Oct 31, 2011

Spring Back Into Fitness Part Two

By Kim Clark
This past April I wrote an article called “Spring Back Into Fitness”. It was part one of a four part series where I discuss the foundations of program design also known as Periodization (to read Part One, Click here). You learned it's three primary functions, which included how to avoid chronic overuse injuries, plateaus, and exercise cessation that comes from boredom. Just a few quick points to review then we can get into the part two of periodization and how you can put it to use in your current exercise program.
The main objective of Phase 2 is strength, which includes strength endurance, hypertrophy, and maximal strength. This phase is designed to maintain stability while increasing the amount of stress placed on the body to increase muscle size and strength.
Focus of strength phase is to:

  • Increase the ability of the core muscles (anterior abdominals, internal/external obliques, transverse abdominals, and erector spinae) to stabilize under heavy loads, through a greater range of motion
  • Increase the load-bearing capabilities of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints
  • Increase the volume of training with more reps, sets, and intensity
  • Increase metabolic demand by taxing the body's anaerobic systems to induce cellular changes in muscles (weight loss or hypertrophy)
  • Increase motor unit recruitment (progressive activation of a muscle by successive recruitment of motor units)
Strength endurance is a form of training that promotes increased stabilization endurance, hypertrophy and strength. This form of training entails the use of superset techniques in which a more-stable exercise (such as a bench press) is immediately followed by a stabilization exercise with the same biomechanical motions (such as a standing cable chest press). Therefore this phase will focus on strength and hypertrophy and to properly execute this phase you need to make sure that you have progressed thru phase one, because in this phase you will increase intensity and decrease the repetitions which is the opposite goal of phase one. 
During Phase 1, ESD (energy system development) was focused on aerobic adaptation which meant that you were at a low steady state of conditioning. This next level you will be taking it up a notch. You'll start mixing in moderate level training with the level one aerobic phase. Think mixing in some interval training with your steady state cardio.
Here's your program to follow for the next 4-6 weeks 3 times a week. Also do your ESD training 2-3 times per week. As always make sure do complete a full-body dynamic warm-up before starting your workout program. Do each move for the designated amount of reps and complete 2-3 sets.

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