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When To Train

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Supercompensation is the idea that, after a period of hard training or other physical stress, the body will adapt and become bigger and stronger as a result. This is often referred to as the "stress and recovery" cycle. The theory is that when you subject your body to a certain level of stress (such as lifting weights), it will initially experience fatigue and possibly even suffer some minor damage to muscles in the form of micro-tears in the muscle fibers. However, if you then allow your body sufficient time to recover, it will adapt and become stronger as a result. During this recovery time, there is a short window in which your body is in a state of supercompensation where it has surpassed its baseline and reached a new level of peak performance.

Your body adapts to win. Not break even.

To take advantage of this effect, it is important to carefully plan your training and recovery. This may involve scheduling rest days or periods of lighter training, as well as incorporating other recovery strategies such as proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep. By striking the right balance between stress and recovery, you can optimize your body's ability to adapt and improve.

There is no one-size-fits-all schedule for supercompensation, as the optimal training and recovery plan will depend on a variety of factors such as your age, fitness level, and training goals. However, there are some general principles that can help guide your planning.

One approach is to use a periodized training plan, like The Lift League, which involves organizing your training into distinct phases or cycles. For example, you might begin with a base-building phase that involves relatively low volume powerbuilding programs, followed by a more intense and challenging phase dedicated to strength-building. The idea is to gradually increase the stress on your body over time, allowing it to adapt and become stronger as you progress through the different phases.

Within each phase, you can also plan for periods of higher and lower intensity or volume to allow for periods of recovery. For example, you might use a "high-low" training schedule, where you alternate between high-intensity workouts and low-intensity or active rest days. This can help ensure that you are giving your body sufficient time to recover and adapt to the stress of training.

Most of The Lift League programs follow a strict four-week progression allowing athletes to choose when to schedule active recovery sessions between mesocycles. The Wuehr Hammer and Texas Method are perfect examples of training programs that schedule active recovery sessions within a mesocycle.

Ultimately, the key is to listen to your body and be mindful of the balance between stress and recovery. If you are feeling overly tired or burnt out, it may be time to take a rest day, deload, or scale back on your training. On the other hand, if you are feeling fresh and energized, you may be ready to push yourself a little harder. By paying attention to your body's needs and adjusting your training accordingly, you can optimize your training and recovery to maximize the supercompensation effect.


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