How many times, in the gym, do we meet people who have been training for a long time, perhaps with 10 years of weights behind them who have not achieved the desired results. This is one of the factors that discourages many. How is it possible that you train for years, perhaps with heavy weights, but don’t reach a high standard?
The answer to this question is very simple: fitness programming. The secret to achieve a certain fitness level is a combination of a good diet as well as a good training program. There are few people who know how to structure a training in the long term, with the consequence of reaching quickly a fitness plateau.
How do we program?
You can find the exercise that best stimulates that particular muscle. You may have the optimal genetic for hypertrophic development. You may have a machine that is able to perfectly isolate the muscle you are trying to improve, but without proper planning your efforts will be useless.
As already mentioned before, the most important thing in a training program is precisely the programming of the various phases.
Let’s try to think of the human body as a perfect system. A system that does not change its structure unnecessarily, because each change represents an effort and this effort must be justified. What you need to do is make your body believe that the change you want is necessary. For this reason you need to provide stimulation to your body. Not only that, but vary the same, because if the stimulus remains constant, the body will get used to it and stop reacting (i.e. growing muscle).
Every good protocol will be structured in such a way as to work on one of these variables:
Simplifying, we can say that the training volume is the number of training series of a given exercise.
The intensity is represented by the weight we are going to use.
We can indicate the density as the volume in the unit of time. To simplify even more: if I do 8 chest sets in 10 minutes, doing super sets for example, I will have a greater density than doing 8 sets in 30 minutes.
A well structured workout program will vary in one of these aspects in the short or long run to be effective. Even the simple division of the annual programming into the period of strength, mass and definition is nothing more than one of the many methods to vary the parameters that have been described.
The best advice is to rely on a serious personal trainer. Choosing the right person means that you will end up with a training program tailor-made for you and with a wealth of fundamental knowledge to then become independent.
However, sometimes this is not possible. Either for economic reasons or for reasons of priority, or simply because we prefer to be able to find our way alone.
If you want to try to create your own program, the best way is to choose one of the three variables and gradually increase it in your programming. When you experience the plateau phase, you can gradually lower that stimulus and start working on another parameter. This is a very simple, but very effective way if you are just starting out, to create a progression avoiding the stall.