In our last article covering monthly planning we developed an understanding for the need of planned recovery weeks following several intensive weeks of training. The next step is understanding how to map out your training week. It is commonplace for a trainee to desire improvements in multiple physical characteristics within the same program. Assembling a training week that allows for the greatest compatibility between the multiple characteristics being trained is like constructing a puzzle. What follows will be several key considerations that will help you to map out a successful weekly plan.
In a resistance training program, power, strength, and muscular endurance are the three most common characteristics pursued. Power and strength are best trained when a trainee is in their most rested stated within a given week. To plan the training of these characteristics amidst a very fatiguing portion of the training week would not allow for their optimal development. Training for muscular endurance requires less force production relative to strength and power training and is thus less sensitive and compromised if trained while fatigued. Power is the characteristic most sensitive to fatigue, followed by strength training, and muscular endurance training. An effort should be made to ensure power training is scheduled early in a given workout and training week before cumulative fatigue compromises performance.
A similar trend should be adhered to when mapping out a conditioning program. Using sprinting as an example mode of exercise, speed training, acceleration training, and speed endurance training are each effected differently by fatigue. Like power, speed is most sensitive to fatigue followed closely behind by acceleration and speed endurance training. If you want to include true speed training in your program make sure it appears within the week when you have fresh legs and are well rested.
In general, trainees are most rested early in the week following a long restful weekend. Make an effort to get the majority of your speed and power training in early in the training week. Mid week is a great time to perform your strength and acceleration training. Reserve the fatiguing muscular endurance and speed endurance training until late in the week, so the other characteristics have the opportunity to be trained when your body is most rested. If you take the weekend off from training, your body will have plenty of time to recovery from the fatiguing muscular endurance and speed endurance training. You will be ready for more speed and power training at the start of the next week.
To sum up the key points of this article, arrange the weekly training of multiple characteristics so that they do not interfere with each other. Consider how each characteristic can be compromised by fatigue and plan accordingly. Highly technical and high velocity movements are most sensitive to fatigue, followed by high force movements, and endurance based training.
Next up in the Getting Started Series:, Part 6- Daily Workout Planning