Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An 8 Week Training Cycle

Most people cycle their training by using different rep ranges, exercises, sequence of exercises, volume, etc. and they all can work. I have found for myself (and others) that cycling frequency can work very well without changing any other factors. Take the following as an example:

Weeks 1&2: 3 full-body workouts
Weeks 3&4: 2 full-body workouts
Weeks 5&6: upper/lower body split
Weeks 7&8: 1 full-body workout

Weeks 1 and 2 are straight forward, non-consecutive workouts performing exercises that work the whole body. If compound movements are used, a total of 5-10 hard sets per session will suffice. If possible, do not do any intense conditioning work on the off days but feel free to recreate.

Weeks 3 and 4 are again straight forward in that these 2 weeks are giving you just a little more rest between strength training days since you are strength training twice each week. You can throw in an intense conditioning day if you'd like and again, feel free to recreate.

Weeks 5 and 6 have you splitting your workouts up into upper and lower days done over 3 non-consecutive days. This will have you performing 2 upper and 1 lower workout the first week and 2 lower and 1 upper workout the following week.
Depending on what your full body workout looks like, you may be only doing a couple exercises for the lower body. To make the trip to the gym worth while, you can include any direct abdominal and lower back work to this day if it makes sense to your overall program. On lower body day you may want to throw in a handful of intervals via the bike, running, elliptical, whatever works for you

Weeks 7 and 8 have you strength training only once a week - giving you 6 days of rest from strength training. Throw in 1-2 intense conditioning days but focus on recovery.

Fred Fornicola