As I’ve previously documented, I’ve been doing just 10 minutes of ARX work per week as a means to help prepare for an ultramarathon I’ll be running this fall. However, I’ve been excited about the fact that the ARX has a long history of adding muscle to even the most stubborn gainers. I’m a bro at heart, even if I despise all that bros represent. So is 10 minutes per week enough to deliver?
The answer is yes:
01/28/2016: 138.4lbs lean, 30.6 lbs fat
05/23/2016: 139.7lbs lean, 29.6lbs fat
Delta: 1.3lbs lean increase, 1 pound fat decrease
My first ARX workout wasn’t even until early February, so from ~ 2 hours of training, I put on a pound+ of a muscle. I didn’t change at all from the 8 months prior (05/2015-01/2016) and actually added some fat. Now I’m both leaner and larger.
Not only was the change real, but my lifestyle isn’t suited for lean gains. I don’t get enough sleep (I have a teething 9-month-old and a 2 and a half-year-old that slips into bed like a midnight ninja), I have adequate life circumstances that have kept me busy, oh and I’m training for an ultramarathon (albeit with little volume). I’m also not trying to eat to gain muscle, remember that I just abide. No force feeding or anything like that.
As a bonus, I’ve lost what little visceral adipose tissue I have (down to 0.07lbs) and gained a 10th of a pound of bone, keeping me 1.5 standard deviations above the mean.
Is there a downside? Only if you don’t understand how the body works: prior to taking on the ARX, I trained in my garage bodyweight-only using a Project Kratos template. This was an enjoyable way for my to push myself and not have to leave home. This past Monday was Memorial Day and it was just impossible to get into Efficient Exercise, so I revisited a Kratos workout and found mixed improvements. For example, I was able to add 10lbs to a couple exercises (pushups & single leg split squats) above my previous performances; legs were in fact really strong and could have added another 10 lbs and made the maximum rep count. However, pull up performance was less than January. I’m not surprised: specific adaptation to imposed demand still rules. That said if I added a set of pushups and chins on Thursday, I’m sure that my performance would quickly improvement.
So today I did another workout like I did on Memorial day (3 days ago) and improved my numbers on the upper body exercises back exactly to where they were in February (Chin, Dip, and Blast Strap Row), while also increasing the reps from my weight vest added pushup. Again, practicing the thing makes you better at the thing, but ARX made me bigger.