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One of the biggest contributors to a successful exercise programs is change. Often times, exercise enthusiasts get caught up doing the same routine, the same way, over and over again. Then they are surprised when they consult a trainer and say “ I just don’t understand why I’ve plateaued with this workout. I’ve been doing it for years and have always had good results.” and the trainer replies “duh..”! Even without periodizing your lifting routines you still need to acknowledge that change needs to happen often; about every 3-4 weeks actually.
So a key word of advice, accept change and embrace the benefits. It can be difficult to continue to change your routines but here are some variables that can be changed to help you along the way.
- Choice of exercise- Multiple joint or single/isolation. You get a greater metabolic demand, higher hormonal response, and requires a more complex neural activation and involvement from multiple joint exercises.(Kramer) That being said, don’t feel compelled to stay loyal to just one type of exercise all the time.
- Order and structure
- Volume-Multiple set exercises are on debate but that can be to your advantage for now. Ranging from 4-30 reps or 1-4 sets. The possibilities are endless!
- Intensity- Go big or go home can be a fine line right here, play with it.
- Tempo-Fast twitch muscle fibers get 2x larger than slow twitch fibers. An average persons muscle fibers can grow 20-45% times in size. Fast HIIT training, super slow lifting, isometrics, sprints, slow long distance and so on.
- Overload progression
- Rest duration-Typically no longer than 4 minutes regardless of the weight bearing exercise thats being done but that still gives room to alter it 0-4 minutes in between sets.
As you can see there are many changes that can take place to keep you fresh in your routines. I know what your thinking “I don’t have time to mess with all these changes and stay up on new fitness equipment and routines!” And the answer to that is hire a personal trainer to do it for you.