Often we find ourselves trying to do too much at once, we try to ride too many horses. And, to keep the analogy going, we fall off.
Our training often suffers the same fate.
We try to chase strength PBs but we also want to get more ripped and lose some weight. We want to hit the gym 6 times a week but don’t want to lose fitness thus try and squeeze in four runs too.
Sometimes it is best to focus on one particular area, be it your fitness, weight, strength or a particular muscle/muscle group.
This single-mindedness tends to yield quicker, and better, results. And you won’t suffer losses in other areas provided you maintain your minimum effective training volume.
Smart well-planned training cycles with a degree of specificity are the way to go.
Rather than trying to increase volume across your whole body, identify a particular body part to focus on and increase volume for that muscle ONLY for a 6-8 week cycle. You can then focus on a different muscle/muscle group in the following 6-8 week cycle.
Similarly, if you want to shift some fat and/or improve your aerobic performance, drop down to a 2 or 3-day full-body strength programme and increase your cardio sessions and follow a specific 10-12 week programme to improve your 5k or 10k run time, for example.
There is a multitude of options, but the take-home point is that you only have a limited amount of energy and want to be smart where you expend it to maximise results and achieve whatever goal you’ve set yourself.
Working in training cycles with a specific focus will also lead to greater variety in your training.
This prevents things getting stale or boring and ensures your body never gets too comfortable. This provides a better chance at continued growth and improvement.