If you want to look like an athlete, you have to train like one.
This well-known saying certainly makes sense. Athletes have some of the best physiques in the world and have access to the best training programs and diets available. If only we had enough time in a day to dedicate all of our time to lifting and training like they do, right?
Many people incorrectly assume that athletes push themselves to failure every workout. That they fight through every little injury and CNS hits in their journey to master their sport. This could not be farther from the truth. Periodization training is used by athletes all around the world to work out and train for their respective sport. It allows us to optimize our recovery periods and prevent injury by changing workout intensity and volume based on current research.
In simple terms, periodization training is the use of training variables such as intensity, frequency and volume to optimize performance in sports and the gym, prevent overtraining and see marked progress. By periodizing your workouts, you are allowing yourself to overcome the principles of General Adaptation Syndrome and fighting through your beginner gains, to make strength and hypertrophy gains as an advanced or intermediate lifter.
The two most important periodization cycles used by lifters are mesocycles and microcycles.
Mesocycles are 4-6 week cycles that typically involve high intensity training followed by lower intensity training, or vice versa.
Microcycles are one week durations within mesocycles in which you change the intensity of your workout from day-to-day.
For an overwhelming majority of people, working with mesocycles is more than enough to utilize periodization hypertrophy principles to your advantage. In order to use mesocycles in your routine, however, you must first understand the two main periodization archetypes: linear periodization and reverse periodization.
Linear periodization involves changing intensity and volume over a few mesocycles with progressive weeks of increasing intensity and slightly less volume. This usually takes place over 3 months. On the other hand, reverse periodization describes lowering intensity while volume increases.
Research has shown that there is no significant difference between the success of either periodization programs so they can be interchanged and used at the user’s discretion, based on many confounding factors such as strength goals, timeframe and experience level.
You may ask, all of this seems great, how do I get started with a periodization program?
Look no further than the Exousia Fitness 3-month Mass Builder Periodization Program.