I’ve experimented with various training program lengths over the years. I’ve tried 4 week programs, 8 week programs, and 12 week programs. But the program length I keep coming back to is 6 weeks.
6 weeks is my personal “sweet spot” for maintaining training intensity and focus. To put it another way, I tend to get damned bored with my training if I don’t mix things up about every 6 weeks.
That doesn’t mean that 6 weeks is the sweet spot for everyone. I’m fond of saying that the “macro” of health and fitness applies to everyone: eat real food in appropriate quantity and train in a manner that is continually challenging. But the “micro” of diet and training can only be dialed in through self experimentation and tracking results.
A diet of lots of vegetables, some meat, and a small amount of fruit and nuts works great for me. But maybe you’ve found that you function at your best on a vegetarian diet. A combination of strength training and high intensity interval training has yielded my best results in energy levels and body composition. But maybe you find that long distance endurance training works for you. And I tend to favor six week training blocks while you might lean towards eight or twelve.
All of that being said, I’ve included my latest 6 week training program below. Follow along if you like, or adjust the program to fit your needs (this is why I’ve included an excel file instead of a PDF, so you can make changes). If you have questions about this program, or any of the exercises used, let me know in the comments.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Rings And Barbells
I’ll be rotating between two different workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each session will start with either deadlifts or front squats. I typically go with heavy weight and no more than 5 repetitions on these lifts, so I’m changing it up a bit. I’ll be working in the 6 – 12 rep range with deadlifts and front squats for no other reason than I haven’t done it in a while.
After the barbell work is finished, I’ll complete a circuit of ring exercises. By “circuit” I mean that I will move from one exercise to the next with as little rest as possible (just a few seconds) and then take a longer rest after the final exercise (about 1 minute). The circuit will be completed for 3 sets, with maximum repetitions performed on each exercise.
Here are the exercises used for each workout:
Fronts Squat: 3 or 4 working sets in the 6 – 12 rep range.
Ring Pull Ups
Jack Knife Ring Push Ups
Ring Push Ups
Knees To Elbows
Deadlifts: 3 or 4 working sets in the 6 – 12 rep range.
L-sit Ring Pull Ups
Ring Push Ups
Twisting Knees To Elbows
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Sprint Training
I’m now living within walking distance of a quarter-mile track and a very steep and long hill, both of which are taunting me to sprint. I’m also going to throw in some shorter sprints with maneuverability aspects just to mix things up. I haven’t used sprints more than once per week before, so I’m especially curious about this part of the program. Here are the sprint drills:
Sprint Drill 1: 100 yard sprints. On a quarter-mile track, sprint the straight-aways and walk the curves. Or, sprint the curves and walk the straights. I’ll be mixing up both and doing between 4 – 10 sprints per session.
Sprint Drill 2: Four corner drill and shuttle sprints. For the four corner drill, place cones in a rectangle or square with each cone 10 – 20 yards apart. Sprint forward, side shuffle, back peddle, side shuffle . . . probably easier to show a video than describe the drill:
For the shuttle sprints, place three cones on a line each about 5 yards apart. Starting on the middle cone, sprint to the cone on the right. Change directions and sprint to the cone on the far left. Change directions again and sprint to the starting point. Go the opposite way on the next repetition.
I’ll be doing between 4 – 8 repetitions of the four corner drill and 2 – 8 repetitions of the shuttle sprints per session.
Sprint Drill 3: Hill sprints. Find a big hill and sprint up that sucker! No other description needed. The hill I’m using is a beast. I’ll be doing 3 – 6 repetitions per session.
If you’d like an Excel spreadsheet of this training program, right click the link below and then click “save link as”. As I mentioned before, I went with an excel file so you can easily make changes to the program as you see fit. Please consult a doctor before using this or any training program and know that you assume all risk of injury (now the lawyer in me is somewhat satisfied ).
Right click the link above and then click “save link as”.
What questions do you have about this 6 week training program? What exercises would you change? Do you like 6 week programs or do you prefer longer or shorter programs? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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