T Nation

Undulating Periodization


#1

In L.L.'s article, "Weight Gain Troubleshooter", he mentions the concept of alternating low-rep-range (3-5) strength days and higher-rep-range (10-12) volume days. I was wondering if any of you had tried this approach, and if so, what were your results? Also, should I alternate every workout (a la TC's "Oscillating Wave" or CW's "Anti-BB") or go for more of a Poliquin-style approach of 6-workout "accumulation" and "intensification" phases? Or rather, should I alternate ranges within the same workout (i.e. Squats 5x3-5 then Front Squats 3x10-12)?


#2

all options are valid. cycle them.


#3

bump


#4

Currently, I am doing the my Low rep core exercises in the morning, and higher rep assistance exercises in the evening.


#5

Im with Poliquin on this one. You want to hit the same muscle fibers over and over for 6 workouts before switching rep range.

Doing one workout low rep, followed by a workout high rep next week is going to allow the initial muscle fibers to detrain (in this case fast twitch), since itll be 2 weeks or 3 weeks in TC's oscillating wave case before they get hit again.

Additionally, doing a low rep workout in the morning and a high rep workout later in the day seems to be a bit much, and likely to lead to excessive CNS drainage. Draining your CNS will lead to over reaching, or worse yet overtraining which can take weeks and weeks to fully recover from. The signal from the brain to the muscle will weaken if your CNS is drained with such a high volume of work, which will translate into visible performance and strength decreases in your next workout, considering you dont allow enough rest.


#6

I believe the general consensus here is that linear periodization (keeping accumulation and intensification phases separate) is not the most effective means of training.

Look at the bodybuilding/Westside thread in the Strength forum, where conjugate periodization seems to be where it's at.


#7

Diesel, I am monitoring my volume. Im never going to be doing more then 100-120 reps of a particular body part per week. Also my sessions are short 30-40 minute each.

Also im eating very high cals.

For example in my earlier workout today i did, squat and deadlift.

Later on i will do 1 leg back x, step up, leg curls and glute ham raises.


#8

Diesel,

Not so.

First off, Poliquin says that the AVERAGE someone should stay on the same program is 6 sessions. For many, this is much too long. In my experience, very few can make progress for longer than this time period on the same program. Be careful with blanket statements; in this case, you're looking at potentially four weeks of unproductive training.

Second, you said:

"Doing one workout low rep, followed by a workout high rep next week is going to allow the initial muscle fibers to detrain (in this case fast twitch), since itll be 2 weeks or 3 weeks in TC's oscillating wave case before they get hit again."

I disagree. There's plenty of anecdotal evidence in the form of Chad's Anti-BB Hypertrophy Program that one can make exceptional progress on such a program. Furthermore, William Kraemer has had plenty of studies that show undulating periodization can yield excellent results in size and strength. You can't ignore the pure facts from the world's premier exercise endocrinologist and strength training researcher.

Third, you stated:

"Additionally, doing a low rep workout in the morning and a high rep workout later in the day seems to be a bit much, and likely to lead to excessive CNS drainage."

Uh, no. Poliquin has said time and time again that he believes individuals can make superior progress with two training sessions per day (provided that they return to once daily training every third week). In fact, he gives several options, most of which center around speed or limit strength work in the morning and higher rep work in the evening.

Just thought I'd clarify.


#9

What EC said. All of it.

And just to add another note of possible interest, if you don't know what your training frequency is (and I didn't see it listed above), you can't talk about possible de-training problems. You could have a program that specified one low-rep day and one high-rep day in the same week (or six-day rotation), and you'd never run into any de-training effect - no matter who you quote.