06 June, 2008

Design a workout

Be Your Own Trainer & Design Your Own workouts.

Principles that can be used when planning your training cycles:

Cycle Training: this is where you break up your training into bulk cycles, strength cycles and cutting cycles; which will help keep your muscles in a responsive state.

Split Training: this is breaking up your training into separate body parts each workout which allows for shorter and more intense sessions.

Muscle Confusion: your muscles adapt to stress, and ultimately you can reach a plateau. By constantly varying the exercises, weights, sets and reps you can ensure continued adaption.

Progressive Overload: continue to increase different parameters in your training, whether it is more weight, increasing sets and reps, etc.

Eclectic Training: using a variety of methods in your training, combining numerous techniques such as compound and isolation exercises.

Principles that can assist you in arranging each workout:

Supersets: alternating two opposing muscle groups with little rest in between sets.

Giant Sets: performing several exercises for a single muscle group with little rest in between sets.

Muscle Priority: training a weaker body part first in your work out.

Pre-Exhaustion: this is where you perform an isolation exercise preceding a compound exercise, e.g. leg extensions before squats.

Pyramiding: beginning with a lighter weight, gradually increasing weight and lowering reps, then work backwards, decreasing weight and increasing reps.

Stripping: going from a heavy weight, and stripping off weight each set as fatigue sets in.

Principles that can be used with each exercise:

Forced reps: once failure has been reached on a set, your partner assists you in performing additional reps that could not be performed alone.

Continuous tension: maintaining slow continuous tension thru out the rep, which will maximize red muscle fiber recruitment.

Cheating: once failure is reached the weight is swung past your sticking point to complete the movement. (Useful when you do not have a spotter)

Partial reps: as the name implies only part of the full movement is performed, e.g. only curling a barbell half way up, which can be effective due to the varying points of leverage.

Peak contraction: at the completion of a set holding the weight fully contracted for a few seconds.

Super speed: using a lighter weight, reps are performed explosively yet controlled, called “compensatory acceleration”, which can help with white fiber recruitment.

Fredrick C. Hatfield, Fitness: The Complete Guide, 2001.

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