Getting stronger and adding muscle doesn’t have to mean spending hours in the gym every day. Or at least that’s the hypothesis we’ll be testing in our first project at Weekend Quixote. For thirty days (beginning April 5th) we’ll be following a strength training regimen loosely based on the 1973 “Colorado Experiment.” The impetus for this month-long trial was a post on author Tim Ferriss’ excellent blog in which he documents a similar thirty day trial with some pretty amazing results (Ferriss gained thirty pounds of muscle . . . and a nice tan to boot).
The basic premise here is that the greater the intensity of your workouts, the greater the recovery time should be. In other words, if you work your muscles hard enough (i.e. as close to total exhaustion as humanly possible), you shouldn’t have to workout very often. A typical strength training routine would have us hitting each muscle group 2-3 times per week. In our experiment, we’ll be going to the gym just once per week, working the entire body in each session. With just four workouts scheduled for the entire month, we’ll have to really crank up the intensity and destroy ourselves in order to make real gains and justify the long recovery periods.