It is unfortunate that most guys venture into the gym without having as much as a plan by which they will train. They saunter into the gym and select to train the muscle groups that they feel like training on that particular day. They have no idea that they are training themselves into injury and ineffectual gains. Another sad observation is that these guys usually tend to use the same weights indefinitely. They do not seem to understand the principle of progressive overload in training. It is as if they have no set goals in as far as gaining muscle is concerned. Well, it is hoped that all athletes, amateurs and professionals alike can adopt really progressive training methods. This article is intended to give an idea of this training scheme.
The gist of this training scheme is based on the fact that the body can only handle a certain amount of stress in a particular period. This means that at a certain time the body will simply refuse to grow further no matter how well you are eating and no matter how focused your training is. The seasoned bodybuilders have always taken this fact into account and as such they have come up with a sort of periodical training program that allows them to reap the most from optimal training periods. This sort of training has been coined ‘periodization training’. It is done in cycles. After one cycle (each normally lasts 8-16 wks) the body is allowed adequate time to rest and recuperate.
Periodization training for weightlifting/weight training can be feasibly done for compound exercises including shoulder presses, the squats, the bench presses and the dead-lifts. Below is a sample of such a periodical training structure:
1st week: In the first week you should let the body adapt to the workout. Do not use heavy weights and you should not get to your maximum capacity. Keep the weights in the range of 65% of your maximum capacity. The last set should involve about seven reps at the stipulated weight.
2nd week: There should be some progress in as far as the weight capacity is involved. We are still not gong for the maximums. The weight ceiling should be 70% of the max and the final set at this weight should be six reps.
3rd week: Again we are still not going for the maximum. At this juncture you should increase the weight to 80% of your max. The final set at this weight should have a maximum of 5 repetitions.
4th week: This will be a complete turn-around. You will be required to drop back the weight capacity to 60% of the max lift. The number of sets should increase to six reps.
5th week: Here you will be required to increase the weight capacity to 85% of the max capacity. It will also mean that you decrease the number of reps per set to 4.
6th week: 75% of max lift. Last set = 5 reps
7th week: 80% of max lift. Last set = 4 reps
8th week: 85% of max lift. Last set = 3 reps
9th week: 70% of max lift. Last set = 4 reps
10th week: 90-95% of max lift. Last set = 2 reps
After this cycle you can break for about two weeks. It is absolutely important that you do so. When you resume you can start on another cycle using heavier weights. This will bring further strength and development.
Dane Fletcher is the world’s most prolific bodybuilding and fitness expert and is currently the executive editor for BodybuildingToday.com. If you are looking for more bodybuilding tips or information on weight training, or supplementation, please visit www.BodybuildingToday.com, the bodybuilding and fitness authority site with hundreds of articles available FREE to help you meet your goals.
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