Here are some guidelines on how to make cumulative fatigue training work for you.
- Experiment first with just one single-joint exercise, e.g. the curl, or calf raise. Take an accurate measurement of the muscular girth, and then once a week, or three times every two weeks, train the exercise exactly as described as before. After two months measure the muscular girth again, and if it has grown, even by just a little, then you have a technique that works for you. If it didn’t grow, and assuming that you trained as directed, along with all the recovery factors, then just put the experiment down to a learning process.
- If you were happy with the test, then apply cumulative fatigue training to no more than two exercises for each routine, but remembering to rotate which two exercises you select. As your gains diminish in any given exercise, revert to another format for that exercise, and if you like select another exercise for cumulative fatigue training. The reason for only selecting two exercises per routine is that the six sets per exercise of this type of training exert a severe demand on your recovery system, and that is why you should be conservative and use only one or two exercises per routine in this format. If you do use cumulative fatigue training on two exercises, make sure only one of them is a major core movement, because if you apply it to two core movements you are likely to be over training.
- To minimize the chance of over training, use no more that 6-8 exercises total per routine, and ensure that only one or two of them are done in the cumulative fatigue format.
- Persist with cumulative fatigue training for any exercise for as long as you are making gains. As long as you can add a little extra weight every week or so, while holding consistently good form, keep at it.
- Be sure to use cumulative fatigue training on exercises that you regularly incorporate into your training program, to minimize post workout soreness. You may even still get sore if you are used to performing no more than 3 work sets per exercise.
- If you would rather not drop your regular style of exercising, which uses maximum weights, it is best to alternate both formats in the same cycle. On one day train with your maximum weight for 2-3 work sets, and on the following day train that exercise using the cumulative fatigue method.
- The need to religiously satisfy all the factors of recovery is just as important as technique in any exercise routine.