How to Design an Effective Workout Program

When designing an effective exercise program incorporating periodization is one of the most important aspects. Periodization can be explained as a way to design a workout program that integrates all aspects of training cycles and phases that the body goes into and the variables that goes in the routines that utilizes every exercise component.

By using a periodization model, this will produce significantly better results than a linear progression model. To keep progressing toward your training goal, you must maintain a continuously changing training stimulus to deter and progress past the adaptations that muscles are going to attain. The muscle will adapt and progression will stop if new exercise stimuli are not introduced.

The simplest way to introduce new stimuli is by changing all variables in your current routine.

Such as:

  • resistance
  • repetitions
  • tempo
  • sets
  • sequence
  • duration
  • frequency
  • recovery

A more complex way and a way that some people would probably need a great trainer are to set up cycles. The overall goal cycle is the macro cycle; this covers the actual goals you are trying to attain. This cycle could last for months or even a year. This is the overall goal.

The mesocycles make up the macrocycle. The mesocycle ranges in length anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks. These are the cycles that should completely be revamped to keep ascending to the overall goal. This cycle is the manageable part of a periodization program.

It is very important in the mesocycle to never lose sight of the macrocycle. There should be a written plan for both, and a constant recording of the progress.

Another main component is to keep in mind that during each mesocycle, an average workout time is 30-60 minutes, therefore, there are going to be muscles that are ignored in a cycle. Balancing these cycles are crucial and the very basis of why a mesocycle can be as short as 3 weeks.

It is very important to incorporate a periodization into your workout to attain your goals. The big picture, your ultimate goal, should be planned into an over all picture, the macrocycle; then within this frame there must be a constantly planned phase with ever-changing variables in the mesocycle.

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Winston-Salem Fitness Examiner Katherine Wolfe is a certified personal trainer and a certified yoga instructor.

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