A.C.T. — acute conjugated training

July 12, 2012

Exercise, Health, Self-improvement

The benefits of high-intensity exercise over medium- or low-intensity exercise have been shown time and time again in research.

by Matt Schoeneberger — 

The benefits of high-intensity exercise over medium- or low-intensity exercise have been shown time and time again in research. Exercisers who employ high-intensity techniques benefit from improved heart function, increased bone mineral density, greater fat loss and improved endurance.

Acute conjugated training (A.C.T.) is the melding of the two most effective training methods into one (conjugated), in order to maximize the reward for the time spent exercising. In other words, you should only have to move intensely for short periods of time (acute) to get your desired result.

There are simple rules to follow when designing a workout program based on the A.C.T. principles. This list covers 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 with just a few exercises, ensuring your time is spent as efficiently as possible.

2. Perform both high-intensity intervals and resistance exercises during the majority of your 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 your time. In some cases, however, it may be necessary to perform one or the other alone during a session, in order to avoid overloading the nervous system.

3. Keep the workouts short and intense. This may be the most important point. These workouts should not last more than 30 minutes, sometimes taking as few as 15 to 20 minutes. Choose brevity and intensity.

4. Keep the frequency at three times per week or more. Frequency is very much dependent upon the intensity and duration of each workout. Since most workouts should be brief, a higher frequency is easily attainable, but not always necessary. Start at three 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 by doing that many.


Matt Shoeneberger, B.A., C.P.T., is a personal trainer and co-owner of L.E.A.N. Wellness Center in Mesa, Ariz. He and his staff specialize in helping people feel, function and look their best. www.getleanstaylean.com, MattS@getleanstaylean.com or 480-539-4041.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 6, December 2007/January 2008.

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