6 Tips When Starting a New Training Cycle

starting a new training cycle

Are you about to start a new training program or considering switching up your lifting program? Make sure to keep reading for nutrition, fitness, and expectation tips on how to get the most of your training and your new program!


Tip #1: Nutrition

The best workouts in the world can’t work their magic if your nutrition needs some TLC. No sweat if your eating habits are a work in progress, but new training cycles are a great time to check in and make sure your eating is in alignment with your goals.

Body can’t build something from nothing, so if your goal is to to see your lifts go up or to get a bigger ____ , you better be giving your body enough calories to do what you’re asking of it.

Habits to Consider:

  • don’t skip breakfast
  • eat at regular intervals during the day
  • prioritize BIG servings of meat / protein at meals
  • get in high-protein foods at snack times
  • eat lots of carbs before and after workouts
  • could you eat at least 1 fruit and veggie per day?
  • eat at maintenance or slightly above maintenance needs to support performance and recovery
Tip #2: Be Conservative

All our workout programs at Paragon Training Methods have progressive overload, which means they increase in difficulty over time. The goal will be to increase weight on your lifts each week.

So if you RDL 100 lbs this week, maybe you go 105 the next, 110 the next, etc.

Make sure to conservatively choose your starting weights so that you have room to build and lift heavier each week of the cycle. We also want good movement patterns, a controlled tempo, to hit proper range of motion, and of course not be putting ourselves at risk of injury.

Generally speaking, it’s probably better to start a training cycle a little lighter and farther from failure than vs. coming out hot, starting too heavy, and then stalling and not being able to progress lifts later in the cycle.

Tip #3: Check Your Ego

Good Form & Moving Well > Weight Being Lifted.

Our muscles are an emotionless tissue. Your body doesn’t know or care how much weight you lift. Your body only knows the stimulus it receives. And no one cares how much you lift except you.

If you’re folding like a taco or struggling to lift a weight, you’re probably not working the intended muscles as much as you could (compared to if we were moving better cuz weight was lighter)

We’re also aiming for uniformity between reps. There will certainly be drop-off as we get tired and get towards the end of our workout. But we want a happy medium of challenging, but moving pretty well, while maximizing time under tension and mind-muscle connection.

Tip #4: Slow Down

Time under tension is the secret sauce, y’all.

And trust us, we get it: if coming from CrossFit or workouts like OTF and F45, it can be hard to shake the habit of moving quick and lifting fast. But think about the stimulus if you did 10 Squats as fast as humanly possible… vs 10 Back Squats with a 3-second descent down and a 1-sec pause at the bottom of each rep. Woof, right?

For our Paragon workouts, we love to see most movements completed with a 2-3 second tempo as much as possible, wherever possible (obviously we cannot tempo a Snatch or Kettlebell Swing).

But consider lifting in front of a clock, use the timer in our App, or count in your head: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand-three-one-thousand.

Tip #5: Recovery is Key

No argument: it can be fun to “do the most.” But your body NEEDS days off to rest and recover. And doing “more” doesn’t always necessarily GET you more when it comes to gaining muscle, gaining strength, losing body fat, etc.

Think about if you worked 7 days a week: you’d burn out quick, right? Your body isn’t any different.

We like to see our Paragon members getting at least 1-2 rest days per week, if possible. Chronic under-recovery compounded over time is when we often see nasty downstream issues, like injury, getting sick all the time, negative changes to digestion, thyroid, or hormone health, etc.

Recovery = the secret sauce to seeing the progress you want AND also not feeling terrible.

Tip #6: Be Realistic

The BEST workout plan for you is the one you can consistently get done.

Be realistic about how much time you have to lift and workout. If life is currently super busy, you’d probably get a MUCH bigger squeeze out of lifting 3-5x per week for 30-45 minutes, vs 0-2x per week of trying for 60-75 minutes.

Don’t be afraid to commit to a shorter program, like 30-Min DB Quickie or 45-Min Physique.

Different seasons can call for different priorities. Consistency kills. Let it be easy. And let yourself be successful. Doing SOMETHING almost always trumps doing something infrequently or not at all.

ps: also not a bad idea to have a back-up plan for days when things “hit the fan.” Could you buy a few dumbbells or some gym equipment to keep at your house for those busy days?

No Smoke or Mirrors. Just Fun & Effective Workouts

Helping people live stronger, happier, and healthier is what we do best at Paragon Training Methods.

And with our workouts, you CAN have it all:

  • have fun
  • look and feel great
  • improve your health
  • get strong, age well
  • see progress and new PR’s

… all in just 30, 45, or 60 minutes per day. Come get strong with us! Join Paragon here.

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