Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I am working hard enough?
- There are a ton of ways to estimate VO2Max, but they are either cumbersome or not useful to gather on-the-fly feedback. The key is to get intensely anaerobic with each round within the interval set. Gauge the effort by your ability to complete with pristine form and by your level of gasping at the end of the interval set. If your form starts to fail at the 60% completion mark, and you are gasping for at least 5 seconds at the end of each round, you're there! You'll have to feel your way here, but if you go at your 100%, you will hit the effort level required. If you feel a little light-headed, that's probably OK, but once you reach that point, do not push past it. If you watch a few of the progressions on the SABERtooth Fitness channel, you should get a sense of the effort level. You can see my form collapse over the 4-minutes.
- Getting intense and staying there is important. It's easier with a partner or a class...this will engage your mirror neurons and your competitive instincts. If you are training alone, try these tricks.
- Imagine that your workout is being televised
- Or imagine that you're being chased by a tiger, and your life depends on getting away
- The more that you push up to your "line," the farther you push that line back, and the better you become. This is a "you get what you give" scenario. It is supposed to suck, but not one person has ever looked back on a hard workout and said, "Man, I wish I hadn't done that."
- Start with 3-4 sets of 4-5 rounds/set and see how that feels. Once you can finish that with reasonable form, you can move up to the full 4-5 sets of 8-rounds to derive the maximum benefit.
- 3x/week to start....you can move up to 4-5 once you have adapted. I personally do about 10x/week, and have for several years, and I have no over-training symptoms.
- You can't out-train a bad diet, and you can't outrun your fork. Here's the official diet of SABERtooth Fitness, which is designed to support fat loss. You'll see the carb grams and the protein grams are the same, but more kcals come from a gram of protein. Frankly, I think Paleo is just fine. I recommend Paleo with some black beans, but your mileage may vary. And, yes, you can have some beans/legumes while on Paleo, and the world will not come to an end. Regardless, NO simple carbs, 30% Complex Carbs, 30% Medium Fat, 40% High Protein is a good formula.
- The website of the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health is an excellent place to pick up new information. Try using search terms like "HIIT" "Interval Training" "Supramaximal Training" in your queries to refine your searches.
- Absolutely! Caffeine in normal doses has a minimal diuretic effect (REALLY). Caffeine is a performance enhancer. It is monitored by the International Olympic Committee, because it works. I drink coffee every day.
- Try getting the last bite down 90 minutes before you begin your session. Otherwise, you may get to see that same food twice.
- Yes, steady-state cardio for 1/2 hour is great on your off days. I lock it in as cardio by only breathing through my nose during the session. That way it is hard to push over to anaerobic
- Train them with SABER, too. On the SABERtooth Fitness channel there are a number of routines for shoulders and arms. Speed requires power! Those small muscles will derive the same benefit as your large muscles.
- No, while SABER provides similar endurance and cardiovascular benefits to pure cardio, SABER is not catabolic. Because SABER increases hGH and Testosterone levels while placing a supramaximal, anaerobic demand on muscles, men will see strength, size, and speed gains. Ladies need not worry...you don't generate enough testosterone to get big and bulky.
- SABER recommends 200-250 pushups/day. Clearly, beginners will need to build up to that number. Pushups are perfect for developing your core, chest, triceps, and serratus muscles. Sets of 25 are ideal to get all of those muscles into the anaerobic zone. I like to perform them between sprints so that I can delay recovery and really keep things anaerobic.