There is no perfect routine for all times. You can't sustain the same intensity through different chapters of life.
Everyone should have an occasional off-season. Growth isn't linear. Too many beat people beat themselves up because they are doing less than last month not recognizing they are doing more than last year.
Dormancy and hibernation are two of nature's most powerful "hacks" to maintaining vitality. Sometimes the most progress comes in seasons of rest. Sometimes what feels like a step back is actually a leap forward.
Resiliency comes from adapting to your environment and your needs in this moment. Learning to tailor your efforts as things evolve is critical to thriving over the long run.
The ability to cycle through seasons is a skill that can be developed just like learning to squat. Practicing it might look like this:
Feeling excitement for developing a more intuitive approach to exercise you make the conscious intention to enter a season of exploration. For a few months you prioritize experimenting with different approaches. The goal here is not some dramatic transformation but too deeply experience the activities to reconnect with your body and discover what you enjoy. In this season, you are listening for what values and goals emerge as most important.
Next, you shift from exploration to a season of deep focus and alignment. You want to experience the power of progress so you tailor your training to a specific modality. Perhaps you prioritize strength and muscle gain as you want to be stronger and have more lean muscle mass.
Even within this broader season, there is likely to be mini seasons and evolutions. You could begin by focusing on higher reps and lower weight to condition your muscles and tension before adding too much stress. This will kick off the process of building muscle mass and enhance your metabolic engine. Now you're ready to ramp up the weight, decreasing the number of reps and really focusing on building your maximal strength capacity.
Yet, if you listen to your body and watch your progression, you'll eventually recognize the need for a season of rest. This might involve taking time completely off from training or using very light weights to let your body recharge. Or, perhaps the enjoyment of your approach has gotten stale and you need to mix it up. Or, maybe your goals or values have evolved and it's no longer aligned.
It's when you view your approach as a living, breathing, and evolving thing that you've learned to cycle through seasons. Embracing this gives you the capacity to sustain through adversity and renew in the years ahead.