Many athletes operate on a classic M/W/F or T/T/S cycle. That is to say, they either workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Athletes who train multiple facets of development may work out on all of these days (ex.):


M/W/F: Strength work
T/T/S: Conditioning work

Or: ABABABC (where A is strength work, B is a conditioning day and C is a rest day)

While there is certainly nothing wrong with splitting up your workouts this way, it has been my experience that the following schedule seems to work even better:

Day 1: Strength
Day 2: Conditioning
Day 3: Strength
Day 4: Conditioning
Day 5: Rest

Or: ABABC

This second method of organising things looks to include a lot more rest days than the traditional M/W/F schedule, however quick maths show us that it doesn’t:

Over a 35 day period (5×7-day cycles), the ABABABC routine performs each workout fifteen times.
Over a 35 day period (7×5-day cycles), the ABABC routine performs each workout fourteen times… with an extra 2 rest days.

… meaning choosing the latter method will result in a mere eleven or twelve less workouts each year. The more frequent rest days do wonders for increasing results on your training days, keep you feeling fresh physically and psychologically; when you’re tired after a session, it’s nice to know there’s only three more workouts at most- not five.

This method of scheduling can also present unique challenges to your work capacity and recovery abilities since your “strength day”, for instance, isn’t always on an otherwise lazy Friday. My personal schedule is rich in martial arts and other physical activities, and I’ve found that attending classes while alternately fatigued from strength/conditioning sessions has been an interesting experience, and increased my conditioning nicely in a way my more stagnant “M/W/F schedule” did not. Just some food for thought…

Stay strong. Be resourceful.

– Felix

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