Ever heard the phrase “if nothing changes, nothing changes”? This rings extremely true for a lot of people when it comes to fitness. I see so many women wanting to change their body composition and get the results they really want, but after months at the gym, they aren’t seeing all that much progress.
Here is a typical scenario:
- Woman says she wants to “tone up”
- Focuses on muscle conditioning, keeping her reps high and weight light
- Doesn’t see a whole lot of significant change over a few months
- Doesn’t want to lift heavy because her goal isn’t to build large muscles or increase strength
What’s wrong with this picture?
Following the same rep range, type of exercises and workout for months at a time will lead to a plateau
Let’s say in our example our girl was doing squats with 40 lbs for about 15 reps. She stuck with this rep range and weight for weeks and weeks because she did not want to get bulky.
One day she decided to focus on increasing strength by lifting heavy weight for less reps for a few weeks. She worked her way up to 80 lbs for about 6 reps after a few weeks. Inevitably she will be able to lift heavier at the end of this training phase. After she goes back to doing an endurance phase and wants to stay in a higher rep range, she will be able to lift significantly heavier than her initial 40 lbs squats she did before.
Break your training into phases for best results
Just like other athletes, bodybuilders know well that breaking up their training into phases will lead to the best results. Often it follows the pattern of muscle endurance, hypertrophy, strength and power. These don’t need to be done strictly in this order, and can overlap at any given time depending on the athlete. Your coach or trainer’s job is to create a program that helps you grow in the long term (literally!).
If you have questions or want to start a customized program of your own, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org