Making a Plan pt. 2 - Demystifying Periodization

In part 1 of this series we discussed progressive overload. It is one of the key principles towards attaining your goals. To make the most of progressive overload it is important to understand periodization. However, right now that word probably makes as much sense to you as all those creepy clowns walking around.

Clowns.jpg

 

Periodization is simply a method or variety of methods we may use to organize our training. Whether you are planning for the year, the month, or even the week you are using some form of this. 

One common method of periodization is the block method. This method will organize training according to qualities trying to achieve. An example would be where you spend 4 weeks focusing on hypertrophy, the next 4 weeks focusing on strength, and the final 4 weeks focusing on power.

Another common method is linear where you may do a 12 week program, and in week 1 you do 12 reps, week 2 you do 11 reps and so on and so forth until you get to week 12 where you’d maybe do 1 rep.

Suffice to say, I won't go into much more detail, unless you're looking for that mid afternoon nap. While these two methods are the most common, it really doesn’t matter what method you use for periodization. Rather it’s more crucial to understand why periodization is important and in further posts we will discuss how to use it.

As we learned in the first installment, progressive overload is crucial for our bodies to change and grow. However, our bodies are smarter than we may realize. They adapt. Simply pushing our body the same way all the time, every time is not going to work.

Honestly, there is no formulaic way to know when our bodies will plateau and how long the plateau may last. Everyone is different. The thing is we want to make sure we are proactive as opposed to reactive. This is where periodization enters the equation. It helps us formulate our training in a manner to make sure our bodies don’t reach a point of plateau for a long time.

Through manipulating variables in an organized manner like; deloads, rest, volume, frequency, intensity and etc, we can constantly seek to improve through our training.

More on all this later.

-Dave