Program hopping and mixing PERSIST training tracks is a question we get often. Our general stance is that you should stick to a particular training method and not complicate it with other methods if you want to see results and avoid burning out. That is mostly in reference to mixing an FBB Program with CrossFit Classes and Olympic Weightlifting Training Cycles. That is too many competing programming methods. But inside of FBB you can mix program tracks without taking a massive departure from the methodology.
So when is it right to do this?
First let's ask a question: Which camp do you feel you fall into more?
I'm extremely outcome-driven. I am very connected to my training progress and I want to feel confident that I'm on a path towards improvement. Progression matters to me deeply and if I have too many options I can get distracted. I enjoy variety but I will sacrifice some variety if it means more focused and linear results.
I care about training results, however, I am more connected to long-term consistency and progress. My goals are more about a feeling and a look I want to have as a result of my training and lifestyle and less about performance metrics or specific amounts of muscle I can pack on. Variety is a key variable to my fitness fulfillment.
For those that fall more into category #1, I would encourage you to stick to a single training track for at least 1-2 cycles at any given time - in Persist these are generally 6 week cycles. These training tracks build on themselves and you will get a chance to fully experience a progressive overload cycle if you stay inside one training track. The likelihood of training progress is far greater when each day of your week, as well as subsequent weeks, are designed together.
For those that fall more into category #2, then mixing training tracks is a good idea. It will give you exposure to different styles of FBB training and add to your variety. It will allow you to pick and choose what feels best on your body for a given day. Here are some things to consider when you mix training tracks:
Avoid movement pattern overload - not all training tracks follow the same movement patterns each day. If you jump from PUMP to PERFORM within a week, just be careful you aren't hitting 3-4 days of the same movements/body parts.
Feeling a little tired or under recovered? - this can be a good time to choose a different track that is less intense. Opt for PILLARS or PUMP on these days and lighten the weights up.
If you blend tracks it is still advisable to choose one that will be your ANCHOR track.
Example - You do Pump 3-4 Days a week and mix in 1-2 days of PERFORM or PILLARS - in this example PUMP is your anchor track that guides most of your training.
Olympic Lifting – one more note about combining tracks. Oly Lifts don’t show up in any track besides PERFORM (formerly called Classic). However, they are for many of you something you love. I have several clients that I program Pump/Body Comp style training for and mix in Oly lifts two days a week. I would encourage you to take the Oly Lifting segments from PERFORM workouts and just place those part B segments into the corresponding day in Body Comp if you wish.
Minimalist can be used any time and a typical Minimalist week will include some workouts that are Classic style and some more Body Comp. Just keep the above points in mind around movement balance when you’re selecting a workout for the day.
Cardio - for more guidance on mixing in added cardio to your sessions, see the Bonus 30/30 Cardio Ebook in the Account - Documents section of Truecoach.