Periodization Training

PERIODIZATION IS THE KEY TO ANY SUCCESSFUL TRAINING

PERIODIZATION TRAININGFirst of all I need to notice that green beginners don’t need to stick to load periodization training. They haven’t yet learned to workout strained to their force limit and use weights that are far from potentially maximum ones. These loads cannot cause their organism exhaustion. But for professional athletes the principle of periodization training and cycling training should to be an important workout law.

Periodization Training

I think that disputes about the best way to elaborate training plan will never stop. Not long ago all bodybuilders workouted monotonously throughout the whole year; now they use so-called periodization interval strength training. This technique was adopted from professional sport and its main idea is the following: when you reach your power limit and basic weights can’t be increased furthermore you need to reduce your working loads abruptly in order your organism recover and rest. After this you start climbing your power ‘mountain’ once again. It was found out that such wavy intensity variations grow muscle mass and strength much more effective than the previous monotonous scheme.

So, periodization is a step cycling of an athlete’s training intensity and training volumes to achieve maximum amounts of muscle mass and strength… Each cycle presupposes moving from low volumes and high intensity to high volumes and low intensity. A typical bodybuilding cycle includes three phases: strength training, hypertrophy phase and ‘drying’.

The example of a cycle intended for a half a year period:

  • power mesocycle: 2-4 weeks
  • ‘muscle volume’ mesocycle (gaining ‘mass’): 8-12 weeks
  • ‘burning’: 8-10 weeks

Such half a year period is called macrocycle; each of its parts is recognized as a mesocycle; each training week within the limits of a mesocycle is called a microcycle.

PERIODIZATION TRAINING workoutDue to constant changing of training volume and intensity during each phase, the described periodization cycle is called ‘lineal’ or ‘classic’ one.

Bodybuilding pays the biggest attention to muscle volume and definition while strength remains subsidiary factor. The lineal macrocycle is built exactly in accordance with this set: it begins with strength preparation phase (as a rule, it last no longer than 3-4 weeks; sometimes up to 6 weeks); then the phases of muscle mass gaining and shape defining follow.

The main drawbacks of this ‘lineal’ periodization training lie in the fact that in a short-time prospect a sportsman is training one biomechanical quality to the detriment of another one. It means that during trainings aimed at strength increase an athlete is losing his/her endurance and during ‘size’ trainings – his/her strength. Besides it, the ‘lineal’ approach allows training of muscle fibers of only one certain type during one mesocycle phase.

Weekly periodization training

It’s possible to abbreviate a complete macrocycle period to just one week. In this case we’ll be able to train different muscular qualities (strength, size, endurance) more often. For example, if we train three times a week we can work with different loads during each particular training session.

Monday: a ‘difficult’ training (6 ‘failure’ sets of 6 reps each); Wednesday: ‘easy’ training (3 sets of 10-15 reps); Friday: ‘middle’ one (4-5 sets of 8-10 reps).

It can look like this:

Monday Wednesday Friday
Legs middle difficult easy
Pushing muscles(chest, shoulders, triceps) difficult easy middle
Pulling muscles(the broadest ones, biceps, long back ones) easy middle difficult

Power variant of lineal specialization (weekly one)

This method lies in systematic gradual increase of basic weights followed by parallel reduction of rep quantity in a set. In the beginning of a cycle we use weights that are deliberately lighter than those ones we are going to work with till muscle failure achievement: it allows our organism to recover in a more effective way and get ready for ‘failure’ training.

Let’s take Bench Presses as an example: if your maximum for this exercise is 100kg/6 reps, this method can be realized in the following way:

70/10;80/10;90/8;95/8;100/6;105/6;110/5;

115/4.

You should begin a new cycle with 80-85kg. Each athlete chooses necessary quantity of reps and frequency of exercise performance individually.

Last, I’d like to make an example of a 12 week’s ‘non-lineal’ periodization complex. It is characterized by certain peculiaritites:

1) we train muscle groups within a week cycle by means of non-equal loads;

2) we increase training volume and intensity in course of time;

3) we use ‘shaking’ (high quantity of reps) in the middle of the complex.

MONDAY
Exercises/weeks 1 & 8 2 & 9 3 & 10 4 & 11 5 & 12 6 & 7
Bench Presses 4×10 4×8 5×6 5×4 6×2 4×15
Dumbbell Flyes 3×12 3×10 4×8 4×6 4×20
Standing Barbell Presses 4×10 4×10 5×8 5×8 4×15
Lying Triceps Presses 3×12 4×10 4×10 5×8 5×8 4×20
Leg Presses 3×15 3×12 3×12 4×10 4×10 4×20
Donkey Calf Raises 5хМax 5хМax 5хМax 5хМax 5хМax 5хМax
Hanging leg rises 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax
WEDNESDAY
Exercises/weeks 1 & 8 2 & 9 3 & 10 4 & 11 5 & 12 6 & 7
Barbell Squats 4×10 4×8 5×6 5×4 6×2 4×5
Leg Curls 3×12 3×12 4×10 4×10 4×20
Seated Calf Raises 3×15 3×15 3×15 3×15 3×15 3×15
Cable Overhead Extentions 3×15 3×15 4×12 4×12 4×10 4×20
T-Bar Rows 3×12 3×12 4×10 4×10 4×15
Seated Dumbbell Curls 3×12 3×10 3×10 4×8 4×8 4×20
Hanging leg rises 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax
FRIDAY
Exercises/weeks 1 & 8 2 & 9 3 & 10 4 & 11 5 & 12 6 & 7
Incline Barbell Presses 3×12 3×10 3×10 4×8 4×8 4×20
Upright Cable Rows 4×12 4×12 5×10 5×10 6×8 4×20
Bent Over Barbell Rows 4×10 4×10 5×8 5×8 4×15
Seated Barbell Presses Behind Head 3×12 3×12 4×10 4×10 4×20
Standing Calf Raises 4×12 4×12 4×12 4×12 4×12 4×12
Deadlifts 4×10 4×8 5×6 5×4 6×2 4×15
Hanging leg rises 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax 3хМax

Warm-up sets are not included

The presented scheme covers:

Monday: the day of chest and shoulders + eazy leg workout

Wednesday: the day of squats + eazy back workout

Friday: the day of complex back workout + eazy workout of chest and shoulders

Written by: Dennis Borisov
© May 2010
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