witnessed individuals following the same initial strength conditioning program
month after month, year after year, using the same weightloads, exercises sets
and repetitions, trying to lose those extra 10 pounds or improve their strength
to no avail. There is a prime reason these people no longer see results in their
strength conditioning program or their health and fitness goals... They fail to
utilize periodization in their training program.To keep your workout primed and
progressive, you must follow a few simple variables of periodization training.
These variables will keep you on track for making gains toward your personal
fitness goals as well as keep you from stagnating or worse yet, injuring
yourself in the process.
is not a new term or concept in the field of athletics. Eastern Bloc countries
were using forms of it with their athletes in the 60's. Not too many years later
the Western countries began to catch on and used their variations of
periodization in athletic training. Today, this type of program is near
universal with certified strength and conditioning specialists working with
sport athletes. It is used with athletes of all ages to assist them in
efficiently reaching new goals in an organized and planned manner, while helping
them peak with their athletic performance at the right time and still reduce the
potential for program plateau or injury. The wonderful part about all of these
athletes using periodization over the years is that the process has been well
tested and proven for its effectiveness in exercise programming. Now, these same
principles are being spread into the world of general fitness programs and the
opportunity for individuals to realize new and renewed achievements has arrived.
periodization of a fitness program has to do with breaking that program into
various periods. The training periods are called different things by various
group or in different regions of the globe, but essentially they are: Endurance
Phase, Hypertrophy Phase, Strength Phase, Power Phase, and generally after you
have cycled at least once through the various training periods you will take a
short active rest before starting another cycle of a periodized program. Each
phase is distinct from the others in its primary target goal during that period
and this difference is accomplished by either the type of exercise or the number
of exercise repetitions and the rest we give our selves in between each exercise
set. Working with a certified personal trainer will assist you a great deal in
understanding and properly establishing an organized periodized program.
here are the basic variables for each training period:
- (sets 4-6) (rest less than 30 seconds) (repetitions
12) (Intensity low)
(volume very high)
- (sets 3-5) (rest 30-90 seconds) (repetitions 8-12) (Intensity moderate)
- (sets 3-5) (rest 120-240 seconds) (repetitions 2-6) (Intensity high)
- (sets 3-5) (rest 180-300 seconds) (repetitions 1-5) (Intensity very high)
Rest - think of this as generally a 1-2 week period where you will not
actively follow a resistance training program, but will instead participate
in various rec sport type activities that you have not been participating in
during your just completed cycle.
Now, with a
basic understanding of periodization and the efficiencies it has proven to add
to goal achievement in fitness programming, we have two primary variations to be
concerned with in completing our periodized training program... Will our program
be designed in a "linear" or "non-linear" format. Similarly
this asks the question as to how long will each periodized cycle run?
Ultimately, either is fine when compared to a standard "non-varied"
program (ie. one that for example does 5 sets of 10 repetitions for multiple
months in a row). The most current research appears to show that a non-linear
program provides the greatest results in strength gain, muscle development, and
likely body composition of fat free mass when compared directly to the linear
Training Program - A periodized exercise program that utilizes equal or near
equal time allotments for each period of the program. Each period can be as
short as one week, but have most often ranged from 2-6 weeks per period.
Training Program (also called
undulating periodization) - A periodized exercise program that
treats each day as a new period. Hypertrophy training may be the target of
the first exercise session of the week, while strength and then endurance
are the targets on sessions 2 & 3 respectively. Active rest is inserted
after a selected length of time for a break.
basics of periodization training really do only scratch the surface of the many
factors that go into a exercise training program for an athlete, or an
enthusiast who is looking to simply improve their general fitness profile. The
efficiencies gained while utilizing a properly designed program are significant
and will often make the difference in whether participants will even provide the
time commitment in an attempt to reach their goals. Enthusiasts are STRONGLY
encouraged to seek out the counsel of a certified fitness professional for their
assistance in goal setting through proper assessment as well as the development
of their personal training program. These and multiple other training variables
will be taken into account and a properly designed program will be created
specific to the needs and desires of the enthusiast.