Training Priorities Pyramid

Priorities when writing your own training programs. Most important at the bottom of the pyramid, least important at the top.

Adherence: Simply, can you stick to the plan you’ve written? If you’ve given yourself 5 sessions per week but on average only make it to the gym 3x per week then the outlook doesn’t look good captain. Don’t fall into the trap of writing the most optimal plan for your goals. It’s not optimal if you don’t stick to it. Do what you can, when you can. Plan for that.

Enjoyment plays in hugely here too. If you believe a certain program is perfect for you but you absolute hate every session then it’s likely not a good fit. Training for goals like hypertrophy and strength are long term burners. Enjoyment needs to be there most of the time. Particularly if you are a beginner.

VIF: these training variables form the foundations of a training program and largely drive progress based on how they are manipulated. We can’t get into the nuances of them here but if you’re stalled on your current training program then learning more about these and then putting your knowledge in to practice will take you much further than program hopping blindly ever will.

Broadly speaking for strength training regular exposure to higher intensities (80% 1RM +) in the rep ranges you want to improve (1RM, 3RM, 5RM) will be needed. An appropriate amount of volume would also be wise for hypertrophy and practice at the lifts.

For hypertrophy the main focus needs to be on completing enough volume in an appropriate intensity range (say 65-80%).

Where training frequency sits will largely be dependent on how much volume you need to complete and how often you need to train a muscle group or movement pattern to see an improvement in the things mentioned above.

Recovery also factors in here too.

Volume, intensity and frequency are all interconnected. Changing one variable will impact the others.

Progression refers to progressive overload, or the continual increase in stress placed upon the body overtime. Loosely this means we will need to lift heavier weights and perform more training as our training age increases in order to keep seeing change.

Moving past that we are getting into fluff territory that’s not super important to the average gym goer. I’m also running out of caption space. If you’re new or stuck focus on the bottom three before trying weird woo you saw on T-Nation or some YouTube fit chick’s page.

Check out The Muscle and Strength Pyramids:

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