Q: I’ve heard and read tons about how I need to change my routine frequently in order to obtain maximal results; however, I’ve found three or four routines that work for me, and I am planning a stretch of German Volume Training in the future. How long can someone reasonably wait before returning to a routine that has worked in the past?
A: From practical experience, I would say 12 weeks. In other words, assuming you’ve been doing completely different routines in the interim, you can return to a previous favorite workout after three months.
Regardless, you may still want to make some changes in the workout. For instance, if your favorite routine employed lying barbell triceps extensions, you may want to do the movement with dumbbells or cables the second time around.
Remember, variety is the key! If you can train in three different systems during the 12 weeks, it will be better; for example, weeks 1 to 4, hypertrophy; weeks 5 to 8, functional hypertrophy; weeks 9 to 12, relative strength. Repeat and grow!
Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www.StrengthSensei.com. Also, see his in this issue. IM