Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Periodization is a concept where you use cycles to break up your training. Regardless of your ultimate goal you should have a plan, and this plan needs to be broken up into your daily, weekly, and monthly workouts.

So, you may have a week of heavy intense training, then a maintenance week of lighter training, the light week allows the muscles to recuperate, yet because they’re still being trained atrophy will not occur from disuse. In order to avoid a state of over training, and continue to grow, we need to recover.
Remember your muscles do not grow in the gym, they grow when at rest. Many factors contribute to over training, including inadequate rest, continued heavy training, and deficiencies in diet & nutrition.

By using periodization to map out your training you will avoid over training and keep your muscles in a state of continued adaption.

Principles that can be used when planning your training cycles:

Cycle Training: this is where you break up your training into bulk cycles, strength cycles and cutting cycles; which will help keep your muscles in a responsive state.

Split Training: this is breaking up your training into separate body parts each work-out which allows for shorter and more intense sessions.

Muscle Confusion: your muscles adapt to stress, and ultimately you can reach a plateau. By constantly varying the exercises, weights, sets and reps you can ensure continued adaption.

Progressive Overload: continue to increase different parameters in your training, whether it be more weight, increasing sets and reps, etc.

Eclectic Training: using a variety of methods in your training, combining numerous techniques such as compound and isolation exercises.

Paul Dillet

Principles that can assist you in arranging each workout:

Supersets: alternating two opposing muscle groups with little rest in between sets.

Giant Sets: performing several exercises for a single muscle group with little rest in between sets.

Muscle Priority: training a weaker body part first in your work out.

Pre-Exhaustion: this is where you perform an isolation exercise preceding a compound exercise, e.g. leg extensions before squats.

Pyramiding: beginning with a lighter weight, gradually increasing weight and lowering reps, then work backwards, decreasing weight and increasing reps.

Stripping: going from a heavy weight, and stripping off weight each set as fatigue sets in.

Principles that can be used with each exercise:

Forced reps: once failure has been reached on a set, your partner assists you in performing additional reps that could not be performed alone.

Continuous tension: maintaining slow continuous tension thru out the rep, which will maximize red muscle fiber recruitment.

Cheating: once failure is reached the weight is swung past your sticking point to complete the movement. (useful when you do not have a spotter)

Partial reps: as the name implies only part of the full movement is performed, e.g. only curling a barbell half way up, which can be effective due to the varying points of leverage.

Peak contraction: at the completion of a set holding the weight fully contracted for a few seconds.

Super speed: using a lighter weight, reps are performed explosively yet controlled, called “compensatory acceleration”, which can help with white fiber recruitment.

Funk Roberts
Don't Rush the Beat

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