Most exercise programs look the same week in and week out. That is exercisers go to the gym a certain number of times each week and do the same number of exercises and sets each week. If they are running or doing some type of cardio activity they usually stick to a fixed number of sessions at a fixed intensity each week. With a program like this you can increase intensity and volume to improve your results up to a point but at some point over training sets in and then results fall off sharply or in a worst case scenario performance can regress.
A more successful program will involve intensity peaks which should typically reach their height within a 6-8 week timeframe. After peaking the volume and/or the load should be reduced by about 50% for one to two weeks to allow your body to recover. The less intense workouts will keep you from becoming de-trained but allow for full muscle and central nervous system recovery.
There have been several interesting studies which have taken runners and swimmers cut their training volumes in half and their training times have improved. This was because they were over training.
Dominick Walsh is a blogger for Performance Nutrition and TMRzoo.com and covers all men’s health topics and exercise issues including protein powders, diets, weight loss, weight lifting supplements, fat burners and supplement reviews. Dominick’s columns cover everything you need to know about your pre, during and post workout nutrition.