Well crimeny, bro!
Were a guy to have aspirations of writing an aricle or 20 for T-Nation, he’d get all the goods beat out of him before ever being published.
I like undulation, conjugation, and random or irregular cycles. The fun part is integration of the above. You can really do any type of an individual workout and simply move to a significantly different set of parameters for the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th workouts in that weekly micocycle. Conjugation. With this as a microcycle base, I then like to use an undulating pattern in 2 or 3 week “swings”. One being a bit more focused on a particular strength quality and the other being something related but different. Say, total hyper mixed with funct hyper for the meathead in us all. Or strength mixed with power. etc… If your goal is size then keep the frequency high(necessary for all qualitites) and volume to at least 25 or so per session per body area. Once you’ve got a conjugation weekly microcycle, an undulating mesocycle (lasting 4-6 weeks) and then you can get “crazy” and maneuver this into a random cycle such as Tsatsouline likes to use. For a good example, check out the irregular wave cycling in Jack Reape’s latest article.
I don’t like western periodizaiton as it’s phases are too narrow and don’t allow for optimal retention of various strength qualitites that one spent time on in earlier cycles. Really ignorant approach overall. It’ll work to a degree, but then making 3 lefts equals making a right too. You just burn mucho gas and look stupid in the process. See my point?
Bompa has some good stuff in his book (Serious Strength Training), but don’t latch on to the linear periodization. He has specific cycles that are good for size (both total and functional). Just don’t follow the traditional AA, H, M, MS, T sytle. If you want mass and strength then take his H, M, and MS stuff and use sufficient volume. Then be sure to coax your weights and/or volume upward slowly. There must be an overall trend toward imposing greater demands while respecting the fact that at your current level, you can only hand so much stimulation before it becomes excessive.
Periodization is just a fancy way of trying to further a particular quality(s) by drawing upon and building off of pervious fitness gains. It is in essence trying to find the best way to capitalize on the Dual Factory Theory of maximizing fitness while minimizing fatigue. And a good way to enhance any one quality, for example strength, is to include necessary and properly timed elements that focus on hypertrophy (allowing for increased strength potential via greater cross section) or speed while still focusing on the one primary goal.
The above is why I think conjugation is best overall. Undulating and random are very good also, so feel free to play around with those.
Use ABBH for example. Start with 10x3 at 80%. Slowly move your way up to 10x5 by week 3.
Week 1: 10x3 at 80% w/60 sec rest
Week 2: 10x4 at 80% w/60 sec rest
Week 3: 10x5 at 80% w/60 sec rest
Then we will back off a bit to allow for delayed transmutation (let all the gains come in). You could do this in a number of ways…
Week 4: 8x3 at 80% w/150 sec rest
Week 5: 8x3 at 80% w/150 sec rest
Week 6: off.
This is just a quick, simple example of how you could move your body closer and closer to acute overtraining, then undulate into a “back off” peroid with a lessened volume and density for full expression of gains. Next time it must be a bit more in some fashion. Say doing the whole thing at 82.5% or any number of other variants.
It’s tough to really pin down periodization when you understand that in essence it’s much more esoteric than standard western though has made it. It is just utilizing the needed fact the progressive overload is essential for any organism to continue to positively adapt, but at any given time, said organism has a limited momentary adaptive range that it is capable of moving in. Periodization is trying to find that sweet spot.
I spend about an hour searching this site for block training, more specifically accumulation/intensification phases. I understand that it is based on the dual factor theory, fitness vs Fatigue. I was wondering if you would give your 2 cents on this subject, and explain in detail on this topic. Also, do you find this type of training superior for strength and size gains, or do you prefer different protocols? If so, what are they?
Thanks for your time and help. Much is appreciated![/quote]