T Nation

Help with periodization

Hey all! Maybe I somehow missed it in all the books and discussions I’ve read but it seems that the overall periodization workouts proposed by the likes of Tudor Bompa are for people who want to get all 3: lean, strong and big. In Bompa’s case specifically, he designs his cycles so that you adapt, grow, get strong, chill out then repeat. One of my profs likes to say that you’re either damn good at one thing or you’re not really any good at anything. There are champion bodybuilders, powerlifters, triathletes but never all three. There are common trainees who are kinda ripped, kinda strong and have kinda good endurance. I for one have a body that best responds to strength training (it grows best this way as well) so my reps, sets and excercizes are designed with that in mind. I’m actually thinking of competing in Powerlifting this year. However, I don’t want to hit a plateau because I focus all my training on low reps and high sets. (that should happen if all the periodization theories are true right?) Well, if I’m primarily fast twitch fiber, then what good is hypertrophy (10-12 reps) training gonna do for me?

So my goal is to retail the same training style but still shock my body. How can I best retain the same rep/set design but still periodize my training?


Man…In a nutshell, you need to change your max effort exercises on a regular basis. Every 3-4 weeks. This would take a hell of a long time to answer. You should go to Dave Tate’s site, elitefts.com. It explains everything you need to know to get at it.

First thing rep ranges of 5-6RM and 10-12RM are the best in general for protein breakedown (read- hypertrophy) so check to see which one suits you best. Second, Periodization is really just a way of describing many ways to change up training in a manner to move forward and not become stale. Third, get Science and Practice for Strength Training, Supertraining, and Fitness and Strength training for all Sports. Finally, you might want to set up a conjugated periodization set up- hint read up on Westside barbell.

First of all im no expert but heres my 2 cents any way.
You need to periodize your training and since your into heavy lifting i would think you should decrease the hypertrophy phase and concentrate on the anatomical adaptation phase (so your tendons and ligaments get a chance to catch up) and Max strength. With the hypertrophy phase you could decrease the time spent in it or not use the reps intended. If you normally lift triples doubles and singles and 5 and 6 rep phase of training will be a change. youll allow your body a chance to adapt and use the heavy weights (lighter than max strength but not too much).
Also try periodising exericses in the hyp phase do may be 1 heavy set for bench 2 reps with 3 rep max and the to sets of 6-8 with an exercise you wouldnt normally do (incline press flys )
charles staley talks of diagonal summation periodisation rather than horizontal (or something like that) and that means in hyp phase you dont have to conc 100 % on hyp do less heavy sets but incorporate hyp as well.

Be sure and read these Tate articles at T-mag:



Thanks all!
Also, it might interest you to know what I got from the prez. of our local Powerlifting club. It’s a split between true powerlifting prep (low reps) and also 8-10 reps stuff to train for speed. IE, when the higher rep stuff is used, he stressed not counting the reps but just taking 50-60% of your 1RM and doing reps as explosively as you can.

I’m 19 and looking at the Canadian Nats, with my current numbers I think I woulda won in my age/weight group. I’ll finish off another week of my current program and switch to his, taking your advice into account. This year may see my training take a rather interesting turn. I’ve been lifting weights since gr 9 but with limited progress. Ever since I got to Uni., I got my head put on straight by friends and coaches but I never really trained for anything specific…now I think I’ve found my niche!!!

Yep…That stuff your coach gave you is “Westside” theory. As I mentioned, elitefts.com or Westsidebarbell.com.