Jeromy Bryk – @Bryk_Squuaadd
- Work Only as Much As Needed to Make Progress: While it’s true the body can pretty much to adapt to anything time, there is such thing as overkill when it comes to training and in order to make the most efficient progress possible, it’s important to understand how much stimulus our body’s actually need to progress without going overboard. Since every body is different, there is no straight forward formula to find our body’s sweet spot besides being extremely self aware of our body, our body’s progress and how we feel when introduced to different training intensity/volumes. For me, I know I have surpassed my recovery threshold when my training feels stale and my progress begins to stagnate week to week or even regress. You should feel a sort of momentum building from training session to training session if you are using the correct amount of volume/intensity for your body, which will ultimately culminate in more efficient progress!
- Don’t Forget to Plan Decreases in Training Load: Unless you’re a super human (which pretty much none of us are), we cannot expect the body to handle heavy loads day in and day out week after week without needing recovery time. Planned decreases in training load (deloads) are absolutely necessary in continuous progression of training. How frequently this is done depends heavily on your ability to recover and how intensely you are training in general. For example, you may need to deload more frequently if you are training for strength, and keeping the weights up into the 90% range, where as if you are training for hypertrophy you may be able to get away with training harder for longer since there is less strain on the central nervous system. For me personally, I am able to recover rather quickly and like to train 6-7 days a week. However, keep in mind that every day is not what would be considered a heavy day for most powerlifters and I like to decrease either volume or intensity on the 4th week of a 4 week training program (every 3 weeks) as a means of recovery, leaving me feeling strong and recovered when I ramp up volume again. While this system has worked for me, your body may be different and I encourage you to experiment and find your opimum training load.
- Prioritize weaknesses: Want to make some really quick progress? Analyze your weaknesses and attack them. Put them first on your list! Its really easy to get caught up in only doing the exercises and muscle groups that we like to train and are best at, but spending extra time on lagging muscle groups and training them first gives us the best chance to make progress.
- Vary your training stimulus: This one could get really in depth but for the sake of the article I’m going to keep it short and sweet: Change things up! Varying training stimulus can be as detailed as manipulating volume and intensity, or as simple as changing the type of bar you are using in training. Which ever way you choose to change training stimuli, understand that consistent change = more consistent progress. Do not let the body adapt!
- Track Progress, Take Notes: First off I’ll admit it, at times I myself have been incredibly guilty of NOT doing this in the past, getting lazy and not writing down my workouts or taking note of the weights I use in the gym, and it has caused me some difficulty at times. By tracking progress, we are allowing ourselves the opportunity to do a number of things including recognize patterns in training progress including PRs and weights used on main lifts as well as accessory movements, ensuring we are properly from week to week and month to month. Paying attention to the details of training also give us the opportunity to repeat successful training cycles in the future and scrap ones that didn’t work as well, which can actually save a lot of time spinning our wheels in the gym in the long term.
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