T Nation

Block Periodization for PL


I was just wondering if anyone else has done it and how they had it set-up. Hopefully, we can use this thread to trade some opinions/ideas and share some information.


I do it. Its fairly involved, but pretty simple. What kind of information you looking for?



I do it. Its fairly involved, but pretty simple. What kind of information you looking for?



I have been using it as well. I just wanted to know how others have set up their training using its principles.

My interpretation of it was to alter the volume on dynamic days to determine which phase I am in. For example, Accumulation speed squats would be moderate bar weights, say waved from low 40 something percent to mid 50 something percent, with light band tension for anywhere from 12-25 sets of 2 reps w/ 30-45s rest. Transmutation speed squat bar weight go anywhere from 60-80% with heavier tension and only for 5-8 sets with longer rests, maybe working up to a new max or close too it as the Realization approches. Realization is going to be little to no bands and wave down from 75% to 50% to 30% the week of the meet.

For Max effort work I have been going from very general exercises with lots of band tension, chains, grips, foot positions and have slowly been moving towards exercises that more mimic the actually competition lifts.

This is the general outline I have been following with pretty good results so far. I am about to transition into a 3 week Transmutation phase, then a 2 week realization, then its the GNC Pro Deadlift at the Arnold.

I can get more specific than this if you would like but what do you think of the set-up? I read Issurins book and some of his recent research and stuff but, I wanted to make sure I didnt totally miss the point. haha.


Shouldn't be doing any dynamic work in any of the blocks, per se, outside of attempting maximal force production during the reps. I start with the volume almost insanely high, and drop it as percentages for the main lifts increase. Volume on main lifts will also decrease. You have to remember, during accumulation blocks (Using Issurins model, and doing accumulation, transmutation, and realization blocks) the competition lifts are only done as technique maintenance and improvement, not necessarily for strength gains from training. Save the accommodating resistance methods for the transmutation block, as that's when your relative training volumes and intensities will be highest. Its also where 90% of your strength gains will come, relative to the competitive cycle.

As far as using conjugated periodization with it, it IS a form of block periodization, but it congruent with the model as Issurin lays out.



I think I get what you are saying. For the accumulation phase, how would a week of training look for you? Also, what percentage do you start training at when you begin the Accumulation phase? Do you not do any Max Effort work at all in this phase?


First week would be 5x6@50% of my raw max for all main lifts, SQ/BP/DL. Day 4 is usually close grip rep work for the bench, maintaining the percentage work as listed before. 1 minute rest between sets. Specialized prepatory lifts (Accessory) work for week one is 6 exercises, all done for 6 sets of 12 reps. Pick four general exercises, leg curls, back raises, etc. Pick exercises that work the muscles used in the main lift, but do not do variations of the main lift. Leg curls, lateral raises, Barbell rows, etc. The last 2 exercises are prehab/rehab/corrective exercises. TKEs, rotator cuff work, etc. You have to really push the pace on these. The workouts during the accumulation work should take no more than 75 minutes or so from the time you start your first work set of your main exercise. Hopefully that makes sense.



Yes, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for the clarification. Two more questions, what do the percentages look like when you get into the transmutation phase? Also, during that phase, does the accessory work get more intense and lean more towards variations of the main lifts?



There's a great article about using block periodization for powerlifting. I read it all the other day (and the 2-3 articles he links in that article). It explains nearly everything you need to know to understand block periodization and make your own program/training cycle. A lot of it seemed pretty common sense to me. It just explains the three phases of B.P. and the percentages used, then you get the reps from Prilepin's chart.

Accumulation - your main lift of the day isn't the competition lift itself. It's a lift that brings up a weak point of yours. It's done at 55-70& for 12-30 reps. You do more assistance exercises that work your weak points with high volume. It lasts from 2-6 weeks.

Transmutation - this is where you transfer the improvements you made on your weak points to success in the competition lifts. The main lift is done at 75-90% for 4-12 reps. Not as much volume is done here but more intensity. It lasts 2-4 weeks.

Realization - pretty straightforward, it's just 2 weeks of really only hitting the competition lifts and not much else and then a deload. Lifts are done at 90% or more at 1-4 reps.

That's what I got out of that article and is my understanding of B.P. I'd be interested in doing a training cycle following it. I don't think it goes well with the standard Westside template, though I could be wrong.


Accessory work should be really high in volume during the accumulation phase. It should also be done with short rest intervals to try and develop some gpp. Once you get into the transmutation phase, intensity on your main lifts needs to increase. At this point accessory work should be what you need to prevent muscular imbalances and maintain what you've built in the accumulation phase. It's very easy to get overtrained in transmutation by overdoing your accessory work.


The percentages I use are 50-70% for accumulation, 71-90% during transmutation, and 91-100% during Realization. In the transmutation, I will drop off a lot of the specialized prepatory lifts, but I add in specialized developmental lifts. These are variations of the main lifts. I may do my squat work in briefs and suit with straps down, then do rackpulls with chains, and follow it by cambered bar high box squats. Only difference here is that on the bench, you will have a day where you do shirt work, and then on the next day do your specialized developmental lifts....board presses, rack lockouts, etc.



SO this is basically the traditional 3-4 weeks of sets of 8 then, 3-4 weeks of sets of 5, and then the 4 week comp build up?


Not even close.



All of this text tells me I really need to learn more.


so can we get pegg in t-cell and the war room?


Would it be better if you guys had questions and I answered them? I would say that I'm pretty well versed, and have access to guys who can answer the questions I cant. I'm not going to write programs for you guys, as program design is something I do to make a living, but I will try to help as much as you can.



You answered all of the questions I had. I guess the first time I read through Block Periodization, I was trying to relate everything to just periodizing the dynamic days because I still wanted to have max effort days. What you said makes A LOT more sense than how I interpreted the text. So, thanks again and I plan on reading more on it and actually implementing this correctly after my next meet is over.


I guess I sort of use this style, except I don't dedicate a whole macrocycle per phase.
I used this style before, it's pretty much what Fred Hatfield advocates.
The thing I don't like about it is it takes 8-10 weeks until you feel some real heavy weights, but the thing I didn't like about Conjugate was that it was just simply too much for my body to handle.

So I split it up in a microcyle, where I'll use 50-70% high volume/low intensity for the first week, then I'll use 70-90% moderate volume/moderate intensity the 2nd week, then I'll use over 90% low volume/high intensity for the 3rd week... switch the exercises and repeat.