T Nation

Periodization and You

I am curious as to how everyone designs and plans their training routines. Are you planing a year in advance and if so what goals, plans, and routines are you using? Are they based on seasons or particular events? I know this could be a long answer for most of the experienced readers, but it would also be interesting to see how everyone is designing their programs and for what purpose

I think its a waste of time to plan a year in advance. You have no idea what will happen that far ahead. I map out a tentative schedule after my meets for the next time i compete which is usually 12 weeks or so. but even that changes.

This could be a very long answer, but I will keep it short. Many of the ideas of classical periodization are outdated, unproven, and/or just plain old suck.

I design my program in 6-12 week blocks. Generally it’s dependent on my bf levels. If I need to cut after a bulking program I’ll diet down a bit. If I feel I’ve maintained a low enough bf value, I might start another bulking cycle, with different specialization.

Other than that it’s somewhat seasonal. In May I usually diet down before starting a bulk phase in summer, so I can look good without a shirt. :slight_smile:

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I’m planning ~40 weeks out. You can read it on the Pound. My goals are based on what I feel I need more of to become a more well-rounded trainee, although I would rather spend my time just getting bigger and stronger.

12 weeks consisting of four, three week micros.

I usually alternate back and forth between accumulation and intensification phases, unless I’m really enjoying strength training. In that case, I’ll just fiddle with the loading parameters.

My “program” is similar to what ND wrote. Right at the moment, I’m involved with Westside, which I plan to devote several months (and possibly longer) to, with one upcoming “get-myself-looking-better” phase thrown in. But generally, at this point, and without a specific goal other than just keeping myself in shape and healthy, I switch things up about once a month or so. I certainly don’t plan 12 months in advance or anything like that, and I agree with Goldberg that doing so is - in most cases, the glaring exceptions being seasonal athletes - not particularly productive.

my personal plan: design a cycle, follow that for 8 weeks. at the 6 week mark i begin to analyze what muscle groups need more/less attention, what personal goals i wanna hit, etc, and design my next workout over the next 2 weeks. if u do it intelligently i dont see a reason to plan MONTHS in advance.

It’s useful to plan short blocks of training for conflicting energy systems or equally damaging training i.e. plyo & 1rm’s.
A yearly plan is a broad guide/plan to organise and plan not a bible. A more experienced athlete or coach probably doesn’t need one to organise their training ideas etc.