So 1582, the Julian calendar makes way for the Gregorian calendar under Pope Gregory the 13th. It wasn’t until 1752 though that England and British Territories adopted it in 1752. If you ever see dates referred to as ‘Old Style (O.S.) or New Style (N.S.) then you know what that is in reference to, in 1752 the year started on January 1st instead of March 25th.
The history of the calendar, (and alternatives to the Gregorian calendar) is extremely interesting and worth long investigation in its own right but it is mentioned here to stimulate thought towards why training programs follow a weekly format; it begs the question, why do we have weeks that are 7 days long?
Stimulus on the body for adaptation needs to take into account recovery time; planning and managing training load, how intense it is, how much volume, how frequently is largely an artefact of 7 day cycles of work and school. What is biologically ideal may have very little to do with the logistically realities of WHEN someone can train. With that in mind, you wil notice how many training programs are 3 or 4 days of training and involve 3-6 exercises that can be performed in 45-90min.
With the modern flexibility of human capital and labour, jobs that fit an irregular pattern may become more common.
What do you do when you are using a 3 day template that usually expects that you lift Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday and rest on Tuesday, Thursday and either Friday or Sunday but your roster means you are on call for 24 hours periods for 3 days straight then take 5 days off? You still have to allow for recovery because that is what a 3 day program is likely going to require……. large groupings of training load that are spread across the week.
Programming in these circumstances is not difficult, it just means that you are going to be unsuccessful if you just try to squash the sessions in back to back then take longer breaks off. Obeying known programming phenomena need not follow 7 day micro-cycles within larger meso-cycles. It just requires some work, imagination and communication between coach and lifter.