T Nation

Non Linear Periodzation


Okay so im just trying to grasp how to construct a non traditional periodized routine. from what ive been reading about studies done like Rhea et al. (2003) i wanted to do daily undulation ( i cant spell) so i could gain both strength hypertrophy and the general conditioning sarcoplasmic hypertrophy

so what i thought up was:

monday:3 sets of 6 reps for upper body
tuesday: 3 sets of 10-12 reps for lower body
Wed: cardio day
thursday 3 sets of 10-12 for upper
friday 3 sets of 6 for lower

now from what i gather that should do hte trick for both strength and general conditioning gains, however, do i just keep doing this all year? taking a week or so off every month between starting a new cycle? or would i change it after about 2-4 weeks to something different? like perhaps 3x3 for power and then 3x15 for stamina for 2-4 weeks, then back to the 3x6 and 3x10-12? how often, and how long should i have non weight lifting periods for? is one week suffienct rest to encourage more adaptation?
oh also would it be more benefical to go from 3x6/3x10-12 to 2-4 weeks of 3x3/3x6 instead of the 3x15?

thanks for any help :smiley:


Your basically just putting down numbers and asking if they are optimal. It's just one variable. We don't know if "upper body day" is actually 35 exercises etc.

I would do this:

  1. Start doing your program.

  2. Read everything you can get your hands on about designing training programs and training in general.

  3. Improve your program once you know more.

You will not eventually get some "uber" program you can stay on all year, but you get the idea.


You're on the right track. That's the idea behind undulating periodisation.

You could switch exercises after 6-8 weeks.

Or you could do 3x8 & 3x15 instead of 3x6 & 3x12. Or you could switch to 5x6 / 4x8 / 3x10.

It's all up to you.


thanks for the input guys, i mainly wanted to make sure i could build both strength and power or strength and general conditioning at the same time, because with linear periodzation you loose gains you made in one while you work on the other

i know there is no uber program out there, but i would like to at least be doing something that COULD work as opposed to waisting 4-8 weeks doing something that wont have any effect :slight_smile:

i think what ill do is 2 weeks 3x6 3x12 then 2 weeks 3x3 3x6 then a week off and start over again, but would training in the 6 rep range every week cause me to stall out even thou im changing the other rep ranges in the other days and exersizes once and a while?