This mesocycle is eight weeks and will take us through the first week of June. Based on your goal and performance in the last eight weeks during the adaptation phase, we are now ready to increase intensity and volume accordingly. If your goal is weight management and you still need to reduce your body fat, now is the time to tighten up your eating too.
In this phase, you should increase your microcycles. Cardio increases in total time and frequency from three days per week to four or five days. Utilize two days for interval training. Use one day as shorter work and rest intervals. Use a 1:2 work to rest ratio.
For example, 30 to 60-second work effort combined with a 60 to 120-second recovery interval and perform ten of these. Make sure you have at least a five minute warm up and a five minute cool down.
Another day utilizes a 1:1 work to rest ratio of four minutes effort and four minutes recovery and perform four. These two styles of intervals will work your body to take that next step anaerobically and aerobically.
Strength training will also increase in intensity and volume. For example, if your training consisted of three days per week covering whole body exercises with two to three sets of twelve to fifteen repetitions, you are ready for the next step. Your options are many. You could try taking it up a notch and keep your whole body program by lowering your reps to between eight and twelve and increasing your weight. Utilize super-setting to up intensity too.
Combining moves such as chest press and rows in a superset is a great way to maintain a balanced workout. Squats and deadlifts, pulldowns and shoulder press, abdominals with lower back, chest fly and reverse fly, etc… Another option is to use one of the three days and add an athletic based focus. Combine an agility ladder, footwork drills, medicine balls, and kettlebells into a full body athletic day.
If you have the time and effort to add another day of strength into your program divide it up to have a two-day split. For example, lower body focus and an upper body focus and an athletic day and a whole body strength day. Talk to your local Exercise Physiologist for assistance.
You should be hitting your stride at this point and feeling ready to take this next step. It is still important to make your increase in intensity and volume realistic. Your focus should still be general. We are assuming your peak is during the middle of summer. If not adjust accordingly.
Adding more intensity and volume and lowering your rep ranges will give you increased strength, muscle size, and greater endurance. Remember to stay consistent, train hard, rest hard, and eat smart. I will see you in the next mesocycle in eight weeks!
For more information on fitness programs at Dedham Health, visit our website.
–Guy C., – Fitness and Martial Arts Director at Dedham Health