The weight lifting workouts within this manual can be modified as needed. The programs within this manual work great for the average person but sometimes changes need to be made for optimal results.
Within the WLC System manual, I talk about many of the changes that can be made to a weight lifting program.
Within this manual, I am going to teach you exactly how to find the best type of training for you as an individual.
Let me talk about the modifications you can make so that the programs work for you and anyone…
1. Exercise substitutions
You can make any exercise substitutions that you need to make using the earlier sections within this manual. You can use any type of resistance too. If you only have machines available right now, that's fine.
As long as you work on increasing the resistance on the exercises you are using, you will get great results.
Only make exercise substitutions, though, if absolutely necessary. If a certain exercise is difficult for you and you're only trying to make the workouts easier, this is not a valid reason for changing exercises. The exercises that are hardest usually give the best results.
If you don't have the equipment to do a certain exercise, choose a replacement exercise. It's fine to change exercises if you don't have the proper equipment to do an exercise safely.
People who are just starting out may be afraid to start out with free weight exercises. It's fine to start out with machine exercises if that's what gets you going. If you can start with free weights, though, please do so.
2. Frequency of workouts
The workouts within this manual will work for the majority of people. Workout frequency is defined as the number of weight lifting workouts per week and how many times you work each major muscle group per week.
Some people may not be very good at recovering from workouts. There are a small minority of people who should workout less often than others. You will learn if you're one of these people as you go through the workouts in this manual.
Some people who may need to work each muscle group less often are people who have more stress in their life, are getting less sleep than recommended, older trainers, very busy with their jobs, physically demanding jobs, or people who just aren't doing everything optimally for some reason.
A modification that will help these types of people are a reduced frequency of workouts during each week.
Instead of working out 3 or even 4 times each week, only 2 workouts could be done each week.
You can decrease the frequency even further by only working each muscle group once every 7 days or maybe even once every 10 days. You could workout 3 times per week and split the body up into 3 different workouts so you're only working each muscle group once per week.
You can add rest days between workouts and keep the programs exactly the same as shown within this manual. Adding rest days is a simple way for people with lower recovery levels to really make progress.
If you are recovering properly from any workout program, you will be gaining strength almost every workout. You can always have a bad workout, so always give yourself a few chances to make progress before closing down a certain program.
3. Intensity of workouts
We define intensity as how close you get to failure on any given set. If you go to complete failure on a set, that is high intensity. If you use beyond failure techniques such as rest/pause training or drop sets, this is even higher intensity.
Some people cannot handle high intensity exercise all the time without over training after a few weeks or more. These people will need to stay away from failure to lower the overall intensity of their weight training program.
Failure is not a requirement to making unbelievable progress. You can make even better progress by not going to failure and staying at lower intensity levels most of the time.
Usually, lower intensity allows you to workout more frequently and with more overall volume without over training. Intensity is just another factor you can change.
If you're not sure what you can handle, you should always stop short of failure. Stopping short of failure can help you make progress when you might not have made progress. This is very important. You have plenty of time later on to increase the intensity of your weight training. Start out with lower intensity.
4. Volume of workouts
Make no doubt about it… more overall volume will lead to better and faster results BUT only if your body can handle the extra volume. Most people can't handle maximum volume workouts.
You will experiment with higher volume as you go through this workout manual. As you improve your fitness and conditioning, you will be able to add more volume without over training.
If your recovery levels do not allow higher volume training, you may have to reduce the overall volume of your workouts to get optimal results. You will learn more about what your body can handle as you experiment with different workout programs.
Don't let your ego get in the way and fool yourself into believing you have amazing recovery abilities. If you do, that's great. But be realistic and experiment to find your true sweet spot for volume. Remember, this can change as you improve conditioning and fitness levels.
You're going to start out with lower volume and increase the volume as you step your way through the different styles of training. Starting with lower volume ensures you get results from the start. You'll then increase the volume until you find out a certain amount of volume is just too much for you.
5. Rep ranges
Some muscle groups will get better results with higher rep ranges while other muscle groups may get better results with lower rep ranges. You have to pay attention as you go throughout the different workout programs to see what gives better results for you.
Everyone is different when it comes to muscle fiber makeup. Depending on the makeup within each of your muscle groups, you may get better results with higher rep ranges, moderate rep ranges, or lower rep ranges.
As you go throughout the different programs, you need to be sure to follow the WLC System manual when it comes to measuring results. This will help you learn more about your body and what works best for each muscle group.
Older weight trainers should work in the higher rep ranges. For example, if the 5×5 program (25 total reps) seems tough on the joints at 5 reps… do 3 sets of 8 reps (24 total reps) instead.
Higher rep ranges are less stressful on the joints. If you're an older trainer and have joint problems, you need to work in the higher rep ranges. Higher rep ranges are very beneficial and can even work to help solve your joint problems.
As long as you are increasing the amount of resistance within a certain rep range, you will make progress.
All rep ranges build muscle. Use the rep ranges that work best for you.
6. Working around injuries
You can make any modifications needed to work around injuries you might have. Be sure to consult your doctor before working around any injuries. You may end up injuring yourself further so consult your doctor.
No exceptions here…
Be smart and safe when it comes to injuries and weight training.
For example, you may have knees that hurt during squats. You shouldn't do squats until your knees are feeling better. Instead of doing squats, try small range of motion step ups with a 6 inch box or smaller.
Work harder on mobility exercises and use the foam roller to help your knees feel better.
Only select exercises that help you work around your injury and strengthen the musculature around the injured area. Another example… pull the sled and use a wheelbarrow for conditioning work if you have knee pain.
Knee pain may mean you're doing too many squats and too much overall volume for your knee joints. Cut back the volume and they may start feeling much better too.
Never continue an exercise if that exercise hurts. Make a modification to your program and always consult your doctor.
Everyone is Different…
There are all types of people out there. You have to work on finding the perfect balance of training factors that work for you. All the different factors like volume, intensity, and frequency can be adjusted. If your recovery from workouts is bad, you would start with low volume, low intensity, and infrequent workouts.
You would work on conditioning and try to improve recovery between workouts by doing everything right.
It's important that you optimize every aspect of your program. You must follow all the guidelines within the WLC System manual. Everything within that manual is very important to your progress: goal setting, proper diet, proper nutrition, water intake, rest and recovery techniques, sleep, reducing stress, etc.
Optimize everything that you can according to the WLC System guidelines and your results will amaze you. Then, I'll help you find the perfect weight training style as you go throughout this manual.