- The amount of resistance applied to the target muscle must be increased.
- The duration that a muscle is under stress must be increased.
- The amount of rest that a muscle is allowed must be decreased.
I will illustrate how I incorporate these three criteria into my fitness routines. My workouts are structured into macro cycles. Simply, a macro cycle is a duration of time that includes a period of working out and a period of rest. My macro cycles are structured such that I work out for about six to eight weeks before allowing my body to rest from half a week to one week. During the start of each new macro cycle (this is right after my rest period), I tend to increase the weight used for all my exercises, satisfying the condition of the first criteria.
My workouts are broken down even further into micro cycles (a macro cycle can also be thought of as a series of micro cycles with a rest period at the end). A micro cycle establishes the day to day structure of my workout routine. Right now I am following a micro cycle that lasts seven days, with five days of working out and two days of rest:
- Day 1: Back
- Day 2: Chest
- Day 3: Biceps
- Day 4: Triceps
- Day 5: Shoulders
- Day 6: Rest
- Day 7: Rest