Advanced Strength Program Routines To Build Core

If you want to continue to improve your performance and maintain your strength levels by training at a higher intensity level, these advanced programs will be especially helpful. This chapter includes strength training workouts, a variety of core and flexibility workouts, as well as several variations of cardiovascular training protocols. This chapter also includes a number of exercises using the TRX suspension training system. 

The advanced workouts are for those women who have been strength training for no less than six months continually. If you have been participating in endurance training programs exclusively and are a dedicated endurance athlete, I suggest you start with the beginner programs, before moving into the endurance workouts in this chapter. This way you will have the opportunity to develop a strong baseline strength level before embarking on these more advanced programs.

As a beginner, you likely experienced rapid gains in strength and muscle growth, particularly in the first six months of consistent training. Over time, your body likely adapted to the stimulus, making it more difficult to obtain results. 

Advanced programs stimulate muscle growth and promote further increases in muscle size and strength.Some of the workouts focus on the upper body, some focus on the lower body, and some are full-body routines. Some include bouts of high-intensity cardio exercise such as five, 1-minute jump rope sequences or three, 1-minute jump squats (using just body weight) between exercise sets. Regardless of the routine you follow, be sure to allow for adequate recovery between sessions.

Recovery is necessary because the entire body is taxed and challenged during every exercise session. Keep in mind that you may need more time between workouts than suggested, so listen to your body regarding appropriate recovery intervals.On the days you are not performing one of these routines, you should perform flexibility training. You can use the stretches. They are part of each workout and are also included in specific routines at the end of this chapter, or you can take a yoga class or follow a yoga DVD. You should also perform cardio sessions such as using a treadmill, walking outdoors, running, using an elliptical trainer, cycling, or swimming on your days off from strength training.Also, take one full day of recovery each week to focus simply on hydration and rest.The macrocycle for the advanced strength training program is 6 months long(24 weeks) which is further broken down into two, 12-week programs called mesocycles which are 3 months each. The first 3-month mesocycle is the initially advanced programming workouts. The second 3-month mesocycle includes even more intense, advanced workouts. Each mesocycle is then broken down further into 2-week microcycles. 

The goal of the first mesocycle (microcycles 1-6) is to increase intensity and work with the strength you acquired from the beginner-to-intermediate strength training program. The goal of the second mesocycle (microcycles 7-12) is to further challenge your body through intense endurance and strength training programming.

Note that you should take one entire week off for active recovery between mesocycles 1 and 2. The purpose of this week is to give your body time to prepare for the next phase, as well as to take a much-needed break. I recommend that you stretch daily and take short, easy walks either outdoors or in, but stay out of the gym to avoid the temptation to exercise this week.