Thursday, June 5, 2014

Chaos Training - A way to shock your body and boost muscle and strength growth

Hey guys,

I don't know if you've ever heard about chaos training days, but I guess everyone who exercises regularly should think about it every now and then.
Let me first explain what chaos training actually means in the context of fitness training. If you are like most people who work out on a regular base then it is very likely that you have a fixed training plan (either written down or just in your mind). You probabely have some exercises that you do over and over with a more or less fixed sequence. If you are kind of experienced in the field of fitness training (cardio and/or resistence training) it might not be a new thing for you to change your workout plans every 8-12 weeks to give your muscles some new impulses for further improvement and to fight familiarisation effects (that lead to plateaus, where your body won't adapt any further).That's already a big benefit compared to those who follow the same routine week after week and year after year.

To be clear about it, I'm not just refering to the same exercises but also to the same training principles you might follow like" always 3 sets with 10-12 reps in the same speed" or "always with a heart rate around 140 beats".

To give your muscles, strength and endurance an additional healthy shock with an enormous strong impact during your 8-12 week periods there is an effective method called "Chaos Training".

Actually it's pretty easy to explain and even easier to implement it into your "normal" workout periods. "Chaos Training" means in that matter, that you should do a totally different workout session that your body is not used to once or twice per month to set back the "system" and give it new improvement signals. To get a better insight let's look at some examples:

If you are doing a workout plan (like mine here) which is supposed to stay for 12 weeks with several superset exercises in a "3 sets of 8-12 reps, moderate speed"-style then a chaos day after 4 weeks could look like this:
Go to the gym and do whatever exercise comes into your mind (no matter if it's in your regular plan) and do it with a much higher weight than you're used to (maybe as a pyramid) with 4 sets of 3-5 reps (less reps because of the higher weight). Or you do the exercises in super slow motion (e.g. 10 sec per rep), or you can do just one set of each exercise you feel like doing with 30-40 reps (of course with a lower weight) as fast as possible, or you do just bodyweight exercises instead of free weight training (maybe a freeletic session like Aphrodite) or, or, or...

I, for example, do normally 3 sets of 10-12 reps with 176 lbs. (approx. 80 kg) deadlifts during my current workouts. On my chaos day I felt like doing deadlifts as well, but I did 1 set of 20 reps with 110 lbs (50 kg) as a warm up, 1 set of 8 reps with 220 lbs (100 kg) followed by 1 set of 3 reps with 264.5 lbs (120 kg) and a last set of 1 rep with 275.5 lbs (125 kg). This not only shocked my body and gave my muscles some new growing impulses but also showed me of what I'm actually capeable of (chaos days can help you overcoming psychological barriers as well). In the next training session I felt confident to raise the weight to 198.5 lbs (90 kg) for the 3 set of 10-12 rep scheme and it worked out very good.

Out of my experiance I can tell you that an out-of-plan chaos training day is totally worth a try every now and then to boost your confidence and your improvement!

To give yourself an effective workout without letting your body get used to a special treatment, I recommand you to change your training plan every 8-12 weeks and to implement 1-2 chaos trainings each month.

So just give it a try and I'd love to hear about your experiances with chaos training as well!

Cheers,
Andi