Rome wasn't built in a day. In other words, valuable projects (your body) take time to develop. Like the proverb, a sound training program requires careful planning and a calculated effort.
The "no pain, no gain" mantra of the 1970s and 80s, which emphasized workout intensity over organization, is a thing of the past. Nowadays, the best training regimen is both individualized and goal-oriented.
"A scientifically-based periodization scheme incorporates all forms of training—flexibility, core, balance, power, speed, strength, cardiorespiratory—into a systematic and integrated approach," says Mike Clark, M.S., C.S.C.S., a physical therapist and president of the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Our 10-part total-body strength and conditioning series is intended to be performed as a progression. That is, one workout builds on the next—so if you've missed the last two installments, start slow. You'll spend the next four weeks building lean muscle tissue. The extra beef will help you through future workouts, and you'll look better too.
Frequency Of Training
Beginner: If you're new to the iron game (less than 12 months of consistent strength and conditioning experience) consider yourself a beginner. In addition, it's a good idea to follow the beginner plan if you've been away from the gym for two or more months.
You will make steady progress with just two sessions each week. Be sure to rest 48-to-72 hours between training days. Monday/Thursday, Tuesday/Friday or Wednesday/Saturday training splits work best. For example, perform Schedule A on Monday and Schedule B on Thursday.
Intermediate/Advanced: If you have been involved in organized strength training and conditioning exercise for the previous year or more, you're in the Intermediate/Advanced category. Perform three workouts per week, alternating between Schedule A and Schedule B.
Recording Your Workouts
Keep track of the forces used, as well as the number of repetitions completed for each set.
We've provided a training log for the Intermediate/Advanced athlete; however, beginners can use the same template by eliminating the third workout in each week.
(Excel) Phase 3 Schedules
Warm up on the stationary cycle or treadmill for five minutes prior to beginning your workout. Your warm-up session should increase body temperature and make you sweat, without causing fatigue.
Here is the list of recommended exercises for this phase.