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Part 2 Planning the Training Cycle

Classic Periodization
Splits training cycles into distinct periods, blocks, or phases

of training
Generally has preparatory, competitive, and transition phases

Hypertrophy/anatomical adaptation phase Strength phase Power phase Peaking phase Active rest phases

Phases are subdivided into other smaller units of training

Generally picks 1-2 major goals for a period and works on

Either ignores or maintains other qualities (i.e., working on strength

while ignoring endurance)

Used in sport training, but also can be used for recreational

athletes and fitness enthusiasts

Classic Periodization
Macrocycle Long term (3-6 months, competitive season, or

What is the overall goal of the program? Rehab? Competition? What are the qualities to be developed during the program? Training intensity (%1RM) will generally increase while volume

(total work done) will decrease over the course of a program

Mesocycle mid-term (1-3 months) What is the goal of each mesocycle? Be more specific here. Select training methods used in this block based on the goal (heavy or slow negatives, isometric holds, overloading partial ROM, etc.)
Microcycle short term (1 week or one distinct series of

Individual workout programming Active rest days and conditioning

Volume and Intensity

Planning out your training cycle

Start by picking a target date Could be for competition, summer, or the time frame for your goal Determine the number of weeks/months you have until that

Work backwards from there Be sure to account for holidays, vacations, etc.

12-16 weeks is a good program length (Macrocycle) This gives you time to evaluate the program and see size and strength gains Hypertrophy gains are typically slower and requires at least a couple of months to see a significant difference, especially in trained individuals Depending on your target and how many weeks you have, split

your Macrocycle into several Mesocycles

3-4 weeks is common for mesocycles 4th week of the month is often a deload/unload week where intensity

is lower, allowing the body to supercompensate and recover

Example The Macrocycle

It is December 15th, I want to start a new program on

January 1st My goal is to be big and swole and jacked by summer (May 1st) Thats about 4-4.5 months (17-18 weeks) of training
But Im going to Mardi Gras over spring break! Oh and Granny G is coming to visit too

So lets call it a 16 week training cycle (macrocycle) If we divide our training by 4 weeks per cycle, that gives

us 4 mesocycles, which should work great Now we plan out our 4 mesocycles

Example the Mesocycles

So we have 4 mesocycles to get big and swole, but also

It may be best to start with hypertrophy and later on cut fat

In this case Use 2 mesocycles strictly dedicated to hypertrophy Use a transition cycle that starts working on fat loss (but still emphasizes hypertrophy) Final mesocycle can focus on fat loss (along with transition cycle) Now we know the goals of each month of training, we

move on to planning out the specific weeks (microcycles)

Months 1 and 2 (hypertrophy) will be similar as the goal is the

Consider a mix of powerlifting (for strength) and Bodybuilding in your

Month 3 (transition into fat loss) will start to add in some calorie

restriction and some cardio

Dont overdo the dieting and cardio here, you still want to gain some

muscle. Simply adjust to not eating as much and doing a little more. Body weight and/or body fat % should be decrease modestly - <1lb per week
Month 4 (fat loss) will focus on leaning out while maintaining

Adjust to doing more work and eating a little less. Try to reach no more

than 2 lbs of fat loss each week. More than 2lbs of fat loss will likely result in muscle loss Keep doing resistance training it is the only way to keep your hard earned muscle!

Example The Microcycle

4 days a week program is acceptable for many goals 5 days a week, if time allows, might work a little better during hypertrophy phases A possible split for this program would be:
Day 1 Main exercise Supplemental Accessory Accessory Core
Squat Front Squat BB hip thrusts & BB Bicep curls Back raises & calf raises Anti-extension

Day 2
Bench Press Close grip BP 2 arm horizontal Rows & DB press Tricep extensions & face pulls Anti-rotation

Day 3
Deadlift RDLs DB curls & wrist curls GHRs Anti-lateral flexion

Day 4
Overhead Press Incline press Vertical row & shrugs 1 arm horizontal row & shoulder raises Hip flexion with a neutral spine

Example The Microcycles

Months 1 & 2 (hypertrophy) Week 1 Main: 3x6 @8
Supplemental: 4x12 @9 Accessory: 4x12 @9-10

Month 3 (transition to fat loss)

Main: 3x5@8 Supplemental: 3-4x12@9 Accessory: 3-4x10@9-10

Month 4 (fat loss, muscle maintenance)

Main: 3x12 @8 Supplemental: 4x12 Accessory: 4x15

Week 2 Main: 3x4 @8-9

Supplemental: 4x10 @9 Accessory: 4x12 @9-10

Main: 3x3 @8-9 Main: 3x10 @8-9 Supplemental: 3-4x10 @9 Supplemental: 4x10 Accessory: 3-4x10 @9-10 Accessory: 4x15 Main: 1x5, 1x3, 1x1 @9 Supplemental: 3-4x8 @9 Accessory: 3-4x10 @9-10 Main: 3x6 @9 Supplemental: 4x8 Accessory: 4x15

Week 3 Main: 1x6, 1x4, 1x2 @9

Supplemental: 4x8 @9 Accessory: 4x12 @9-10

Week 4 Main: 3x5 @6-7 Deload/ Supplemental: 3x10@6-7 unload Accessory: 3x15 @6-7

Main: 3x5 @6-7 Main: 3x8 @7 Supplemental: 3x10 @6-7 Supplemental: 3x10 (light) Accessory: 3x10 @6-7 Accessory: 3x10 (light)

About weight prescription

Many programs indicate % of 1RM to be used as a

training load
1RM is usually determined at the beginning of a cycle

This may not be optimal in extreme situations Some people are extremely active during their jobs and a straight % may be too much on a regular basis Some people (especially some college students) have plenty of time to eat, sleep, and train properly a straight % may not be enough weight for them after. A pre-defined % of a 1RM achieved 6-8 weeks earlier may not accurately reflect a persons strength Using Rep Maxes and/or RPE may be a better solution I.e., Instead of using 80% of 1RM, use a 6RM load at a 9-10 RPE

Non-linear Periodization
Intensities change from one workout to the next, instead of on

a weekly basis
Classic Periodization usually increases intensity (weekly) as the cycle

goes on, peaking at or near the end. Volume decreases throughout

There is some scientific evidence touting non-linear (aka.

Undulating) periodization to be superior to classic Benefits

Allows more variety in a workout sequence Allows athletes to quickly pick up a workout sequence after

illness/injury Less boredom in day to day workout routines Adaptable to diverse situations of a given training day Allows for more frequent rest of some muscles due to use of various resistance loadings

Non-linear Periodization example

The key is to keep the training stimuli unique for each day

Examples: Light intensity and High volume (12-15RM) Moderate intensity and High volume (8-10RM) High intensity and moderate volume (4-6RM) Very high intensity and low volume (1-3RM) Power day (1-6RM with power exercises) Very low intensity and very low volume (20-23RM for 1 set) Active rest day(s)

NLP example - Strength

VL: 2

L: 9
M: 3 H: 12 VH: 6 P: 4

NLP example Hypertrophy & Strength

VL: 1

L: 9
M: 14 H: 9 VH: 3 P: 0

NLP example Endurance & GPP

VL: 7

L: 12
M: 10 H: 6 VH: 1 P: 0

Comparison between designs

Strength Very Light Light 2 9 Hypertrophy & Strength 1 9 Endurance & GPP 7 12

Heavy Very Heavy Power Total training days

12 6 4 36

9 3 0 36

6 1 0 36

Sample NLP workouts

Sample NLP workouts

Sample NLP workouts

More info on Periodization