Training to Maintain


by Dan Cenidoza, CSCS, RKC, AKC

As a competitive lifter, I'm always trying to make progress in the gym. I feel that everyone should strive to do a little more; another rep, another 5 pounds, another minute or another mile. You can always do a little more in some way, shape or form. That is what Be-More Training is all about.

However, not everyone is in my situation or even anywhere close to it. I've recently become acquainted with a population who is not so inclined to make progress in the manner that serious lifters do. It's somewhat hard for me to understand, and especially difficult for me to express in words, but allow me to delve into the realm of training to maintain…

I actually have quite a bit of experience with maintenance training, as diverse as my training is, it's impossible for me to progress in everything, all the time. Some exercises get put on the "back burner" where the goal is just to maintain. In these situations I simply reduce the frequency. I have found that training any exercise just once a month allows me to stay within 90% or more of where I left off. The infrequent training sessions allow me to focus my efforts on other lifts that I'm interested in.

However, these methods are not practical for most people. Even competitive lifters tend to be more sport specific, whereas I have several sports and activities that I like to keep up with.

Some people, and I would say a good percentage of all people who exercise, are simply content with just maintaining what they've got. I suppose there's not much to talk about how a such a persons training program would differ if their goal is to maintain, but it needs to be said that the body will eventually adapt to any routine and even these people should strive for a little more!

There are very few instances where someone's entire training routine should be geared around just maintaining. So few, that I cannot even think of one! Even the seniors I work with, I secretly bump their weights up a pound or two every few weeks, tell them the have one more rep, whatever, they can't even tell the difference! The fact is the body has grown stronger and a greater stimulus has become necessary for growth.

Training to maintain - it's like spinning your wheels! You got the wrong idea. Progression is the key to growth!

To be continued...