We've probably all been there before: you start a well structured, progressive training plan (either given to you by a coach, or an app, magazine, etc), you stick to it for a couple of sessions, but then...
So you abandon your well structured plan (and ignore your coach), and go back to "program hopping".
Sounds familiar? Don't feel too bad or guilty about it, because - in spite of knowing better - I too am guilty of such "chase the new shiny thing" behavior.
Which is why I'm tell you that, for the past six weeks, I've been able to beat this urge and stick to my "boring" and repetitive (read: well structured) training plan, and it's paying off nicely!
I've been focusing primarily on getting stronger in a very small number of movements, namely squats, deadlifts, pullups and overhead presses, and am starting to move loads that would have made me pretty nervous a few months ago with confidence!
I've set myself the goal of hitting a 100kg back squat by mid of next year - I have never achieved more than 90kg before - and I feel I'm on a good way.
My Training Plan
I chose an 8 week training block duration as an appropriate mesocycle length, something that would allow me to incorporate progressive overloading, while at the same time not being too long so as not to lose sight of the end.
With the goal being to increase my absolute strength, I broke that down into 4 blocks of 2 weeks each, with 2 training days per movement as follows:
Next I planned out the approximate loads I would use for all the movements except pullups in each of the 4 blocks:
And finally, using my best guess current 1 Rep Max (1RM) numbers, I converted the percentages to actual kilogram values, so I wouldn't need to think or break out the calculator once I hit the gym.
Week 1-2: Foundation
Week 3-4: Building Strength
Week 5-6: Strength Development
Week 7-8: Peak Strength
And voila, I've stuck to this plan pretty closely - of course I have missed a session here and there occasionally, life happens after all! - and as of the time of writing this, I am in Week 6 and hitting all of the numbers with confidence and consistency!
Can't wait for a "test week" at the end of Week 8 to see how my strength has developed, but I'm quite confident there will be new PRs (personal records) in at least 2, if not 3 or even all 4, of these lifts!