Thursday, January 7, 2016

Periodization and Muscle Growth


I’m assuming you re-read the previous article on “Progression”  Read it Here. The take-away…You’re either progressing or regressing due to “Adaptive Response”and some point you’ll hit your maximum level of progression.

 Yesterday’s article on “Three types of Muscle Fibers” Read it Here explains the 3 types of muscle fibers and their relationships to muscle growth, strength, and stamina.

Now we’ll tie them all together with “periodization”.

Periodization” is simply the organization and planning of training. In weight training, however, it indicates the organization and planning for a longer time period usually centered on a specific longer term goal (months or years).

The specific event we’re going to concentrate is the point where normal “progression” runs up against “Adaptive Response” and Progression ceases to overcome the body’s ability to adapt. And if you  stick with lifting long enough it will happen. ( A plateau)

The Problem:

“Most of us are not cross country skiers (who have more Type I fibers) or professional hockey players (who have more Type IIa fibers or power lifters (who have more Type IIb fibers. We are weekend warriors who just want to be fit with some combination of stamina, athletic ability, strength and muscle mass to help lose fat. You can devote 100% effort to gaining mass but the trade off is stamina and sometimes strength. You can give 100% to stamina but the trade off is strength and muscle mass. “.-Nick Tumminello

In other words, it’s nearly impossible to chase more than one goal successfully for long periods of time.

The Goal :

Increase the number and size of all 3 muscle fiber types and the stamina to perform more work and to maintain a balance.

Scientifically, the best rep ranges are:

Strength and muscle growth-6-8
Muscle growh-8-12
Endurance and muscle growth-12-15
Endurance-15 plus

Does this mean that for muscle growth (Hypertrophy) you should only work in the 8-12 rep range?


The Solution:

1.   Let’s say you can bench press 135 pounds for 9 reps
2.   You start lifting in the lower rep range to build strength (1-6 reps) and  strength increases.
3.   Now, you can bench 145 pounds for 9 reps.
4.   Next you start using higher reps to increase your stamina-stamina improves
5.   Now you can bench 145 for 11 reps

What’s going to build more muscle? Pressing 135 pounds for 9 reps or 145 pounds for 11 reps?

- In the Hypertrophy phase, you're focusing on building up your muscular HARDWARE: the muscle size and connective-tissue strength.
- In the Strength and Power phases, you're focusing on boosting the SOFTWARE, teaching your nervous system to recruit more muscle and generate more tension.
- In Power-Endurance phase, you'll add BATTERY LIFE, so you can do more work—and better work—every time you're in the gym or in sporting competition.-Nick Tumminello

Nick works with bodybuilders, figure models, professional fighters, NFL players and is conditioning coach for MMA fight teams.-Steve

The Plan:

Build a program mixing training for mass, strength and stamina. This plan is not meant to be used for any longer than 12 weeks. After 12 weeks go by to your workouts for your specific primary goals. But use a periodization plan like the one below when needed to overcome or prevent plateaus.

Here’s the plan: It’s an over simplification. But you get the point. You’re working all the different muscle types and you’re shorting out the Adaptation Response. I’ve used it a number of times and it’s worked every time for me.

Week 1,4,7,10
{ Sets 3-5, Reps 8-15 ,load 60-80% of 1 RM, rest 2-3 min} Hypertrophy

Weeks 2,5,8,11
{Sets 5-10,Reps1-5,Load 85-100% of 1 RM, rest 3-7 minutes} Strength

Week 3,6,9,12
{Sets 3-5, Reps 10-15, Load 50-70% of 1 RM, Rest 45-60seconds} Stamina

Stay on the program the full 12 weeks as written.

Using periodization programs you become a more well rounded athlete, heatherier overall and delay or eliminate constant plateaus in your training. 

The program above is just one possibility (changing the focus weekly) to get you started. But you could use different time periods, changing the focus monthly, every 6 weeks, every 12 weeks, whatever works best for you. But this one is a good place to start.

SEND YOUR QUESTIONS TO  If I don’t have an answer I’ll  find someone who does.

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