Level of Stimulation x Ideal Frequency
What is the level of stimulation required and what is the ideal frequency?
How do we create a program to deliver the necessary stimulation and recovery?
And how do we do make sure our workouts aren’t counter-productive?
Here are some brief, simplified answers to the above:
- The level of stimulation will depend upon your history and progress to date – the more the body adapts, the more it is able to handle, and the more it must be subjected to in order to be prompted to repair and over-compensate
- The frequency will depend upon the capacity of the muscle for stress. In the early days when you can’t handle too much, the repair and compensation required is relatively small. This means the time to repair will be relatively short and frequency of stimulation can be high. As capacity grows and stimulation to maintain progress proportionately increases, so too must the recovery periods (meaning that frequency drops)
- The way to determine these factors is based upon some general guidelines that are basic “guidelines”, as well as carefully monitoring your workout (and physical) progress. Look for signs of slow (or even negative) progress, as well as monitoring some basic physical factors and your mental state, as your mind will also act as a barometer.
These answers have probably raised just as many questions for you as they have answered, so let’s get dig a little deeper.
We will see how:
- Initially you can train the whole body in one session and receive plenty of “stimulation” for each body-part
- You can, in the early days, cope with a workout every other day, or in the very first stages, even every day for a short period in order to “ramp up” quickly
- Over a period of time, as the body adapts, more work is added to each exercise (more sets), intensity increases, and eventually, more exercises will be added for each body-part for variety and to “stimulate” different aspects or muscle groups of the body-part
- Eventually, there would be too much total work to continue to train the whole body in one day, so the body-parts trained can be “split” so that the work volume can be accommodated and enough rest will be provided for each body-part. If designed properly, you can train every day without over-training any particular body-part
- The total workload and stresses can be significant so that the CNS (Central Nervous System) will also be stressed and needs to recover – so even with a well designed split routine, you still need some days of complete rest (the CNS is one common factor that is still loaded even though the body-parts may vary). It needs rest too!
- Split routines can be designed to vary over time depending upon your response, as well as various training phases throughout the year
- Training phases can be broken down into various cycles, often referred to as micro, meso, and macro-cycles. Macro-cycles can span over a year or more. Meso-cycles are a sub-set of them and can be in weeks or months. Micro-cycles are generally in periods of days as the sub-set of a meso-cycle
- Nutrition plays a part in the recovery and can be significant even down to macronutrient timing, according to when you train and the type of loads generated.
We’ll cover these aspects in more detail in the coming articles.
In the meantime, we’ll leave you with our 5 takeaway tips from this article.
AMP Your Workout Smart Tips
- The level of stimulation that is “ideal” will be different for every person
- A properly designed routine will maximise your rate of progress by maximising the rate of stimulation and enabling sufficient recovery of all body-parts
- The routines and recovery elements need to change over time with your capacity, as well as possibly including variations throughout the year to address various training “cycles”
- Your CNS also undergoes stress and needs a rest. It is stressed with each workout (unlike the body-parts which can be given a rest in some workouts) – the CNS therefore becomes a limiting factor of total workload and means complete rests are required as a result
- There are signs that you can monitor to gauge whether you are overdoing your training (or under-achieving according to your goals)
For more information, visit AMP Your Workout.com. AMP Your Workout provides the latest technology to optimise training and match it to our genetic strengths – for faster results.