How To Plan Your Workout Week (Flexible Training Research)
In this video you’ll learn how to schedule your workouts to allows for both flexibility and results according to the latest research.
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You’ve probably heard me say this many times: Consistency over perfection.
Truth is, as a natural lifters it takes decades of consistent training to reach your potential and build an amazing physique.
And of course training is not the only thing in life, there’s a lot more going on.
So it’s important to know how to organize your training around weeks and months to allow for flexibility while at the same time getting great results.
And we had some great research studies recently that looked at this « flexible training » approach.
In essence it comes down to training when you’re ready.
You go to the gym and after the first few warm up sets you see how the weights feel.
At that moment you get to choose how hard of a workout you want to do that day.
This is a form of auto-regulating your training.
Let’s say for example you have 32 workouts schedule for the next 2 months (8 weeks, 4 training sessions per week).
And out of those 32 you have:
10 – Hard workouts. Low-Moderate reps, heavy loads and a lot of workload.
12 – Moderate difficulty workouts. Hypertrophy rep range, 8 – 12, good volume but the intensity isn’t as high.
And lastly you have 10 somewhat easy workouts. The loads aren’t heavy, reps are high and it’s a light workout.
Now, you get to choose which of the 3 type of workout you want to do every day, there’s no particular order.
So if you’re traveling, or you missed a whole night of sleep you might go for a light workout the next day.
On the other hand if you’re feeling fresh and energized you might go for the hardest one.
What does the research have to say about this model?
Study 1 – McNamara & Stearne, 2010 – « Training When Ready »
16 College weight training class students were split into 2 groups: Flexible and non-linear workout scheduling.
The goal of the study was to examine how would the flexible group perform compared to a « fixed » workout schedule group.
The exercise program included a combination of machines and free weights completed in 30 minutes, twice per week, for 12 consecutive weeks.
They had to do 8 workouts using a 10-repetition maximum, 8 workouts using a 15-repetition maximum, and 8-workouts using a 20 repetition maximum over the course of 12 weeks.
In the flexible group they asked them before the workout which rep day they wanna do. It wasn’t a fixed order. If they felt great they performed the hardest day (10 reps) .
And for the « fixed » group they had to do 20 ,15 ,10 in the exact order regardless of their schedule.
When the program was flexible and based on recovery / stress the students could perform more volume and they saw massive improvements in Leg Press strength.
Bottom line: Your body isn’t going to know that you « Don’t squat on Saturdays ». If you have a lot of stressors in life you can apply this flexible model to get results and at the same time make training more consistent.
Study 2 – Study University of South Florida – Comparison of Powerlifting Performance in Trained Males Using Traditional and Flexible Daily Undulating Periodization.
Full paper –
They had 25 relatively strong resistance trained participants for a 9-week training program.
The study included bench press 1RM, squat 1RM, deadlift 1RM, powerlifting total, Wilk’s coefficient, fat mass (FM), and fat free mass (FFM).
After the 9-week training program, no significant differences in intensity or volume were found between groups.
Both groups significantly improved
Bench press 1RM (FDUP: +6.5 kg; DUP: +8.8 kg),
Squat 1RM (FDUP: +15.6 kg; DUP: +18.0 kg)
Deadlift 1RM (FDUP: +14.8 kg; DUP: +13.6 kg)
So the conclusion of the study was that the flexible model offers very similar resistance training results when compared to a traditional « fixed » workout plan for trained lifters.
Talk soon, Mario
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