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Periodization Help for Beginner

Hey, I’m a total noob to periodization and powerlifting in general, but I have picked a burning passion for it in the past two years. Up untill now Ive just been picking heavy stuff and concentrated on my lifting form and technique. Now I feel that my lifts are at good base numbers
Bench x1.5 BW
Squat x2.2 BW
Deadlift x2.7 BW

I understand that I would need some sort of periodization plan for hypertrophy, strength and peaking phases, but I am little bit unsure of the lengths each phase and the following template is what I came up with my minimal experience.

Is 24 weeks divided into 4 alternating phases of hypertrophy and strength too long, short or just fine for a beginner who needs to build his base in both mass and strength and where should I deviate towards in the future in terms of hypertrophy-strength ratio?
and is 3 week peaking phase enough to realize the pontential Ive built within the previous phases?

Edit: I forgot to mention. that the overreaching and tapering are included into the last weeks of strength phase II and the peaking phase, I came to the conclusion that a beginners wont need to taper as long as stronger, advanced guys

I would greatly appreciate it, if you guys would have the time to help me <3

You’re creating threads left and right my friend. Those are good relative strength numbers. Not really what I’d call beginner, more intermediate.

What have you been doing so far? Did you linear progress your way to those lifts? Double progression?

It seems as if CTs work has appeal to you but I’d like to highlight his work doesn’t tailor specifically to powerlifting. If powerlifting is your goal you might want to seek out another approach like 531 or Sheiko.

If the above waves and such appeal to you though then “THE UNDULATING PERIODIZATION STRENGTH AND SIZE PROGRAM” might appeal to you. However there you won’t be doing all lifts three times per week. Simple Guaranteed Size and Strength might also be an option (4 days). Both of them you can find on Thibarmy

I’m sorry if I post too many questions about various topics. My intention is not to annoy, but to learn. Yes google has provided me much articles and forums topics, but sometimes I find it difficult to find the specific topics I’m searching for, when it’s all buried under tons of information and the search words I may be using don’t always bring the result I’m looking for.

But to answer your question, I was benching, squatting and deadlifting x5 week in linear progression, each week started light and got progressively heavier towards friday. I.e, more weight, less reps. x3 sets per excercise. Every 6 weeks I deloaded by restarting the cycle but with heavier weights than the previous cycle.

But x5 week is alot of work and I cant always get to the gym and with only 24h to recover, everything has to be so presice, sleep, nutrition, stress. It just became too difficult to manage.

So I began to do pull/push type of training, hitting each lift twice a week and been doing that for 6 months now with no progress whatsoever. x3 week is appealing to me, by being acceptable middle ground for me. 531 and sheiko are not appealing to me, Ive studied those programs.

I have also looked into the other programs you mentioned and they were not what I am looking for. actually I do already have some picture of what I want to do and I just want to ask if something is viable or not, to avoid more unecessary trial and error, when I could be doing something productive instead :frowning:

Ive readed most articles of CT and Dr. Mike Israetel Ive found, but some questions and concerns still arise. Sometimes I simply dont understand what I’m reading or how to apply the principles into my own training.

Many articles talk about rep schemes for example, but not how often or how long those can be used before need to change to another training block, except for 3/2/1 wave wich is extensively covered in many articles and I know very well how to and how long to use it. Only the difference between traditional and ladder approach was of concern to me, which one to use?

Also I am total beginner to programming my workouts, I have no idea how long I should be doing hypertrophy before strength phase and how long cycles? 12 weeks, 15 weeks, 5 months?

I’m sorry if my various questions have caused spam, was not my intention.

This will be a very useful purchase for you

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Why not just follow an established training protocol developed by a successful coach then, vs trying to come up with something on your own?


thank you, will order it!

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Many of them are too complicated or have frequencies I cant follow, i.e I cant train on weekends, so some splits cant be done at all. Some programs have excerices I cant do or dont have the equipment to do. I favor simple and straightforward approach. Something that has clear progression pattern I can memorize, without complicated set-rep schemes that alternate in seemingly chaotic manner. i.e. this month we do incline bench for 4x5 at 80% next month we do barbell press 3x10 at 70%. Have I gotten stronger? Ive no idea. Sometimes rest times are 3 mins and sometimes 5 mins. Did I get stronger or is the longer rest period that allowed more weight? -no clue.

I just wanted some opinions on few specific questions, to know if I should choose option A or B

If you’re following the program of an accomplished coach and putting in diligent honest effort: yes. That’s why you pick those programs.

If you do not trust that specific coach’s ability to get you stronger, find a coach you DO trust and follow their program. If there is no coach you trust to be able to develop a program that gets you stronger, you most likely will not have much success in the pursuit of getting bigger and stronger.


Hey man. I got the book. It’s fantastic and easy to understand. Thanks again <3

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No problem at all mate! I’m glad you found it useful

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Look up the Periodization Bible by Dave Tate. It should be on T Nation in two parts.


Will do! Thanks man <3

Find a program that you like and follow it or hire a coach. You are going to waste a lot of time trying to write your own program if you have no idea what you are doing, and if you can’t understand CT or Israetel then I don’t even know what to tell you.

You also don’t need to plan 24 weeks ahead or anything like that unless you are training for one specific meet, and even then your meet prep cycle doesn’t need to be longer than 3 months. Just work on getting bigger, stronger, and improving your technique.

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How much do you weigh and how tall are you? Gaining some muscle might make a big difference to your lifts, but on the other hand if you have already mostly filled out your frame then you don’t need to get much bigger. Stuff like that will make a difference in what program would be more appropriate for you.

I’m 182cm and 98kg.

I simply havent found a good 3day program that has all three lifts x3 week, with hypertrophy and strength phases that I could cycle and test new PRs periodically. Ive looked, trust me.

I just want something simple to follow and do a meet or two to see if I have enough potential to even hire a coach and compete regularely.

Also I do understand most what CT and Israerel write, but some things seem contradictory to me.

At that size it might help to add some mass but it’s not the main priority. Hypertrophy phases are less useful for you and if you are going to do something along the lines of Israetel’s recommendations then you would spend most of your time in strength phases.

Part of the issue is that Israetel’s periodization style with distinct strength and hypertrophy phases is not the only way to do things, it will work but not necessarily better than something that combines strength and hypertrophy within the same block. There are plenty of lifters whose standard training is based on heavy top sets on the comp lifts or close variations followed by high rep bodybuilding-style work. You can experiment with different things and see what works for you, but there are many different ways to arrange your training.

I don’t really follow CT too much since most of his stuff is not really related to PL, but I’m familiar with Israetel’s work. Seems he has changed his stance on several things over the years so if you read his Scientific Principles book and compare it to other things he has put out there will be some discrepancy here and there.

If you like Israetel’s style of training and want something simple to follow then maybe consider buying his PL templates, they sell through either JTS or Renaissance Periodization or maybe both. It’s up to you how long you want each phase to be, but something like 2 months hypertrophy, 2-4 months strength, and then 1 month peaking (if you have a meet coming up) would be appropriate. Otherwise look for other programs or hire a coach, and try to learn as you go along so that you can write your own program one day if that’s what you want to do. 5/3/1 is not bad either, there are lots of different templates and I’m sure you could find one that works for you. It’s one of the best options for someone who doesn’t know how to write their own program and doesn’t want to hire a coach.

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Korte’s 3x3


You don’t actually need any potential to compete regularly, you need potential to win or set records. Your numbers aren’t bad at all, especially for someone new to powerlifting.

High frequency is overrated. As long as your technique is solid then you don’t need to do any lift multiple times per week. I tried all kinds of high frequency stuff in the past and barely made any progress, now I squat and deadlift once a week each and bench twice and I’m stronger than ever.

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I’ll check it out! Thanks!

I really apreciate your input and the time you took to write me back. It has a meaning to me, thank you.

Yea I like Israetal alot and I like his stuff and presentation, but sometimes I feel his methods are too complicated for me at this level I am at.

About the high frequency: I began by doing all the three lifts x5 week from Monday to Friday and made steady progress, but I cant do x5 week, its too much, because everything has to be so to the point with fatigue managment, just cant do that right now. I mean I can train x5 week but not if I’d do all them 3 lifts in every workout like I used to… so the high frequency kinda stuck with me and I feel x3 week would be good with light,moderate, heavy split.

I was thinking not reducing the actual load, but manage the intensity and volume through reps and sets, doing less work on light days than moderate and heavy days, even if the load on the bar stays the same.
I also chose the undulating method of alternating between volume and intensity, instead of west-side style linear blocks of hypertrophy,strength and peaking.
This is why my template has two 6week phases of both hypertrophy and strength before peaking, but I dont know if the 6wk/phase is too short or long. I simply based it on the time before I need to deload. I want to try to build the hypertrophy and strength at the same time, without having too long periods between to prevent detraining.

I just really want to try this and my motivation is off the roof, I’m just unsure if Im structuring it well, because I have no prior experience.

Thanks again for your input. You have given me a lot to think about.