Training Truths #8: Progress gets slower as you train
Your best gains will be in your first year- As a beginner programming is really not essential (basic templates to come). As an untrained individual your body is in the best position to soak up the training stimulus and all you really need is a solid full body workout three times a week, adding weight as you adapt and a good diet. No rocket science needed as you pretty much can go like this for up to your first year of training where you’ll change dramatically, provided the effort and consistency is there. This however is the one and only time you can make the kind of gains talked about in all the adverts, such as adding 20 lbs of muscle.
It is obvious therefore that the more effectively you train during this window the better you can set yourself up for your training career. One of the reasons I started this blog was that I looked back and realized how little I knew when I first started: I wasted a lot of time and misdirected my energy which meant I absolutely did not make best use of this time.
After the first year or so everything changes and gets harder; the stronger you get the harder it becomes to add those extra pounds to the bar. This is because you start to approach your genetic limit and the body becomes used to the stress you put on it. That’s why beginners might be super sore after a couple of workouts while more advanced trainers can handle four days of training with minimal discomfort whilst lifting a lot more weight.
Enjoy adding weight to the bar
Beginners can get results just following what is known as linear programming. This is where you simply keep adding small increments of weight to the bar, or more reps as you progress; as an untrained blank slate you’ll find this possible as your body quickly adapts and grows. The beginner templates are based on this principle.
As you get more advanced you’ll find you can’t do this; you will eventually reach a plateau where you can’t get past a certain weight just by linear programming. This is where the knowledge and understanding of training becomes so crucial; it is up to you to try and see what works for you to overcome this barrier and get a response from your body. Your body may need a rest for a while. It may need a different exercise.
This is where you can check out the intermediate and advanced templates to get some ideas for routines and plateau busters; it’s at this point where training ownership becomes key to results.