Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How to Plan Your Workouts

So we all know the phrase of "changing up your workouts" right? How do we do that? What does someone's life look like if they want to continually improve physically without plateauing?

Well, the word really is called periodization. It means change. We have to have enough of it in order to improve our body's potential, basically. There are cycles called macrocycle, microcycle, and mesocycle. I'm not going to go into detail too much on these unless asked but they all contain different intensity and time period cycles similar to an athletes season. Pre-season, season, off season or post-season.

It is important to not only change the type of workout but change the intensity of your workouts to allow your body rest and recovery. For example, if I do a very difficult workout on Wednesday then I don't want to necessarily kill myself the next 2 days in a row as well. I want to space a less intense workout one of those days to allow my body recovery time and switching the type of workout will provide different benefits for my body.

Here's my current plan of exercise which might help you figure out what you'd like to plan for yourself. Remember that you won't achieve anything if you don't make goals for yourself. So hitting your workouts without a plan won't be as effective as planning what you're going to do and why you're doing it.

Last 3 months (one cycle) WEIGHTS
1st month
-building overall strength using heavier weights and reps 10-12 with a couple sets of each exercise. 3 breakdown sets at the end of each workout (3 very slow reps to breakdown my muscle fibers and build more muscle)
- Weights 3 days a week, cardio 1-2 days a week, abs 1 day a week

2nd Month
- Increasing weight load to improve absolute strength with 6-8 reps max and a couple sets each exercise
- Exercises are concentrated on one muscle at a time
- Weights 3 days a week, cardio 1-2, abs 1 day a week, stretching extra 1-2 days a week
- Breakdown set starting halfway through workout at the end of each exercise to build more muscle

3rd Month
- Fine tuning muscle tone and transforming the body with more breakdown sets after every single exercise.
- Each workout focusing on 2 or 3 specific muscles (biceps and triceps for one workout)
- Reps back to 10-12 in a set but heavier weight than 1st month
- More upper and lower body exercises at the same time to work on the core and improve overall fitness level
- cardio 1-2 days a week, abs 1 day, extended stretching 1-2 days a week

-------------------------------------- 1 Week Break to Recover--------------------------------------------
Doing a light weight workout, cardio workout, abs and extended stretching several days

-------------------------------------- New Cycle--------------------------------------------------------------

Cardio 3 Months
- this will consist of 3-4 days high intensity cardio and kickboxing
- 1 day a week ab training
- 1 day a week weight training
- Each month will change focus from HIIT workouts (shorter and higher intensity; 15-25 minute) to more steady workouts (little longer with moderate intensity; 30-60 minute)

--------------------Then it will be break time for a week again--------------------------

------------------------------------------------New Cycle--------------------------------------------------------------

Mix of cardio and weights at a lower-moderate intensity

Hopefully this helps you with figuring out what kind of plan you make up for yourself. The programs I'm using are in this order as follows...ChaLEAN Extreme, Turbo Fire, Turbo Jam workouts. Then I will probably move to Rev Abs and Insanity. Then I will start over with ChaLEAN Extreme....these workouts get me through over a year of different programs. Plus I may take up running during the summer which would change my workout plans and I would develop a more cardio workout plan during that time to include running, biking, jumprope, and a lot of plyometric exercises (using your own body weight) because I can do all those out doors and I can't wait for summer!!!!

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