I am writing this article in an attempt to help anyone out that may not be at the time paying a professional to write out a structured program for them to follow. Since being at NBS and working under the wing of our owner David Allen, I have learned a couple of things about programming that I would like to share with you today. Too often I see people trying to overcomplicate their program and put in too many things that in reality, are probably just getting them further and further from their goals. Follow these 4 rules to keep your training program simple, but effective.
- keep things simple
Too often you tend to see beginners putting way too much into their program. If you have only been weight training for 4 to 6 months, chances are you don’t need to hit your biceps from 6 different angles with 6 different curl variations. Master one or two movements while practicing on a quality muscular contraction before moving on to something new.
2. Start out with full body routines
Again, if you are a beginner or have been out of the game of training for quite some time now, you don’t need a day dedicated to legs, chest, back, biceps, and triceps. I think you see where I’m going with this. If you are not an IFBB bodybuilder, stop training like you are one. Most of the people that train like that have multiple years of training under their belt and it is that type of stimulus that they need to elicit any changes in their body. If you find Jay Cutler’s 12 week mass gaining program in the latest Flex magazine, that doesn’t mean that you are going to look like Olympia stage ready Jay Cutler. Stick to doing a full body routine at least 3 to 4 days a week. This will allow you to force more frequency of training on multiple muscle groups which will yield you greater results in a shorter time as opposed to the split previously mentioned.
3. Allow yourself time to recover
If you feel guilty or feel like you’re not making progress unless your going hard in the gym 6 to 7 days a week, I would suggest taking a step back and allowing yourself more time for adequate recovery. I feel that some people forget the fact that recovery from all the hard work you put into gym comes when you rest and sleep. Again, if you are someone who is still fresh to training, this is especially important for you. Only if you have been training consistently for anywhere from 5 to 10 to 20 years, is a 5 to 6 day split more appropriate. Use your non weight training days as a means of active recovery.
4. Don’t neglect to do your cardio
I know, I get it, cardio sucks! But, you’ve got to do it. Your ability to recover in between your sets during weight training is going to be limited by how well you are conditioned. You can use your steady state cardio as a means of active recovery on your days off from weight training. This will make a tremendous difference in minimizing the feeling of delayed onset muscle soreness that comes along with proper weight training. Try experimenting with different methods. Some people prefer to do 20 to 30 minutes of steady state 3 to 5 times a week, while others prefer doing HITT style cardio. An example of this would be 15 seconds of work and 45 seconds of rest for 10 to 15 minutes straight. This type of training can be done with prowler sprints or even battle ropes. The possibilities are endless when it comes to cardio, the thing that matters most in the end is that you are doing it.
So there you have it, 4 rules to keep your training program simple but effective. Don’t fall victim to any of the latest fads or trends. Stick to what is true, tried, and tested, and has stood the sands of time. If you try things on your own and start to get to a point where you are no longer making progress and have hit a plateau, then get in touch with a professional that can get you headed in the right direction again. We have plenty of them here at NBS that can get you on the right track again.