The foundation of a well written and executed training program is have planned progressive intense training session followed by planned recovery periods; where muscle growth occurs.
Periodization Training is cyclical training that incorporates a specific number of weeks of progressive increasing the load/intensity, pushing yourself to the limit.
The final week of the training program is then followed by deloading.
going down to a lighter/lower intensity for…
Active Recovery means using light loads/intensity. It increased blood flow to the muscle which promotes faster recovery; recovery is where muscle growth occurs.
Active Recovery can be something like going for a bike ride, playing some basketball, etc.
The General Adaptation Syndrome
Essentially, this means the body learn and adapts. Once adaptation occurs,progress stops. That means you need to make some changes: decrease you training intensity and vary your exercises.
Novice Lifters can use the same training program for 8 - 12 week before they making changes. That because adaptation occurs slowly.
Advanced Lifter need to change their training program about every 3 - 4 weeks. That because they quickly adapt to a new training program.
A Simple Rule For When to Change
When your progress stalls or you start going backwards with you weight and/or repetition, you need to start a new training cycle with a lighter load/intensity.
" Changes in exercises are more effective than in loading schemes to improve muscle strength." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24832974
Research and anecdotal data have demonstrated that varying exercise rather than constantly using the same exercise increase strength.
That is also true for hypertrophy training. Attacking a muscles from a different angle (exercise) is how bodybuilder make progress.
Changing an exercise can be as simple as going from a Wide Stance Low Bar Powerlifting Squat to a Full High Bar Narrow Stance Olympic Squat.
This means taking time off from training. It promotes recovery but not as well as Active Recovery.
- Constantly pushing training training intensity eventually lead to overtraining.
- Short deloads initially may help. However, in the long run don’t work well.
- Periodization Training: This method is the foundation of a well written training program. It incorporates progressive overload to stimulate muscle growth, implementing Active Recovery, which allows fo muscle growth.