Episode 3: Diving Into Stage Training & The Cost of Overtraining

Jan. 30, 2021 — By: Curmari Lewis, Personal Trainer/ Creator

This episode briefly goes over stage training benefits preventing the overtraining and burnout. Stage Training consist of three phases and allows the body to adapt to the intensity and stress placed on it. For more information on this topic read below 🙂

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Stage Training

The primary purpose of Stage Training is to ensure that cardiorespiratory training program progress in an organized fashion to ensure continual adaptation and to minimize the risk of overtraining and injury. Stage training is separated in three stages and to better understand why you should train in stages it is because each stage helps create a strong cardiorespiratory base to build on in subsequent stages. So lets dive in to each stage & if you have any questions on this blog or how you can incorporate stage training in your routine contact me by CALL/TEXT 877-242-7286 Or Comment.

Stage One

Stage 1 is designed to help improve cardiorespiratory fitness levels in apparently healthy sedentary clients using a target heart rate of 65 to 75% of Heart Rate or approximately 12 to 14 pm the rating perceived exertion scale. A prime example is when an individuals is able to hold a conversation during the duration of the activity. With most of my clients in this stage, I start them off by walking a mile with me and holding a conversation. If you can maintain you heart rate for at least 30 minutes 2 to 3 times per week you will be able to move to the next stage. This model builds endurance while conducting a physical activity. Some other ways I train in stage one below:

  • Listening to music while walking or jogging and singing out loud.
  • Talking with gym buddy or Small hums while walking or jogging
  • In warm up if you do jumping jacks, high knees, quick taps, etc talking while doing activity

This three points are easy/ simple ways I train clients in stage 1 of stage training. By starting slow and gradually working up to 30 to 60 minutes of continuous exercise maintaining 65-75% of your heart rate percentage. This allows individuals to build cardio endurance which ultimately allows us to workout out for adequate time. For individuals who never exercised before you should start in stage one using the 3 points above for only 5 minutes or reduce the heart rate percentage by performing a 5-10 minute warm up. This stage helps clients better meet the muscular endurance demands for programs for balance/ stabilization. For more questions on this stage contact me directly. I will provide you with a training zone table to better illustrate and understand zone one. Upon request 🙂

Stage Two

Stage 2 is designed for clients with low to moderate cardiorespiratory fitness levels who are ready to begin training at higher intensity levels. The focus in this stage is on increasing the workload such as speed, incline, level, etc. In a way that will help the client alter heart rate in and out of zone one and two. Stage two helps increase cardiorespiratory capacity needed for the workout styles in the strength training such as weight training, maximal strength training. An example of training in stage 2 would be the following:

  1. Start by warming up in zone one for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Move into a 1-minute interval in zone two. Gradually once the heart rate reaches zone two of maximal heart rate, maintain it for the rest of that minute. it might take 45 seconds to reach that heart rate, which means the client will only be at the top end for 15 seconds before reducing the workload (Speed, incline, or level) and returning to zone one.
  3. After the 1-minute interval return to zone one for 3 minutes
  4. Repeat this if the client has time and can recover back to zone one between the intervals.

In stage 2, it is important to alternate days of the week with stage 1 training. This means alternating sessions every workout. You can use a split routine in this stage and I can give you another chart to better explain how to adequately master this stage. An example of this would to start Wednesday and go back to stage 1 on Friday. The next week, start with stage 2 and so on. Rotate the stages to keep workouts balanced. This will become very important in stage 3. The monthly plan is only a general guide and may be changed on the basis of the workout (if any) being performed on that day. As a general rule, intervals should start out relatively brief as previously demonstrated with a work- to- rest (hard- to- easy) ratio of 1:3 example: 1 minutes interval followed by a 3- minute recovery. Once fitness and overall conditioning improves, stage 2 programs can be progressed using 1:2 and eventually 1:1 work to rest ratios. Moreover, the duration of each of these intervals can be gradually increased in regular implements. For charts and More explanation on this stage CALL/TEXT me directly or Comment.

Stage Three

This stage is for the advanced client who has a moderately high cardiorespiratory fitness level base and will use heart zones one, two, and three. The focus in this stage is on further increasing the workload (speed, incline, level) in a way that will help the client alter heart rate in and out of each zone. Stage 3 training increases the capacity if the energy systems needed at the power level training. The workout will proceed as follows:

  1. Warm up in zone one for up to 10 minutes (Walk/Jog/ HIIT warm ups)
  2. Then, increase the workload every 60 seconds until reaching zone three. This will require a slow climb through zone two for at least 2 minutes.
  3. After pushing for another minute in zone three, decrease the workload. This 1-minute break is an important minute to help gauge improvement.
  4. Drop the workload down to the level of what you were working in, before starting the zone 3 interval. During this minute, the heart will drop.
  5. As improvements are made during several weeks of training, the heart rate will drop more quickly. The faster the heart rate drops, the stronger the heart is getting.
  6. If you are not able to drop the heart rate during the 1 minute break, assume you are tired and about to overtrain.
  7. If the heart does drop to a normal rate, then overload the body again and go to the next zone, zone three, for 1 minute.
  8. After this minute, go back to zone one for 5-10 minutes and repeat if desired.

It is imperative when training at this level to rotate all three stages. There will be a low (stage 1), Medium (stage 2), and High-intensity (stage 3) to help minimize the change based on the workout (if any) that is being performed on that day. Intervals within zone 3 should start out relatively brief, 30 to 60 seconds. Once fitness and overall conditioning improves. Note: Stage 3 programs can be progressed similarly to stage 2 workouts, decreasing work- to- rest ratios and increasing the duration of high-intensity workouts. Lastly, Overtraining is the excessive frequency of training, resulting in fatigue. This is also caused by a lack of proper rest and recovery. Next series will discuss rest, and recovery, but for any fitness questions as of now CALL/TEXT (ALLOW 24 hour response).

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3 thoughts on “Episode 3: Diving Into Stage Training & The Cost of Overtraining”

  1. Thank you Uncomfortably Fit for this informative blog! Will try to make sure to have rest and recovery between workout sessions.

    1. No problem Dr. Stephens. Rest and recovery is beneficial outside of your workout routine. The body needs rest (sleep) to properly function in your daily life. Rest promotes the body and mind with alertness, stability, and muscle recovery. I would recommend taking a break once or twice out of the week from intense workout activities in order to allow the body with adequate rest. I appreciate your comment and more is helpful information is on the way in regards to rest and recovery! – Stay Well Dr.Stephens

    2. No problem Dr. Stephens. If you have any other topics in regards to fitness you want to know more about please comment or let me know. Thank you for the motivational comment! stay well & Fit

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