During the long training process, your body passes through four major stages. First comes the initial training stage, where progress is quick and quite noticeable. Unfortunately, this stage is short lived and is soon after succeeded by the training stage, after which comes resting. Finally, after all the hard work comes the stage in which you will be able to reap the fruits of all your hard labor- the supercompensation stage. Then both your athletic capabilities and your muscle building efforts will skyrocket. Reaching this stage however is all but easy.
Manipulating your body
Your body is constantly making an effort to maintain balance, which is why it is always trying to adapt to any kind of tension. Training is nothing more than exploiting this reliable and well known mechanism. By training almost to the threshold of your possibilities, you will put your body under a lot of stress. In order to rebuild all those exhausted muscles it will be forced to increase the level of protein synthesis which is exactly what you were looking for in the first place. After this, what you need is a brief resting period to let this change make the difference.
To begin with, it is not enough for one to train in order to exploit supercompensations. There are several conditions that must be met in order for this to occur. First of all, for your body to respond in the way it is supposed to, you must be completely healthy. Various temporary illnesses may slow down the reaction time of your organism, which poses a question of should you be training at all while sick. Furthermore, you need to make sure that your training is of appropriate difficulty. Too hard of a training will make your muscles struggle too much, while too easy a regimen will not be enough to instigate all of these changes in your body. Once you have these two major issues covered, it is time to talk numbers.
The first step on your way towards exploiting supercompensation is to get to the overreaching stage. Here, you will train just a bit below your maximum weight potential, but with an increased number of sets (5 sets of 10 reps). Namely, this is a thin line and going just a bit above it may cause you to overtrain, which usually turns out to be catastrophic for all that you have built so far. This should take you a while, and the optimal time is estimated to be somewhere between 3 and 4 weeks. When this is done, you are ready to progress to the rest stage.
The thing about your body’s recuperation is that different substances require different time to be replenished. For example, even though your body’s glycogen may take even up to 24 hours to recuperate, it doesn’t take more than a few seconds for your creatine phosphate to do so. As for the enzymes, there is a great discrepancy here, but for some of them it may even take a couple of days. With this in mind, your goal is to make all the curves coincide. Seeing how this kind of calculation may be too much for a layman to make, it might be best to resort to preset training regimens or address a personal trainer for help.
After 4 weeks of the aforementioned regimen (5 sets of 10 reps) you need to cut yourself some slack for minimum one full week. This however doesn’t mean that you should start lifting lighter weights. On the contrary, the intensity of your training should be increased by about 5%. What you should cut down is the number of sets (from 5 to 2). This will cause a major relief for your body and will serve as a prelude for supercompensation training. During this stage, a good night’s sleep (7-8 hours a day, every day) is absolutely crucial.
One more thing, your nutrition must remain the same as it was in the previous 4 weeks. This means both the number of calories and the choice of nutrients. After this is done, all you have to do is repeat until you are content with the results.
As you can see, using supercompensation training in your athletic endeavors requires a lot of finesse and a lot of careful planning. Moreover, it consists of several stages which may not be segmented into equal pieces or seem equally important to you, but each of them is vital to the entire process. So, if you plan on doing this right remember to do proper research and make sure that you are completely healthy before you go any further. Further into your training sessions use the aforementioned 5 week cycles of overreaching and supercompensation and the results are bound to follow.