will negate the need for long sessions of weights or cardio. Now you know what benefits you'll receive from A.C.T., so now let's learn how to put it together.
There are simple rules to follow when designing a workout program based on the A.C.T. principles. This list should take care of the basics:
1. Use Primarily Multi-Joint, Compound Exercises: Multi-joint exercises use more muscles than single-joint exercises. If you plan correctly, you can work practically every muscle in your body in just a few exercises, ensuring your time is spent as efficiently as possible. In some cases, single-joint movements may be beneficial, but make multi-joint exercises the foundation of your program.
2. Perform Mostly Total-Body Workouts: Total body workouts will help ensure that you elicit the hormonal response you know is necessary for optimal performance and body composition changes.
3. Maintain Balance Between Movement Planes: Balancing the work performed between
4. Perform Both High Intensity Intervals and Resistance Exercises in Most Workouts: A.C.T. is built on the idea that performing both high-intensity intervals and resistance training in the same workout will get you the best results for the time you put in. In some cases, it may be necessary to perform one or the other alone in a session, in order to avoid overloading the nervous system.
5. Choose Set/Rep Schemes Based on Sprint Intervals and Vice Versa: Choosing set and repetition parameters with sprint intervals in mind, and vice versa, will ensure your workout is evenly balanced. If you're performing 10 sets of 3 reps, you won't want to be doing long, intense intervals, since you'll have to do 10 of them. Instead, you should opt for shorter intervals which will fit into the set/rep scheme more efficiently.
6. Keep the Workouts Short and Intense: This may be the most important point. These workouts should not have to last more than 30 minutes, sometimes only lasting 15-20 minutes. Choose brevity and intensity.
7. Keep Frequency at 3/Week or More: Frequency is very much dependant upon the intensity and duration of each workout. Since most workouts should be brief, a higher frequency is attainable, but not always necessary. Start at 3 A.C.T. workouts per week and increase from there. Some trainees will perform as many as six workouts per week with no problems while others may run into over-training.
A.C.T. in Action
In case you haven't seen exercise prescriptions written this way before:
A.C.T. is designed to get your body functioning as a well-coordinated unit. Set and rep schemes should be varied enough to elicit strength maintenance or gains, and when combined with sprints will enhance heart variability function, endurance capabilities, and peak oxygen consumption levels. All of these benefits will allow your body to function extremely well under stress of any kind, preparing you for physical or emotional stressors. The increased energy consumption elicited through A.C.T. makes it the best form of exercise for fat loss and body composition changes. Armed with this information and basic workout templates, there is no reason you shouldn't start today. A.C.T. now!
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