Friday, December 16, 2016

RANDOM WORKOUT YIELDS RANDOM RESULTS

When you get to the gym, do you ask yourself, "Hmm, what am I going to do today?" Or do you have a plan?

There are many misunderstood concepts in the fitness world. One of them is the notion that we must “shock the body” to achieve gains, whether the goal is to gain strength, lose fat, or perform better.
While there is some truth to this, the way it is implemented is usually faulty.
The "shocking" can come from changing certain program variables, such as resistance, sets, reps, and rest periods or by doing a completely different workout every time, with no reasoning behind it, with randomly chosen exercises and done in no particular order.
Doing different random workouts every time you exercise has its drawbacks, which can limit your results. I've listed some of them here:

  1. The body doesn’t get a chance to adapt to a repeated stimulus, which is necessary for strength gains and muscle building.
  2. Lack of skill development. Performing an exercise correctly requires a certain amount of proficiency. Some movements are more complex than others and having to keep “relearning” them will slow your progress.
  3. It limits your ability to increase the load which can keep you from getting stronger.
  4. Most people tend to repeat their favorites exercises, the ones they are good at, which does not enable them to address weaknesses.

For the average gym goer, a better way is to craft a program where the workouts include the same exercises (or a variation) for a period of time, changing the program variables along the way.
This is referred to as periodization, where the workouts are systematically planned in advance to achieve the desired outcome. Power lifters, body builders and many athletes follow a periodized plan because, simply, THEY WORK. While you may not fit into any of these categories, this type of programming will get you the best results in the most efficient and safest manner.

For example, an A/B workout split could be implemented for 3-6 weeks (we call this a Phase), rotating the different workout days, with the goal of increasing the “8 rep resistance” during that span. Allow one day of rest between A-day and B-day, and by the end of the phase, you should see strength gains and added muscle.

Day A
4 sets of 8 reps, 90 seconds rest between sets
Deadlifts   
Dumbbell chest press
Cable Row

Day B
4 sets of 8 reps, 90 seconds rest between sets
Goblet Squats
Shoulder Press
Lat Pulldown

Another method would be to use the same exercises as above and change the sets, reps, and resistance during a 4-day workout split, allowing one day of rest between days. This could also last 3-6 weeks.

Day A
3 sets x 15 reps, 60 seconds rest between sets
Deadlifts   
Dumbbell chest press
Cable Row

Day B
3 sets x 15 reps, 60 seconds rest between sets,
Goblet Squats
Shoulder Press
Lat Pulldown

Day C
4 sets x 8 reps, 90 seconds rest between sets
Deadlifts   
Dumbbell chest press
Cable Row

Day D
4 reps x 8 reps, 90 seconds rest between sets
Goblet Squats
Shoulder Press
Lat Pulldown

*It is important to select a weight that will challenge you for either 8 or 15 reps, in this scheme. If you are using a resistance you can lift 15 times and only do 8 reps, you will not see good results.

As you enter a new Phase of training, the set and rep variables should change, and/or the exercises can become more advanced.

For example:

Phase 1                                       Phase 2
15 reps x 3 sets                          8 reps x 4 sets
Kettlebell deadlifts                       Trap bar deadlifts
Dumbbell chest press                  Barbell bench press                    
Cable row                                    Bodyweight inverted row
Goblet squats                              Single leg squat
Shoulder press                            Kettlebell single arm overhead press
Lat Pulldowns                                 Chin Ups    

At our gym, Active Life Fitness, every member receives a customized 12 month periodized workout plan. They know exactly what they are doing each and every workout, as we spell out:
  1. exercise selection
  2. order
  3. load
  4. sets 
  5. reps
  6. tempo
  7. rest
To learn more, call us at 908-389-8009 or email info@activelifefitness.net.

Active Life Fitness Personal Trainers & Gym
94 North Ave, Garwood, NJ 07027
(908) 389-8009