Creating A Long-Term Training Plan
The first thing that needs to be done when starting a new program is to decide what your goals are.
What do you want to achieve?
If you’re just starting out, then it’s probably best if you don’t have any specific goals at all. You’ll need time to figure everything out. But if you already have some experience under your belt, then you might be able to come up with a few ideas for how to reach those goals.
For example, let’s say that you’ve been lifting weights for awhile and you want to get bigger and stronger. That means that your goal is likely going to involve gaining muscle mass and getting stronger.
So, what would be the best way of accomplishing these goals?
Well, there are two ways:
You could start off by doing something like bodybuilding type workouts. These types of workouts consist of high volume and low intensity training. They’re designed to build muscle mass and increase strength. However, they aren’t necessarily good for building lean muscle mass or increasing strength over time.
You might not see results right away, but you will eventually as long as you continue to train hard enough and keep working out regularly.
You could also start off by doing something like powerlifting type workouts. These types of workouts consist of low volume and high intensity training. They’re designed to increase strength and muscular endurance, but not build muscle mass so much.
So, if you wanted to do a bodybuilding type workout, then you may want to do 4-6 sets per exercise for 8-12 reps per set. You’d want to rest a minute or so in between sets to keep your workouts at least 45 minutes long. Also, you’d probably want to do at least 3 workouts per week with at least one day of rest in between each workout.
Conversely, if you wanted to do a powerlifting type workout, then you may want to do 1-3 sets per exercise for 4-12 reps per set. You’d want to rest a couple minutes in between sets to keep your workouts under 45 minutes long. Also, you’d probably want to do at least 4 workouts per week with at least one day of rest in between each workout.
As you can see, the more bodybuilding style workouts are better for building muscle. However, they take longer to complete and you may not be able to workout as often. Also, you may not be able to lift as heavy of weight which may hamper your strength gains in the long run.
Conversely, the more powerlifting style workouts are better for gaining strength. However, they take less time to complete and you may be able to lift heavier weights, which may offset the fact that you’re not working out as often.
As you can see, there is no perfect solution here. It’s all about trade-offs. You need to decide what your goals are first and then formulate your workouts around those goals. So, think about what you want to achieve and then move on to choosing the specific workout program you’ll be following.
Below you’ll find links to all of our in-depth workout programs. You have quite a few to choose from.
3 Day Hard Corps
3 Day Alpha Male
3 Day Asylum
3 Day Beef Cake
The Asylum is a pure strength program and the other three are a mix of strength and muscle building. Try each one and see which one works best for you.
If you want, you can also hybrid the programs by taking the main exercises from one program and combining them with the accessory exercises from another program. For example, if you like the sound of the Asylum’s heavy squats and bench presses but love the results you get from the Alpha Male’s laid back approach, then just do those two workouts back to back for optimal results.
Check out each individual program for details on the exercises and how to put them together.
As far as weightlifting is concerned, you should always start off with a general warm-up. This can be a simple walk on the treadmill or jump roping for a few minutes. This will get the blood flowing and get your body ready to work out.
After the general warm-up, you need to select the specific exercise you want to work on for that day. By specific exercise, I mean something like bench presses, squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, etc. These are compound or functional exercises that work several different muscles groups at once. You can’t really do several of these in a row though so you’ll need to be sure to also include some isolation or assistance exercises which are meant to work as reinforcements for the specific areas that are heavily targeted in the compound or functional exercises.
These are exercises like cable curls, tricep pushdowns, ab crunches, bent-over dumbbell rows, etc. These exercises can easily be done for several sets in a row.
As you can see, there’s a lot to it and as I said, it can all be overwhelming at first. Don’t worry though, we’ve got your back. Check out the following articles for a more in-depth look at how to put everything together:
In addition, check out the Muscle & Strength Guides. These are written by our very own “staff writers” but they’re basically just ripped directly from the pages of the M&S forums. The guides are more or less what our members use on a daily basis to achieve their goals and will serve as a nice reference when you don’t know how to perform a certain exercise:
Just lifting weights won’t get you very far if you’re eating junk. You need to eat quality foods for optimal results. I highly recommend reading our Nutrition Guide for a better understanding of what you need to eating and when you should be eating it.
While you’re at it, check out the Food and Fitness Articles. These articles contain a plethora of tips, tricks, facts, myths and more about food, diet and health in general.
The last thing you need to do is keep a log. Not only is this an easy way to see your progress as you go, but it’s also a great way to stay motivated. There are two M&S logs to choose from.
The Workout Log allows you to track your workouts and the exercises you perform in them while the Diet Log allows you to keep a record of everything you consume throughout the day. Both logs will help you in your quest for a better body!
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that supplements can help speed up the process. The goal here isn’t to sell you stuff though; it’s to give you the information you need to make an informed decision about what you put into your body.
For a complete list of supplements and what they do, check out the Supplement Guide. This guide includes the good, the bad and the ugly of supplements so you’ll know what you’re getting into.
In addition to the supplement guide we have specific articles on some of the more popular supplements including: creatine, zma, and whey protein.
Last but not least, you need to keep your spirits up. Check out the Motivation Articles for some extra encouragement and inspiration.
We hope the information above helps you reach your goals, whether they’re general health goals or muscle growth goals or even just for a special occasion like an upcoming wedding. There’s a lot of information above so don’t feel as if you need to memorize it all right now. Just bookmark this page or save it to your favorites because you never know when something will come in handy.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in The Staff Lounge. At the very least, we’ll be able to point you in the right direction. If we don’t know the answer right away, one of our staff members will find it for you.
Good luck and train hard.
3rd Place – h2oman
Getting Started: Before We Begin…
It’s pretty obvious why you are here right now. You want to gain muscle mass.
This process isn’t going to be easy and it certainly isn’t going to happen overnight. It will require dedication, effort, hard work and most importantly consistency.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Creating molecular macrocycles for anion recognition by AH Flood – Beilstein journal of organic chemistry, 2016 – beilstein-journals.org
Periodization strategies for youth development by GG Haff – Strength and Conditioning for Young Athletes: Science …, 2013 – books.google.com
Planning of macrocycles by A Viru – Modern athlete and coach, 1986 – hurdlecentral.com
Management of athletic form in athletes practicing game sports over the course of training macrocycle by V Kostiukevych, N Lazarenko, N Shchepotina… – Journal of Physical …, 2019 – efsupit.ro
Methodological foundations of the modern training system of skilled handballers by VA Tyshchenko – … -biological problems of physical training and …, 2014 – sportpedagogy.org.ua
The dynamics of the work-out load by a walker on 50 kilometres in London Olympic macrocycle by J Olbrecht – 2000 – Overijse, Belgium: Olbrecht