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Training age is the length of time you have been training.
Your Training Age is a determinate factor in the length of how long you perform certain exercises in a training cycle.
Novice Lifters adapt slowly to a training program. That means they can use the same exercises, program for a much longer period of time before needing to change. Changing exercise about every 6 - 8 weeks is a good time frame.
However, if you are still making progress after 8 week, keep going. A good general rule is when you stop making progress or regress, you need to change exercise, drop the weight down to a lower, lighter training percentage and progressively work you way back up.
Advance Lifters adapt quickly. They need to change their exercises more frequently; about every 3 - 4 weeks.
In conjunction with frequently varying your exercises, I am a proponent of varying your type of Strength Training in the same training cycle, ...
This is defined as training different types of strength in the same training cycle. This method goes back decades with Bodybuilders and Strength Athletes.
Combining different type of Strength Training provides a "Synergistic Effect". It's like adding 2 + 2 and getting 5. One type of Strength Training elicits a greater training response in a different Type of Strength Training.
As an example, increasing your Limit Strength (1RM, 1 Repetition Max) allows you to push/pull more weight in a Hypertrophy (Bodybuilding Program); increasing muscle mass and promoting recovery.
Hypertrophy Training (increasing muscle mass) increases your Limit Strength (1 RM); metaphorically speaking, putting a bigger engine in your car.
Westside Powerlifting Method
This method that been around since the 1980's. it incorporates...
1) Constantly Varying Exercise in the training program that are similar in nature to the Competition Lift.
2) Conjugate Training: Within the training cycle training Limit Strength, Power (mislabeled as "Speed Training") and Hypertrophy Training.
Dr Michael Zourdos' Research
Zourdos 118 page dissertation, listed above, is an excellent piece of work.
Zourdos' research reinforces the Westside Method. Zourdos' Conjugate Non-Linear Periodizating Program found setting one day aside for training different type of Strength increased Limit Strength.
1) Monday: Hypertrophy Training
2) Wednesday: Power Training
3) Friday: Limit Strength Training, 1 Repetition Max
Understanding The Concept
There are a multitude of way to write and employ Conjugate Training, allowing you to customize it based on the number of days you train, how you like to train, etc.
An Example of My Program
1) Varying Exercises: I change my exercise up every three weeks. With a new exercise, the first week is light and easy. The second week is requires moderate effort. The third week, I push the limit.
The forth week, I start all over with a different exercise. Week 4 becomes Week 1 with a new exercise.
2) Conjugate Training. I combine Power and Strength Training on the same day. My Hypertrophy Training is performed on a different day.
1) Frequency of Exercise Before Change: It depends on your Training Age.
a) Novice Lifters take longer to adapt. Thus, they can employ the same exercise for a longer period of time before they need to change; about 6 - 8 weeks.
b) Advance Lifter adapt quickly. They need to vary their exercises more often; about every 3 - 4 weeks.
2) Conjugate Training provide a "Synergistic Effect"; it amount to adding 2 + 2 and getting 5. One type of Strength enhance another; providing a greater training effect.
3) Common Sense: When you stop making progress or regress with an exercise or a Conjugate Training Cycle, it is time to change the exercise and reboot your Conjugate Training Cycle; dramatically decrease the load to where it is light an easy, allow for muscle recovery and progressively increase the load each week until you hit the wall and then start over.