Periodization Training For Bodybuilding and Muscle Growth

Periodization Training is based upon the concept of splitting your workout routine into a number of different cycles or blocks in order to focus on different aspects of your training and prevent plateaus. Each block or cycle is altered in the form of intensity, volume or frequency to create a pre-planned change to an individuals routine. Each block of training can vary in length, anywhere between 2 weeks and several months before being scheduled for change.

Since this article is aimed towards building muscle I will relate Periodization training specifically towards training for muscle growth. However, it is important to note that Periodization training can also be used for athletes who need to focus on more than just one aspect of their training. For example, an all round athlete may need to focus on strength, muscular endurance, and speed whereas your average person or bodybuilder will only want to focus on building muscle mass. The two goals are different but Periodization training can still be used to help both sets of people.

Probably the best example to use for building muscle would be alternating between low rep (strength) workouts and higher rep (muscle hypertrophy) workouts. Low rep workouts (1-5 reps) may be used for a period of 4-8 weeks before taking a small break and moving on to high rep workouts (6-12 for muscle hypertrophy). The basic principles of progressively adding weight to the bar as you get stronger should still be followed for both types of training and rep ranges.

Implementing Periodization training into your routine is simple. Here is a basic routine that is set out based on the principles of Periodization Training. You should use a traditional bodybuilding split routine for this such as the one below.

Monday: Chest / TricepsTuesday: Back / Biceps

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Shoulders / Traps

Friday: Legs / Calves / Abs

For your first 4-8 weeks, lift heavy within the 1-7 rep range

For the next 1-2 weeks deload and do some light lifting. Alternatively take 1 week off if you need it.

For the next 4 weeks, lift lighter weight but for higher reps. This should be in the 8-12 rep range. You can then continue this kind of cycle for as long as you want, alternating between low and high reps. Obviously after you finish your first 4-8 weeks of heavy lifting you will need to lower the weight on the bar in order to hit the 8-12 rep range. Try and complete 3 sets of an exercise using the same weight in the 8-12 rep range. Once you can get 3 sets of 10-12 reps it’s probably a good time to add weight to the bar. The 12-20 rep range can also be used as another mini cycle should you choose to do so. However these are not really effective when your aim is to increase muscle mass and may prove a waste of time. Ideally you should perform 3-4 exercises per body part for 2-4 sets. This is not set in stone and can be altered by the individual at any time. Exercises used should be mainly compound movements, performing any isolation exercises after your main compound movements.

Periodization Training – Why Use It?

Although Periodization training can be of great use to athletes it is also popular amongst lifters and bodybuilders. Reasons to use Periodization training:

It’s an organised routine. Once you set out your routine you will always have a plan of action of what you will be doing when you walk into the gym as well as what you will be doing months in advance. Organised routines are always more effective. Combines strength and muscle gains. Their will be periods of time in your training schedule where you will be focusing more on strength, and periods of time where you will be focusing more on muscle size (hypertrophy). By combining the two you should see improved results in both your strength and muscle gains.

You are also working both your fast twitch muscle fibres and your slow twitch muscle fibres. Helps eliminate the possibility of plateaus. The way Periodization training is set out, the different training cycles you will be constantly switching between will greatly reduce the risk of plateaus in your routine. Prevent Overtraining. The Periodization training principles will help prevent overtraining by intelligently combining higher volume with lower intensity and vice versa. The routine also has you perform an alteration/transition phase allowing you time to recuperate and recover between workout cycles. Prevents Boredom and keeps you focused. Following the same routine for weeks and months and even years gets extremely boring, especially if you are not seeing the results you want. Periodization training has you switching up your routine at most, every 2 months in order to milk as much progress as you can on each cycle before moving on to the next. This helps shock the body and prolong progress. Periodization Training – Potential Drawbacks

Although Periodization training can be an effective way of building muscle and preventing plateaus in your training, every routine has its potential drawbacks. Here are a few that you may associate with this training method:

Not ideal for everyone. Although most people will benefit in some way from this training method, not everyone will need to switch routines to promote more muscle growth. Some routines are suited to certain people more than others, that’s just the way it is. If you have a program that you get great results out of which takes the main principles of progressive overload into account then you may not need to alter your program. Instead you may only need to switch round your exercises, drop or increase the weight a little, change up your rep range, take a deload week, have a weeks break to remove overtraining symptoms, you get the picture.

Certain aspects of your training can deteriorate while others improve. If your an athlete working on various aspects of your training such as strength, power, speed, endurance and flexibility through Periodization training, certain areas of your training will slowly deteriorate before your training cycle allows you to work on them again. A similar thing can be said for individuals looking to gain muscle but to a lesser extent. Say you train your fast twitch muscle fibres for 8 weeks before switching to training your slow twitch muscle fibres (using higher reps) for 4 weeks. Within these 4 weeks of training your slow twitch muscle fibres, your strength and power is likely to deteriorate slightly.

Although not such a big issue when progressively adding weight to the bar in both cycles of your training, some people will see this as counter productive when looking to continually add size and mass to their frames. This shouldn’t really be too much of an issue as this routine is a great way to develop both your fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibres and keeps your workouts fresh and interesting, reducing the chances of overtraining and plateaus.

Body Hacking, Intermittent Fasting, and How to Disappear

Ive disappeared for a while after getting up some of the TRX articles and vids up. Dont worry those will be back soon enough so make sure to check back often enough or much easier subscribe via rss.

Ive also started another blog for my fitness business at Infinity Fitness. Lots of my informative posts will be going there (I just got up a series on cardio training and why yours isnt doing what you think) and this will be the home of my more niche interests and rants from now on.

So back to the disappearing act part. Over the holidays and beyond Ive been burying myself in books since in the North East US the weather has been buried in snow storm after snow storm!

A Great Time of Year to Stay Indoors

One of my new experiments have been with Intermittent Fasting and the implications for weight loss, fat loss, and lifestyle adjustment. Intermittent fasting is pretty aptly named as you just well not eat, then eat . easy enough right? Ive experimented with two different flavors of fasting. One being a daily cycle of eating and the other focusing more on a weekly cycle. For more information on each check out Lean Gains and Eat Stop Eat. I will get an update up very soon with a more detailed explanation and my experiences with each so far.

This Intermittent Fasting Thing Might Have Something To It

The other thing currently taking up some of my time isnt a diet protocol, but rather a single guy Ive been reading a lot from Tim Ferriss. Speak his name and you will incite crowds calling for his head and even bigger crowds calling him the modern messiah. I had no idea when I read his books, but after looking around a bit he is quite a controversial figure.

How Many Hours Tim?

Either way, he has an entertaining writing style and has a distinct manner in which he looks at a problem, hacks away all the crap and finds what he believes to be the most direct solution. His books Four Hour Work Week and Four Hour Body are both New York Times and Wall Street Journal best selling books and his lifestyle and body hacking approaches can be fun to experiment with. When the methods he goes over are properly applied they can cause pretty drastic changes. I will get an update on what I found while reading his book and what can be easily and best applied. Giving summaries of short cuts to body hacks That should be brief.

See ya soon

Crash Diets

Festivals and occasions are the times to enjoy but they need preparations as well. Those preparations include losing weight to fit into a sizzling outfit chosen or simply to look and feel good. No matter how much urgent the need to lose weight, it should not harm our body. There is a safe limit for weight loss which can be answered more correctly by your doctor. If it exceeds this it just means either you are losing the good muscle weight or your body is not losing weight in a healthy way.

The very first thing you should be aware about while losing weight is do not go for crash diets. Many of us try the crash diet simply because it takes less time and shows fast results. Just so to avoid the spin offs, many people take less harmful laxatives to go with crash diet. You don’t need to know the rocket science to know that crash diet robs the body of its vital nutrients required for healthy functioning. It lowers down immunity making you susceptible to infections. And that’s not all. It robs your skin of its shine. In short the very purpose of losing weight, that is to look good or be healthy, is defeated.

Next thing you should be aware of is do not cut off all fats from diet. Fats have their own use in the body. Certain vitamins are only fat soluble which means they get absorbed and stored in the body in fatty tissues. These are vitamin A, D, E and K. Our body also needs some amount of essential daily fat for good metabolism. You will never be healthy if you don’t have essential fat intake. However, fats are needed only in fewer amounts. You don’t need to cut it off but just reduce it.

Lastly, don’t use over the counter pills for weight loss. These pill no matter how sincere, are bound to have their side effects. Instead what you need is a well researched pill. If any of these pills is prescribed by your doctor , please make it a point to ask about their research validation, side effects and known harmful effects. Also alongside do ask for other pills to choose from.

I only pointed out a few precautions, common ones. There are more to guard yourself against. If you need a god health and want to look good too, do the required but don’t do the not required stuff.

Body Transformation: From Scrawny to Shredded

My name is Nate. I was once one of those skinny pencil arm kids with no abs. I didn’t like the way I looked, I wanted more attention, I wanted to look better and feel good about myself. At the age of 18, I started playing football for my high school. I was underdeveloped in every way throughout my years of high school and college. I have gotten more focused and serious with the GYM and the motivation and the gains. Since I graduated high school, I have put on 15-20 pounds of muscle.

My biggest motivation, honestly is myself. If you want it bad enough you will do anything to achieve the goals you set. A wise person said, “If you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” so I applied that to my mentality of health and fitness. My favorite motivation is this video on YouTube it’s the best video to pick your ass up and strive for what you want called How Bad Do You Want It. This video pumps me up and gets me going when I’m down or don’t have the spirit.

Any one I happen to run across from high school have nothing but positivity to say “you got big” etc etc. I’ve devoted my life to eating right 4-6 meals a day mostly. No fast food, maybe one cheat meal a month but chicken rice pastas and green beans. Proteins I have taken that have worked for me gave me very good mass. I’m gaining mass and no bull pre-workout and just started shattered. I’ve just worked at it and worked at it for the body I’ve wanted.

Hard work does pay off. I have done the routine of 5 days a week lift cardio, on Saturdays I usually do 3-5 reps 5 sets best results for size then over all strength do 12-15 or 15 reps down to 5 then back up to 15. And eat, eating healthy is a big factor of my life. No sugary foods and no meals after 9.

I am at work to achieve a better physique. I’m just looking to put a little more mass and just be as ripped as possible.

Fitness is a big part of my life without it I don’t know where I’d be. I love the gym. I love the feeling I get from working out and beating goals. It’s my way of life I try to motivate each person I talk to or whoever asks me what I do. I have convinced 2 people to get their life healthier. It is one of the best feelings to get someone motivated and hyped to join a gym again or workout.