T Nation

My Linear Periodization Program

I know what youre going to say guys, why try to create your own program when there are so many proven ones out there. And your right. But that’s like saying, why learn to cook when you can go to a restaurant and eat what the “professionals” made. Plus I really feel good inside when I create something mine (no matter how imperfect it is). And I don’t plan on not doing proven programs, but I will also experiment with my own stuff.
So here it is. As I’m understanding, linear periodization sequenciates qualities starting from low intensity high volume and gradually turns into low volume high intensity.
Weekly set up:
Monday - OHP and Squat
Wednesday - Bench Press and Deadlift
Friday - Squat Speed - 50%-70% ORM
Saturday - Bench and Deadlift Speed - 50%-70% ORM

Length - 10 weeks
Hypertrophy - 4 weeks - from 70% to 77,5%
Strength - 3 weeks - from 80% to 90%
Peak - 2 weeks - from 90% to 100%
Deload and Test - 1 week

Week 1 - 4x8 @ 70%
Week 2 - 4x8 @ 72,5%
Week 3 - 4x6-8 @ 75%
Week 4 - 4x6 @77,5%
Week 5 - 3x5 @ 80%
Week 6 - 3x4-5 @ 85%
Week 7 - 3x3-4 @ 90%
Week 8 - 4x2 @ 95%
Week 9 - 4-5x1 @ 100%
Week 10 - 3x1 @ 65%(Deload) and Test Max

Additional notes:
In Hypertrophy Phase every training session im going to hit a 90%+ single, double or triple on one of the the main lifts before main work sets - maintaining strength

In Strength Phase volume will come from assistance lifts - maintaining hypertrophy

In Peak Phase im going to drop almost all assistance (only leave 1 lift, that targets a weak point, per main lift for 2x6-8); 4 days a week - OHP day, Squat day, Bench day, Squat day

Tell me how it looks.

I think you’ll burn yourself out.

Way too much.

You always wanna design a plan around getting the most out of the least.

Start simpler with something like this:

Week 1: unlimited sets of 5 @ 50%
Week 2: unlimited sets of 3 @ 60%
Week 3: unlimited sets of 2 @ 70%
Week 4: unlimited sets of 1 @ 80%

You can vary the rest periods each week also to add in some variety or challenge. Focus on being explosive on week 4 on all lifts and pause the reps at the bottom of the bench and squat for that week. When deadlifting multiple reps (50-70%), hold the weight just below the knee for a second or so before pulling it back up.

This allows you to lift realistic weight without burning out. It’s also auto-regulated based on how the weight is moving each week. What this does allow is (3) 4 week cycles of 12 weeks total and then the 13th week you can go for a 1RM or take a week off or deload or whatever you wanna do. This gives you 4 training cycles which equate to roughly one year of planning.

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You’ll burn out. I completely understand wanting to make your own program. I used to do that.

TL;DR use a proven program. It’ll work better.

I dont understand this. I’ve always had the mentality that training should be hard (but not so hard that I would kill myself). Plus I calculated the weeks with the perspective of me getting stronger and the deload week at the end of the cycle I think will give me enough rest. I classify myself as a adv.beginner/ early intermediate so I think I can handle the work without burning myself too much. The only way to find out is to test it.

What are your stats? Height/weight/best lifts/etc

Age: 19
Height: 170 cm
Weight: 70 kg
Been lifting for 1 year and almost a half
Best lifts
Squat - 110 kg
Bench press - 95 kg
Deadlift - 130 kg
Overhead press - 65 kg
Weighted pull up - 5 reps with 32 kilos added

Looking at your stats, I would say that you could probably run this program without burning out/etc but it wouldn’t be optimal. You would be way better off running something that’s based off linear progression (at least for your lower body lifts) for now.

a 110kgs/130kgs squat/dead really wouldn’t be placing sufficient stress on your body if you ask me, especially if you’re going to be running percentages off said numbers.

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I understand you want to make your own program. I also understand you’re 19 so there’s probably a voice in your head telling you that you know best. Neither of these factors will help you much.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Listen to us, we’re actually trying to help.

You’re not the first person who wants to make your own program, you won’t be the last, and you’ll realise down the track that using a proven system works better. Try to take a useful shortcut and just use a proven program.

Calculation is rarely reflected in reality. What you’re doing in weeks six to nine will progressively beat the hell out of you, assuming those numbers you put up are really your maxes (read below before you get angry, I’m not saying you’re lying).

This alone is a massive reason not to design your own program.

One reason I say this is that it takes a while to learn what a max really is. I think it took me maybe two years. I at suspect you haven’t yet, because I don’t think ANYONE who knows what a max really is would even dream of programming four to five singles at 100%.

If you hit your true 100%, you won’t be able to do another single at that weight, let alone another four. Even your week eight with doubles at 95% are iffy.

The same applies to what you want to do in your hypertrophy phase.

Different story if you work from a training max (85-90% of your max). Then what you put down could work reasonably well, but not as well as a proven program like 531, Cube, Juggernaut, WS4SB, etc.

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What Markko said.

Also, remember this: training can be hard, but it should not be the main focus. What I mean is that for progress the key usually is not train hard as you can, but just train hard enough. Many very successful programs make you train hard, but also train smart. Which means that there is lot of relatively “hard” or even quite easy sessions.

Getting stronger needs hard work, but the_hard_should not become value of itself (ok, maybe sometimes, but it is not always necessary for the progress).

So… I would also recommend doing something proven. Planning is fun, but best planning happens only through experience.

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What I was thinking was that I would be getting stronger during those 10 weeks and at the end I would be able to hit atleast 4 singles with my max. Also I’ve taken into account that I’m an early intermediate and I would be able to progress faster. Also I would take large amounts of rest between the singles and doubles (8-15 mins). But I suppose you’re right. Maybe I overestimated how strong I would get during the 10 weeks.

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This is what I was getting at with more words.

That is very, very ambitious and not very realistic. You’ll get stronger over 10 weeks, but being able to hit your max four times in a row is probably not going to happen in that time. Your max for a double? Much more realistic.

Which is wasted time more than anything. You’d be looking at training session well over two hours, when in reality you can get a lot of very effective training done in an hour to an hour and a half.

Quite probably. Pick a proven program that excites you and follow it to the letter for three months at least. Pay attention to your diet and recovery.

I would highly recommended 531, but Cube looks slightly closer to what you’ve set up. The advantage of 531 is how simple it is to set up and how efficient it lets you be in the gym. Cube takes more thought, but it definitely works.

If you’re going with 531 I could see you enjoying something like this:

Six week cycle of Boring But Big
Week deload
Six week cycle of FSL multiple sets
Week deload
Six week cycle of FSL multiple sets with joker sets

You’ll need to get the book(s) but they’re about $10 each on Amazon. Get the second edition and Beyond 531.

You don’t understand why I say what I’m saying…but you will if you run that program.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. The program you are using will not account for bad training days where the weight feels heavy or you didn’t eat enough, sleep enough, etc. Training takes time and getting stronger takes years. Why bust your body up on a program like you have? The goal to keep doing this is to train in a way that does not get you hurt or injured or mentally wear you out to where you don’t have the desire to lift anymore and believe me - it happens.

The program I gave you accounts for you getting stronger, but you will not get stronger every week. You will not always be able to handle the same load/volume. The good days you push the volume or shorten the rest between sets. The bad days, you get in what you can and get out. Your program is too rigid and will be very difficult to hit every rep at those percentages and training the main lifts that often.

Don’t underestimate what I gave you as being easy. They are realistic weights that you can do on any given day for those reps regardless of what’s going on in your life. Most lifters with your experience want it all now and go gun-ho into it only to find out they burn out on a program like you wrote.

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