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How To Change Your Training Routine Each Month For Better Results

What you don’t want to do with your training routine is either stay on it for too long or change it too frequently. When it comes to structuring your own training routine and program it’s important to find your sweet spot.

Most peoples sweet spot is going to be between 4-6 weeks.

What happens when you stay on your routine/program for too long:

You hit the ceiling for your potential on that training routine that you’ve been on for more than 2-3 months. You can no longer get fitter, faster or stronger. It’s crazy to think that some people wouldn’t get bored or even start to think about changing their routine before then but we hear about it happening all the time.

Your body stops changing.

What happens when you keep changing your routine too often:

You don’t allow enough time for strength and fitness adaptations to take place. You change your workout every week. You never repeat the same workout for consecutive weeks; one week you’re doing a Deadlift for 10 reps; the next week you’re doing a Deadlift for 5 reps; or worse you’re jumping from class to class hoping for the best.

You can’t track and measure your results here; you’re always playing a guessing game.

At the staying on your routine for too long scenario you have to shift from being a lazy bones to realising that it will take some thought and effort to structure your new training routine (which we’re going to fully explain how to below).

At the changing your routine too often scenario you have to stop chasing endorphins (changing everything week to week) and begin to start focusing on performance; which is going to be more calculated and maybe boring.

Steps To Changing Your Routine Monthly:

1. Understand Accumulation Vs Intensification Phases

In the world of strength and conditioning for sports we break up training phases in accumulation phases and intensification phases. Accumulation phases you can think of as building your fitness, skill level, higher reps, lower rest, less sets and training more for fat loss and muscle hypertrophy. In intensification phases you’re purposely giving your body a much needed rest from the accumulation phase to do more pure strength work; lower reps, more sets and longer rest times.

Each phase compliments the other.

This is where magazine workouts and group training falls down. They are so focused on grabbing attention with fancy workouts and high tempo disco music that they don’t take into consideration where your body is at and what it needs next.

There are people that have been training in accumulation phases for more than a year and they wonder why they’re not getting results and wonder why even though they exercise and train they still don’t have amazing energy or sex drive.

The magic of alternating between phases of accumulation and intensification is that first you get to build up your fitness and shred some unwanted body-fat if needed and second is that you get to rest your body and work on building pure strength that you can then take into your next accumulation phase where you will be stronger.

2. Structure Your Week

This is going to be based on your goals, how many days training your can commit to, what you need to focus on and of course scheduling in rest days. As a general rule you always want to do more pulling movements rather than pushing movements for postural balance. If you’re training for pure aesthetics you should take into consideration lagging body parts but also not neglect postural balance.

4 Days Training for Female Fat Loss might look like this:

DayTrainingNutrition
MondayShoulders & BackTraining Day
TuesdayLegs A (Squat Focused)Training Day
WednesdayComplete RestRest Day
ThursdayBack, Shoulders & ArmsTraining Day
FridayLegs B (Posterior Chain Focused)Training Day
SaturdayActive Rest (Hike, Walk, Class)Rest Day
SundayComplete RestRest Day

4 Days Training for Men’s Fat Loss might look like this:

DayTrainingNutrition
MondayChest, Back & BicepsTraining Day
TuesdayLegs A (Squat Focused)Training Day
WednesdayComplete RestRest Day
ThursdayShoulders, Back & TricepsTraining Day
FridayLegs B (Posterior Chain Focused)Training Day
SaturdayActive Rest (Hike, Walk)Rest Day
SundayComplete RestRest Day

3. Exercise Selection & Rep Ranges for Accumulation & Intensification Phases

Now that you have a fair idea of what phase you need to train in to push through a plateau and get better results it’s all about putting it together in a program. Below is a general guide for reps, sets and rest times for each phase and also notes for what you can include:

PhaseRepsSetsRest Time (Sec)
Accumulation7+3-445-90
Intensification1-65+90-120+

E.g. of an Accumulation Phase for Chest, Back & Biceps (Men)

Focus here would be on getting stronger each weeks but also strictly sticking to shorter rest times, getting a pump and training through lactic acid.

OrderExerciseRepsSetsTempoRest
A1Incline DB Press8-104401060
A2Pronated Chin Up Machine8-104401060
B1Flat DB Press10-124301060
B2Seated Row – V Bar10-124301060
C1Standing Cable Flys12-154301060
C2Cable Lat Pullovers12-154301060
DEZ Bar Curl – Pronated12-154301060

E.g. of an Intensification Phase for Legs B Posterior Chain (Women)

Focus here would be on solely getting stronger and having longer rest times. Should be able to get stronger faster week-by-week on intensification program compared to an accumulation program.

OrderExerciseRepsSetsTempoRest
A1Deadlift4-65401060
A2Neutral Grip Chin Ups4-654010120
B1Romanian BB Deadlift5-75301060
B2Seated Row w 1/4 Rep @ Belly5-753012120
C45 Deg Hyper Extension10-124301060

4. Plan Ahead Of Time To Save Time

You don’t need to spend hours planning your training phases, you can do a brief outline today to start giving yourself confidence in moving forward with your training goals.

Month 1: Accumulation (10-12 Reps with 3-4 Sets)

Focus: Improving my squat range, mobility, dropping body-fat and increasing fitness.

Month 2: Intensification (5-7 Reps with 5-6 Sets)

Focus: Improving my squat strength and every other major lift without getting injured.

Month 3: Accumulation (12-15 Rep with 4-5 Sets)

Focus: Improve my lagging muscle parts so I’m looking on point.

A note on cardio: In the beginning see cardio as fun and not a means to an end with your training goals especially if you’re training for aesthetics. It can help keep your body composition down combined with a good nutrition regime. If you’ve got the time to go for a run or do a class go for it as long as it doesn’t take away from the quality of your training performance.

5. Train Hard & Track Your Progress

To reap the benefits of both Accumulation and Intensification training phases you do have to train hard or at least put in effort. Training hard doesn’t mean Olympic quality intensity, training hard is individual based and how you perceive you’re training in your workout.

That’s going to be different for everyone.

As a general rule, train like a robot to reap the most benefits.

If the rep range on your workout says 10-12 reps the weight that you’re lifting should not be outside of those rep ranges. If you can do 15 reps that means that the weight is too light. If you could only do 8 reps that means the weight is too heavy.

Each week beat those performance numbers within those rep ranges.

Keep the variables the same because you want to know that you’re getting fitter, faster and stronger within the same rest time and speed of movement. If the first week you did a 70kg Deadlift for 10 reps at 90 seconds rest and the second week you did 75kg with 120 seconds rest; that’s good but not impressive. Anyone can get stronger with more rest time, you’re competing with yourself so you want to keep the variables the same.

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