Cycling your training to avoid plateaus

It’s been awhile since the last article I wrote. I have been traveling a lot and taking time off from writing but nevertheless thank you for reading my articles. The importance of cycling your training cannot be underestimate in order to make continual progress. The reasons for cycling your training are the following:

  • to avoid stagnation
  • keep workouts interesting, fun, and enoyable
  • avoid accomadation
  • continually make progress

How do you cycle your training? How do you monitor your training?

Monitoring Your Training

You do this by keeping a training log. You write on your log the day and date of the training. Write the exercises, sets, reps, loads (expressed either in percentage, kgs or lbs) and the order the lifts were executed. For example:

Monday July 7th

  • Snatch @ 75% 3×3
  • Front Squat @ 80% 3×5

In the above example, the snatch and front squat are the exercises to be done in the workout. Next, is the load expressed in percentage but you can also write the kilos and pounds used. Finally, the sets and reps used in the exercise. It should be noted that sets are written before the reps as in the above example of 3×3 for the snatch and 3×5 for the front squat.

Cycle Your Training

Lets say you have designed a 4 week program for 3 days each week. You have 4 exercises to do each day. You follow this program for 4 weeks. In order to avoid stagnation you can follow the same program for the next 4 weeks BUT you must change something. What you can change are the percentage loads or sets and reps.

For our small example above we can change the following to avoid stagnation:

  • Snatch @ 80% 4×3
  • Front Squat @ 85% 4×3

We changed the loading percentage and both sets and reps. In both cases the percentage load is increased so that we are introducing a new stimulus in order to make favorable progress. We want to avoid doing the same percentage loads, same sets and rep schemes so that we don’t get into a plateau.

Keep it Simple

It should not be difficult to make this little changes to your training. Cycle your training to avoid plateaus incorporating the adjustments as recommended above. If you have a coach that does your programming for you that’s great! Make sure that they makes these adjustments over time. If you don’t have a coach then get to learn how to program so that you can do it for yourself and others.

Thank you for reading my article and please share and subscribe.


Josue Cano



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