Performing the same weight training routine will make each workout session less and less effective. Evey gym I have been to I see same people doing the same workouts week after week, and month after month. While I don’t know the exact details of their workout, I see these people never changing their workouts and thus never changing their bodies.
You can change many variables in your workouts. Reps, Volume, Tempo, Rest Time, etc. You can also arrange your workout in Supersets, Compound Sets, Tri-sets, Circuits, or many other variations. You can even apply some of what I call “old school techniques” like drop sets, burn outs, negatives, and forced reps. Changing acute variables is extremely important, but they must be changed systematically and to specifically benefit your body.
Think Phases (periodization)
When I first started personal training, I altered one or two small variables when my clients started getting accustomed to their workout programs. Although they continued to lose fat and gain muscle, the big change happened when I altered multiple variables resulting in a new phase of training. Let’s say all of your weight training routines have been 3 sets of 12, 1-2 exercises per muscle group, moderate speed or tempo, and 1 minute rest time (muscular endurance phase). You could change one of these variables or you could change them all and train in an entirely different phase. Typically, I move my clients into a completely different phase every 4-6 weeks so results are always achieved and plateaus never occur.
· Muscular Endurance
· Maximal Strength
These are the basic phases used in many training programs, each with their own set of specific variables and concepts. Of these phases, muscular endurance and hypertrophy are most commonly used by the average gym goer. Whatever your goals may be, training into an entirely different phase will help you increase results. If you tend to be in the muscular endurance phase (the one described above), then you might consider moving into the hypertrophy phase followed by a light power phase (if physically qualified to do so). Both phases will make you exercise entirely different which will allow you to burn more calories, add muscle, and increase athletic performance. The phases listed above are the basic phases in a periodization program. There are other less common phases, sub phases, and combined phases can be used for specific results as well.
Read part 2 to learn more about the specifics of each phase. (soon to come)