June 14, 2011 posted by

Trust Your Training Program

Periodizational training can be a hard sell because each time you change training blocks you take a small step backwards. But these steps “back” are there for a reason and, eventually, you lose less strength during each transition leading to larger cumulative gains near the end of your program. If you alter your program so that you never regress you hamper to ability to ultimately improve. This requires trust.

Every 90-day (or longer) Beachbody program comes with a periodizational strategy designed to do this. As you’ll see if you click here, mutiny is a rational consideration when you aren’t moving towards your goals. But you should trust these schedules because they work, which I know because I’ve spent the last 30 or so years of my life trying to perfect them.

And while I know how to set up periodizational schedules for a broad demographic my own personal plans are more of a crap shoot because I’m always tweaking, or experimenting, with something theoretical. Each time I set up a new scenario I’m never 100% certain it’s a good idea.

Yesterday my training took me back into the gym (well, garage) for the first time in six weeks, where I was somewhat surprised, and quite happy, to find I’d lost little, if any, strength doing Asylum Strength. I say surprised because six weeks is about the outside of time you can hang onto strength gains. It’s not like I’ve been doing nothing, far from it, but outdoor sports don’t usually allow you to keep strength gains made in the gym. This is a sign that my training plans are going according to plan.

I began this schedule back in January. Back then transitions weren’t so smooth. In the deep off season you should focus on areas of weakness. This means your strengths will suffer, which is fine, since you know (or should know) that you can get them back. But it’s still hard to wrap you head around the fact that you might be training harder than ever before only to be getting worse at your main objectives then you would be if you didn’t train at all.

Closer to your objectives these peaks and valleys merge. You don’t take big steps back during transitions and each step of your training leads to a little peak. Eventually, if you get it right, it all cumulates with a major peak in fitness.

The lesson of the day is to trust your program and let it work. We get tons of mail (literally if it weren’t electronic) from people wanting to alter their program, or quit, as soon as they get weaker, gain weight, feel tired, or hungry, or anything that’s not what they consider to be the direction they want to be going. But you’ve got to trust us; those steps back are going to lead to improvements that you never would have believed to be possible.


  • Thanks Steve for the encouragement! I lost a little bit of gains from P90X after having done INSANITY and The Asylum, however I gained in other areas that I thought were not ever possible. I didn't gain bulk, however I got lean, and I thinned down quite a bit. I continue to point people who ask questions over to your blog because it seems like you always have the answers! Thanks Again… Jeremy

  • I agree, Jeremy. In fact, I had started having this same question in my head over the past few days. Thanks so much for the input. I will keep on keepin' on!!

  • You think you'll ever try the WFH ever again? That stuff was crazy, the 30 reps set hurt so much. But there was a massive increase in strength from it.

  • Can you still be a bodybuilder, but climb? I might compete later on, but I still find climbing fun. Do you know people in the sport of bodybuilding but still climb?

  • My mantra has been "Have faith in the program" whenever those doubts creep in. And it has paid off. The changes are great, and I don't sweat it when I see little backslides here and there. As you say, a little more time, and there is a big leap forward.

  • A lot of "ex" bodybuilders climb but it's not too beneficial to carry around all that mass when you're fighting gravity. One of my first lessons in climbing involved a bodybuilder, actually. I watched this Greek God looking dude fight and sweat and, eventually, fall out of this crack. The party asked if I'd like to have a go and I said something like "not if HE can't do it." Then I did it easily and was, like, "holy shit, there's some stuff about this sport I'm not understanding…"WFH is in my blood. I'll always play around with it from time to time.

  • I wish I could make everyone read this. I agree 100%. I've done a bunch of programs and my fitness rollercoaster has been going ever upward despite some small steps back here and there. Even during recovery weeks I get that itch to push harder but I dial it back and the following week is an explosion of progress…but maybe that's because I was in terrible shape and gains were easy lol.

  • I would love to see an "official" BeachBody program that is a kind of hybrid of resistance work-outs and high intensity cardio. There are, of course, many good unofficial ones out there that folks have put together (combining Insanity, Asylum, and p90x), but it'd be interesting to see what the pros such as yourself at BeachBody could come up with.

  • I'll climb for fun I guess. Can't take this sport at a competitive level, I was never good either way.

  • I agree with Tim Zeddies. It would be really helpful if the BeachBody Pros could put out a hybrid of p90x and Insanity. That would be the ultimate for thousands of BeachBody devotees!!

  • Thx Steve. Great Inspiration and Information

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