Efficient Exercise: Intensity and the CZT machine

Last week, I stopped into the Efficient Exercise training studio here in Austin, TX to run through a workout with trainers Keith Norris and Skyler Tanner. They put me on the CZT machines. Here’s the video of me doing my best to fight the machine!

Efficient is definitely a word I would use to describe this workout. Also intense! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in my life in the gym. With each exercise, there is a digital gauge on the screen that tells you how much weight you are pushing, pulling, or lifting. I did 6 reps on 4 exercises. With the first rep, it was easy to give it my all and watch that gauge shoot up to the maximum. But with each successive rep, it became much harder to get anywhere close to that first rep.

Some of this is definitely mental. When doing a shoulder press, for example, on the way down you can literally just let the machine overtake you and relax- or keep pushing all the way until it’s all the way down. This is one thing that makes it different from free weights. It can be far more intense (as it was for me) than just picking up a couple of dumbbells, but this workout is not strictly for people who are already fit! It’s also perfect for someone who is not ready for much weight at all, since this is all about effort, and not amount of weight.

Also, a huge advantage of the CZT is no weights to stack or unload! My least favorite part of strength training.

I love the whole concept of this workout. There wasn’t a ton of rest between each exercise, so I was done with everything in less than 20 minutes. In talking to Skylar and Keith, I learned that this is not a workout you would want to do every other day (thankfully!). Some people will do this once a week as their only workout, or once every two weeks in combination with other exercises. There’s lots of ways to benefit from the CZT, it all depends on your goals and the amount of time you have.

So the outcome? Well, immediately after the workout I felt a bit beat up! I was then as hungry as a horse the rest of the evening, but after eating probably 1000 calories (1/2 a chicken, veggies, fruit, and nuts), I oddly felt a lot of energy the rest of the night. I was slightly sore the next day, and even a little more sore 2 days later, but overall I felt like I got a lot of “bang for my buck”.

Long live efficiency in exercise!