These elements can accelerate your results!
What makes a good strength training program? There are a list of things I’m going to break down to help you understand what it takes to ensure you guys are seeing results steadily at the gym, getting those results, maintaining your strength, reaching a new level of strength, or building that nice and powerful physique that you’re looking for.
The first element to a good training program is that it needs to be progressive. A lot of workouts out there will provide you one method of training, so after a short time, your body will plateau. From that point on, your body will no longer grow from that specific workout if there is no change to your exercise. This is where it becomes necessary to change some different elements in your training plan in order for you to continually progress.
For example, you’ve finished up a hypertrophy (high reps) workout. The rep ranges were between 10 to 12 times. As your body adapts to the exercise, it will need a changed routine in order to prevent it plateauing. Once you have reached that point where the exercise is no longer challenging, you can lower the amount of reps you do and make the load heavier. After a phase of training through that, then you change up your next phase of training.
The main premise of progressive training is that each training phase you go through needs to be different so that you’re continuously challenging your body to get stronger.
The next element that should be included in your program is volume.
Volume can be different things in a training program. It can be the amount of reps that you do, the amount of sets that you’re doing at each set of a workout/workout plan, or it can be the amount of total exercises that are included per workout.
So there are different approaches that could contribute to how volume can be implemented in a program.
To give you a few examples, you can perform:
– Higher rep ranges where you’re focusing on hypertrophy.
– 5 sets of 10 (emphasis on more sets)
– 10 sets of 10 reps (Emphasis of total volume with both reps and sets)
– More training frequency (performing the same workout back to back days)
A good training plan should have a specific training frequency in order for you to progress and get stronger. It’s also the one element that gets overlooked the most. People tend to think of training frequency is just working out a couple of days a week. If you have a family life and/or a work life, then you may just have the time to workout 2 times a week. For most people, that’s enough. But if you’re aiming for a specific goal, you’re going to definitely need more frequency. This element is crucial to make further progress on your fitness journey.
Here’s an example of changing your frequency:
-3 days on and 1 day off ( Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and your day off on Thursday, then repeat).
– 1 day on and 1 day off (Monday, rest Tuesday, Wednesday, rest Thursday, repeat cycle).
Training frequency can also equate to how many workouts you’re doing each day. You can train two times per day, two days of the week. You can strength train in the morning and then a strength train in the evening. You can do your conditioning workouts in the morning and then do your strength workout in the evening, or vice versa. If you are an intermediate lifter these options may be a fun approach. If you’re a beginner, you can do light-medium cardio in the morning and do your strength training in the evening.
The next element that a good strength training program should include is rest. Rest periods are another overlooked component in a strength training plan. The rest periods serve as a reset button for your body and nervous system. You’re giving your body and nervous system time to reset itself, allow your muscles to repair, and replenish your glycogen storage that’ll allow you to repeat your output at each set of your workout.
In a hypertrophy phase, you’re definitely going to do better with lower rest periods.
– Rest periods can be between 30-60 seconds.
In a strength phase, you’re dealing with heavier loads, so your rest periods need to be longer.
– Rest periods should be 2.5-4 minutes (all depends on the order of your exercises). Ultimately, for best results, you’ll need to stick with your rest periods. Our bodies are highly adaptable, so this element in your training plan cannot be overlooked. If you’re the type that hates to wait between sets, it’s most likely you didn’t have the right amount of load for the exercise to really appreciate the rest periods.
Another element that will make a good strength training program is tempo. Tempo is the rate of speed that you’re performing each repetition of an exercise. For most lifters, tempo is not their primary focus, so it becomes a mindless kind of grind to get through the workouts.
But it’s not as simple as just getting your reps in. You have to be very intentional about the speed of your reps, because it influences the amount of time under tension in each of your repetitions.
-Bicep curl executed tempo at a 4010 tempo:
4 seconds during eccentric, 0 seconds at the bottom, 1 second to contract back up, and 0 sec at the top. Collectively, the amount of tension, overall is 40 seconds of tension for that one set.
– Whereas if you say you did a 1010 tempo:
That’s only going to equate to 20 seconds per set and will provide a different end-result.
By default the 4010 tempo will provide more of a hypertrophy effect on the muscle, whereas with the 1010 tempo will have an endurance stimulant.
So depending on your end-goal of your workouts, the tempo of your exercises has a big influence on the response of your muscles. So if you want to put on 10 lbs of muscle, level up your strength, or hit a new PR for yourself, then you should consider this component in your training plan.
It should be fun!
After all, a good training plan should be FUN!
By changing theses different parameters, it’ll prevent you from getting “bored”. That way you keep your workouts fresh with every phase that you do and enjoy the process in getting stronger. You’ll be able to track your workouts to see how you progress by navigating these different training elements in your programming.
Track your workouts
A good way to manage your stats is by tracking your workouts. So if you’re not tracking your workouts, you’re not going to see whether or not you are making progress. Just going through the motions can only take you so far.
So you need to write down your workouts. You need to lay them out and write out the stats of each of your sets and how many reps you did with the amount of weight that you perform those lifts. Tracking will provide clarity at the end of a training phase and provide feedback to know how you’re going to transition into the next phase of your workout program. You can track your stats by writing or printing them out on a spreadsheet. That way you’ll be definitely one step ahead of most people. This is the one tool that can change the way you approach your workouts.
Lucky for you!
Here at Level Up, we have three, six-month-long programs and has every single component I just mentioned in this blog post. It includes a progressive approach towards a good strength training program. In each program, we have strategically tailored each exercise with a specific tempo, rest periods aiming for specific strength qualities, and different training frequencies, all laid out for you.
You won’t need a pad or spreadsheet, it’ll all be in our training App. In the App you‘ll be able to track all your workouts, stats, and see your progress. You can even create specific habits/goals. Lastly, we’ll be in your corner to answer any questions and guide you in the right direction.
All you have to do is enjoy the process, have fun with your workouts, get stronger, and keep crushing your workouts in the year 2022.
Workouts: Click on a program below to learn more