Why You Should Be Phasing Your Exercise Program

weight-vs-rep

The majority of people that approach me about starting a training program find themselves “stuck”. Stuck at a current body fat percentage, stuck at a certain number on a lift (not getting stronger), or just stuck in general (doing the same workout routine each time they go to the gym). People ask me all of the time, “how do I avoid getting stuck?”.

The answer is simple, but can be very dependent on the individual, their goals, and experience in the gym. First let’s define what phasing really means. There are many different ways to phase an exercise program. For myself and the clients I train, I find that what works best is picking an adaptation that directly correlates to the overall goal, and sticking with that adaption for 2–4 weeks. This gives you a short term “focus” versus having each workout day during the week be a different adaptation. For example, if I’m designing a program for myself (someone who has above average mobility/stability and has experience resistance training), I’d start in a “strength” phase for 2–4 weeks. The weights will be heavier and I’ll be training in the lower (2–5) rep ranges on most movements. I’d then move into a “hypertrophic” or muscle building phase where the weights are a bit lighter, but still challenging in the mid (8–12) rep range. The final 2–4 weeks will be a phase where we really crank up the intensity. This phase will involve super-sets, tri-sets and will be trying to reach more of a “pump” (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy). In this phase, we will be working in rep ranges anywhere from 10–20 per set. For your everyday person looking to improve strength, muscle and body composition, this would be a great place to start.

Training volume (amount of work done, sets and reps) is going to vary person to person. If you’ve never trained with weights, you don’t want to overload yourself with volume. The exercise selection is also going to vary greatly based on goals and their experience with resistance training. For example, my everyday person who just wants to be healthier and in better shape is going to have a completely different exercise selection than a high school football or basketball player.

The bottom line is this: if you’re doing the same exercises over and over again, this could be holding you back from obtaining your goals. Try setting short term (2–4 week) goals that will impact your overall goal. This will ensure consistent progress and adaptation throughout your body. If you need help with setting correct goals, you can contact me via email btracke@gmail.com.

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RSS Ranges of Motion Podcast
  • Ep. 53 Caroline Ofenstein
    Caroline is a certified nutrition coach, CrossFit L1, and personal trainer. She is the author of the Performance Nutrition Manual and specializes in helping athletes, as well as a variety of individuals, reach their peak health & fitness. She coaches clients through individualized training and nutrition programs at Boom Boom Performance, where she and the […]
  • Ep. 52 Q&A - What Beginners Should Do In The Gym, Supporting Friends And Newbie's w/ Training And Nutrition, IG Fitness Quacks & MORE
    Today I answered: What should beginners do at the gym? What are other things I can do to start a health journey or lifestyle besides tracking nutrition & exercise? How can I be supportive to a friend who's dieting all the time? What are ways I can be supportive to new people at the gym? […]
  • Ep. 51 Easy Wins Mitch BACK AGAIN - Savage Oats, Making Fitness A Lifestyle & MORE!
    Awesome conversation with my good friend Mitch Harb aka "EasyWinsMitch"!    Check out all his content on Instagram and go try Savage Oats!    "Strength Basics" - My First Downloadable 12-Week Training eBook - Check It Out HERE   To apply for coaching with Ben Racke Fitness, visit https://benrackefitness.wufoo.com/forms/r1dvzpxw1jfz1g8/   To get 15% off your […]
  • Ep. 50 Jimmy Hallinan
    Jimmy Hallinan is a full-time high school health and physical education teacher with a BS in exercise science and MS in exercise science and sport nutrition. He's a father and husband who emphasizes the importance of healthy living through nutrition and exercise. Jimmy also has his own nutrition coaching business.    And he has dope […]
  • Ep. 49 Adriaan Zimmerman
    Adriaan Zimmerman is a co-founder of Ned, a wellness brand rooted in helping people feel better and live better through simple means and a deep connection to the natural world. Ned launched in 2018 with its line of Full Spectrum Hemp (CBD) products and has quickly scaled into one of the most trusted, transparent, and […]