T Nation

Best Periodization Model?

I have been reading and noticed that there are a few different forms of periodization modules used by all respectable coaches that work and have created following. Often many of their routines follow their believed module guideline. In a bodybuilding and physique focused program what have others found works best? Undulating periodization, linear periodization (I know the ASU study may have answered between the first two) or the Conjugate method? I have seen even the undulating modules claim changes should occur often (each training session varies) while others have an accumulation and intensification phase (2-4 weeks each). I thought others might be toiled with this issue like I am.

It depends on a number of variables.

Dude linear peridization is obsolete, it is defunct.
Read Charles Staley’s article peridization that works, it sums up nicely my thoughts on this type of peridization. The article link is below:


Undulating peridization is a whole other animal, has its pros and cons, but can be used effectively in a properly designed program.

Conjugate peridization has merit to, but I think its better suited for strength and power improvement then Hypertrophy.
For info on Conjugate peridization Read Dave Tates peridization Bible series below:

Part 1:

Part 2:

This is a huge question that really comes down to your goals and knowledge.

Check out this brand new study:

A Meta-Analysis of Periodized Versus Nonperiodized Strength and Power Training Programs (pp. 413?422) Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
December 2004, Volume 75, No. 4
Matthew R. Rhea and Brandon L. Alderman

The purpose of this study was to quantitatively combine and examine the results of studies examining the effectiveness of periodized (PER) compared to nonperiodized (Non-PER) training programs for strength and/or power development. Two analyses were conducted to (a) examine the magnitude of treatment effect elicited by PER strength training programs compared to Non-PER programs and (b) compare these effects after controlling for training volume, frequency, and intensity. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were coded based on characteristics that might moderate the overall effects (i.e., participant characteristics and characteristics related to the training program). Effect sizes (ESs) were calculated for each study, and an overall ES of 0.84 (? 1.41) favoring PER training was found. Further analyses identified the treatment effect specific to training variation to be ES = 0.25. Significant moderating variables included age, training status, and length of training program. As a result of this statistical review of the literature, it is concluded that PER training is more effective than Non-PER training for men and women, individuals of varying training backgrounds, and for all age groups. In line with the overload principle, additions to volume, intensity, and frequency result in additional training adaptations.

and another:

Title: Muscular adaptations to combinations of high- and low-intensity resistance exercises.
Author(s): Goto K; Nagasawa M; Yanagisawa O; Kizuka T; Ishii N; Takamatsu K
Author’s Address: Institute of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
Source: Journal of strength and conditioning research. [J Strength Cond Res] 2004 Nov; Vol. 18 (4), pp. 730-7.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Language: English
Journal Information: Country of Publication: United States NLM ID: 9415084 ISSN: 1064-8011 Subsets: In Process; MEDLINE; Space Life Sciences
Abstract: Acute and long-term effects of resistance-training regimens with varied combinations of high- and low-intensity exercises were studied. Acute changes in the serum growth hormone (GH) concentration were initially measured after 3 types of regimens for knee extension exercise: a medium intensity (approximately 10 repetition maximum [RM]) short interset rest period (30 s) with progressively decreasing load (“hypertrophy type”); 5 sets of a high-intensity (90% of 1RM) and low-repetition exercise (“strength type”); and a single set of low-intensity and high-repetition exercise added immediately after the strength-type regimen (“combi-type”). Postexercise increases in serum GH concentration showed a significant regimen dependence: hypertrophy-type > combi-type > strength-type (p < 0.05, n = 8). Next, the long-term effects of periodized training protocols with the above regimens on muscular function were investigated. Male subjects (n = 16) were assigned to either hypertrophy/combi (HC) or hypertrophy/ strength (HS) groups and performed leg press and extension exercises twice a week for 10 weeks. During the first 6 weeks, both groups used the hypertrophy-type regimen to gain muscular size. During the subsequent 4 weeks, HC and HS groups performed combi-type and strength-type regimens, respectively. Muscular strength, endurance, and cross sectional area (CSA) were examined after 2, 6, and 10 weeks. After the initial 6 weeks, no significant difference was seen in the percentage changes of all variables between the groups. After the subsequent 4 weeks, however, 1RM of leg press, maximal isokinetic strength, and muscular endurance of leg extension showed significantly (p < 0.05) larger increases in the HC group than in the HS group. In addition, increases in CSA after this period also tended to be larger in the HC group than in the HS group (p = 0.08). The results suggest that a combination of high- and low-intensity regimens is effective for optimizing the strength adaptation of muscle in a periodized training program.


Good post Boss.

I appreciate it.