Today, we're going to talk about how long does it take to go from beginner to beast! To give you a more visual idea of this, let's first check out the geeky diagram below (don't worry it's super simple and I'll explain everything).
Because of this, during the first two years, you can gain up to half of the total apnea capacity you’ll be increasing during the rest of your life!
Of course, this won’t happen if you’re not focusing on right training approach, if you’re doing half-hearted workouts and if you don’t have a proper training plan. Neither will it happen if you don’t take care of yourself concerning proper recovery (rest-days, deload weeks, sleep, etc.) and nutrition (getting enough macronutrients and micronutrients, calories, etc.)
As you transition from the majestic newbie era to your intermediate years, progress becomes slower. It's important to understand that plateaus will become more and more persistent, especially as you move on, from the year two to year three.
Look you'll still be making apnea progress but it will simply won't be as linear as it used to be. You will rather progress in sudden bursts (after being stationary for a few days or weeks).
This is when you have some ''key'' elements in your workout.
SUPER INTENSE TRAINING SETS
The training plateau usually occurs when the nervous system makes the necessary adjustments to the training stimuli it receives.
Unfortunately, this is something we can’t avoid, especially when it comes to the human body and the homeostatic mechanisms it has.
The body is a machine that is trying to protect itself from each external stimulus it receives. Therefore, the protection of the body from the workout occurs through adaptation. Understanding this particular mechanism is crucial thus I choose to perform a high intensity workout for a specific period of time within my training cycles.
The intensive training can be either apnea or physical conditioning.
More specifically, I double or even triple the volume of training and the weekly frequency of my workout.
After this particular period, I follow one week of recovery by reducing both the frequency and volume of training.
THE OPPOSITE TRAINING APPROACH
I have to admit that in the past I was somewhat wary of the training intensity. I used to choose to rest as I thought that my body needed more recovery time to decode the stimuli and adapt.
Following that; after a lot of experimentation with this approach, I decided to try something different...
I experimented with the “opposite approach” training.
Meaning, in the periods that I felt stagnation in my training, I applied contrary training stimuli.
For example, in a period of low intensity training, instead of lowering the training frequency, I choose to raise it dramatically for a few days! Or when I'm in a period of preparation and the intensity is high, I perform low intensity training (not necessarily as in recovery mode).
This specific tactic has a goal to adapt the energy mechanism that worked extensively.
THE SPLIT TRAINING APPROACH
It is one of my favourite tactics. During the holidays, I perform double training sessions in order to distribute the training volume and by doing this, it gives more time to my body for recovery.
More specifically, a 2,5km training session can easily be converted into two training sessions of 1,250 meters each. The total daily training volume does not change but the recovery rate is much faster.
With this tactic, some days I can add more intensity with apnea sets, therefore obtaining better results.
Lately I've been trying to find ways to cut down on the time I need for recovery between workouts.
Some of these tactics are:
1. Sports massage for relaxation of muscles
2. Chiropractic engagement for greater joint mobility
3. Carbohydrate rich diet for quickly glycogen replenishment
4. And finally, a combination of stretching and massage for myofascial release.
In the next article that I will write, I will refer to these tactics in more detail!
PS: Summarising, I would like you to keep in mind the following:
• The training approach during the first two years is crucial and with careful handling it can provide with amazingly fast results.
• After the first two years of training, the plateau appears more intensely throughout the training cycles of a season.
• The tactic of a sudden increase in the training volume and intensity, periodically causes severe shock helping to overcome the stagnation levels.
These were some of the most important tactics that I follow to get over my own training plateau.
What are your tactics?
Until the next time,
I wish you good and intense workouts!
I'll talk to you soon,