When it comes to succeeding in life, there is no better way than having a clear plan and simply sticking to it religiously. If something does not work change it but keep going anyway. For that plan, we need understanding of basics. I have already started fitness course and would like to share with you my experience as it is my goal now to help you more professionally while also staying progressive.
My circadian rhythm is a bit messed up for staying up until 10 P.M. (end of classes) where my brain must work and also doing physical activities even though I am dead tired but always positive. On the plus side, I can sleep longer on the following day due to clear schedules in the morning 🙂
I noticed that training 1h a week for progression is not possible which gave me a light warm smile of accomplishment 😀 You need minimum twice a week. We live in age of information overload so no hating just hard work and make it more effective “always”. But to be honest I am currently training 3 times a week for 1h. There is a need of more complex movements to master (crossfit, calisthenics) and also preparation for competitions (Calisthenic, Spartan race, Crossfit) so I cannot fit it in one training session.
Speaking of your training plan, you must understand that setting it right for you is the most important aspect otherwise you cannot have faith in it and hardly stay consistent (trust he process). There are other aspects affecting your consistency mostly your lifestyle and people around you (environment). I do not believe that you cannot do it, it is always about finding what works best for you and then build your life around it.
Another relevant thing, people follow rules and are afraid of breaking them. The truth is, rules can be broken or rewritten but laws are above us. As Arnold Schwarzenegger once said “break the rules, not the law, but break the rules.” Training 1h a week for strength and muscle while still progressing is possible for everyone who understand the laws of bodybuilding, anatomy and physiology or at least have the balls to break the rules and do it.
I do not know right now what is your fitness goal but when you are reading this you are probably into fitness so I can fill you on some basics which surely help you set up your training plan effective and right for you. It is more about the food than training after all so use what serves you best.
Each training plan must have a goal to commit to and give direction. That direction cannot be reached without proper navigation system. Cover all body and create balance between antagonist and agonist (front/back side of your body) otherwise you risk instability, injuries and unnecessary pains. The effect must be as big as possible with the least risk as possible. Thus, efficient solution is the key.
Technique is must. All the movements must be performed symmetrically correct with the right weights and intensity. The Movements performed slow and controlled (6 seconds all-in-all). To find out what is your right weight and intensity (pauses between sets) depends on your training goal “strength, muscle growth (hypertrophy) or endurance.” All, can be incorporated in one hour week session 😉
Before that we must understand term “repetition maximum” (RM) which is the maximal load (weight) you can handle with one repetition. To find out what is your repetition maximum is a bit tricky part, especially when new beginner. Therefore, I suggest to start with the lowest possible weight and do 15 reps with ease (50% of 1RM). This could be both used as beginner weight for one set or warm-up set for advanced.
However, muscle hypertrophy can be slightly achieved by 60% of 1RM which is more ideal for endurance (15 reps). Best muscle growth is between 6 – 12RM (10RM widely popular and effective). Strength is most optimal between 1-5RM (explosive strength) If you cannot train clean you are probably going too heavy.
Always focus first on technique, then raising the weights and intensity. Speaking of intensity, the general rule is 1-2 minutes. I recommend 1 minute pauses as the shorter the more muscles and less fat if also eating right. This could be further cut to 30s or no pauses in some parts of your workouts – drop sets and supersets (advanced, cutting).
Number of sets and exercises depends on your goal and fitness level. However, the general rule for new beginner is one set per exercise where 6-7 exercise altogether. There must be one exercise for vertical (shoulder press) and horizontal (bench press) pushing, one for pulling (Seated cable row/pull down), one for legs (squat) and 2-3 for core body (abdominals, lower back).
Those who read thoroughly know that, I did not include abdominal exercises in my program for its unproductivity due to two reasons: good diet and strenuous stress on your abdominals (weights of minimum 74 % of 1RM per set) – you always need to create tension in your abs when lifting so you are training them all the time.
If you need only six-pack or become lean and healthy focus on food rather than doing abs and can start with beginner plan straight away. Moreover, this is one of the reason why I train more right now (need stronger abs, better balance = different muscle groups and complex movements).
For safety reasons you should not train longer than 1h per session, best with machines so that you have controlled symmetric movements and can go to exhaustion (machines best for beginners but also I use for some exercises).
Whichever training goal you have, never forget regeneration and variation so that you can stay off injuries and achieve it as you also become stronger and more effective over time. Always one day rest after training preferably two I do three for more effective regeneration. Variation must get your muscles out of comfort zone although not that needed but serves for motivation as you might get bored of your workouts (e.g. add new exercises then you can go back to your plan)
Variation is achieved by many ways such as: different training methods, intensity, RM (weights), frequency of training, number of sets and exercises. And always start with basic exercise (compound, multi-joints) – need more strength and technically more complex, then add isolation exercise as part of variation.