How To Cycle Your Weight Training Workouts
Well, it’s Monday, so it must be chest and triceps. It’s a good workout and it always gets us back into the swing of things after a hard weekend. We always do Legs in the middle of the week, so they are fresh for next weekend and we always manage to do either back or arms on Fridays. We’ll fit the rest in when it’s convenient on the other days – “I only train most body parts once every 7 – 9 days, other wise I’ll over-train”. “Ah, it must be time for my next meal” Sounds Familiar?
Oh dear, oh dear. Remember what I said about sheep? Well, sheep always end up getting slaughtered! So it’s time to become a shepherd and lead rather than be led. Take a long hard look at your current training programme and then decide to sit down and write an alternative – something which will be fresh, and most importantly for you, result producing. Next, get used to the idea of changing your training routine on a regular basis of every eight to twelve weeks This will allow your body to successfully undergo something called adaptation to overload.
Stay with the same routine for any longer, and your body will “learn” how to recognise what is coming on the next training day’s agenda. “I can’t keep changing my routine like that” I hear you saying, because after a few times I will have run out of options. Bull… With over 100 good basic weight training exercises to pick from and loads of different programme options, the permutations are endless. “What the hell is this son of a bitch on about” I hear you all shouting. Bodybuilders are always going on about how important it is to get the blood into the muscle, right? The blood gets into the muscle tissues via something called Capillaries (they are small tubes at the end of our arteries) and you can only do that through Pyramiding the weights, right? Wrong! Before an individual trains aerobically, they will have on average around 585 capillaries (small blood tubes) per square millimetre of muscle. But after regular aerobic exercise that number will increase dramatically to approximately 820 capillaries per square millimetre! Is the penny beginning to drop? So, with a few weeks a year of increased aerobic training under your belt, you will have more capillaries to pump the blood into the muscles for your weight-training, which means more nutrients going in, and even better, getting more of the waste products like lactic acid out faster!
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If you really want to reach your maximum potential in any sport, which includes vocations such as body building, don’t just change your training routines every eight to twelve weeks. You must also plan out your training year – (it’s called a Macrocycle) into various cycles, which emphasise different training intensities.
For instance, if you currently stay on a strength training or mass building routine for most of the year, you will have noticed how little new quality gains you are achieving, no matter what you do. This is because of your body’s in-built system to stop “un-naturally high” levels of physical achievement and burn-out. To overcome this problem, professional athletes who are “in-the-know” only train for two or three segments of each training year on their main goals. Whilst the rest of the year, at least of the same amount, is dedicated to supplementary results, such as increased recovery to enhance their sport. Imagine how much you could increase your training intensity, if you could recover from an all-out weight-training set taken to total failure, within thirty seconds! If you are realistic, at the moment it would probably take you more than a minute and a half, so with correct training, you could triple your training intensity without even increasing the weight or sets! Remember what intensity does? It gives results.
To become good at anything, it takes skill coupled to know-how, ie – knowledge. Make sure that you are armed and dangerous with knowledge that works. The more knowledge, the less chance of failure. So why bother sticking to the same routines year in – year out, with little or no chance of any improvement, when you can unleash your real potential. Maybe – just maybe, you could set about doubling your achievements on last year, by setting out a new training strategy for yourself possibly like the one shown below.
Now you can draw up the relevant exercises for each training segment, together with the appropriate sets and repetitions to give you some new focus. Rest periods should be taken each year, at least twice, to allow your body to recover from the demands that you are making on it. These periods are often referred to as Active Rests, which means that rather than doing nothing at all, and begin losing your training results, you undertake exercise which is not the same as you would usually do e.g. swimming, cycling, etc.
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