When hitting the gym, everyone will have different goals, like toning up, gaining muscle, torching fat or improving certain fitness and athletic capabilities.
While there are many ways to achieve these goals, going in without a plan that is designed to help you progress and improve will likely lead to underwhelming results.
Cameron Falloon is a former strength and conditioning coach for several leading AFL teams and international soccer teams. He also had a stint training Princess Diana. Falloon has since founded BFT, a global fitness franchise with nearly 200 locations and their programs are based on progressive blocks.
Here’s why he finds it so effective:
Training programs based on progressive blocks is how I have trained any elite athlete or sporting team that I have worked with.
It allows you to progress through a movement, range of motion or a certain focus over a period of time. Our bodies can’t go from 0-100 in a week, so you need to give yourself time and a plan to be able to build week to week.
What is “block training”?
Block training is geared towards improving one specific element of performance over a period of time. You may work on hypertrophy (building muscle) in one block, explosiveness in the next and endurance or range of movement in another.
The purpose of block training is to work the body through phases – “alarm” which is the initial shock of the stimulus, “resistance” which is where we begin to adapt and get better at handling the workload, and then just tip over into exhaustion which is the decrease from overstimulation before moving onto a different block.
What does a block workout look like?
At BFT, our blocks run with 6-8 weeks of progressions for each class. Programs will use the same, or similar exercises, but in different formats so members work through multiple stimuli within movements – like mobility, increasing or decreasing load, high reps vs low reps.
For example, a week one strength class would have lunges with light weights and high reps, week two will have a longer time period, week three will have fewer reps and more weight, and so on.
Each week, we stress every muscle fibre type, every energy system and every fascial plane. So it’s a full-body workout, but in each class, you will progress your capability and capacity of certain movements.
Training in blocks allows members to see real results. By the end of a block, they are able to see that they are moving better, lifting more weight, and moving faster than when they started. Seeing progress and tracking results is a huge motivator for people to continue to work out; it’s addictive.
It’s also worth noting that it’s important to not focus solely on increasing weight or power in these training blocks. Invest time in increasing your mobility and range of motion, too. After all, range of motion and mobility plays a huge part in being able to perform at your peak.
Increasing your range of motion allows for a greater force-generating capacity and increases in strength, too.
In essence, get the most out of your body by making sure it’s moving in the right way and moving efficiently! Block training is a great way to ensure you’re ticking all those necessary boxes.
Cameron Falloon is the Founder and Joint CEO of BFT
If you’d like more guidance on well-rounded workouts, check out this collection of exercises as shared by the Australian Institute of Fitness, here.