T Nation

Is Periodization Really Necessary?


I once read an article on T-Nation arguing that periodization is not necessary for non-competitors although I realize that's not the only reason to periodize.

Although this may be a dead horse, I have still to ask and never saw a discussion on this. I personally don't care about periodizing. I'm not that strong but I thought I should say as much. I use microplates (adding as little as one pound to the barbell at a time) and may occasionally opt for extra reps instead of extra weight but the concept of speed work or this or that (hypertrophy, strength etc.) season has never seriously occurred to me. I'm also pretty sure that SOME of the best oly lifters of the past did not periodize.



If you don't want to do it, then don't do it. Periodization in its simplest form is just a way to achieve a goal....there are many. Pick one, see if it works and move on.


So much damn common sense its incredible.





Once you get to a certain level, you have to start planning your training. That level varies greatly from person to person. There are some genetic freaks that can just keep hitting triples and doubles every week and get strong as shit. For the remaining 99.9999999% of the population, a plan must be in place to keep gaining.


This. However, I like to rotate between a periodised program like 5/3/1 to something a little more arbitrary like WSBB. Over an extended time frame, both methods complement one another.


WSBB is still periodized, even if it's conjugated.

Both DeFranco and Dan John are against the conventional ideas of periodization, claiming they get their best results when their athletes train depending on how they're feeling (willing to go all-out or needing to take it easy). That's all well and good, but these men also have very good scientific knowledge and a thorough plan in mind.

Like Wendler's said, the best programs are the ones that can adapt on the fly.


Yeah realised this morning where I messed up in my understanding.


I think periodization is the way to go. When one looks at how other types of athletes train, i.e. distance runners, sprinters, throwers, periodization predominates. What is interesting is the bulgarian weightlifting where one routinely maxes or has a near max.

From my own personal experience, I used to do a linear periodization for 12 weeks to get ready for a powerlifting contest, starting with high reps, low weight and ending with high weight, low reps. This worked for several years.

Then I had to be creative with my training, using other methods, i.e. shorter periodization cycles, Sheiko method, to obtain more gains. Now I am doing 5/3/1 and will see how this goes.