Thursday, September 23, 2010

So You Think You Have to Train Three Times A Week

Alright folks, the original 4x7 template may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who revolve their lives around the 7 day cycle.

So does that mean that you can go back to the conventional 3 times a week microcycle? One day on one day off, two days on one day off etc.? So you have to keep weekends free? And many other concerns?

Do not fret. Here are two official variations from the classic 4x7 model: the 7x4.

Version 1

Day 1: No Intensity
Day 2: Low Intensity
Day 3: Moderate Intensity
Day 4: No Intensity
Day 5: Low Intensity
Day 6: Moderate Intensity
Day 7: High Intensity

Version 2

Day 1: No Intensity
Day 2: No Intensity
Day 3: Low Intensity
Day 4: Low Intensity
Day 5: Moderate Intensity
Day 6: Moderate Intensity
Day 7: High Intensity

The definition of No, Low, Mod and High can be found in my previous post.

Repeat the 7 day cycle 4 times for a total of 28 days.

Using these variations, you can keep the microcycle the same every week. If you need to keep your weekends free, just put Saturday or Sunday as No or Low, depending on which version you are using.

Again, if you are asking why they are scheduled like this, it is to ensure that you have enough recovery before doing any High Intensity training. Each day in the cycle serves a purpose and therefore they are placed in this order.

Have fun with your training.

If you need me to structure a 7x4 cycle for you, please do not hesitate to visit my website or email me at

If You Think You are Hardcore, You Need to Read This

I encounter these comment/questions frequently (not exact words but the idea is there, emphasis mine):

"Everytime after i go to the gym, i am sore for a few days. Anything wrong? What should i do?"

"My arms are sore from yesterday's session. Can i go to the gym today?"

"Keep doing pullups until you cannot do any more. Do everyday."

So the impression i get from this type of comments are that:

1) They are training High Intensity every time they go to the gym.

2) Training has to be High Intensity, aka "Go Heavy or Go Home".

3) Training means training to failure, otherwise it's not counted.

Are you doing these or any combinations of these?

If you do, you are looking for trouble. If you are young and/or just starting out, probably some of these methods can work, for some time. But it is just that, for some time. You need to balance the work forces and the restorative forces to have real long lasting progress and freedom from injury.

It is just a matter of time that you would hit a wall, get sick or get injured. It is just a natural law. When you are training, you are breaking your body down. If you don't give it the recovery it needs, it won't get stronger. And by recovery i don't mean passive rest. I mean doing joint mobility, yoga and other light activities to enhance the natural recovery rate.

Whether you train 3x per week, 5x per week or 6x per week is not so much a matter as getting full recovery before you hit another High Intensity session. If you are training High Intensity every two days, your High Intensity will get lower and lower as you don't get enough recovery. Even if you are training different bodyparts on every session, the fatigue goes systemic.

Anyway, rather than boring you with options - you can get confused from too many choices - which you don't know how or what to choose, i would just propose to you a better way to periodize your microcycle and mesocycle. If you don't know what these mean, Google them. I am not going to spoonfeed you.

Why do i say that you don't know what to choose? Finding the perfect training split for each individual is a time consuming process. And if you are just an average guy training without an expert coach, you would do better following a proven formula than trying to come up with your own perfect training split. I say formula because it is just a guideline. It is not a must to do this. But this template is good enough that you do not need to tinker with it for good results. And i can vouch that the results can be better than if you try to tweak it.

I myself would rather and do follow this formula to the letter than try to find a perfect training split.

The formula is none other than the 4x7 (pronounced "four by seven").

Day 1: No Intensity (RPE 1-2)
AM: Intu-Flow joint mobility ONLY

Day 2: Low Intensity (RPE 3-4)
AM: Intu-Flow joint mobility
PM: Prasara Yoga

Day 3: Moderate Intensity (RPE 5-7)
AM: Intu-Flow joint mobility
Moderate intensity workout. Of course it is assumed that you do your warm up and cool down.
PM: Prasara Yoga

Day 4: High Intensity (RPE 8-10)
AM: Intu-Flow joint mobility
High intensity workout. Of course it is assumed that you do your warm up and cool down.
PM: Prasara Yoga

And you repeat these four consecutive days seven times for a total of 28 days.

Now i know what is your concern. "Doing only one High Intensity session every four days is not enough." But without going through the technical explanations, in the simplest explanation, these four days are designed in such a way to maximize your performance. It is designed to ride the wave of your body's natural recovery and energy fluctuations. Any more frequent and your High Intensity would suffer.

Of course this formula will not work for 100% of the population. You can tweak it to your own unique rhythm. I am not going to tell you just yet how to tweak it. Because tendency for people who are told "do this" is that they would ask "can i do this instead, or this, or this". Just do this for a start. You will notice a difference not just in your performance but also your health.

If you don't know how to craft your own 4x7, get me for personal training.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Casting My Bread Upon the Waters

Dear Friends and Fitness Enthusiasts,

For this post-Youth Olympic Games season i am going to give away 5 free personal training packages (up to SGD$990 value) for 5 Singapore people. That’s right 5 personal training packages absolutely free of charge.

What you need to do to get yours is submit a 200-word story of yourself and why you should get it. This offer is open for five days from 2 September through 6 September 2010. Submit your story by hitting the “comment” button now. Only comments submitted within these five days would be considered for the free training.

These packages comprise of:

-Free fitness consultation(s) to discuss your goals and program options.

-Free coaching on the exercises and everything you need to know to negotiate through your training program.

The five spots available are open to:

1) One chronic pain rehab client (back pain, knee pain, chronic ankle sprain etc.)

2) One post-op rehab client (ACL recon, meniscus repair etc.)

3) One strength & conditioning client (for golf, ball sports, martial arts etc.)

4) One prehab client (sedentary but otherwise pain free and want to have better overall fitness)

5) One fat loss client (looking to lose weight but otherwise pain free)

Terms and conditions:

-Follow the program(s) to the letter. Which means you may need to purchase training programs and/or equipment. You will need to get out of your comfort zone and get uncomfortable doing something different from what you have been doing. You are required to keep a training log and submit it regularly to me through email. You are required to write a testimonial and/or review at certain intervals.

-Training times are flexible, however location would be at my place (Blk 128 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310128) or somewhere at my convenience.

-I reserve the right to terminate any packages if you do not follow instructions.

Click here to submit your story now ->