A Training Program Cycle is how long you train continuously until you need to take a week off. There are a few things that effect our recovery we have to note before we can decide what cycle will benefit us the most.
A trainee who can recover quickly will be able to handle longer training cycles than someone who does not recover as well. Recovery is based on genetics, nutrition, sleep, stress, and training volume.
Client #1: Poor Recovery
A trainee who does not recover well because of work stress, lack of sleep, and overall nutrition would fair best by taking what’s called a Deload week after 4 weeks and a full week off after 8 weeks.
A deload week would be a week in the gym where the weights are lighter and your focused more on stretching and rehab.
Client#2: Average Recovery
A trainee who can recover normally should train for 8 or 12 weeks without taking a week off. People typically will fall into this category.
Client#3: Exceptional Recovery
A trainee with excellent nutrition, sleep, and stress management can train up to 16 weeks at a time. Even though you could train this long I don’t necessarily recommend it. The benefits of a 16 week cycle over a 12 week cycle are negligible.
Client#4: Event Prep
A trainee who is training for an event: Obstacle Course, Marathon, Triathlon, Strongman, etc. can train up to 20 weeks. I recommend on weeks 4, 8, 12, 16, & 20 to take a Deload week. You can extend a training cycle by adding in mini recovery weeks.
My recommendation? For the average populace I recommend 8 week training cycles. Staying healthy over the long term will produce results. Attaining your goals takes a long time; take your time, make calculated decisions, and stay healthy.
Dedicate & Succeed,