When it comes to building muscle and burning fat, there is no such thing as one size fits all. What works for one person may not work for another. That’s why Dr. John Jaquish, creator of the X3 Bar, advocates for a more individualized approach to fitness.
Instead of using the same weight for every exercise, Jaquish recommends using a weight that is relative to your strength. This is what he calls “variable resistance training.”
“By using a weight that’s relative to your strength, you can target specific muscle groups and get a more efficient workout,” Jaquish says.
Here are four ways you can use variable resistance training to build muscle and burn fat:
1. Use a lighter weight for isolation exercises.
Isolation exercises are those that target a single muscle group, such as biceps curls or triceps extensions. When doing these exercises, Jaquish recommends using a weight that is 50-75% of your one-rep max (the heaviest weight you can lift for one rep).
Doing isolation exercises with a lighter weight will help you focus on the muscle you’re trying to work, which will lead to better results.
2. Use a heavier weight for compound exercises.
Compound exercises are those that work multiple muscle groups at the same time, such as squats or lunges. When doing these exercises, Jaquish recommends using a weight that is 80-95% of your one-rep max.
Using a heavier weight for compound exercises will help you build more muscle and burn more fat.
3. Use a moderate weight for cardiovascular exercises.
Cardiovascular exercises, such as running or cycling, are great for burning calories and improving heart health. When doing these exercises, Jaquish recommends using a weight that is 60-80% of your one-rep max.
4. Use a heavier weight for plyometric exercises.
Plyometric exercises are those that involve explosive movements, such as jump squats or box jumps. When doing these exercises, Jaquish recommends using a weight that is 80-95% of your one-rep max.
Using a heavier weight for plyometric exercises will help you build more muscle and burn more fat.
Variable resistance training is a great way to build muscle and burn fat. By using a weight that is relative to your strength, you can target specific muscle groups and get a more efficient workout.
There are four primary benefits to using variable resistance training methods, Dr. John Jaquish explains.
1. Increased Appetite for Change
The body is constantly seeking homeostasis, or balance. When you first start lifting weights, your body will adapt relatively quickly to the new stimulus. However, as you continue to lift the same amount of weight week after week, your body becomes more efficient at lifting that weight and the gains you see begin to taper off. This is why it’s important to constantly challenge your body with new and heavier weights, as well as different exercises.
2. The Optimal Mix of Intensity and Volume
With traditional lifting methods, it can be difficult to find the sweet spot between intensity and volume. If you go too heavy, you risk injury; too light, and you won’t see any results. However, with variable resistance training, you can safely push your body to its limits without the risk of injury.
3. You Can Go Beyond Your Muscles’ Capabilities
Muscles have an inherent “strength ceiling” that limits the amount of weight they can lift. However, with variable resistance training, you can bypass this ceiling by using a heavier weight for part of the lift. This allows you to overload your muscles, leading to greater gains.
4. It’s More Efficient
Traditional weightlifting methods can be extremely time-consuming. You have to rest between sets, and often times you have to do multiple sets of the same exercise to see results. With variable resistance training, you can get a full-body workout in a fraction of the time.