Reach Your Fitness Goals in 5 Steps - Part 4: Week Plan (Microcycle)
Updated: Apr 18
This is a 5 Part Series on the Phases of Training and how jumping into the latest, greatest fitness trend can be counterproductive and potentially dangerous.
Part 4 – Week Plan (Microcycle)
You have goals and maybe even a long-term plan to help you reach those goals. You’ve been working out for a while and are finding that you’ve hit a plateau or are just plain bored or you want to try something new but don’t want to stray from what’s been working for you. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it you think.
What if I told you that you could incorporate short-term workouts into your regimen and you’d make gains at the same time? Introducing: the microcycle.
Microcycles are very short periods of training — only one to four weeks in duration — that systematically vary your total volume and training intensity day-to-day or week-to-week to maximize your results. By varying the volume-load in a shorter time frame, you can fine-tune your workouts and your body’s response to them even better than before.
It’s a challenge to train high-octane 24/7/365 and achieve maximal results without overtraining and risking injury. Consequently, training hard for a period of time and then decreasing volume over 50% can be dangerous as well. However, if you can change up your program for a short period of time but keep intensity the same, even for a very small amount, research shows that your body reacts differently, rewarding you with amazing gains instead of a severe decline.
I program microcycles for my more intermediate training clients or anyone with previous fitness experience that included functional movement instruction. I will say that I find microcycles are not always the best for brand new exercisers that have had troubles sticking to a program in the past. It can be 21 days long but just barely at 30 days for a 4-week program, a little longer for a 6-week program. For some, it’s enough to get them hooked on fitness as a lifestyle but for most, it is not.
I personally use microcycles as a Les Mills Instructor (teach releases 3-4 weeks then change it up for another 3-4 weeks) as well as in my personal workouts with BeachBody – I’m not just a coach, I take the programs too😉! It’s definitely been the reason I have been able to stay this long in the game and most people would say it’s what seems to keep me (looking) young!
So if you’re looking to shake things up with your current fitness routine, a microcycle program may just be the thing!
Interested in a fitness/wellness consultation or have some questions about nutrition and your current fitness program? Join any of my groups online (Facebook) and/or pick up my book, How to be Fit for Life - Eight Proven Steps to Reaching Your Fitness Goals, Getting Results, and Living the Fitness Life for more help with your fitness journey. And please feel free to contact me and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have:).