Periodization: 3 Basics Tips For Building Muscle

Periodization is really a phrase that is generally thrown around in powerlifting and bodybuilding circles to describe coaching that varies. More particularly, periodization can be defined as the frequent variation of tactics, weights, exercises, speed, and reps & sets in order to facilitate new muscle growth. The belief system behind periodization is that the human body adapts very quickly to a particular routine, and once the body adapts, it is no longer forced to grow in order to possess the muscle required to meet the workload. By continuously changing routines, bodybuilders and powerlifters hope to keepshockingthe muscle into growing. Periodization has three sequential stages the trainer will encounter when using this technique.
ShockIf a bodybuilder has been using a 5 on, 1 off body part split routine for five years, he is pretty set in his ways. If one day he decides to engage in a 2 on, 1 off routine in which half the body is trained one day, and the other half is rained the next (a standard push/pull split), he is going to surprise his body. By day 4 of the routine, the chest, triceps, and quads may possibly be faced with a second workout in 4 days, and they will be forced to grow. Any new configuration of rep/set, body part, or weight numbers constitutes variation.
AcclimationThis is the stage in which the muscles of the body realize there is a new type of stress, and grows to meet the challenge. Torn muscle fibers grown back stronger. The increasing weight being moved is your verification that the shock training is working, the muscles have adapted, and your body is growing.
The WallThis is the stage where the body needs a break. Exhaustion sets in as the muscle groups reach a level where they are no longer able to adapt to increased workloads. At this time, the athlete should analyze the routine he tried for a period of time, make lots of notes and observations, and move on to another routine.
Periodization may be very simple, or incredibly complex. Trainers can just mix up body part splits and set/rep schemes, on the simple end. On the far more complex end, they can choose to record all data, calculate percentage increases of 1RM after each program, and mathematically determine the exact effect of a new routine in terms of numbers. Whatever your measure of detail, periodization might be a good tool to use to keep things fresh, and keep your muscles growing.

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