T Nation

CW, Your Opinion Please (Periodization)


Greetings CW.
I find your articles essential, full of wisdom and... awesome. Days ago I was reading your Triple Total Training article (reading and applying strategies of your articles when I am in a procedure of constructing a new program is standard for me) and you begun connecting the concept of frequency with a better muscle stimulation, an enlightening concept that I first stumbled upon reading your HFT articles.

But the thing that made my eyebrows dance was some lines below about Linear periodization... and that it sucks. In the next paragraph you explained this logically complemented and then I started thinking my mistakes.

Personally I am constructing my programs with 2 mesocycles 8 weeks each, first with low frequency and high quantity and the second vice-versa, equally spreading between them deload microcycles, in other words manipulating the set/rep/load parameters.

So... while I reap results from this kind of periodic programming I think I am missing some sensible elements and in order to do some steps ahead I am asking you
a) would you proposed to also manipulate the speed of execution to obtain the conjugate character that you refer to your article? Aside of these 4 parameters, if we were to do another step ahead,

b) what other parameters you would suggest manipulating? (Maybe I am a little hasty.)
I think 16 weeks is a bit long (long is a word with negative meaning here and brings other negative results among some positive) and your programs are more enhanced, if I may say.

c) If it is more easier for you could you reply suggesting me one of your programs that may fit this kind of purposes? I only have 4days/week for training so now that I want to raise frequency (to 2 or even better 3 per week) of squats, deads etc my only choice is upper-lower split or total body training (the initial reason I looked into your TTT).

d) What is your opinion? Thanks in advance and sorry for the big post and grammar mistakes.


Probably better off PMing him though I'd say you're completely overthinking things. Eat more, train harder, lift heavier, grow.


I have never seen CW post in this forum ... or his own for that matter. Good luck!


@ LiquidMercury: TTT
( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/triple_total_training )
presents very interesting principles and fills in the general idea of weight training upgrading it to another level. I felt the urge to ask the author himself and I believe many others would benefit from this kind of fundamental info, one of the reasons of this site I humbly assume. I'll PM him, thanks.

@ TheDudeAbides: I did a search here on posts and I found plenty that CW had reply but they're a little old dated (2004). I hope this one may change that. Thanks!

Summing up my questions:
I think one of the benefits of altering other parameters beside set/reps/load such as the speed of execution, can reduce the length - in weeks - of a mesocycle while still gives an advanced approach program to the trainee. This length reduction can be answered by a specialist in terms of his programs or a progression of them.


I hate to burst your bubble here, and no disrespect, but with all that specialisation/complicated methods, has it really given you better results than usual?

At 180lbs, just over 6ft tall, and 16% bodyfat...I'd say a resounding "no". Not trying to be an ass here, just want you to be realistic, or give you a wake up call.

Chad Waterbury HIMSELF would tell you to be more concerned with the basics.

Most people made their gains doing the same things over and over (no need to be too "scientific"). I went from 150lbs to 200lbs in just over a year from a simple upper/lower split done 3-4x/week, and eating enough (including protein)...periodization, swapping routines, changing reps/sets didn't even enter my mind. All I was concerned about was strength progression and weight gain.

Consistency with a basic balanced program (that allows progression in strength) and eating enough trumps everything else. For fat loss, maintain your strength while losing fat.



@ its_just_me: It's ok, I appreciate your answer and totally agree that the basics you and others highlighted are indeed the biggest part in our routines. I'm also sure that you - such as I to a point - never heared, cared about words such as "supercompensation" and "training stimulus" and more blah blah that may come in the future. Maybe there are tons of other facts that explain how all the beginers
great article -> http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/who_wants_to_be_a_novice_you_do
gain 50lbs when we started.

And if periodization gives me better results than usual? As I stated on paragraph 4 on my 1st post I add that I'm on a constant and steady increment on my main lifts (although your perspective is hypertrophy but mine strength, alas, all around us are plenty of examples of 440 - 550pound squats by people with bw of 180-200pounds) and I blame periodization for that I never reached a plateau. Well I can't say that I also didn't grow. I'm now 200 pounds.


My mistake

Looks like you are making progress...just wanted to make sure you don't miss the fundamentals and get too caught up on the details.

I know it sounds funny me asking (and you are asking CW), but why are you asking those questions? Has your gains stopped?


No harm done, I find your position correct :slight_smile:

No, my gains are still on the highway but I wonder if I can save time making a LITTLE more complex (simply put) my weight training approach. My gains come every 8 to 16 weeks and this article, TTT> http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/triple_total_training
presents the idea of altering the speed of execution...man, I think there is a bigger frontier behind the set/rep/load parameters and to be honest I like to experiment (with filter).

You know there is tons of other stuff (supersets, trisets, gigasets, TUT, rest periods, drop sets, pyramids etc) but a dynamic effort session besides the heavy effort sessions per week...yes! I'm confident to the bone, this will overcome any near adaptation of my nervous system to my present programs.

The thing is CW can justify this completely and thoroughly. Wouldn't you like to hear it from him? :slight_smile:


If you're looking on information regarding dynamic effort in combination with max effort, your best bet is to look to westside barbell as they've made quite a few 1000 lb squatters using this.


Wow, that just made my head spin lol

I have a book from CW (muscle revolution), and it is interesting. Also, I've followed most of his articles online too. The only thing I don't like is the constant change of pace, I don't know, maybe my simply mind just doesn't thrive on that kind of stuff :slight_smile:

There are some things that I don't entirely agree on (e.g. his preference to no direct arm training). Over-all, I think that average Joe could benefit from a more direct approach (instead of masses of different phases).

I will say though, that when you get to a certain level, even with bodybuilding some form of "pulling back" is needed. So you could do an intensive phase, followed by a more volume oriented approach...and just cycle through it. That's about as complicated as my training gets lol


Adelphe, look up info on A.S. Prilepin,Tudor Bompa and Vladimir Zatsiorsky. They will have much better info than Chad Waterbury, if he replies all he is going to do is regurgitate info from them. So go directly to the sources!


@ it_just_me : Yeah, the variability is based on the natural stance of our body which is adaptation and the purpose is to avoid that. I also have my arguments and I hope at least on a future article of his, will get them answered in live-spill. Well, I hate to say it but things can go a lot more complex - damn those people with Masters, Bachelor degrees, phDs!

@ M79: 1000 efcharisto adelphe! From a quick search on these names I found serious gold information! From books, I found - Science and Practice [Zatsiorsky & Kraemer], Biomechanics In Sport [Zatsiorsky] and articles of Prilepin and Bompa. You ROCK!
About LiquidMercury's suggestion (btw CW refers to Louie Simmons and I believe this is the site - www.westside-barbell.com but throws a page of "Under Construction"), Westside System Powerlifting [Eric Cressey] and others.

I'll start pondering on this new info and slowly construct a program based on what may I pull and understand. I have aprox. 2 weeks before I end my current program. I'll post here if someone wants to throw opinions, rectifications etc. Again a big thank you to all for the bump and of cource the respond. Cheers!