More Useful Stuff
Sweat pours from trainer BJ Gaddour, as a timer signals the end of his workout. He bends over, hands on his knees. “I need a nap,” he gasps, collapsing onto his exercise mat with an exaggerated grimace. “That workout demolished me!”
Total exercise time: 10 minutes | The 10-Minute Transformation
Gaddour might be hamming it up for his audience – photographers and production staff – but the pool of perspiration at his feet is no illusion. In just 10 minutes, Gaddour has burned more kilojoules and powered through more sets than most guys pull off in half an hour. “If you thought that one was sweaty,” he says, “just wait until you see the next one. It’s going to be a tsunami!”
Gaddour’s Torchers are unlike anything most people have ever experienced. Requiring little more than a pair of dumbbells and a few metres of floor space, his new training technique lets you build your own workouts from a menu of 12 routines. “Each one is only 10 minutes long, but they’re all lung-busting, fat-melting challenges,” says Gaddour. “And the more of them you do, the hotter your metabolic fire will burn.”
Train Like You’ve Never Trained Before
“I don’t think I’ve ever needed so many wardrobe changes,” Gaddour jokes as he peels off his drenched shirt and selects a replacement. “This one is light grey,” he says. “Let’s see how dark we can get it.” In Gaddour’s world, sweat is the currency of change and a barometer of effort. “Let me ask you something,” he says. “What was the easiest workout of your life?”
It’s a trick question. No one remembers easy workouts. It’s the tough ones we remember, the gutbusters that make us beg for mercy even as they flood our brains with endorphins that make us crave more. Gaddour’s system of metabolic resistance training elicits that response through a combination of high-intensity intervals and muscle-burning strength exercises.
Each routine is a circuit of 10 exercises. They can emphasise goals (mobility, strength, power, fat loss), techniques (isometrics, body-weight training, tempo drills), or muscle groups (legs, arms, core, back). “But they’re all total-body and they all require you to spend as much time as possible working,” says Gaddour. “They’re intense, but that training density increases your production of growth hormone, promoting fat loss and muscle building, and cranks up your metabolism to an insane level.”
Gaddour says a single Torcher can provide the same metabolic boost as a gym workout that’s three times as long. “And if one can inspire those kinds of results, imagine what you can accomplish by combining two or three – or more!” Gaddour says. Indeed, combining small exercise blocks into large, customised workouts unlocks the true power of Gaddour’s system: every workout can be different from the last.
Flip Your Fat Switch
Most workout plans never change, and neither do the men who follow them. With this system, you can create 1 728 different 30-minute workouts to keep your body guessing. “The programme is perpetually changing,” Gaddour says, “and so are you.”
Gaddour should know: 12 years ago he weighed 125kg, had a 112cm waist and suffered from sore knees. “I was suffering physically, emotionally and psychologically,” he says. He did nothing about it – until he saw a photo of himself on holiday. “It took seeing that brutal picture to inspire the dramatic transformation that changed my life,” he says. And once he took care of himself (his body fat now hovers between 6 and 8%), he began transforming others – a lot of others.
Keep Your Head in the Game
Gaddour, now one of the top metabolic conditioning coaches in the country, attributes his success to one pivotal realisation: people prefer short, fast routines. His 10-Minute Torchers grew out of his popular bootcamp classes. “There’s no monotony, so your mind doesn’t wander, and as a result your performance doesn’t suffer.” When you think about things other than your workout – deadlines, dinner – those thoughts hijack areas of your brain that would otherwise be communicating with your muscles, a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found. “You go through the motions of your workout, but you’re not working as hard as you could be,” says study author Dr Michael Agnew. The result: boredom, ruts and slower gains.
“When you break up the repetitiveness of a longer workout with smaller exercise blocks, you’re forced to concentrate on the task at hand. There’s no room for boredom,” says Gaddour. “And after a while, a funny thing happens: exercise becomes a passion instead of a chore, and you actually start looking forward to your workouts – and skipping fewer of them.”
Blow Away the Excuses
Missing just one workout increases your odds of missing another (and another, and another) by 61%, according to British research. “And even a single lapse can lead to feelings of failure so overwhelming that you ultimately quit,” says Dr John Raglin, a professor of kinesiology at Indiana University.
The solution: keep your fitness plan flexible. There will be times when you can’t spare an hour to exercise or can’t get to a gym. Half the Torchers require only your body weight; for the rest, you need only two dumbbells. “As long as you have 180cm of floor space, you’re good to go,” says Gaddour. “This workout system pulverises any obstacle standing between you and your best body. You can always find 10 minutes to spare, right?”
– Jill Yaworski