I often talk about which rotation I am doing and forget that all of you may not even know what a rotation is or why you should have one. Let me explain:
Our muscles are very smart. If we did the same activity day in and day out our bodies would adapt to that activity and we would stop seeing improvement. If I ran the same mile or lifted the same weight every day, my muscles would stop improving. Because of this fact, I vary my workouts every week. This "varying" will drastically improve your muscle definition. I plan my rotations out carefully so that my muscles get stronger and never get lazy with repetition.
Cathe calls this constant change periodization. She uses this idea in her STS series:
"STS features three mesocycles, each lasting four weeks. Each mesocycle is designed to stimulate your muscles body in a different way.Each week combines exercises you have done in the previous weeks with totally fresh exercises that you haven’t done before. This way you always have some exercises that you are familiar and more comfortable with and new exercises that will keep your body’s muscles always guessing and challenged in new ways."
P90X calls this idea muscle confusion:
"The secret behind the P90X system is an advanced training technique called Muscle Confusion™, which accelerates the results process by constantly introducing new moves and routines into your workout so your body never plateaus, and you never get bored! There are several targeted, muscle-strengthening and defining workouts to so you attain full body maximum results."
You can easily replicate this process at home or the gym by planning out your workouts. This plan is a rotation and is so important for muscle development. I love making my rotation each month. It gives me a chance to keep my workouts interesting and my muscles well trained.
Here is the rotation I did this month:
1/11- STS Disc 1 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
1/12- Hiit 40/20 + STS Abs
1/13- STS Disc 3 Legs
1/14- MMA Boxing
1/15- STS Disc 2 Back & Triceps
1/16- Step Moves + STS Abs
1/18- Hiit 30/30 + STS Abs
1/19- STS Disc 4 Chest Shoulders & Triceps
1/20- Core Cardio Circuit
1/21- STS Disc 5 Back & Triceps + MMA Kickbox
1/23- STS Disc 6 Legs + Abs
1/25- Hiit Double Wave Pyramid + STS Abs
1/26- STS Disc 7 Chest Shoulders & Triceps + STS Disc 9 Legs
1/27- STS Disc 8 Back & Triceps
1/28- MMA: Boxing
1/29- MMA: Fusion
2/1- Hiit 40/20 + Abs
2/2- STS Disc 10 Chest, Shoulders & Biceps
2/3- Athletic Step + Abs
2/4- STS Disc 11 Back & Triceps
2/5- STS Disc 12 Legs
2/6- Circuit Blast
2/7 through 2/13- Rest Week ( Yoga and/or light cardio)
When making a rotation you want to make sure that in a weeks time you hit all of your major muscle groups and get a good amount of cardio in as well. I like to combine some of my workouts so I can fit some yoga in because I think it is very important.
An extremely important part of a rotation is a rest week. During this rest week you want to give your muscles a break from heavy weights. I have started giving them a bigger break by doing yoga only for an entire week. I've noticed a very positive change in my body since I added this element to my rotation.
If you go to a gym it would benefit you to have a good trainer make a rotation for you. If you have the trainer make a 3-month rotation for you, you could use that plan and mix and match it to make your own rotations. This would take only a few sessions with the trainer and would be a cost effective way to use the trainers knowledge without a huge bill in the end. Just ask and a good trainer will be happy to help you.
If you workout at home you can make your own rotation. I use Cathe's Workout Manager and because I use so many of her workouts it works perfectly for me. I have also used Tosca's The Eat-Clean Diet Workout Journal. This is a great book because I not only keep track of my reps, weight and cardio activity, but I can also write down my measurements, body weight, goals, etc.. It's pretty cool!
I hope you all make it a point this coming month to plan your workouts so you can get the most out of them. Because after all, "He who fails to plan, plans to fail".
How many of you have a rotation? If you do, how often do you change it? If you don't, would you like to have one?