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Finding a workout plan that suits you can be a tricky but for a good reason, the process takes time and effort since picking the wrong program can hinder your progress towards your fitness goal. Random workout plans online usually aren't the greatest since it will not be mapped with you in mind. Workouts programs should consider your age, experience, goals, muscle imbalances, and PRs.
Furthermore, a plan needs to always push your body by increasing volume or intensity, walking into the gym and doing the same movements won't get you far. Your body is very adaptable, it adapts most quickly to rep ranges, so a program that is continually changes rep range and applies new stress is key to muscle building and fat burning.
The day I discovered how to plan and calculate my workouts based on my goals was a significant turning point for my body — reading many articles, watching videos and reading books on the topic. Here are three core programs based on your experience and goals. I suggest after reading this article pick a plan that lines up with your goal and research it more.
Linear Periodization is very simple, changing the volume, rest, tempo, and intensity over some Mesocycles (one to three months). It is best for beginners and for anyone rehabbing an injury.
You increase the amount of weight you lift during each consecutive workout, while at the same time decreasing the number of reps. For example, you will be doing 4 sets of 12 reps in the first month, then in month two would be 4 sets of 10 reps, month three would be 4 sets 8 reps and month four would be 4 sets of 6 reps.
All you want to do is increase weight every workout adding 5-10 pounds for lower body and 5 pounds for the upper body; allowing you to build a solid foundation of strength while not focusing on one type of skill, it can build speed, endurance, and power.
- Week 1-4: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Week 5-8: 4 x 8
- Week 9-12: 4 x 6
- Week 13-16: 4 x 5
- Week 17-20: 4 x 3
- Week 21-24: 3 x 2
Undulating Periodization has gained popularity recently; it is the next plan after you have hit a wall with linear training. Aimed for beginners and intermated lifters. Based on Han Seyle’s theory, he describes the bodies reaction to long term and short term stress.
This periodization varies the strain on your body on a daily or weekly basis. This forces your body to undergo new stress continually not allowing your muscle of fully adapt or get suitable with your training. It is a constant cycle of applying new stress, recovery, and then implementing different stress. It is simple but will hold your body in a continual state of growth by merely manipulating the volume and intensity in your workouts. You change the rep range simultaneously with tweaking the weight, each movement is trained at least twice a week but by varying rep ranges the body is never allowed to adapt to the workout.
- Legs—Monday (lightweight/high reps), Thursday (heavy weight/low reps)
- Back—Tuesday (lightweight/high reps), Friday (heavy weight/low reps)
- Chest—Wednesday (lightweight/high reps), Saturday (heavy weight/low reps)
Concurrent Periodization merely is training to achieve multiple goals at the same time. Meant for athletes intermediate and advanced. Typically concurrent periodization is run within a week period.
This means that during the next seven days, you will be performing specific volume training work aimed at improving hypertrophy (muscle building), lower rep work aimed at increasing big lift strength, low reps in 1-5 range focusing of power, and a high rep range of 15-25 focused on endurance. You will not be performing the same workout, exercises, and rep ranges over and over again.
- Week 1: Strength/Power Work. All workouts this week will be done in the low rep ranges of 1 to 6 reps per set.
- Week 2: Hypertrophy Work. All workouts this week will be done in the muscle-building rep range of 6 to 12 reps per set.
- Week 3: Endurance Work. All workouts this week will be done in the higher rep range of 20-25+ reps per set.
- Week 4: Strength/Power Work
- Week 5: Hypertrophy Work
- Week 6: Endurance Work