How your volume and intensity can affect your growth and development!
I remember, long were the days of aimlessly training for the pump or the burn. Typically utilizing high reps in a multitude of angles, across what seems like endless exercises. Neglecting to increase weight, short rest periods, bad recruitment patterns and sloppy repetitions with little change from week to week. Determined to brute force my way to a better, stronger body in spite my lack of a programming. Through my experiences with myself and the training ofI have noticed that many clients especially men have fallen into the same rut. Usually swayed by bro science and mimicking the actions of fellow bros in the gym. Additionally, following ideas from their old high school football days, neglecting how their body has changed or neglecting proper progression. The two most important elements of physical fitness are the principles of individual differences progressive overload.
In relation to individual difference, this principle is used to defined the fact that no one diet fits everyone’s lifestyle or genetic makeup. If you ever wondered how 21 days and start work so well for your friend unless you lower energy and heavier than you were when you began could be defined as a case of individual difference. Your lifestyle, your genetics, your routine, does not fit optimally within the program thus optimal results were not met. Same is true for your exercise program. Just as you could be a 170-pound novice bench pressing 135 pounds max. There are individuals who are the same weight but can max out at twice their bodyweight. It would be lunacy for me to give the same program to someone of that caliber and also the other 170-pound novice. However, if you were to look on something like a bodybuilding.com you would see programs that would assume that all are equal. Assuming all who are viewing are the same caliber ignoring the principle of individual difference.
In order for you or anyone else to develop a program that will work for you must understand your shortcomings, your strengths and where they come from. In addition, a good understanding of your likes and dislikes. Gone are the days of cookie-cutter coaching and cookie-cutter programming. For me as a fitness professional, I must understand the ins and outs of my clientele emotionally physically and on a dietary level. You must also do the same for yourself. If you absolutely despise a particular exercise or a way of eating that your coach or yourself makes the foundation for your program. How long the last on that program? Before designing your own program or accepting another. Look inward and understand where you stand as of now and be able to come to terms with your likes and dislikes and be able to inform your coach unabridged.
If you have read this far is completely obvious that you want to improve, you want to develop, you want to move forward in every way you train. To put it shortly, you want to progress. You can only do so under the principle of progressive overload. Progressive overload in its most basic rudimentary form is exerting more effort than your body previously thought possible with a load higher than ever before. To put this in terms of weight training for optimal chest growth utilizing the barbell bench press. The program would run similar to this.
Week 1 Barbell Bench Press 185lb 4 x 3
Week 2 Barbell Bench Press 185lb 6 x 3
Week 3 Barbell Bench Press 190lb 4 x 3
Week 4 Barbell Bench Press 190lb 6 x 3
Now progressive overload should incorporate manipulation of volume and intensity. In other words, the weight used and having repetitions performed with a particular weight. An easy linear system of progression would look a lot like the scheme laid out above. Work with particular weight preferably 85% of your 1 rep max tell you can with correct form perform six repetitions. By that point the intensity has become easy for the amount of volume that you wish to use so then we increase the intensity. We almost always increase intensity by adding weight to the bar in 5-pound increments. You can also change the intensity by shortening rest periods or making bigger jumps in the weight used.As a beginner, you most likely be able to progress through a linear system like this for at least the first year. Obviously, if we could all continue week after week adding 5 pounds to the bar we would all be benching 1000 pounds in a few years. The reason why that is not the case is as your body becomes more adaptive and resilient to the stimulus of weight training in this case, bench pressing. The time it takes to progress becomes longer requiring more manipulation of the muscle groups by the change of intensity, change of volume, and even change in exercises for the particular group. Methods to adapt beyond a plateau also include utilization of dropsets, supersets, periodic deload weeks, periodic heavy load weeks, and so on
The following of defined principles of fitness always will ensure a stimulating and profitable fitness journey. I invite you to look at your current program or lack thereof and assess if you are following these principles and if not make an immediate and definite change to the way you train or train others.