T Nation

Periodization Rip-Up Plan

Lately there has been controversy on what the best training program is for losing body fat while maintaining the same level of muscle tissue. I will present to you a periodization program that will get you “optimal” results concerning size, strenght, power and fat loss. The plan consists of 3 macrocycles of 3-4 weeks each in duration for a total of 9-12 weeks. Let’s discuss “Optimal Strategies”.

OPTIMAL STRATEGY ONE: We all know eccentric actions smoke concentric or concentric plus eccentric actions. For muscle strenght and mass. For this program our main concern with eccentrics involves our goal of maintaining our size and strength following a period of de-training. In one study, subjects involved in eccentric training over 19 wks maintained their strenght increases after 4 wks of de-training. In another 10 week study, subjects performing eccentrics were able to maintain their " new muscle" after a 4 wk de-training period.

OPTIMAL STRATEGY TWO: De-training our main concern with a de-training period concerns whole body recovery, fiber type conversions, and obviously a long term delayed training effect(ltdte)(siff/zatsiorsky)from our eccentric macrocycle, because adaptation occurs during unloading rather than loading periods (zatsiorsky).

FIBER TYPE CONVERSIONS: TypeIIx(IIB) fibers convert to type IIA fibers, and both typeI and typeIIA fibers turn to type IIC fibers. Fibers with a 50/50% strenght/endurance characteristic ratio. This is obviously a bad thing because we need all our fast twitch (MAINLY IIX(IIB) to lift heavy (optimal) loads that will help us get bigger and stronger. So how do we get out typeIIx(IIB) fibers back? De-Training! Studies conclude that there is, what they call a “Myosin Heavy chain IIx (IIB) overshoot”. Meaning after a period of de-training, you will cause your body to “overshoot” in typeIIB fiber. So for eg. a 3 mth resistant program can decrease your type IIx (IIBs) fiber from 9.3% to 2%, but a 3mth de-training period will cause an overshoot, resulting in 17.2% type IIB fibers (as opposed to our 9.3% in the beginning). If we never taper our training loads or de-train, we will always have a reduced % of typeIIx(IIB) fibers, but an increase in type IIA and IIC (fibers with endurance characteristics).
OPTIMAL STRATEGY 3: A ketogenic diet, no diet comes close to shaving off bodyfat like the keto diet. If you’ve followed my previous postings you know that I like to mainitain a state of “ketosis” for long prds (wks) as oppsed to cycling carbs every 5 days. On this 3-4 wk cycle, I want you to stay in ketosis for as long as possible, with minimal carb meals (not carb days). The biggest complaint about keto diets is reduced energy levels and strenght loss. This is because your body prefers carbs as an energy source over fat, but eventually it will adapt to a high fat diet. Our typeII fibers require the utilization of glucose for maximal muscular contractions, but there is none on this diet. What do we do? You can train hoping that your body won’t convert muscle or lactate to glucose, or you can rest with a “de-training” period. Remember, eccentrics bring about adaptations that are realized days or wks after the training session (LTDTE), but this will only happen in a period of “tapering” or “de-training”. (Combine #'s 2-3.)
STRATEGY 4: After you have lost a considerable amount of fat from the keto phase, you will also feel better because of whole body recovery, which will result in a supercompensation from all your past training history. Macrocycle 3 deals with post-tetanic potentiation. Studies prove that the more TYPEIIB fibers you have, the greater the P-T-P effects. If you’ve done a de-training period necessary to cause a type IIx fiber overshoot, we can now maximize the effects of P-T-P. See past articles in the T-MAG archives for P_T_P programs. That’s it, 3-4 wks of eccentrics, 3-4 wks of de-training with a keto diet, and 3-4 wks of P_T_P. If your like most people I know, the last thing people want to do is spend time in the gym in the summer. I believe this might be the perfect program to reach and maintain size, strenght and definiton with minimal time in the gym. HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!

This periodization plan sounds very interesting WSTRAINER,but is this something that you came up with recently or has this program been put to the test with real results?

Very intrigued by your post- as you know, i am a big advocate of keto dieting for fat loss, and as a method of lean gain if alternated periodically with moderate to high periods of carbohydrate consumpotion (LOW GI, slightly above maintenance kcal). The key is to augment your diet with your traning, and you certainly present excellent rationale and scientific ideas. Ever notice how the relatively long and detailed posts, be they on nutrition or training, that go into very specific detail, are the ones that are responded to the least?..I wonder why?
Kinda pissess me off


Very interesting and thought out plan, I am just a little unsure to your definition of detraining. Are you suggesting 3-4 weeks of no lifting with a keto diet, or a reduction in volume, load, and intensity?

I’ve read several threads and have concluded that you seem to have good experience with keto diets. I am starting week three and just wondering if you could give me some input. What seemed to work best for you in terms of ratios: More grams protein that fat, or vica versa? Or should I just approach my diet by keeping my calories from fat to, say 60 or 70 % of my total calorie consumption? I have a deadline to meet in a month and I just want to get maximal fat loss. This is my first time and unfortunately I don’t want to keep guessing. Currently eating around 1800 kcal, I weight 161 lbs, not sure about %, but i know I have about 140 LMB. What amount (fat,protein, kcal) would you or anybody else for that matter, suggest I consume?

I did a search for ‘P_T_P training’ and ‘post-tetanic potentiation’ and couldn’t find anything. Could you steer me in the right direction. Thanks.

ive been on a ketogenic diet for the last 4 months it was kind of the anabolic diet and bodyopus i found out that i lost 4 kg mostly water in the first 2 weeks but then i never could loose more weight in fact my thighs and lower abs remained fat as before i also went down to 1500 calories a day as far as i know i did everything good but i lost muscle and didn’t get ripped i also tried straight ketosis for 2 weeks but i felt really exausted so i said its impossible to keep,what do you think about the tdwag diet i think that i will try that one out because you get an insulin spike after training after all thats when the body needs all those carbs and you have 1 free day to pig out because i also found out that the anabolic diet style 5days on 2 off in those 2 days carb up i was increasing my weight by 5 kg so it was taking me again 5 days to loose those 5 kg because when you get the taste of those carbs you can’t stop,what is the best way to do this diet without feeling flat first of all and secondly and most important without losing muscle and strenght

Yes,the program has a great proven track record for those that follow it correctly.Keep in mind the three optimal strategies that I mentioned,eccentrics,detraining and ketogenic diets,are the hardest to get clients to do because they require a great deal of effort,discipline and motivation,which we all know is lacking on the gym floor.Keep me posted with your results if you choose to try the program.

Thanx for your reply.You are correct in that there is less response for the longer,informative post,aahhwelll,there loss.Do you find that the closer you are to your ideal bodyfat levels that the harder it is to reach and maintain ketosis?

Ideally,I would like you to get out of the gym.The first option is no training at all,but you can still train the rotators and some flexibility work.Im pretty much against training while in ketosis(unless on drugs) .This article was based on a keto diet,but if following a regular diet,you can taper(lower volume)your training,but you should get a better "overshoot"of type IIB fibers if you detrain(time off).Think long term goals,not short term gains,planned time off will maximize your results in the gym if done properly.

I’m a big proponent of keto and for me, yes, beginning BF% makes big difference in how easy it is to reach and maintain ketosis.

Fat is best on a keto diet(excess will not be stored),If you experiment with a higher protein intake,It might be used for energy instead of ketone(of which your body will be out of ketosis),so why bother?Fat is also more anticatabolic than protein.On another post I mention that Im a firm beleiver of “protein cycling”,alternating periods of high and low protein intakes.Again,FAT,wall around with MCT’s in your backpack,not chicken breasts.Good luck.


Not that I find it harder to maintain ketosis, but i do find that I have to “up” calories to achieve the leanest i can get. When i go keto, i go real serious…cut calories about 1,000 per day while maintaining strict under 30g cho/day and continuing intense workouts (although decreased volume)…with this plan i have been able to maintain lean muscle and shed body fat. To get the last little bit of fat (we are talking subcuteanous and the last little bit–by this time i am smelling of ammonia daily, although watching for muscle detoriation) I usually “get out of ketosis” with a single carb load (low GI, about 1.5-2x diet calories [mntc at 3100]) followed by a succession of hypocaloric days in a non-ketotic state, but with a “phase out mentaility.” Very hard to do, but it seems that this is necessary to upregulate leptin and stoke the fat burning fires once again.
What do you think?
do you get “ammonia stench” as I refer to it, when you get real low on body fat?
let me know

I like the periodization plan , altyhough I believe even while in ketosis, one should continue training. It may be more difficult but i think it is necessary to preseve musle mass. I have also heard anecdotal evidence lately of high dosesof ALA putting people into ketosis at moderate carb intakes (50-150G). i’m not so sure of taht though…but alot of peole swear by it. Lastly the 3-4 weeks without carbs is too long IMHO, it would depend on your starting point of bf as well. As bodyfat decreases and hypocaloric time increases leptin levels plummet. Leptin while not only controling fat loss also controls the major anabolic hormones of the body. I would say maybe go two weeks keto…then do a 12-24hr high crab mod-low protein mod-low(low is best) fat refeed. then jump back on the horse. As bodyfat decreases, frequency of refeeds should increase as well… Mike