What’s your goal? Do you want to be stronger, bigger or (insert bad ass option here)? It’s ok to have more than one goal, we all have dreams, but let’s keep it simple and one at a time, please! Why? Because, the quickest way to success is to not conflict these goals. For example, you’re training for hypertrophy; so stick to high reps, don’t start 1 rep maxing. Or, you’re focusing on strength; do NOT finish on high rep drop sets. The idea is to keep your muscles on its toes, not confused the hell out of it!
Your next step is to plan your week of training. Are you going to alternate your days between lower body and upper body, are you going to train lower body and upper body together, train in a push/pull fashioned workout? Personally, I love good old muscle group focused workouts (back day, shoulder day, quad day, etc etc). A huge aspect of planning your workout is preempting what may get in the way of your wonderfully planned week of fun! You may prefer working out in the evening, but you know you’re going to have a stressful day at the office? So go in the morning. What’s an hour of sleep in comparison to that fantastic release of endorphins? Or Saturday is full of social events; why not have that as your rest day? Preparing for the worst can help to eliminate negativity as your body has already been desensitised to it. The key to success is to remember the laws of attraction: positive vibes attractive positive things!
So now you have you plan in place, LET’S GO…
WEEK ONE: If you’re using new exercises or working towards a new goal, you won’t need to be giving 200% this week (but for those of you who believe you’re in ‘beast mode’, go ahead, be my guest) as the beginning of a new cycle will contribute towards your goals. I’m not saying stand off, but no-one wants to die in week two!
WEEK TWO: So now you’re familiar with your exercises and layout, you’re confident about the direction you’re heading in, it’s time to step it up a notch!
Strength training: the last thing you want to be doing is removing weight from the bar that you started with in week one. Let’s look to increase weight! Visualise what you want, picture yourself shoulder pressing that 100kg on the bar. Tell yourself “I WILL lift this”, not “Oooh, let’s see how this goes”. Ok, so we’re not all the hulk and goals need to be realistic, but wishful thinking, aye? Block out all your negative thoughts. After all, seeing is believing.
Hypertrophy training; you should be looking to add weight, or add reps, or both! Push through and feel the burn.
WEEK THREE: If this week doesn’t feel like hell, you’re doing something wrong!
Strength training; let’s be looking for new PR’s. 1-3 rep range is fine and if you’re going over these reps, are you really pushing for PR’s? Have you already got too comfortable? And if you’re questioning your efforts, GO HARDER!
Hypertrophy training; let’s absolutely annihilate the muscle and push through until failure. If you can’t get that last set out at your current weight, drop it a little (I mean a little, not a truckload less) and rep it out until failure. Whatever you think is enough, it’s not, keep going!
WEEK FOUR: If you’re body has been destroyed from your three week intensive work, you deserve a well-deserved rest and your feet up on the sofa for a week whilst your gains recovery. I THINK NOT!
For everything that you’ve worked for, you don’t want to see this slip away. You should still be maintaining the same weights used in week three, but reduce the volume of work by 20-30%. This will most likely come in the form of fewer sets.
This training cycle, your four week period, is also known as your mesocycle. In order to put together your next plan of attack, you need to address your weaknesses, but make use of your strengths.
TIPS OF THE DAY:
- If you’re following one mesocycle of strength, followed by a second cycle of strength (or vice versa), don’t get lazy. CHANGE THE EXERCISES! Keep it fresh. Gains were not created by remaining in your comfort zone.
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF… Visualise what you want to be. Let your imagination run wild. Write down your goals and commit to them. Your mind is more powerful than you believe!
Power Moves Fitness
Mondey, F. (2008). Motivation: How To Achieve Your Goals. Retrieved from: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/fawnia31.htm
Polyquin Group. (2014). Tips to achieve goals by planning ahead and visualising obstacles. Retrieved from:http://www.lifestylebypoliquin.com/Lifestyle/BodyMind/735/Tips_to_Achieve_Goals_by_Planning_Ahead_and_Visualizing_Obstacles.aspx
Rhonda Byrne. (2006). The Secret. Australia: Atria Books.
T-Nation. (2016). Your Best Month Of Training EVER. Retrieved from: https://www.t-nation.com/training/your-best-month-of-training-ever