Written by Gage Reid of Nova Strength
In the age of the Internet we are bombarded with posts, memes and videos of people discussing different principles of training--- some good, some bad and some are completely ugly. These "training principles" can range from the proven such as the Juggernaut Method, Cube Method, The Westside Method to unbelievably ridiculous methodologies like "shock the body" or "muscle confusion". Although these ideas seem logical and practical to some, you must set yourself apart from the crowd and understand that all training is equal in one way--- it requires a stimulus to the body, this much is true. How training may differ depends on goals, sport, experience, etc.
Although there is no possible way to completely discuss every aspect of training into one article, I'd like to focus on two vital points; overload and recovery.
Physical adaptations cannot occur without a proper training stimulus. In other words, training must be consistently harder, longer and more demanding--- thus, the Overload Principle. This can become extremely complicated when you consider factors like your Max Recoverable Volume (MRV).
Although training must be harder and more difficult over time, you cannot consistently exceed your MRV or you'll overreach to the point of plateauing, diminishing returns or injury. The best and most effective way to ensure you consistently progress and avoid injury, is to program a Deload (or a reduction in overall volume/intensity) into your training blocks. One of the most effective methods used is by Chad Wesley Smith of Juggernaut Training Systems and by many other well-known strength gurus.
*** See Chad explain the PRINCIPLE OF OVERLOAD HERE
Not to completely steal Chads thought, but in my opinion the "3 up, 1 down" philosophy to managing fatigue is one of the most effective out there. By gradually making training harder over the course of 3 weeks, you are able to reach the point of a "planned overreach", which is on the brink of exceeding your Max Recoverable Volume (MRV) to the point of diminishing returns. Once you reach this point on Week 3, you'll take a 1 week deload where you drop the volume down to recover; allowing for "super compensation".
*** Watch Chad explain MANAGING FATIGUE HERE
Just like many top Powerlifting/Strength Coaches will tell you, there are hundreds of ways to get strong and the above is one of many. What you must do, as an athlete, is find what works best for YOU, stick to it and progress to the best of your abilities. Although the saying "everyone is special" is so cliché that it hurts to say, it's somewhat true in the sense of recovery. Smaller lifters can recover faster than bigger lifters, Deadlifts are more physically taxing on taller lifters than shorter lifters, your particular sport, etc. What you must do is look at all the factors that contribute to recovery and implement them into your program.
Train harder by properly using the Overload Principle, and train smarter by realizing that their is a limit to which you can recover from and that sometimes taking 1 step backwards can take you 2 steps forward in time.