T Nation

linear vs. conjugated periodization

I was just wondering what type of periodization you guys use for bodybuilding purposes. It seems like King and Poliquin recommend a more linear approach, but Louie Simmons’ article “Don’t Chase Your Tail” (@elitefitness web site) provides very good argumenst for conjugated periodization, but I believe this approach may be more for strenth training than for bodybuilding. Any comments? Thanks

I’m a big fan of louie’s system for strength training. I don’t think that would be the best for bodybuilding because I fell that the rep range would not be optimum for gaining muscle mass.

Poliquin favors the Intensification / Accumulation model.

I asked a similar question like this yesterday…So u mean to tell me, that gaining muscle mass is purely a matter of rep ranges??? Say, I never train above 6 reps, but use multiple sets with medium rest periods, you’re saying I won’t gain muscle??? I would love to see what others think of this…

You can definitely use the conjugated form of periodization for bodybuilding. In this mode rather than varying all your rep ranges at the same time and focusing on either/or neural end hypertrophy vs metabolic end hypertrophy you would just more or less switch the focus from phase to phase while still incorporating facets of each. In other words, rather than going on a phase where everything is done from 8-12 reps (metabolic end hypertrophy) you might go on a phase which is 70% 8-12 reps and 30% 4-6 reps for each bodypart. The westside system is just one interpretation of the conjugate method…With the conjugate method, all types of strength are addressed but the program can change with a gradual change of focus over time rather than an abrupt switch from phase to phase. This is best illustrated if you really explore the way the method has been used for sports. I recommend you pick up a copy of “Supertraining” and study the sections on periodization which will make it much easier to understand.
Also I believe Ian King and Poliquin recommend more of an undulatory approach to managing training focus, volume and intensity. The intensity and volume gradually switch back and forth with a gradual move in either direction.

thanks for the suggestions guys