“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” This is the essence of why planning ahead matters. Many argue that plans do not normally work especially in this fast-paced world where everything is changing so quickly. Proper plans, however, when they are formulated ahead of time help leaders and organizations to execute projects, reach their goals, and fulfill their vision. The Chinese philosopher, Confucius said, “A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” Successful people and organizations are aware of this concept.
— Six Reasons Why Planning Ahead Matters*
The Science: The Rep Intel Matrix: Training Science Distilled
To achieve any training goal you must have a strategy. To effectively plan you must understand what the elements of your plan are. In strength training the elements of planning are the cycles and units of training. The sequence of training planning goes like this: Macrocycle->Period->Mesocycle->Microcycle->Training Day->Workout->Exercise->Set->Reps.
To get the most out of training and to dominate your field of play, whether it a competitive field or just life itself, you must understand how to plan and construct each unit of training out of the other (smaller) units. Once you decide what you want out of the whole macrocycle (usually a year), you can layout general and specific periods. The specific period is where most of your sport/purpose work is done, this is pre-season/in-season for athletes, and spring/summer for beach body trainees.
The periods are constructed of mesocycles (usually a month to 10 weeks), each with it’s own objective which leads to the next. Mesocycles are made of microcycles (usually a week) which are constructed and arranged to secure the objective of the mesocycle. A microcycle is made of a series of workouts and a rest period (usually one or two days)
Workouts are of course made of certain exercises. Exercises are chosen according to the movements of the sport, or the training purpose. Squats, Deadlifts, and Presses, will have place in almost all programs most of the time as they are most effective for many purposes. Sets of reps make up the exercise. Both the number of sets and the number of reps should be planned very specifically according to the objective of the exercise, workout, and microcycle.
A little bit of strategy goes a long way.
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