Building a Sound Training Program

There aren’t many tricks you can use when it comes to your training for either performance or for muscle gain.

The Essentials of Building a Sound Training ProgramUsually the only way to achieve your goals is through consistency and a lot of patience. Day in and day out, you have to stick to your schedule and make sure you are doing everything possible to get to the level you want.

Along the way, you might find that you are losing motivation because your routine never changes, and possibly your physique as well. So what can you do then to avoid this or get out of it? The answer is microcycles. A microcycle is a valuable tool you can use in your training to shock your body into new growth and give yourself a psychological break from the norm.


What are Microcycles?

“Microcycles in training are responsible for the co-ordination of training loads to establish an effective regimen between work and recovery. This regimen must secure sufficient regeneration before the start of each new microcycle. This means that the function of a microcycle is to provide a rational approach to the exploitation of the training loads planned for a particular training phase. The duration of a microcycle is usually one week, although athletes who train twice or even three times a day often plan slightly shorter microcycles. As a rule, each microcycle is concluded with one or two recovery days.”

What Does a Microcycle Involve?

Microcycles are generally broken down into four different categories:

1. Developmental
2. Preparation
3. Competition
4. Restorative

During the developmental stage, you plan your week’s workout, taking such things into consideration as the volume you will use, the loads and the rest times. Each component has a specific function and must be calculated according to what you have already been doing, so that a marked shock to your body can be felt.

The preparation stage readies your body for whatever task you are about to perform. In the bodybuilding world, preparation would be considered the days prior to competition. Your training may be increasing or decreasing depending on your conditioning; you are posing more and more each day to make sure your presentation looks polished; and you are loading your muscles so that they respond and look a certain way when you need them to. Then you rest to prepare for the stage.

The competition stage involves the day before and even hours before competition. This stage also takes place in the hours after competition. To a bodybuilder, this time would be in the pump-up room backstage. You have a pump-up workout in mind and you complete it to prime yourself for stage. It differs from your ordinary workouts, because you are trying to pump up most of your muscles versus one or maybe two.

Finally, the restorative stage takes place in the days following competition and for bodybuilders, even weeks after the competition. This is the best time for most to grow and thrive because the body is ready to heal and absorb everything you give it. Some will go back to heavy training, others will train with lighter weights, but whatever way you look at it, it really is a great time for athletes to rejuvenate and regenerate.

Who Should Use Microcycles?

Microcycles are an integral part of any competitive bodybuilder’s routine. Even if you aren’t planning on competing, you should break from your normal routine for at least a week, push yourself super hard for a couple days, do things you would normally consider extreme, and then give yourself a break. It just might be the thing your body needs for new growth and psychologically for new motivation.

Supplementing your Microcycle with ALLMAX

Because it’s something new, and maybe even extreme, you want the right supplements to go along with it. For those not competing, you can still use products that will help you through your microcycle. ALLMAX Nutrition’s TESTOFX LOADED is a great supplement that will give you what you need to attack these workouts, and grow and recover. Also, nothing beats ALLMAX’s GLUTAMINE for recovering muscles.

Microcycles are valuable. Use them every so often to change things up for yourself. Use them when preparing for competitions. The intensity you bring to these workouts can transfer into your performance. Take your time to plan them correctly and prepare yourself to be at your all-time best.

Dana Bushell

As a former provincial level bodybuilding competitor, and as a strength and conditioning coach, Dana has the advantage of being up to date with the current training and dieting practices used by the industry’s athletes. Along with being an Associate Professor of Communications, Dana is also a certified fitness consultant and a regular columnist for Muscle Insider.

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