So I’ve just finished a six week internship which I’ve absolutely loved, however coupled with my part time job – and the fact the internship was in a different city – it meant I had no choice but to drop my training days.
A year ago I would have completely freaked out: thinking I was going to ‘get fat’ or something stupid like that. But now I have my head screwed on and all I’ve been thinking is that there’s three days a week where I can’t build any muscle!
But really, it’s been super nice to actually give my body the rest it needed for three days a week – I’ve not really had any more than two rest days a week since the summer. And my sessions have also been a lot more intense, which, having hit a plateau just before Christmas, has given me more confidence to keep pushing towards my goals. I’ve leaned out a bit ever so slightly (lower abs are almost coming in!) and seen some good muscle growth too, which has made me even more motivated.
So, I sat down and thought about it and decided to create myself a new training programme to start once I’d finished my internship. I’ve done my research (I like to immerse myself in all things health and fitness, as you can see by this blog..!) and I’ve decided to do a two week split of hypertrophy and strength.
Wait, what the hell is hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy is the enlargement of an organ or tissue from the increase in size of its cells.
Without getting too scientific and boring you (unless you are actually interested, in which case I suggest reading this article), hypertrophy training has been proven to induce the fastest muscle growth possible.
Although strength training (low sets and reps with a high weight) causes some hypertrophy, it is not the best training to induce hypertrophy at its greatest. However, a training programme of high volume and a larger amount of sets has been shown to cause maximum hypertrophy, and maximum hypertrophy means muscle growth – and we love muscle growth.
However, I also want to keep increasing my strength, so I’ve decided that my week of hypertrophy will be followed by a week of strength: same training splits each week (for now), but less volume and heavier weights, focusing on lifts and hitting more PBs – because as much as we love muscle growth, we also love being a strong ass lil gal.
I’ll also be getting more serious about my cardio – since October I’ve dropped it down because I started more weight training as I prefer doing that and I also wanted to really grow my muscles and not worry about being super lean anymore, and I’ve neglected it since, but I’m determined to drop this final layer of fat and get my lower abs out (I store fat here and it’s so frustrating) so I’ll be adding more cardio in too. I’ve decided to keep my push/pull spilt for my upper body too as I found since having changed to this split I prefer it.
Hopefully I’ll keep setting progress with this new regime: I’ve been seeing more progress over the last six weeks which has surprised me somewhat, and I can’t wait to see what I can do over the next few months.