When it comes to resistance training, a very common misconception is that results require a complicated routine. In addition, many people seem to also believe that progress can only be made with a steady increase in their volume of training. Sure, increasing total work load over time by manipulating variables such as the total number of sets and reps is one aspect of a training plan that can force the body to adapt. However, there is arguably a much more important relationship to consider when striving for gains in your resistance training program. The relationship between intensity and frequency of training! Generally speaking, the two are inversely related. As intensity of training goes up, in order to recover adequately, the frequency of training must go down. Now, this is a bit of a generalization, but it is a pretty accurate one. So, how can you develop a resistance training protocol for yourself, that allows you to work smarter AND harder at the same time, without burning yourself out? Again, it all comes down to the balance of intensity and frequency.
So, what are several considerations that you can make in order to design a resistance training plan that enables to make continuous progress week after week?
Consider decreasing the number of days it takes you to complete your split! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “split” it essentially refers to the number of days in takes to complete one full cycle of your training plan within a micro cycle. For most of us, in regards to resistance training, this refers to the number of days that it takes to all or our muscle groups.
For example, if your train chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, arms and shoulders on Thursday, then you have a 4-day split. The problem that most people run into with a split that goes for more than 2 or 3 days, is that it does not necessarily allow for maximal benefit of the hormonal response to the training.
Take a full body approach or an upper/lower 2-day spit approach to your training!
Put a time limit on your training sessions! Instead of beating yourself down for 1 ½ hours every day, see how much work you can get accomplished in 30-45 minutes.
The link below is a GREAT breakdown of a very solid approach to designing a highly effective, well balanced resistance training protocol that takes into consideration both intensity and frequency.