When you look at training for the gym, do you go into the gym with a plan? What about what you have planned for the next month or 6 months? Have you looked at what training you are going to be doing in 2 years?
When you think about your gym training it is very important to go into it with a plan. Professional athletes normally have a 4-year plan in place to develop their skills and fitness for their sport or event. Why shouldn’t you for your fitness goals? or at least a 6-month plan.
This is where periodization of training and planning becomes important. I have seen over the years people doing the same thing in the gym week in and week out for years. Why? It is a Habit, becomes comfortable, feels safe, is do-able, only equipment I know how to use. The only reason I can think of that you should do the same programme is if you are at the fitness level that you desire.
I would suggest that you start off simple and come up with a weekly exercise plan, but be SMART about it. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Related) It can really help to zone in on what you would like to acheive.
Make your weekly training plan specific to your fitness goal, find a way to measure your progress and make the weekly plan. Be sure that it is something that you can do each week be relevant to the latest research and set a time that you will keep this programme (8 weeks max.).
It becomes important that once you have created your goal and are doing your 8-week programme that you start to look at your bigger plan either building from your 8-week programme. In my experience, most beginners train either in phase 4 or 1 for long periods of time. However, all these phases develop on the phases above and below them. If you have the endurance then you can develop that endurance into being able to lift more for the right amount of time to grow your muscles. Read this for information on hypertrophy training. Then having developed more muscle mass then your strength will increase with the right training. Once your strength increases then your power will improve as your Strength is the force in the formula below.
Power = Force x Speed
Once you have increased your power then endurance will be at a new level for you to start afresh or you be able to increase the amount of muscle mass and this will increase your total calorie allowance. (Muscle Mass and CV are the only ways to increase you TDEE and BMR)
These stages are only the beginning, you can take away different aspects from each stage a create different or unique stages. It is useful after an injury to do this or if you have two different goals, for example, increasing muscle mass on the upper body and running a 10km in the same time frame.
This form of planning is what most PT’s and advanced gym goers use to make sure that they are always progressing in the gym and therefore getting closer to their current goal.
When you create a periodization plan then you will need to break these macro-cycles into micro-cycles. What this means is breaking down your larger plan related to your goal into smaller weekly to monthly steps.
A Macro-Cycle is a phase of training found in the periodization template of a programme design.
These micro-cycles should be used to make your body think. You can use all the standard methods used to confuse your body.
These methods cause your body to adapt and change. This cause your body to progress and develop. If you use this to create a plan that will fit into your current training programme plus having the right nutrition. I can guarantee that you will either get out of that Plato or see some real progress in the gym.
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