How to Choose Your First N1 Training Program

Whether you are new to resistance training, new to N1, or have been following us for a while, we want to help give you the guidelines on how to choose your first N1 Training Program.

We do things a little differently here and take a very scientific approach to training and nutrition for both aesthetic and performance-based goals.

This first point may seem counterintuitive, but bear with me for a few sentences.

#1 Do not choose a program that is almost the same as what you’re currently doing

For example, if you’ve been focusing on fat loss and doing a lot of metabolic workouts DO NOT jump in to one of our metabolic programs next, especially if you’ve noticed a plateau in the progress with your metabolic training.

This has to do with a major principle in fitness we call trainability. Basically it means that your body has a certain amount it can and will adapt to any given stimulus during a period of time.  Once you achieve that amount of adaptation you will plateau and need to take time off from that stimulus before being able to return to it to continue reaping the benefits.

So, if you’ve hit a plateau it is probably time for a de-load or at least to focus on a different training stimulus for a little while.  This does not mean that you cannot still be making progress towards your overall goal though!

Fat loss or muscle gain can both be achieved with a number of training stimuli. This means that you can still be making progress in getting leaner or adding muscle when doing different programs, depending on your nutrition and other factors. So don’t think that you have to put your fat loss goals on hold because you’re not doing metabolic work or need to stop adding muscle because you aren’t doing what you’d typically consider a “hypertrophy workout”.

 

#2 De-Load

This builds off point #1.  Choose a training program that is different enough from your current workouts to give your body a break from the type of stressors your current workouts create.

Here are some basic examples of generalized de-load options based on the phase of training:

Current → De-Load

Hypertrophy →  Neurological

Metabolic →  Neurological

Neurological →  Metabolic

To learn more about the benefits and logic of implementing a de-load before beginning a new program, please read De-Load: Why it Matters.

You will also notice that all of the thumbnails on the Workout Programs page have a designated “Phase” at the bottom denoting Metabolic, Hypertrophy, Neurological, or sometimes a combination of two.  This is to help you choose your next program based on the guidelines above.

#3 Start with the minimum effective dose

We have multiple programs available for all experience levels. Not everyone can or should try to jump to the most complex or advanced program right away.  In fact, you’ll see much better and likely faster progress by choosing a program that creates just enough of the necessary stimulus to get the adaptations you’re looking for.

That way you’ll have many more programs and options to progress over the long term.  Also keep in mind that even week 1 of some of these programs are very challenging and will require you to already have some metabolic or neurological adaptations to be able to recover from them without overtaxing your system.

We also recommend starting with simpler programs because you will find that our programming is likely different that what you’ve seen elsewhere. It’s very specific and efficient.  If you’re sticking closely to the variables written (tempo, rest periods, etc) and executing the movements well, you will probably find that even the “simple” programs are more challenging that a lot of what is out there.

Wrap Up & Guidance

So here are some basic recommendations depending on where you’re coming from and what programs might be best for you to start with.

Keep in mind that one unique feature about our Program Membership is that no matter what program you begin with, you can switch to another as-needed and you have access to the whole library. You don’t need to purchase a new membership to switch programs!

 

Goal: Any

Current: New to Training /  Coming Back After Time Off

Start: Full Body Compound Training (2-4 weeks)

Next: Whichever program most closely suits your goal

 

Goal: Fat Loss

Current: Metabolic training for >2 weeks using super sets, giant sets, lots of lactic acid buildup

De-Load (1-3 weeks): Descending Rep or Wave Loading

Next: Systemic Back Load or Half Body I.R.M

 

Goal: Muscle Gain

Current: Hypertrophy training for >3 weeks using super sets, drop sets, etc

De-Load (1-2 weeks): Ascending Load LT-1

Next: Mechanical Post-X1

 

Goal: Muscle Gain

Current: Hypertrophy training for >3 weeks 6-10 reps with 60-90 seconds rest

De-Load (1-3 weeks): Half Body I.R.M

Next: Descending Rep

 

Once you’ve taken the time to de-load and are looking to effectively choose your next program or periodize your long-term training, head over to the article on Choosing Your Next N1 Training Program where we’ll also look at some examples of goal-specific periodization.

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