T Nation

Cycling Specialization Phases Week-to-Week


Would it make sense to cycle specialization phases for specific body parts on a week-to-week basis? Say, for one week, you hit your back two or three times while doing maintenance work on the rest of your body. Week two has you target shoulders, week three targeting legs, and then you repeat the cycle.

I have previously read that some body builders (I believe Arnold Schwarzenegger is a fan of this technique) encourage picking a body part a week to kill; not necessarily training it several times during the week, but doing a higher volume of training for that body part on the appropriate day. The idea behind this being that your body wont get used to a consistent volume of work.

I was wondering if this same concept could be applied to specialization phases. You would be able to get overall balanced body development, while challenging a particular body part every once in awhile with an influx in volume. Perhaps the super compensation effect could be achieved more frequently as well. Would a single week be enough to trigger this?

Any thoughts or further information would be greatly appreciated. I hope to hear from all of you!! Thanks.



Im not CT but I believe he has said in the past (i.e not that long ago) that in order for a specialization phase to work, the muscle must be worked for a longer period of time than just a week, otherwise you'll get no supercompensation.


Kinda correct... spec for one week will not work well. It takes more time than that for a significant amount of structural changes to take place. Using this 1 week spec approach WOULD lead to GLYCOGEN supercompensation which will give the illusion of gains for 3-5 days. But to stimulate a significant amount of growth for a spec approach you need at least 3 weeks, 4-6 being necessary in most cases.

YOU GOTTA GIVE A PROGRAM TIME TO WORK!!! The first week, most of the gains are neural (getting used to the program and methods), it is only after that that real muscle gains begin to happen at a significant pace.