Why God/ Bill? WHY?????
BLOOD. SWEAT. TEARS
This is my response any time I accidentally stumble into a continuous motion training session.
What the heck is continuous motion?
If you have to ask you are blessed!!
Continuous motion is exactly what it sounds. This weight bearing, cardio intensive gem occurs when you do your reps at a brisk pace without pausing (locking your joints out) at the top or bottom.
This may not sound like a big deal but it SO SO is!!
When training for optimal performance and presentation you should notice that your training routines go in cycles.
For approx 3 months, workouts will seem standard or routine. You barely break a sweat, breathing isn't labored, and you will begin to think "why did I used to make such a big deal about this??"
THAT'S WHEN A GOOD TRAINER STRIKES!!
You see, as if it wasn't already hard enough, the human body is amazingly adaptable. No matter how HARD the workout is your body will adjust to it over time. That is why it's important to "shock" the body and change things up periodically.
I noticed that my training seems to run in 3-month cycles.
What this looks like is
3 months of maintenance training (bliss)
3 months HEAVY (muscle building)
3 months cardio hell (hello continuous motion!)
Now for all of these I am still doing a circuit, it's just that the weight, number of reps and number of cardio exercises in the circuit will change.
For shedding fat and building defined muscle mass, you can't beat continuous motion.
This exercise tactic can be used for whole body training (shoulder press, biceps, triceps etc) or just incorporated into leg exercises to get heart rate and calorie burning up.
A practical example of this is
Leg Press- 270lb- 100 reps (no stopping/ pausing!!!)
Leg Press- 320lbs- 100 reps
Leg Press- 370lbs- 100 reps
(Leg press is done as a part of a circuit. Go directly from leg press to other exercises in circuit and cycle back.)
Example: leg press 100 reps- shoulders- back- biceps- triceps- tire flips- leg lifts- REPEAT
(Complete entire circuit 3 times)
Adjust weight as necessary. If new start lighter and work up!
The beauty of continuous motion (also known as continuous tension) is that it doesn't JUST melt fat it also encourages muscle hypertrophy (helps you to bulk up).
How Does Continuous Motion Work?
For those who want to get all sciency, continuous motion puts muscles into hypoxia (i.e. muscle can't breathe because of blood flow restriction caused by constant muscle activation).
This temporary lack of blood flow causes metabolites to build up and ph levels to drop (among other things) which signal the muscles to grow.
For more details on this and detailed description of metabolic changes check out
It is OK if the weight used for continuous motion is a bit lighter than your usual. IT'S HARD!! And you don't want to injure yourself.
Build Up Over Time.
Range of motion may also be shorter. This takes the work out of the joint and concentrates it in the muscle. Just be sure to go deeply enough and try to avoid using momentum.
When used correctly continuous motion can be an amazing tool in your exercise work box.
Feel free to post any questions or comments.
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