Your Training Schedule

The first thing the body does immediately after a workout is to recoup the energy and reserves lost during the workout. The processes of recovery and growth are separate, each requiring a certain amount of time. While recovery of an individual muscle may be quite rapid, the recovery of the overall physical system (also known as systemic recovery) was typically thought to require anywhere from forty-eight to seventy-two hours. However, recent research, backed up by the authors' personal experience, would indicate that if the overload was of sufficient intensity to stimulate strength and size increases, systemic recovery may take anywhere from one to six weeks. During that time training would be both unnecessary and counterproductive, as it would make further inroads into the individual's limited recovery ability.

If you are operating blind (with no measure of your muscular output), you will have no way to discern accurately whether you have recovered from your previous workout. But if ever you reach a point where you're not progressing in Power Factor Training, your Power Factor and/or Power Index will reveal it instantly. This will help you schedule your workouts for maximum benefit.

Because you are stronger after each workout, your "ideal routine" changes every time. For example, we started our own Power Factor Training on a three-day-per-week split routine, training half the body (shoulders, traps, biceps, triceps) on one day and the other half (lats, pecs, lower back, legs, and calves) on the next Training day on an alternating basis. We would train on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, allowing a full forty-eight hours (and an additional twenty-four hours on the weekends) to elapse between workouts so the processes of recovery and growth could occur. For the first month and a half, this spacing was perfect; our progress soared on a per workout basis. Soon an overhead press limit weight rose from a respectable 185 pounds to a monstrous 405 pounds. Likewise with bench presses; what had previously yielded 6 reps with 165 now was, 70 days later, giving way to 485 pounds for 20 reps. And the leg presses just flat out skyrocketed, from 800 for 6 to 1,325 for 35!

Obviously some major changes had occurred. After all, a weaker muscle (such as ours were when we started training) contracting maximally requires less metabolic fuel and produces different quantities of by-products and wastes than does a stronger muscle contracting maximally and moving a greater weight. The result was that we were now much stronger than when we began training, and our ability to generate maximum levels of overload had risen to such high levels that we were beginning to exceed our bodies' capacities to recover from our workouts. Our greater muscle mass (and we were gaining mass steadily), working at greater output levels, was using up much more fuel and producing much heavier quantities of waste products than we were even remotely capable of when we first started training. (As a side note, total oxygen uptake in a trained muscle working at maximum capacity has been shown to increase in some cases up to thirty times its original resting capacity!)

At this point, we began to experience a very strong disinclination to train on our scheduled three-day-a-week program. We evidently had been stimulating growth with every workout, but due to the increased overload and corresponding increased demand on our recovery abilities, we apparently were not allowing sufficient time for both the recovery and growth processes to rake place. All of this was reflected in a plateau then a decrease in our Power Index numbers. The only logical conclusion was that we would have to reduce our training days per week.

At this point, we reduced our Power Factor Training sessions to only two days per week (Tuesdays and Fridays) and sometimes even once a week. The result? Our strength gains made another quantum leap upward! Our overhead presses were now being done with 475 pounds, our bench presses with 525 pounds for 20 reps, our repetition barbell shrugs with 600 pounds, and our leg presses went over the moon to 1,600 pounds for 20 reps!

VARYING RECOVERY APPLICATIONS

Power Factor Training's effect on the body is so dramatic that a prolonged recovery period is mandatory. The question at this point changes from How soon can 1 go back to the gym? to How soon mwst 1 go back to the gym? Some individuals may only require one high-intensity Power Factor Training session per week in order to stimulate an adaptive response from the body, depending on rheir innate adaptability to exercise. Others may require two weeks off between workouts for recovery and growth to manifest. Still others may require upwards ol six weeks. What's becoming clear is that there exists a wide range of variation among individuals with regard to their personal recovery ability (that is, their ability to tolerate peak overload training). By closely monitoring your Power Factor and Power Index numbers, you can adjust the frequency of your workouts to ensure either steady increases in size and strength or simply maintenance ot your maximum strength. Any steady decline of Power

By closely monitoring your Power Factor and Power Index, you can adjust the frequency of your workouts in a manner that ensures either steady increases m size and strength or maintenance of your maximum strength.

Factor or Power Index numbers is an indicator of overtraining.

One thing is for certain in this regard, however, and that is if you are training with maximum overload and if your workouts arc both brief (less than one hour) and infrequent enough that you don't use up all of your recuperative reserves merely to compensate for the exhaustive effects of the workout itself, you will grow. The very fact that you grew stronger is proof that you fully recovered from your workout.

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