This graph is a great visual to help you get stronger every single week and by working out less often.
Starting at the left of the graph, your ‘initial level’, represents your current strength. The graph drops during your training session into the red zone as you are fatiguing and (micro) tearing the muscles.
The yellow zone represents the repairing of the muscles. Here they are still weaker than your initial level. If you worked hard enough you will be feeling sore with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) during this recovery phase. Do not work these same muscles during this time.
24 - 48 hours after the DOMS have completely passed you enter the green ‘supercompensation’ phase. Here your muscle have completely repaired and (more importantly) have grown back slightly stronger than your first session! Now is the time to lift heavier weights and then repeat the cycle.
The Blue zone is only relevant if you do not train your muscles again for several weeks. You need to go from red to yellow to green and back to red, yellow and green etc. Each time you get to the green zone you should be able to lift a little bit more than the previous session. If you cannot, then you are either not yet in the green zone or your technique is poor.
Two common reasons that are stopping people from growing their muscles every week are:
1: Training the muscle groups that are in the recovery (yellow) phase. These muscles cannot lift any more weight than the previous session because they are still weaker. – Wait for the green phase.
2: They are getting to the supercompensation phase (green) but they are not trying to lift more because they have no idea they can or that they should.
*Remember - For maximum results and no injuries please make sure your technique is perfect before attempting heavy weights.