Many people train day-in and day-out, week-in and week-out and even month- in and month-out without making any changes to their routines, the weight they use, the reps they perform or––even their choice of exercises. The sad truth is that these same people could make significantly better progress if they’d simply change their workload more frequently.
You can find this taught, all the way back to the 1940’s and 1950’s. The top weightlifting and bodybuilding coaches recommended changes––even––from workout to workout. They called for heavy training one day followed by lighter work the next workout. Bill Pearl and Vince Gironda recommended changes to rep schemes and exercises every 4 to 6 weeks having their trainees working with heavy, to light to medium in rep ranges.
Advancements in this change technology came out in the early 1980’s with Fred Hatfield leading the charge as did John Parillo in the late 1980’s. Iron Man writer Charles Paliquin probably offers the most advanced and scientific approach to changing workload. Charles has his athletes change reps and sets every week. He has them change the tempo of the reps every two weeks followed by changes in both choice of exercises and the order of their performance in the workout.
Finally, Steve Holman, Jonathan Lawson and Eric Brosner have taken their systems and turned the complicated science of change into workable systems for the average trainee to follow in a simple and easy format.
In future posts, I’m going to get deeper into the subject of how some of the Champions I’ve trained with, changed their workloads to affect significant progress and how you can use those ideas in your own training.