Macro-nutrients, also known as Macros, are a hot topic in the fitness world. Did you know there is another type of Macro that is just as important for you to know about in your quest to be a successful personal trainer? I want to talk to you about macrocycles.
Macrocycles are your secret weapon for giving your clients results and keeping them interested in your program longer. It will also make your clients fitness journey more exciting. Discover how the great tool of macros can work for you!
Macrocycles are based on periodization. Its roots are in a training model called GAS – General Adaptation Syndrome.
GAS describes our body's three-stage response to stress. We must apply stress to the body to improve in fitness and strength, but too much stress will lead to exhaustion, tissue damage, or in extreme circumstances, disease and death.
The General Adaptation Syndrome model works like this:
1. The alarm stage: the body is subjected to unusual stress,
2. The resistance stage: the body adapts to the stress and stimuli
3. The exhaustion stage: the body can no longer cope with the stressor
Periodization introduces a recovery stage to prevent the body from reaching the exhaustion stage. With periodization, the body holds the gains from the resistance stage, goes through a process of recovery, and is then ready to work again.
With periodization in macrocycles, your body cycles through different stressors and is given enough recovery time to hold the gains. When macro-cycling is done right, it allows you to peak the body for competitions. When you introduce a systematic cycle of training, then you have introduced macrocycles!
A macrocycle helps you create an annual plan for you and your client to help them reach their goals. The macrocycle is made up of 3-6 week mesocycles. Each mesocycle is made of 3-6 microcycles.
Each mesocycle will have a specific focus: such as conditioning, skills, or strength, and will always have a recovery week at the end of the cycle with reduced loads. The rotation of focus for each mesocycle will allow the body to stay healthy, get stronger, and incorporates a holistic approach to fitness that will help the client reach their goal.
The Benefits of Macrocycles
As a personal trainer, there are many benefits of macrocycles.
1. It keeps you accountable to the client: You will be required to adjust the program as the goals change, as the client experiences setbacks due to illness, fatigue, motivation/confidence dips, and life stress.
2. It engages the client in a more sustainable process: it incorporates goal setting, a focus, and requires them to follow your program closely for ultimate success. This, in turn, builds trust as the client sees the results they want.
3. It keeps training interesting: With the variability of the training, it will keep the client coming back as they are excited for new challenges and experiences.
Having a mutual goal creates a special partnership with your client. When it is achieved, it builds a unique and powerful connection.