All serious athletes must learn to train so as to constantly progress for many years. But even in professional bodybuilding there are athletes who have not learned how to train wisely. They can look quite impressive, they can even win very serious competitions, but they cannot stay in such a state for long. After a time, these athletes either get seriously injured, or burn out and generally leave this sport. Why is this happening?
All this happens due to the fact that they started super intense workouts too early, although they were not yet ready for such loads. Muscle regenerative abilities were not so good. Their progress was too fast and short, like a flash of flame.
Other athletes train completely differently. They begin slowly, slowly, but then progress very, very long. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger was “Mr. Olympia ”7 times, Lee Haney – 8 times, Ronnie Coleman – also 8 times. And although progress in bodybuilding is not determined only by a victory at Olympia, but these are specific examples of long-term progress. These and other guys trained correctly and gradually gained momentum – otherwise they would not have been able to be at their best for so long.
The main secret of limiting muscle development and long progress is the so-called training cycles in bodybuilding, during which there is an alternation of periods of heavy intensive training and periods of lighter, less intensive training.
One of the champions, who was at the height of as many as 25 years, is Frank Zane. Here is what he says about this:
“Every year after serious competitions I don’t train for a month, but at the same time I’m very attentive to my diet. I do not want to gain fat. This pause in training gives me the opportunity to recover both body and soul. My consciousness rests and my minor training injuries disappear.
I am gaining strength for future intense workouts that await me in the future. Then, at the beginning of a new training cycle, I resume my training again. During the four-month classes, I gradually increase the intensity of training, until I reach a moderate “peak” of my form. After this first cycle, I begin a new cycle of my workouts, which ends with a higher “peak”.
“Then follows the phase of reducing the loads. And then I repeat all this to achieve my maximum “peak” form. And I have to go to the competition again.”
It is also worth remembering about the alternation of intensive and volumetric training. “Bulk training” is the use of various weights for high and low repetitions in basic exercises. “Intensive training” is a constant increase in the weight of projectiles. If the whole year to constantly increase the weight of the shells themselves, then there is a very high risk of getting overtraining. Therefore, it will be better to alternate the increase in load with a decrease in the weight of projectiles and better training, during which you will relax less and at the same time increase the number of repetitions.
When you are not preparing to look as bold as possible, for example in winter, when your body is hidden under clothes, it is better to use it during this period to develop muscle mass. This also applies to bodybuilders professionals who are not preparing for the competition.
This period is a great opportunity to work on your weak points and body proportions. In the same period, you need to consume a lot of protein and high-calorie foods. This phase is often called “off season” and at this time it is best to train, performing only 6-10 repetitions. Do not get carried away with lifting large weights “on time”, as you may be injured.
You grow your muscles by exposing them to a relatively low number of repetitions in 3-4 approaches …
Below is an example of how you can plan training cycles throughout the year:
After high-quality training, 2 weeks of complete rest follow, and then the cycle can be repeated. The most effective training is where training cycles consist of alternating 3 weeks of hard training and one week lighter.
This easy week is needed for compensation, which will help you recover and avoid injury along with overtraining. You will quickly build up strength and weight.