Periodization – What Art Thou?

Periodization is the organized approach that involves progressive cycling of various aspects of a training program during a specific period of time (by varying the resistance, number of sets, and the number of repetitions, greater gains can be made). In my class, we like to call it FITT (Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type).  Made simple, it’s varying your workouts and the intensities to prevent plateau.
Why implement it? Your body is extremely smart, I’m talking a good 2-3xs smarter than you are; yes, I know, exponentially smarter! If you challenge your body, it will thank you by adapting. Now, ask yourself the last time you ACTUALLY challenged yourself? Running for 30 minutes at a stead pace? Nope. Doing machine weights, abductor machines and abs? C’mon on, that doesn’t even break a sweat! Calves and abs?? Haha, seriously, get out.  No, no and no! Our bodies love maximal exertions; like jumping, sprints and HEAVY weights. Here is what you need to do… Change it up! Obviously, your best option is to have a personal trainer review your program and then design a new and better one (cough, cough); Show up Fitness Trainers in Training (TNT)! If this doesn’t work for you, begin by choosing new exercises. Switch out leg presses for squats or lunges, Push-ups for bench press/incline and/or stop using machines and do everything with a dumbbell or barbell. How many reps are you performing? Increase the weight and lower the weight; 15 reps at 50 lbs should now be 75lbs for 8 reps.  Running on the treadmill at speed 6.0 mph for 30 minutes should now be 7.5 mph for 15 minutes. Also, change the plane of motion or degree of exertion on the muscle during each workout. If you are doing a lot of forward lunges (sagittal); change it by going to the side(frontal), 45 degrees (transverse) or go backwards. Add in jumps or plyometrics. Analyze your routine. For a full body workout, implement the following: legs 1st then chest, back, shoulders, arms then core. Do 2-3 sets and vary accordingly. If you are doing split routines, try doing chest and back on day 1, legs and arms day 2 and then shoulders and core day 3. Up your sets from the stereotypical 3 sets of 10 to 5 sets of 8; heavier weights equal better results! If cardio is your thing, try doing a fast run/pace; go to a track and sprint the straights and walk the curves aka fartlek, yes this is a real term, stop giggling! Take up swimming or rowing. The take home message is VARY accordingly! Entertain taking a new class like body pump or turbo kick boxing; Yoga, hell yes!
In the end, treat your body like that girl you never want to loose. You don’t want to be like Jake Owen and singing a song “the one that got away” now do you? Nope! So impress her with new sporadic dates and a getaway weekend! For your body it’s the same. Think of sprints, new exercises and heavier weights the same as flowers, gifts and love notes for no reason. Your body will be impressed and forced to adapt with those new muscles you’ve been yearning for. Stick with the mundane and she’ll look elsewhere! It’s all on you.

Remember keep Showing Up, read new and old books, trying new things, be spontaneous and Shake and Bake!! PS we are getting closer to 500 Facebook likes, just hit 300. Please keep on passing the word on and liking Show Up Fitness; Yee Haw!