T Nation

Periodization for Bodybuilding

 i'm recently switching to a bodybuilding style program. I've been doing strength oriented-type training for the past 2 years, and now would rather switch to a hypertrophy-oriented training.

At first I was going to do a non-linear periodization, similar to an intensification/accumulation phase with 3 weeks of high volume, short rest, low intensity (3x10, 4x12, drop sets, iso contrast sets, etc), followed by a week of transition (mostly 4x6 stuff), to 3 weeks of strength work with high intesity, low volume, and long rest (6x3, cluster sets, speed work).

Basically, I was going to rotate between hypertrophy and strength in 3 week blocks with a one week block separating the two that allowed for a transition/active recovery phase. I still want to maintain my strength, hopefully increase it but my main goal is increasing muscle mass.

I've read through every T-Nation article, and now want some other's opinions. Should I stay with this type of training or should I switch to a conjugate style training in which one day of the week is focused on strength and the other day of the week is focused on hypertrophy? thanks for any and all suggestions



I believe Accumulation/Intensification phases work great.

You can incorporate the conjugate method inside of accumulation/intensification. Just search the site.

-The Truth


Your body building I think this is excellent though don't discount then undulating approach either, when done correct can yeild great body comp results


Please clear up what undulating periodization is...




conjugate. And holy shit what you said was complicated.

Whatever happened to 'lift big, eat big, get big'?

Sigh - simpler times.


for me personally, I find that 2-3 week blocks work better than extreme rotation within a block.

As you mentioned, you can still mix it up inside of the block and still be using a strength focused or hypertrophy focused approach. I prefer to let load and volume dictate.

Strength = 85% + load, lower total workload (sets x reps)

Hypertrophy = 65-80%, high total workload

Low and high workloads are vary by individual and are relative to what you have been doing before. Perosnally, I think if you stick to the load ranges the reps will naturally fall into the right category. I have never met any lifters doing 10x10 with 90% load!


also periodize like 4weeks hypertrophy high volume and max. 3week strength training with low... I love it, get big, get strength and the most important -> training is not always the same and don't become boring !