For many years, I have alternated my repetition range from week to week with outstanding results. The main objective for my approach is the stimulation of the muscle fibers by exposing them to different types of stresses from week to week. Each week of the month consists of a different approach such as
Week 1 – 30 Repetitions
Week 2 – Supersets
Week 3 – Drop Sets
Week 4 – Heavy
In Week 1, I use a weight that is lighter but will still create stress on the muscle fibers, usually by the 20th repetition. It provides a severe stress to the muscle bellies without the stress being dissipated to tendons and ligaments.
In Week 2, I'll superset using a rep range of 15 repetitions and 15 repetitions divided between two different muscle groups. For example, I’ll do 15 pull-ups supersetted with 15 lateral deltoid dumbbell raises, and repeat for two rounds.
In Week 3, my rep range is performed in a drop set of seven repetitions each, totaling 21 repetitions, dropping down from the heaviest weight to a medium weight, to a lighter weight.
In Week 4, I will generally keep a repetition range of three to six for heavy, power movements such as deadlifts, squats, bench press, and clean and press.
There are several advantages to my approach. Alternating the rep range exposes the fibers to a variety of stresses. It prevents the muscles from adapting to a continuous routine that may, in time, feel like one is “going through the motions.” It benefits the joints, tendons and ligaments with rest on the higher rep range weeks, while preparing and conditioning the muscles for the stress of heavier lifts. Finally, it makes exercise less monotonous and more interesting, presenting the body and the mind with challenges and stimulation.
I have also trained my clients with this approach for many years. They have seen great success and improvement as well, while reducing risk for injury by allowing proper rest for their joints, tendons and ligaments. Most have expressed that they have their favorite week and enjoy the transition from week to week as well. I’ll be honest, most clients dislike 30s Week because of the severe burn from the high rep range, but I put them through it anyway! Give my approach a try for a month to see how you feel. Alternating your rep range may give you the results that you are looking for, while keeping your workouts interesting!
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7 Reasons to Track Your Fitness Progress
We are all on a fitness journey in one way or another. With life’s hectic schedule, it’s easy to lose track of where you are and where you want to be regarding your fitness. No matter whether you are trying to lose weight, put on mass, or maintain where you are, tracking fitness progress is an essential piece of your ongoing success.
While some people track every single workout, all gains, and all food consumed in their fitness journal, others just want to get it done and go by how they feel. But with the constant change in technology, specifically in the fitness industry, tracking progress becomes easier and easier; and in fact, it can add some benefits to your training.
The Benefits of Logging and Tracking
For those who regularly log and track their progress, you may not need to be convinced why you should be tracking it. But keep reading—this is still for you! And for those who don’t normally track progress, take a quick look at why it might be important to start.
Makes it more likely to reach and surpass your goal. Allows you to be more efficient in your time and workouts. Lends accountability to yourself and your goals. Allows for easier modifications and shows when and where changes need to be made. It can be motivating and reinforcing to remind you why you are doing what you are. Helps to drive the focus and direction of your programming. Keeps you committed to your plan. How to Track Your Progress
So how do you track your progress? There are so many different ways these days that you can do this. Apps, old-school fitness journals, online fitness challenges, in-house competitions in a gym, measurements, BOD PODs, photos, assessments, and the list goes on. One of the newest innovative ways to track progress is with a Fit3D scan. This assessment can provide over 200 measurements so that over time you can track your progress, whether you’re working on weight loss or muscle building.
NIFS Game of Inches
If you are looking for a fitness challenge this fall, NIFS Game of Inches might be just the thing! Whether you are looking to gain or lose, this 10-week challenge will help you stay on track. Scan in at the start of the program on the Fit3D scanner, follow your own training regimen over the 10-weeks, take advantage of the workouts/challenge videos supplied by NIFS trainers each week geared toward gain or loss, and scan out the last week of the year. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for each category. It’s free for members and $130 for guests.
This blog was written by Amanda Bireline, Fitness Center Manager. To read more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.
The Benefits of Logging Workouts into a Fitness App
For years, people have been setting goals and logging their workouts to help them stay on track with their health and fitness aspirations. Back in the good old days, people would bring their workout notebook and pen to the gym and write down the exercises they completed, the weather, the lift of the day, tracking personal bests, etc. Tracking workouts has never been easier with the growth in technology and wearables in the fitness industry.
6 Advantages of Using a Fitness App
While some may still enjoy the old-school notebook method, allow me to share the benefits of using an app, like the NIFS app, to help you do the very same thing.
Automatic synching: Wearables directly sync with apps, so you don’t have to do anything manually. Whatever the app may be, you can usually sync your Fitbit, Garmin, or other wearable device directly to it. Then when you are in range, your workouts will automatically upload into your phone and onto the app. This makes for very simple tracking of your workouts—in fact, it’s effortless! Personal accountability: No matter how committed you are to your fitness, everyone needs some personal accountability to themselves and their plan/goals. Having an app allows you to set goals and keep yourself on track to meet them in a realistic amount of time. Progress: It’s no secret that as you keep yourself on track and set smaller achievable goals, you will see progress. Utilizing an app will allow you to tangibly see those progress gains as you log your new personal best. Motivation: There’s nothing more motivating for the exercise logger than to write down your new heaviest lift, fastest mile, highest caloric burn, or longest workout. Logging workouts in an app and being able to look back on how far you have come and what goals you have met will keep you motivated and on track. Free: We cannot forget to mention that there is no cost for an app like ours at NIFS! No purchasing an app, notebooks, or losing a box of pens a week at the gym! Simply download the app and you are ready to roll! Easy: With a feature like X-capture, all you have to do is snap a photo of the console of the machine you are on or the workout you just completed on paper, and within 24 hours it will be logged into your workouts. And if you forgot to add in your workout when you were at the gym, you can always go back and add it after.
Try the NIFS App
Maybe you have found your favorite app to log your workouts, whatever that may be; using a phone makes it so much easier than logging it into a notebook. If you haven’t taken time, download the NIFS app and enjoy many benefits aside from the ones that are listed above. Some of those include: using your phone to scan in at the desk, monthly challenges with great prizes, setting goals, logging workouts, utilizing deals and finding out extra things that may be going on at NIFS, and receive push notifications for important updates!
Download the NIFS app now at the app store or Google Play!
This blog was written by Amanda Bireline, Fitness Center Manager. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.
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