Microcycles one and two focus on increasing muscle size by adopting the use of lighter weights at higher repetition ranges. After building the desired muscle size, microcycles three and four help in building muscle strength. The weights are increased while the repetition ranges are reduced. This is a program that runs for twelve weeks which are broken down into three phases; each phase covering four weeks. Each week represents a microcycle during which each part of the body is exercised in the four-day split. The workout split is described below;
Monday: Triceps and chest.
Tuesday: Biceps and back.
Wednesday: Active rest.
Saturday: Active rest.
Sunday: Active rest.
During the three active rest days, activities such as cardio workouts, hiking and playing basketball, are recommended. Lifting of weights on such days will do more harm than good to the muscles and are therefore not recommended.
Duration of workout
Workouts on Monday and Tuesday may run for seventy five to ninety minutes, while those on Thursday and Friday should not go beyond sixty minutes. Your experience will determine rest lags between one exercise and the next. These periods normally have a range between two to four minutes; the higher the muscular endurance, the shorter the rest periods. These rep ranges are scientifically proven and should therefore be maintained.
I highly recommend that you keep a log of the weights used during each microcycle. This will help you in making a decision on how much weight to add as you progress to the next microcycle. At the end of the program, it will be so impressive to look back and see how you have progressed throughout this period.
During this program you should take seven meals during rest days and nine meals during training days.
In order to build muscle and reduce fat gain, calorie intake should be tightly controlled within specific ranges depending on ones metabolic rate and daily activities (whether resting or training days). On workout days, twenty calories/ pound of body weight should be taken in each of the seven meals daily. Each of the nine meals on workout days, twenty calories/ body weight should be adhered to.
Calorie content of food sources
Food source Calories/ gram
Proteins not only build muscles but also fuel the body, though to a small extent. During this period, take 2 grams/ pound of body weight on work out days and 1.5 grams/ pound of body weight on rest days. Whole proteins provide essential amino acids needed by the body. Beef, eggs, fish, chicken and dairy products (yogurt and cheese) are perfect sources of these amino acids. Protein powders are preferred over whole proteins under the following circumstances; upon waking up, pre- and post-workout.
Low glycemic; Sweet potatoes, fruits, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, whole grains and whole wheat bread.
High glycemic; Tropical fruits, white bread, sugars, white potatoes and candy
On rest days; 1.5 grams/ pound body weight.
On workout days; 2 grams/ pound body weight. Low glycemic carbohydrates before while high glycemic carbohydrates after workout.
To maintain a lean body most of the carbohydrates in the diet should be low glycemic.
Omega 3 fats; Anchovies, salmon, sardines and tuna.
Saturated fats; Chicken, pork and beef.
Monosaturated fats; Avocadoes, nuts and olive oil.
0.5 grams/ pound of body weight is recommended during this period.
Breakfast 1; (Immediately after waking up) = 1 Scoop protein powder + half medium cantaloupe + 5 grams BCAA.
Breakfast 2; (An hour after breakfast 1)
Scrambled eggs; 3 whole eggs + 3 egg whites + 1 table spoon of olive oil + 1 slice American cheese; Scramble the eggs in olive oil, then melt the cheese in it.
2 Cups of cooked oatmeal
3 Grams of fish oil
3 grams of CLA
Late Morning Snack
Pineapple in cottage cheese prepared by mixing 165 grams of sliced pineapple into 1 cup of cottage cheese.
1 can Albacore tuna + 2 slices of whole-wheat bread + 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise + 1 large fruit ( orange, apple or banana) + 3 grams of fish oil + 3 grams of CLA + 1 dose of multivitamin.
1 spoon protein powder + 1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon jam + 2 slices whole-wheat bread + 5 grams of BCAAs
30 minutes pre-workout
1 scoop of protein powder + 1 large apple + 5 grams of creatine monohydrate + 10 grams of BCAAs + 3 grams betaine.
30 minutes post-workout
2 scoops of protein powder + 30 gummy bears + 10 grams BCAAs + 3 grams beta alanine + 2 grams betaine.
8 ounces of salmon + 1 cup of chopped broccoli + 2 cups of mixed green salad + 2 tablespoons of salad dressing (vinegar and olive oil)
Before bed snack
1 scoop of protein powder + 1 tablespoon peanut butter.
Nutrient Totals (g)
Active Rest Days Workout Days
Calories 3100 3700
Proteins 265 335
Carbohydrates 260 340
Fats 110 110
CASE STUDY ONE; DIANA PRINCE
Estimated maximum heart rate= 193.
12 week periodized program
First, switch from the universal three meals per day to three major and two minor meals in between.
Consume 165 grams of proteins and 248 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Apply the 1/3 rule in all your meals; 1/3 proteins, 1/3 complex carbohydrates and 1/3 vegetables.
Lean proteins; fish, chicken, turkey, and red meat.
Complex carbohydrates; brown rice, oats, beans, sweet potatoes and whole wheat pasta
Vegetable; broccoli, spinach, asparagus, peppers and tomatoes
Fruits; apples, oranges, berries and grapefruit.
Fats; olive oil, avocado, nuts, and fish.
What to avoid;
Unhealthy dressings like butter and dips.
Processed foods containing saturated fats.
Food cooked with frying oil.
High sodium and sugar sauces like BBQ Sauce.
Chips, mayonnaise, cheese and ice-cream.
Alcohol and soda.
The training will be on for two days and off for one day, repeated in that sequence for the entire 12-week training period. Pull muscles, push muscles and crunch/kick muscles will be the main weight training events. The following schedule should be adhered to;
Triceps, shoulders and chest (Push muscles) training on the same day.
Biceps and back training (Pull muscles) together.
Abs and legs together (crunch and kick muscles).
To ensure a complete workout, the sessions should run for thirty to forty minutes.
This should be done on active off days for thirty minutes in addition to the short cardio sessions after biceps and back workouts. Stair/ elliptical climber, bicycle or treadmill are some of the recommended cardio workouts. The intensity of the cardio workouts should be varied to stimulate metabolism of calories. The following model should be employed for high intensity training;
During cardio training, the heart rate should be kept at 85 % of the maximum expected heart rate. Use your breathing to monitor heart rate; if out of breath that means you are moving too fast and should slow down. When combined with weight lifting, cardio should come last.
It is advisable to keep a log where you record all the workouts and diets done throughout this 12-week training period.
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