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Fixed format routines

May 11th, 2009 · No Comments

Fixed format routines

This should be a sticky as it is a primary reason many peoples training is so irregular and SLOW. A very common way to put together a training routine is to select the desired lifts and perform them each week, hopefully with ever increasing poundage’s. For simplicity sake I will use an example of a very low volume routine done three days a week:

Day One:
Dips or Bench Press 3 x 6-8

Incline Press, or incline Fly 3 x 10-12

Military Press, Or Hammer Shoulder Press 3 x 6-8

Tricep (skull crushers) Extensions or Tricep Pushdowns 2 x 10-12

Day Two:

Pull-Up 3 sets

Barbell Row 3 x 8

EZ-Bar Or Dumbell Curl 3 x 10

Heavy Abs 3 x 10

Day Three

Squats 3 x 10

Leg presses 2 x 10

Stiff-Legged Deadlift 2 x 10

Pull-Troughs, Glute/Ham Raises, or Reverse Hypers 2 x 10

The trainee starts using a routine such as this where the lifts are the same every week, and if the volume, frequency and diet are matched to the trainee he begins to get progressively stronger each week. He is thrilled! And…….very shortly, usually within 4 12 weeks, it QUITS working. He is absolutely dumbfounded and often quickly loses interest and momentum with his training. Often he will change the rep range, diet, or just add some more lifts, and while that approach works sometimes, it’s usually lacking. What happened? Simple, the body adapted to the now familiar workload and quit responding.
At that point in time the trainee needs to TOTALLY revamp the loading parameters. But…most people are locked into the same old familiar things and are also locked into slow progress because of it. Almost everyone thinks they MUST do benches every week and squats every week, and….well, you know those lifts you MUST do. Well you don’t have to—that simple, you can switch up to lifts that are similar, and will help build strength in those core lifts without doing them. Westside Barbell, DC’s system, and many other systems rotate the lifts on a regular, if not every week basis, and these system slow or stop the body from adapting to them by keeping the body guessing by constantly manipulating the workload.

Bottom line is that if you are doing a non-rotational program that has a fixed format every week you need to TOTALLY change it up when it quits working, or switch to a system that rotates the lifts very frequently. Failure to do this is one of the prime reason for lifting failures.

Tags: Anabolic Steroids · BodyBuilding · General

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