How many of you, fitness buffs and beginners, have ever stopped making progress in strength gains or losing weight? How many of you ever guessed that the reason that you were in a slump was due to following the same old workout regimen?
Our bodies are very resistant to change. It takes a new stimulus, such as simply changing sequencing of exercise pattern and/or intensity or a different type of training, to continue changing the body’s appearance or to continue gaining strength. If you are currently participating in strength training and/or a cardiovascular routine that you have been doing for three month or more, it’s time for a change.
There is a distinct term fitness professionals use when describing the cyclic change of a workout–periodization. Periodization is broken down into four components: strength, speed, power, and endurance. Each of these components is a completely different type of training and will propel your body over that nasty plateau.
When training for strength, most of you think of weight lifting. The traditional free weights and weight training machines are ideal for this component of periodization. The weight should be heavy enough to perform 12-8 repetitions in good form.
Many of you probably have never tried training for speed, unless you have played sports. Speed training is done in intervals. For instance, to become a faster runner, it is important to do “speed work.” This entails running at your regular pace and mixing it with periods of greater speed. Speed training can be assimilated into any other sport as well.
Power is the third component of periodization and is also very work-intensive During a power workout, it is ideal to use more explosive movements, like jumps and squats. Your set should be relatively short and very intense and your recovery period should be a bit longer so that you can catch your breath. Using weight when training for power is not necessary. Jumping as high as you can from a squatted position for a minute is a good example of a power exercise.
When training for endurance with weights, you should increase your repetitions to about 15-25 and lighten the weight to maintain good form. This type of training requires little rest between sets.
After checking with your doctor and an exercise specialist, you may implement all of these components into your workout. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or a pro athlete, you can incorporate these components to match your fitness level. I recommend moving on to the next component of periodization every two months. Good luck!
(c) Kriss Brooks
Health and happiness, Kriss