THE CALENDAR BUILDER
In the Calendar Builder the Program Designer will design sessions and then place them into the desired days in the calendar.
First we need to find exercises. You can search for the name of the exercise or do a broader search by typing in the name of a specific body part, e.g., chest, back, hips, neck, shoulders, thighs, upper arms, forearms, calves, waist or neck. The findings are divided into barbell-, dumbbell-, cable/machine- and other exercises. The different types of exercise all have their advantages and disadvantages.
There is one mandatory rule: the program must have between one and three test exercise(s), preferable at the start of the session when the you are freshest and most energized. Ideally, you should include one test exercise per test session. Spread the test exercises over one to three days. The test exercises are marked as «Testable». The first and last week of the program will be a test and training week, respectively.
Compound barbell exercises allow you to use heavier loads, which is important so that you can track small relatively small changes in strength over time in order to measure progression. Compound barbell exercises are therefore excellent test exercises. Overload is a must in becoming bigger or stronger, and compound barbell exercises present the greatest overload and generally create the greatest benefit.
Compound dumbbell movements present the greatest overload after compound barbell exercises. Dumbbell exercises allow for a greater range of motion compared to barbell exercises. They are also effective isolation exercises for targeting a specific muscle group or part of a muscle group. They can be superb exercises when training with more reps and smaller loads, such as for hypertrophy training.
Cable & machine exercises
Cable and machine exercises will place your muscles under constant tension throughout the movement, unlike exercises with free weights where there is often reduced resistance at the top or bottom of the movement. Some exercises are simply not doable with a barbell or dumbbell, such as a lat pulldown or leg extensions. Cable and machine exercises are also less burdensome on your joints, muscles, nervous system and body in general, which can lead to a faster recovery.
Other exercises represents exercises such as body-weight-, weighted-, assisted- and power-sled exercises, leverage machine and trap exercises. Body-weight exercises are strength training exercises that use your own weight to provide resistance against gravity. Bodyweight training uses basic tasks like pushing, pulling, squatting, bending, twisting and balancing. Bodyweight training may be challenging to novices, yet often perceived as too easy for experienced athletes.
We can also distinguish between compound and isolation exercises. Compound exercises use multiple joints and muscle groups simultaneously. They can provide cardiovascular benefit, burn more calories, and can help improve balance and co-ordination. Isolation exercises are movements that targets a single muscle group and involve the movement of a single joint.
Press «Add exercise» or drag and drop the desired exercises into the Workouts section.
When you have added all your exercises to your workout, it is time to create your strength training session.
Increase or decrease the number of sets by pressing the plus (+) or minus (-) icons. If you fill in all the variables in the first set and press the plus icon, the next set will be a duplicate of the first set.
Type in the number of repetitions for each set ranging from 1 to 20. A quick guideline is to use approximately 1 – 6 for maximum strength, 6 – 12 for hypertrophy and 12 and above for muscular endurance.
RTF (reps to failure)
The RTF scale is rated from 0 to 5, and measures the sense of effort, strain discomfort, and/or fatigue experienced during resistance training. RTF are based on how many repetitions are remaining at the completion of a set. For example, an RTF of 2 means that after completion of a set, you could have done two more reps.
Load (% of 1 RM)
The combination of reps and RTF dictates the load of the set (% of 1 RM). When strength athletes upload the program to their Calendar and Workout Log, the load is converted from a general percentage of 1 RM values into individual kg values.
- Straight set: is an ordinary set where you complete a set of one exercise, rest and proceed to the next set.
- Warm up set: perform one or several sets with low weight and low intensity prior to your workout sets.
- Test AMRAP set: is a test set where you perform as many reps as possible (1-5 reps) with maximum effort (0 RTF) in the test exercise (marked «Testable»), used to calculate your one repetition maximum (1 RM). Test AMRAP sets are available in the Progression Builder. For now set, the test exercises method to: straight set.
- Pyramide set: is a collection of sets, of the same exercise, that starts with a light weight (% of 1 RM) and higher reps, building up to heavier weight and fewer reps, or you can start with a high weight and lower reps, building up to lighter weight and more reps.
- Super set: is when doing two exercises in a row with minimal rest between that target opposing muscles, e.g., chest and back.
- Giant set: is a circuit of three or more exercises for the same muscle group performed one after another with little to no rest in between. Like barbell bench press, dumbbell decline bench press, dumbell fly and cable-crossover.
- Pre-exhaust set: when doing an isolation or single-joint exercise followed by one compound or multiple-joint movement, e.g. dumbbell fly and barbell bench press.
- Drop set: involves performing multiple sets of an exercise to technical failure with successively lighter loads and little-to-no rest.
Standard tempo is set to “3-0-2-1”, which equates to 3 seconds lowering the load (eccentric), 0 seconds in the bottom position (stretch), 2 seconds raising the load (concentric), and 1 second at the top position (peak). Note that some categories, e.g., Power, may require a different tempo set up.
Rest periods between sets are measured in minutes and seconds. Short rest periods between sets that activate the same target muscle(s) will reduce the load (% of 1 RM) in the second set due to accumulated fatigue. Rest periods lasting over three minutes will not. Traditionally there is a trend with longer rest periods between sets when training for maximum strength compared to, for example hypertrophy.
If you want to change the exercise order, highlight the exercise and press «move up» or «move down».
When you are finished constructing the workout, press «save workout» and then «new» if you want to create a new session.
Press «Save program» so that you can edit the program further in the Calendar Builder later on. You will find the Program under «Saved programs».
In the Calendar section you can drag and drop your saved workouts into the Calendar on the desired training days. For example, a three split program; day 1 on Monday, day 2 on Wednesday and day 3 on Friday. Add as many weeks as you want by selecting the duration of your program by pressing “add week”.
Frequency progressive overload strategies
In the Calendar Builder you can create a static program where all the sessions are the same throughout the program.
In addition, it is in the Calendar section where you can carry out any changes in progressive overload strategies concerning frequency.
Frequency is how you spread volume and intensity across a training week. Frequency can be measured by training sessions per body part per week.
For example, a full-body split routine with a frequency progression model with gradual increases in number of training sessions per body part per week, can look like the following:
The program only has one session, which is carried out two times a week in week 1 and 2, thereafter three times in weeks 3 and 4, and four times in weeks 5 and 6.
The type of week is set in the Progression Builder (next step). There are three different types of week:
- Test & training weeks: are always the first and last weeks of the program. This is where the test(AMRAP) set(s) are performed in the test exercise(s).
- Training weeks: are usually those weeks in between the first and last week. This is where the progressive overload strategies are implemented: frequency-, volume- and/or intensity progressive overload strategies.
- Deload week: Usually this is the week before the last test & training week. This week aims to reduce fatigue and facilitate for recovery and adaption to occur.
Remember that if you use frequency progressive overload strategies, it may be beneficial to reduce the frequency in the deload week or perhaps even in the last test & training week.
4. PROGRAM INFORMATION
Lastly, you must come up with a program name, choose category/categories, training split and a short description for your program.
5. SAVE PROGRAM
Press «Save program» if you need to make additional improvements later in the Calendar Builder, or press «Next: progression builder» if you want to add more progression strategies to your program in the next and final step.
Note that if you go to the next step and save the program in the Progression Builder, you will not be able to go back to the Calendar Builder. In the Progression Builder you will not be able to:
- Add new exercises
- Change the order of exercises
- Change workout days
- Change the length of the program
- Change the frequency progressive overload strategy.
- Make new workouts.