The Y44 Workout Method

When I was 15, I was introduced to weight training. It transformed my life then, and it keeps doing so now. I really didn’t know what I was doing then. I just read a lot of magazines and did exercises that made sense. In an era of college football with most weight rooms either less than one thousand square feet or simply nonexistent, I was one of only a few players to take weight training seriously. As I write this article today in 2015 I can proudly say that as a college player 50 years ago my bench was 405, my squat was 505, and my deadlift was 605. I never took steroids, and my only vice was protein shakes.

I have a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in kinesiology. My master’s thesis was on strength training. I was a head football and swimming coach at the high school level before becoming a clinical and sports psychologist 30 years ago. I never stopped working out. In fact, when we added on to our house, my wife allowed me to turn our old master bedroom into a full weight room complete with bench, squat cage, lat machine, leg extension & curl machine, sit up board, treadmill, 550 pounds of free weights, and dumbbells from 10-70. Our house was the hangout for all our son’s teammates. OK, enough background.

In my ignorant youth I was working out 3X/week for about 2 ½-3 hours, which included all body parts. Of course, now we know that is overtraining, but no one told me. I just knew I liked the results. Over the years I’ve tried high reps, super sets, and all the usual workouts. For the most part, they all work if you are consistent. What I can tell you is that at my current age of 68, I can still hold my own in the weight room with men much younger. We all now know that sarcopenia (loss of muscle due to aging) is somewhat inevitable, but it most certainly can be slowed down and delayed by proper workout even in the absence of great amounts of testosterone, as long as protein requirements are met (1.2-1.5 grams/kilo of bodyweight for men and slightly less for women). I stopped doing heavy lifting years ago, but many consider what I lift now to be heavy. Even my teammates from 50 years ago recently made that comment.

High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, has been shown to be the most effective and efficient means of achieving good cardio. So after almost a year of experimentation, I combined HIIT with weights. Please understand that Y44 is a method of working out. You can still do whatever exercises you want, split your workouts, etc. The beauty of Y44 is you only have to do one set of the exercise to get excellent results. In fact, doing more is overtraining. I can almost hear the skeptics now, but please be open-minded. I have turned many skeptics into believers. People have been very pleased with the Y44 method.

If you are a senior or significantly out of weight training shape, please see your doctor and get her or his approval before you attempt the Y44 (I always emphatically recommend getting a full physical before undertaking any new workout regimen). Yes, it’s that intense. This is NOT a beginner’s workout. You also need to make sure your kidneys are functioning properly in order to be able to handle the protein.

The best results from weight training are when you take a muscle to complete exhaustion. Please keep in mind the protein requirements,otherwise this won’t work. Again, keep in mind you can do almost any exercise using the Y44 principle. I say almost because some like flat barbell bench or free bar squats, can not be done this way. If you want to do bench or squats with the Y44 method, a machine is the best choice.

For the purpose of explaining the Y44 method I will use dumbbell bench as an example. Again, this is a method. You can continue whatever exercises you want in combination so long as you give at least 72 hours between working out a specific body part. Okay, let’s do this.

Take whatever weight you can do 8 reps with and cut that in half. As an example, I can comfortably do 8 reps with 100 lbs. dumbbells, so my Y44 set will be with 50’s. I set my timer for 4 minutes. I lie down and do as many reps as I can do until I can’t move, usually somewhere between 21-25,then I sit up. I take exactly 4 breaths, and go back down and repeat the process. I usually am able to get maybe 7-8 reps. I sit up and take another 4 breaths, and back down, this time maybe getting 3-4 reps. I repeat this process until the timer goes off. 4 minutes, 4 breaths equals Y44. This constitutes one set, and that’s all that is needed.

It seems far too simple, especially for those who think you need 5-8 sets. Keep in mind, this is weight training, not bodybuilding. This is more on the order of body sculpting. Oh, yes, and if you don’t think this involves cardio, track your pulse during the workout. Y44 is a hybrid HIIT. As with all weight training, make sure your form is excellent to avoid injuries.

I am not a researcher, so, no, there are no studies versus a control group to point to, and at this point in my career and personal life, I’m just thrilled to get results and share them. I’m happy to let my background speak for itself. I’ll let some graduate assistant or doctoral candidate set the whole thing up, record the results, and do all the various statistical analyses. I would be happy to help.

Just remember it will take you about a month just to get in shape to really attack the Y44 method. As the old legal disclaimer goes, “Results may vary.” By all means email me and tell me I’m crazy. I love to hear all the wonderful results from a fellow crazy.

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