Wait, actually it’s pretty much nighttime as I write this. Of course I had an amazing sleep the other night, because last night (err tonight?) I tossed and turned until 4:00 in the morning, and finally called it quits. Lucky for me, I have a fairly easy day schedule-wise, so I decided to get some work done now – and publish this post (and pin an incessant amount of paleo and gluten-free desserts that I want to try…ahem) with my online clients, and then I can nap later
For now, I’ll just power through and enjoy a nice little 5:00 a.m. breakfast!
This picture was actually from yesterday – as there’s absolutely no natural light right now that I could have taken that picture. But I’m having the same thing, minus the plain yogurt, plus coconut butter. I’m also sipping from my new Aries mug (which was in my care package from Florida –yay!)
Anyway, I think I’ve just got a lot on my mind lately, which I kind of unloaded to Kim about last night.
Speaking of – I had the pleasure of meeting up with Kim last night at this amazing martini bar and restaurant here in town. She and her husband go there religiously, so she introduced me to all the goodness that it had to offer. I didn’t even think to snap a single picture – we were literally chatter boxing it up the entire time – love) but I had an incredibly delicious (and incredibly dangerous) gin martini, we shared the most succulent plate of mussels and chorizo I’ve ever had, and the best part – I had the company of the lovely Kim. We spent a couple hours talking about Colorado, our histories, and well, beer. Kim and her husband know so much about beer, and she was able to tell me all everything I needed to know about the local breweries. Lots of fun Kim, we need to have a brewery date asap!
Then I came home worked on some training plans, and mindlessly (oops) munched on trail mix for the remainder of the night.
Can’t get enough of those dried cherries!
So today I want to talk about something that every solid resistance training program should have. A few months ago, several of clients signed up at the same time. This means that, with a week or so variance, I’m creating several new programs for these clients every 4-5 weeks, or utilizing…
Whether I’m training a client online, in person – and in my own training – I make sure to write a new program before the body is fully adapted to the current workout program. This is to keep the body stimulated and to avoid plateaus. What may have been working excellently for the past few weeks, might not be working so great now. In reality, the body is just doing its job of adapting to the stress that’s been put on it.
So now what?
Now it needs new stressors, or a new challenge or stimulus – through periodization. Through periodization, we change the training program to keep the body working hard.
How can you change the workout stimulus?
There are numerous criteria one can change in a fitness routine in order to place a new stimulus on the body. These criteria include, but are not limited to:
- Rep range
- Rest periods
- Exercise format, or order
By changing the criteria of the resistance training program through periodization, individuals will see greater results toward their goals. In fact, studies show that utilizing periodization produced double the results in % body fat loss, lean muscle gained, leg press strength increase, and bench press strength increase. That is reason enough to switch up the program you’re on every so often (but not too often.)
(ACE’s Integrated Fitness Training model)
Additionally, periodization keeps the workouts fresh, fun, and goal-oriented. Most importantly, it keeps boredom at bay.
When most people think of periodization, and switching up the program, they automatically think about resistance training. But it’s also important to periodize your cardiovascular workouts for the same reasons – to put a new stimulus on your body, so that it’s able to keep being challenge and progressing.
For example, if you’ve been using the treadmill for speed intervals for the past couple of months, it might be time to start incorporating some hills through incline. Or perhaps switching over to the stair climber for a new workout altogether.
So, when should you periodize your workouts?
Well, there’s really no one definitive answer here. Depending on your program, how your body specifically reacts – and adapts- to that program, and doing regular assessments can help determine this. However, periodization can be every 4-5 weeks, and up to every 12 weeks.
For my clients (both online and in the gym,) I typically do check-ins or assessments every 4-5 weeks. Then I determine if it’s time to switch programs, and the client usually is. For example, if they started on an anatomical adaptation program, after 4-5 weeks it might be time to switch to a strength program, and then an endurance program, and so on!
I’ll go ahead and stop there, because it just gets more confusing from here on out, and I don’t want to lose any of you guys from boredom
Oh, and perfect timing! It looks like the sun is beginning to make it’s way over to this side of the country, haha. But before I go, several readers have taken advantage of the January promotions I’m running for online personal training. Just a reminder that you can still take advantage of one of the four promotions I’m running (listed HERE) until January 14th!
Do you follow a program when you workout?
If so, how often do you switch up your program?