Training Tips from Richard Clarke of Advanced Sports Performance
We enter the gym….AGAIN…. my friend is training hard and it is going well for him, he is happy, he has had some great gains in size and strength (lucky git). He does his favourite exercise and uses 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions. But recently he seems to have hit a plateau, he is stuck, he’s not going anywhere. His motivation is low because of this and he feels like sometimes he is going through the motions with his training (lazy git). Sound familiar? We will all start training with weights at some point; and we will get some good results, then 6-8 weeks down the line, the initial results have slowed or stopped, then nothing. WHY????
Well, in this article I’m going to tell you why!! You will learn what type of weight training is best for you, and how to plan your training to get more consistent results.
Firstly, let’s look at it again. Our friend is doing the same thing year on year and week in week out; he makes some fantastic gains and then comes to a complete stop! The reason is simple, HE IS NOT PLANNING!!!! Plan for the year, PERIODISE/PLAN your training. Now I know what you’re thinking what does he mean by periodise (that’s something the missus has!), that’s for athletes isn’t it? the answer is no! Jo blogs should PLAN and periodise their training, to maximise their results.
So why periodise? So let’s go back to our friend, they start training every year and make some results then they get to about week 6 and they feel the motivation starts to slip and so do the results. WHY? It’s because we do the same thing year on year, week in week out, the same 3 sets 10-12 reps.
So why do we stop getting results? When we train, our bodies adapt to a stimuli, that stimuli would be the weight used during our training sessions. Now if we don’t change the stimuli our bodies won’t progress. It would be difficult to keep increasing the weight by sticking to the same 3×10-12. So how do we change?
We play the numbers game!!!!
The numbers game is an easy way to plan our training, the 3 sets of 10-12 reps are very common numbers but what about 4 sets of 6-8 reps or 5 sets 1-3. They all have a place in a planned training programme. Now like I mentioned earlier a body adapts to a stimuli and in this incidence the stimuli we are referring to is the weight lifted. So what does the numbers above mean?
12-15 reps = Endurance
8-12 reps = Hypertrophy (muscle mass increase)
3-8 reps = strength
1-3 = Max strength
So now we know with each rep range what we can achieve, so what about sets? Now it’s generally accepted that as we decrease the reps we increase the sets and vice versa. Some examples of sets and rep ranges are given below.
Putting it All Together
The plan will take you through a 12 month cycle to infinity (and beyond!), it works using 6 week blocks and as you can see the plan is progressive and very user friendly. The progressive nature of the programme allows you to maintain a constant change throughout the year and change is good, like they say “Routine is the Enemy” and with change we keep growing. Now all you guys need to do is apply the information to your specific situation.
Always do 6 weeks of Each “Set Pattern”
Start of January – February – 6 weeks of 2 x 15 reps
Mid February – March – 6 weeks of 3 x 10-12 reps
Start of April – May – 6 weeks of 4 x 6-8 reps
Mid May – June – 6 weeks of 5 x 3-5 reps
Start of July – August – 6 weeks of 2 x 15 reps
Mid August – September – 6 weeks of 3 x 10-12 reps
Start of October – November – 6 weeks of 4 x 6-8 reps
Mid November – December – 6 weeks of 5 x 3-5 reps
This represents a much more efficient training programme, it will enhance motivation help to avoid tedium and enables the greatest opportunities to get the best out of exercising.