T Nation

Periodizing my Training


#1

Hey Guys, I have decided to periodize my training based on what season I am in to avoid running into plateaus and continually change my body. As of right now I have it separated into 4 groups Fall-Muscle Building, Winter-POWER, Spring- Fat Loss, and Summer- Endurance and Sports conditioning.

The one I am in now is the oddball but I think it is good to have one season devoted to quick workouts based around different kinds of lifts with very little rest. For example the workout i am in now includes 4 exercises done circuit style with 1 minute rest between the 3 sets.

They use the Barbell Duck under (10 reps), Reverse Push up (8 to 10 reps), Front Squat to Push Press (8 reps) and then pull up to leg raises (6-10 reps). I am in my 3rd week of four of this workout and when I am finished I simply hope to be able to do all the reps. I need another kind of workout in this light and was looking for recommendations.

I don't use supps, I prefer total body workouts, and I do HIIT twice a week (off days) and the aforementioned gym workout 3 days a week. I guess my goal is just to physically push myself not based on simply heavier weights but with my own body weight adn challenging exercises but if I shed a few pounds thats okay. Really I guess I'm doing survival workouts, the first day I want to puke then 3-4 weeks later I can do it then I move on.

Can somebody point out a workout and perhaps help me to better clarify what this kind of workout is called?


#2

I'm not sure where this idea came from that you can build a significant amount of muscle in 3 months and then furthermore the whole rest of the year ignore that and/or do something to actually counteract it such as dieting, and then still think you're going to come out on top in terms od development.

Why do you think you need to "periodize" in this way in order to not run into a plateau? Who told you this?


#3

Actually what you've done is reduce the chances that you'll grow and maintain any appreciable muscle mass.

That sure is a lot of effort to go through to just keep ending up with the same amount of muscle you had the year before.

Just in case you get angry at what replies you get, just remember this is a bodybuilding forum.

You'll be better served (unless you have very specific reasons for what you want to try) just working to build as much mass as possible for a few years while doing enough cardio and dietary maniplations to keep from getting too out of shape.

I gaurantee you'll be happier in the end.


#4

Periodization is great, but not in 3-4 month blocks. For example, you will have pretty much gotten everything you're going to get out of a power cycle in 3-6 weeks, maybe 8 or so if you're a beginner. After that, you're much better served working on strength or hypertrophy. The gist of what you're proposing is not bad, but you would need to cycle them faster, no need to stretch any of that out past about 8 weeks.


#5

rmccart1 Could you please expand on your thoughts. I like periodization because I have goals in multiple realms of fitness but if I was shifting cycles so fast how would I be able to build any muscle or lose any fat? Wouldn't they contradict each other if proper time was not given? What about 6 months cycling strength and musclegain workouts, and 6 months cycling fat loss and bodyweight workouts?


#6

First you would want to figure out you main goals and broadly define your training stages. Since we're in the bodybuilding forum, I'm going to assume hypertrophy and fat loss are the two big ones. So in the hypertrophy phase, you mainly have two parameters, volume and load. Volume is most important for hypertrophy, so you'll want to focus on that. Personally, if I were doing it, I'd probably take 4 weeks, pick your split/template and all that, and over the first three weeks, focus on accumulating volume. Over the course of the three weeks, slowly increase load and decrease volume until the fourth week, where you'll intensify and work on strength. Here you should focus on sets of 3-6, with lowered volume (probably only around 3 sets per exercise).

Depending on where you are, you could either switch exercises/emphasis and repeat another hypertrophy cycle, or you could start a pure strength cycle for 3-4 weeks. Lather, rinse, repeat until summer, or whenever you need to be lean, and start that.