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16 August, 2011
Periodisation or lack of it
The area of periodisation is an interesting one. There are many ways to periodise from linear to undulating and even linear and in the same week and even linear in the same workout. I prefer undulating over a series of months and will talk you through this. You have 2 types of training. Metabolic and Neuromuscular. One when the muscles “burns” which is done by lifting lighter weights and more reps – this is metabolic training and this phase of training is called accumulation training. The other is when the muscle has to contract everything it has, to lift as heavy as possible. This is neurological training and is called the intensification phase. It is important to note that one is not better than the other. It is the contrast between the 2 that makes for powerful results. What I see in the gym most often is that people have their favourite reps range (e.g 6 – 8) and always stick to it. An undulating periodisation protocol sees you moving from high reps to low reps and back again over a series of months. See below…….
Remember you are choosing weights that you can lift only for that rep bracket, so the weights will change that you use through each phase (and you should also change the exercises). The real issue I see is leaving your ego out of the equation when switching back to a accumulation phase. When you go from lifting heavy weights at 4 – 6 reps and then move back to lifting a weight for 10 – 12 reps, the weights will obviously be less, so you have to allow this to hit your ego. Just remember it is the body transformation that counts – not how much weight you are lifting. Plus keep the periodisation going and every-time you will come back to the rep bracket you like – you will be lifting more.