It's April, the second quarter is on and if you haven't been holding true to your 2016 goals, then what better time to start than now, ready for summer, you've got a few months to fix up.
I fell off the wagon early on in the year, but I have spent the last 4 weeks getting back into the groove.
I've published a few videos and will continue to do so over the rest of this quarter as an accountability test and to give you an insight to how I approach my training.
Having started the year with a bang, redesigning the website and putting a lot of hours after work in front of the computer; I found it hard to motivate myself to train.
Naturally it didn't end up happening.
I needed to fix it, I needed to start training again.
Making a change of any kind takes a lot of effort. Habits are very powerful things and it takes work to break them or to form new ones.
I hadn't trained properly in a few weeks, I had gone to gymnastics but that was about it. I wasn't feeling good, I was tired and a bit depressed.
I decided to jump start it all with a heavy workout program. Starting easy for the first week, but pushing myself each session with serious focus to get the results I was after.
There are skills I want to master this year. That will not happen if I don't focus. I need to build strength and train skills, but it isn't always best to do everything together. So I took a different approach to my program and split them into cycles.
My Training Program
The program consists of split cycles between strength and skill training. The first is strength and the second is skill.
When I am doing my strength cycle, I am not focusing on any skills and vice versa.
I have four weeks of each, 28 days, and each week has a theme.
These themes are progressive and will create a focus or development within a few exercises. This means I will be getting the most out of each exercise rather than doing loads of different exercises all of the time.
How Do You Progress Within An Exercise?
When you first learn a new exercise, there are many ways you can work on mastering it. There isn't a best practice in my opinion, but this is the way I have approached it in this cycle:
Start with the exercise - Pull up
Week 1 is about getting pull ups in, don't worry about rep count in sets, just get your exercise going.
Week 2 you get your rep count in, 3 x 10 for example
Week 3 focus on technique, good range of motion and form
Week 4 slow it down. Take your reps and double the time it takes per rep, or triple it.
The progress I have had over the course of this first cycle has been great. I am back in the swing of training, so my body aches a lot less now after sessions and during the day.
Anyone who applied this structure to their training will see increases in size and strength because that was the focus. The great thing about focusing for a cycle is that you are tailoring your workouts to your goal, rather than being all over the place.
That’s not to say you can't have fun doing it, but you need to keep your eyes on the prize. If it is strength you want, or need, to master a power move, then you need to focus on that.
Training according to what you can handle is also important. If you are new to training or are getting back into it, start slow. Train a few times and rest a lot.
You should always be careful when cutting out rest time, like I have for this cycle, and training daily. If you aren’t used to it then you may struggle and could risk injury.
But I am feeling strong, looking good and I am happy. I’ve been smart with my training and I have looked after my body.
Over the next cycle it will be interesting to see if I get any bigger or smaller, because the way I train is going to get a shake up - and by that I mean a lot!
The Next Cycle
Over the next few weeks it is all about skills. Skills are harder to train using the conventional method of '1 hour down the gym' so I have a few different approaches which I will talk about at the end of that cycle along with the results.
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