The Best Workout Plan
It’s been said the best workout plan is the one that you’re not on. For those of us who love training, it isn’t uncommon to constantly seek out more demanding workouts; or we simply just miss the feel of a different training plan. For example, keeping repetitions low may make us long for the days of pushing some lighter weights around. Thanks to our over exposure to such massive amounts of information, we can’t go one day without hearing someone brag about what great results they got doing a certain program. It isn’t long after we start reading about this training program that our blood pressure sky rockets as we realize that this person got this results by doing the complete opposite of what you’re doing at the very moment.
The truth is that the best workout plan doesn’t exist. As long as the program is sensible, and you’re diet is on point (i.e. you’re not under eating in relation to your movement and you don’t have any nutritional deficiencies) you’ll get results. If you stay on the program too long, then your body is going resist any further change. It’s the simple concept of the law of diminishing returns – the things that use to get you results don’t work anymore (1).
The body needs consistent and moderate change in order for it to continue to adapt. Any successful athlete or physique contestant never stays on one program too long; we in the “industry” call this periodization. Ideally, to maximize your gains from your training, you should change your program every 2 to 4 weeks. In fact, studies have shown that following a program that changes variables (sets, reps, the load, etc) shows greater results in building lean mass, losing body fat, and increasing strength and power (2).
The biggest mistake people make is to stay stuck doing the same thing over and over again. Especially if it worked at one point in our life; we usually assume that it will continue to work. The human body is extremely capable of adjusting to a stress like exercise, so be sure to make smart changes every two weeks so that your body is constantly trying to catch up to all the things that you’re doing.
1. Heyward, Vivian H. Advanced Fitness Assessment. 5th ed. Champaign, Ill:Human Kinetics. 2006,pp 44
2. Fleck, S.J. “Non Linear Periodization for General Fitness and Athletes.”(2011) Journal of Human Kinetics. 29A: 41-45