Now we are officially into “off season” for most people maybe you’re looking to spend more time in the gym but not sure what kind of training you should be doing. Or you have a standard routine you follow and aren’t sure how to take it up a level?
Programming follows some general principles.
The first step should always be Muscular Endurance and Hypertrophy ( which is muscle building FYI). This will be a period of lifting moderately heavy weights for 10-12 reps x 3-4 rounds.
Your previous training experience and long term goals will determine how long you spend in this phase. If you are new to training your endurance phase may last 8-12 weeks. If you want to focus on building bigger muscles your Hypertrophy phase may be extended.
If you are a more experienced exerciser the endurance/Hypertrophy phase may only last 4-6 weeks.
Then once you’ve built a base of conditioning you move on to a pure Strength phase. This is when the weights get heavy, the reps get lower with longer rest periods between. For example you may squat heavy for 5 reps rest for 2-3 mins and repeat for 5 rounds. The last couple of reps of each round should feel really tough. Again depending on your long term goals this may be a short phase of 6 weeks or maybe 12 weeks or longer if getting seriously strong is a major goal of yours.
Then you move on to a Power phase -which is essentially strength at speed. Think weighted sled pulls/pushes, heavy weight quick fire exercises such as Kettlebell swings, Snatch, Clean and Press. The sets and reps are similar to the strength phase but the weights a little lighter as the aim is to move them faster. They should still be heavy so the last couple of reps are tough but you should be able to move them pretty quick without losing form.
Depending on your 2020 Goals you should find this takes you up to where you’ll want to get back into your sports specific training.
In terms of exercises there are obviously hundreds of them but sticking with the basic compound moves of Squat, Deadlift, Lunge, Bench Press/Press up, Pull up, Bent Over Row and Over Head Press is a good start. You can then vary from there depending on your needs such as single leg/single arm or add in accessory work for your own individual weaknesses such as glutes, hamstrings or arms etc.
I know this can sound a little daunting and yes there are loads of ways things can be varied and manipulated to mix things up, suit individual circumstances etc. But if you’re new to this and not working with a coach the best thing you can do is just keep it simple and keep it consistent.