Overview

We’ve all been there – stressed about being out of shape. Whether it’s looking in the mirror and feeling unsatisfied about ourselves or disappointed by the lack of results despite our best efforts. We know we need to make healthy decisions. We know we need to eat right and exercise regularly. But there’s so many factors to think about during the process. Trying to make sense of the right steps to take can be downright confusing.

When striving to create healthy habits, here are the three main focus points to consider:

After working with over 3,000 athletes through our training programs, we’ve seen it all and know there’s a solution.

In this article we identify the basic components of creating an effective training program and how to determine where you should start.

First off, ask yourself these questinos:

Is what you’re doing right now working?

Are you seeing results?

Are you lifting safe?

If so, keep doing it! It’s good to have a basic understanding of what goes into your workout design so you can know when to switch it up or feel confident your training program is keeping you on track.

TRAINING CYCLES

Most training programs follow a simple structure made up of 3 key components – Macrocycle, Mesocycle, and Microcycles:

PERIODIZATION

The aim is to reach the best possible performance towards the goal target – often a competition, race or peak season. It involves cycling of various aspects of a training program during a specific periods of time. Periodization divides the year into various training phases of strength and conditioning with a different focus each cycle depending on the goals of the program.

(The above chart shows the three cycles periodized based on an annual plan) 

TRAINING GOALS

Each annual plan and it’s respective cycles will have specific training objectives that an athlete is challenged with accomplishing and building upon as they progress towards their end goal. For example: here is a broad look at the Sweat, Health, and Performance objectives for each program here at LIV.

EXERCISE SELECTION

We like to isolate specific muscle groups as well as incorporate whole body movements that help improve the way your body needs to move to perform well at your daily activities. Here’s a basic list with examples:

  • Squats (legs) –front squats, back squats, overhead squats, lunges, pistols, box jumps
  • Hinge (hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings) –glute bridges, deadlifts, romanian deadlifts, good mornings, step ups.
  • Push (chest, shoulders, and triceps) –overhead press, bench press, push ups, dips.
  • Pull (back, biceps, and forearms) –chin ups, pull ups, ring rows, dumbbell rows.
  • Core (abs and lower back) –planks, side planks, sit-ups, palof variations, L-sits.
  • Whole body movements-Thrusters, muscle-ups, toes to bar, burpees, clean and jerk, snatch
  • Cyclical exercises (cardio)-Run, assault bike, row, jump rope
  • Plyometric-Wall balls, ball throws, broad jumps, clapping push-ups

STRENGTH TRAINING PRINCIPLES

Each set, rep, and rest has focused intentions when it comes to strength development. Here’s a brief overview of the significance of the different rep ranges?

  • Reps in the 1-5 rangebuild maximal strength and dense muscle fibers. (typically longer rest periods between sets needed to recover from the stress; 3-5 min.)
  • Reps in the 6-12 rangebuild a somewhat equal amounts of muscular strength and muscular endurance. (require moderate rest periods; 1-2 min.)
  • Reps in the 12+ rangebuild muscular endurance and muscle size (often done in supersets; 1min. rest)

ENERGY SYSTEMS FOR CONDITIONING

We use a variety of circuits and intervals to build a combination of strength and conditioning to achieve fat loss, improve workout capacity, and reach optimum performance levels.

  • Anaerobic Training (energy produced without oxygen- extremely intense)-Often used in sets lasting between 3 seconds to 120 seconds. Seen paired with 6 to 9x rest time. Plays an important role in developing an athlete’s ability to reach maximal levels of output and push into deeper levels of mental fortitude.
  • Aerobic Training (energy produced with oxygen)-low to high intensity levels)- Often used to develop greater work capacity across varied time and weight domains. Great for stamina and endurance. Recovery time will vary based on effort levels.

I realize this is a lot of information to take in on programming, but it’s all important as you grow through your training goals. I hope this can provide more direction and education and help fuel better workouts.

Remember that no matter where you start in your training, it’s a journey that evolves and grows with time. So you may start in Sweat, but advance your skills and training goals to want more challenges and strength protocols found in our Health or Performance programs. Enjoy the ride and keep challenging yourself, our programs are designed for continuous progress.