Periodization Info Part2

by Lyle McDonald

Hi again. Having outlined strict periodization last time, let me
describe the modified periodization that is aimed more at the
non-competitive exerciser. Instead, of five stages, generally only
four are done. Here it is:

Stage 1: Base
Volume: High
Intensity: Low
Sets/Exercise: 3-6
Reps/set: 12-20
Type of movement: slow, continuous movement
Purpose: To build muscular endurance, increase capillarization and blood
flow to muscle

Stage 2: Strength/Endurance
Volume: Moderate
Intensity: Moderate
Sets-exercise: 3-6
Reps/set: 8-12
Type of movement: moderate speed
Purpose: To increase strength and muscle size

Stage 3: Strength
Volume: Low
Intensity: High
Sets/exercise: 3-4
Reps/set: 4-8
Type of movement: fast but controlled
Purpose: build power

Stage 4: Recovery
Volume: Low
Intensity: Low
Sets/exercise: 2-3
Reps/set: 12-15
Purpose: Like before, this stage allows the body to completely recover
before beginning stage 1 again, it should last 2-3 weeks

Note that there are only four stages to this type of cycle versus five
for strict periodization. For the non-competitive athlete, inclusion of
heavy singles is probably not that important. Injury potential is very
high as is the potential for burnout.

The length of each stage may be a bit more consistent for this type of
periodization. Anywhere from 1 to 3 months can be spent on each
stage. Some studies have found that strength tends to peak at about
12 weeks during strength training with either a plateau or decrease
in strength occurring after that. Also, there is some evidence that there
is a shorter 3 week sub-cycle when the body tends to hit smaller peaks.
So, within each three month macro-cycle, you could superimpose a shorter
mesocycle where the weights/intensity are increased for three weeks
followed by a week of lower intensity activity. And, within each week,
a micro-cycle can be used where the intensity of a given workout will
vary with one high intensity workout and one lighter workout for a given

That's it for this series. For a list of previous articles send requests to
lyle… and I will send you the catalog.

This was adapted from the previously mentioned Kraemer and Fleck book
and also Ripped 3 by Clarence Bass.

source: newgroup, 21 Jan 94.

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