A Periodized Training Program for The Best Bodybuilders in 2020

All athletes need sports periodization to enhance their performances. Without this approach, they wouldn’t be able to assess their fitness. A detailed periodized training program refers to a plan for an athlete who undergoes from 3 different phases, namely: foundational, bulking, and cutting phase.

There are plenty of factors such as body assessment, training patterns, exercise programs, and the right nutrition, that will consider throughout the year for a bodybuilder before he appears in the final contest.
Let’s start from the foundational training phase, which would last for 12 weeks but it depends on the athlete’s performance if he is performing well, he will move to the next phase quite early.

List of Assessments

These assessments clear a whole picture of an athlete’s current fitness level, and help to evaluate the performance at different stages of a periodized training program. For knowing the percentage of body fat, strength, and body measurements, he has to go through the following assessments.

1-Body Composition Test

  • Skinfold Test
  • Bioelectrical Test
  • DEXA Scan
  • Hydrostatic Test

2- Limit Strength

3- Girth Measure Test

A Detailed Year-long Periodized Training Program

Foundational Training Phase

It’s the best time to work on your weaknesses, look at your injuries, and strengthen all muscles, tendons, and ligaments. For a bodybuilder, lean muscle mass is a key so this training phase will help an athlete to gain more muscle mass by working on his strength.

Lifting Dumbbells during Periodized Training Program
Lifting Dumbbells during Periodized Training Program

Warmup for Each Training Day

Chest

  1. 5 minutes Treadmill, 15 Chest cross arm swings, 10 pushups
  2. 2 sets multiply 15 reps of seated chest press

Arms

  1. 5 minutes Arc trainer, 10 Diamond Pushups, 30-sec Military march
  2. 15 to 20 reps of each exercise Dumbbells curl, triceps pushdown

Back

  1. 500-meter rowing, 10 arm circles (clockwise and anti-clockwise)
  2. 2 sets multiply 15 reps

Shoulders

  1. 500-meter rowing, 10 arm circles (clockwise and anti-clockwise), 10 TYI move
  2. 1 set of 15 reps, dumbbells shoulder press, 10 standing dumbbells external rotation

Legs

  1. 5 minutes stationary bike, 15 high knees, 30-sec Military march
  2. 15 Squats, 20 lunges with a twist

The Cooldown for Each Training Day

You can do deep breathing after finishing your workout then go for a particular exercise.

Chest (25 to 30 seconds for each move)

  1. Clasp hands behind your back
  2. Behind head Stretch
  3. Extended arms behind back Stretch (assistant)
  4. High Reach forward lean tilt

Arms & forearms (Repeat twice hold for 20 to 30 seconds each move)

  1. Overhead Triceps Stretch
  2. Extend arms with pronated and supinated move
  3. Fingers Flexor stretch
  4. Fingers Extensor Stretch

Back (hold 25 to 30 seconds for each move)

  1. Side Bend Stretch
  2. Back scratch
  3. Cat pose
  4. Hanging in cage

Shoulders (Repeat twice hold for 20 to 30 seconds each move)

  1. Arm cross shoulder stretch
  2. Doorway or cage Stretch
  3. Eagle pose
  4. Clap overhead with extended arms

Legs (Repeat twice hold for 20 to 30 seconds each move)

  1. Standing Quad Stretch
  2. Glute Stretch
  3. Seated Groin Stretch
  4. Alternate forwards press leg on the cage

Periodized Training Program at Foundational Phase: 4 Days in a Week

Week 1-3 (days 1 and 4) Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Incline Chest Press 2 12 Up to 1 minute
  Pull-ups 2 12  
  Arm Curl 2 12  
  Tricep Rope Extension 2 12  
  Dead Lifts 2 12  
  Dumbbells Overhead Press 2 12  
  Seated Row 2 12  
  Weighted Squats 2 12  
  Laying Hamstring Curl 2 12  
  Crunches 3 15  
  Planks 2 1 minute  
Week 1-3 (days 2 and 5) Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Dips 2 12 Up to 1 minute
  Chin Ups 2 12  
  Preacher Arm Curl 2 12  
  Dead Lifts 2 12  
  Dumbbells Overhead Press 2 12  
  T Bar Row 2 12  
  Leg Press 2 12  
  Leg Raises 2 12  
  Bicycle Crunches 3 15 each side  
Week 5-7 (days 1 and 4) Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Chest Press 3 15 Up to 1 minute
  Lats Pull down 3 15  
  Hammer Curl 3 15  
  Diamond push ups 3 15  
  Dead Lifts 3 15  
  Dumbbells Overhead Press 3 15  
  Weighted Squats 3 15  
  Crunches 3 15  
  Planks 2 1 minute  
Week 5-7 (days 2 and 5) Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Chin ups 3 15 Up to 1 minute
  Pull over 3 15  
  Preacher Arm Curl 3 15  
  Skull Crush 3 15  
  Dead Lift 3 15  
  Arnold Dumbbell Press 3 15  
  Leg Press 3 15  
  Leg Raises 3 15  

Periodized Training Program for Bulking Phase: 4 Days in a Week

  1. Now we will move on to the next phase that is bulking up or hypertrophy. So we will work on increasing muscle mass and strength as well.
  2. Hypertrophy training for muscle mass.
  3. Upper, lower, off, upper, lower (intensity 60 to 80 percent of 1 RM) followed by a deload week that is week 9.
Week (1-8) Upper Body Day 1 and 4   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Bench Press 5 10 Minimum 1 minute up to 2 minutes
  Lats Pull Down 4 10  
  Dumbbell Curl 3 10  
  French Press 3 10  
  Dead Lift 5 10  
  Military Press 4 10  
  Pull Over 3 10  
  Russian Twist 3 20  
Week (1-8) Lower Body Day 2 and 5 Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Weighted Squats 4 10 Minimum 1 minute up to 2 minutes
  Laying Hamstring 2 10  
  Leg Extensions 2 10  
  Leg Press 3 10  
  Standing Calf Raises 3 10  
  Back Extensions 3 10  

Upper, upper, off, lower, upper (intensity 80 to 100 plus percent of 1 RM) followed by a deload week that is week 16.

Week (10-15) Chest, back, triceps   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Bench Press 5 5 Minimum 2 minute up to 4 minutes
  Weighted Push Ups 2 5  
  Lats Pull Down 5 5  
  French Press 4 5  
  Dead Lift 5 5  
  Pull Over 3 5  
Week (10-15) Shoulders and Biceps   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Military Press 4 5 Minimum 2 minute up to 4 minutes
  Lateral Dumbbell Raises 3 5  
  Barbell Shrugs 3 5  
  Seated Dumbbell Curls 3 5  
  Hammer Curls 3 5  
Week (10-15) Legs and calves Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Weighted Squats 4 5 Minimum 2 minutes up to 4 minutes
  Laying Hamstring 5 5  
  Leg Extensions 3 5  
  Leg Press 3 5               
  Calf Raises 5 5  
Week (10-15) Upper Body   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Bench Press 5 5 Minimum 2 minute up to 4 minutes
  Lats Pull Down 5 5  
  French Press 4 5  
  Biceps Curl 4 5  
  Dead Lift 5 5  
  Overhead Press 5 5  

Periodized Training Program for Cutting Phase: 6 Days in a Week

  1. Chest, Back, Arms, Shoulder, Cardio, Legs – Week (1-4), A Delaod Week (5)
Week (1-4) Chest   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
Giant Set a,b,c Incline Bench Press (a) 3 5 1 to 2 minutes rest after Giant set
  Push-ups (b) 3 12-15  
  Pull Over (c) 3 25  
Drop Set (10-30%) Seated Chest Press 2 10,8,6 Minimum 1 minute rest between drop sets
  Horizontal Cable Cross Over 1 150 15 seconds after 30 reps
  Crunches 2 50  
  Bicycle Crunches   50  
Week (1-4) Back   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
Giant Set Lats Pull Down (a) 3 15 1 to 2 minute rest after Giant set
  Weighted Pull Ups (b) 3 5-8  
  Inverted Row (c) 3 15  
Drop Set (10-30%) Dead Lift 2 12, 10, 8 Minimum 1 minute rest between drop sets
  Seated Row 1 100 15 seconds after 25 reps
  Cross Climber 4 50  
Week (1-4) Arms   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
Super Set (a,b) Preacher Curl (a) 3 12 1 to 2 minutes
  Barbell Curl (b) 3 12  
  Rope Triceps Extensions 1 90 15 seconds after 30 reps
Rest Pause (85-95%) 1 RM Weight Dips 2 8,4,2 15 Seconds Between 1 Set
  Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension 3 20  
2 seconds hold eccentric phase Concentration Curls 2 10  
  Reverse Curl 3 12-15  
Week (1-4) Shoulders   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
Giant sets (a,b,c) Military Press (a) 3 5 1 to 2 minutes
  Lateral Dumbbell Raises (b) 3 12  
  Front Dumbbell Raises (c) 3 12  
  Seated Rear Delts 4 15 20 sec rest between sets
  Upright Row 3 20 20 sec rest between sets
  Barbell Shrugs 4 25 20 sec rest between sets
  Floor Leg Raises 1 50  
  Hanging Leg Raises 1 50  
  Incline Leg Raises 1 50  
Week (1-4) Legs and calves Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
Super Set (a,b) Weighted Squats (a) 3 5 1 to 2 minutes
  Laying Hamstring (b) 3 12  
  Leg Extensions 3 25  
Drop Set Leg Press 3 12,10,8     1 minute rest between drop set
  Calf Raises 4 20  

Cardio: Sprints

Treadmill:

  1. 5 min walk, level 5, 1 min jog 6.5,
  2. Repeat 3 times: 30 seconds sprint, level 10, 1-minute walk, level 5
  3. Repeat 7 times: 30 seconds sprint, level 12.5, 2-minute walk, level 5
  4. Cooldown: 5 min walk

Week (6-9), A Deload Week

A number of weeks can be increased with a change in volume, intensity and, frequency but depends on the athlete’s progress.

Week (6-9) Chest   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Bench Press 1 30 1 to 2 minutes rest
  Pull Over 3 12  
  Push ups variations 3 20  
Forced reps (40% reduction) Decline Chest Press 2 10,5,5 2 minutes
  Cable Cross Over upper cut fly 1 100 15 seconds after 25 reps
  Reverse Crunches 4 50  
Week (6-9) Back   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
  Lats Pull Down 5 15 15 to 20 sec
Super Set (a,b) Pull Ups (a) 3 12 2 minutes
  Renegade Row(b) 3 12  
Weight Reduction (20%) Dead Lift 3 12, 10, 8 2 minute
  Seated Row 1 100 15 seconds after 25 reps
  Back Extension 4 15  
Week (6-9) Arms   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
Forced reps Barbell Curl 3 10,5,5 1 to 2 minutes
Reverse Pyramid Preacher Curl 3 5,8,12 1 minute
  Rope Triceps Extensions 1 90 15 seconds after 30 reps
  Dips 3 12  
Rack and strip the weight 20% reduction Skull crush 3 12,10,8 Minimum 2 minute after each set
  Zottman Curl 3 12-15  
Week (6-9) Shoulders   Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
Drop Set (10-30%) Military Press 3 12,10,8 2 minutes
Eccentric hold Lateral Cable Raises 3 10  
Forced reps Front Dumbbell Raises 3 10,5,5 2 minute
  Face Pull 4 15 20 sec
  Upright Row 3 20 20 sec rest between sets
  Barbell Shrugs 4 25 20 sec rest between sets
  Reverse Crunch 1 50  
  Weighted Hanging Leg Raises 1 25  
  Weighted Leg Raises 1 25  
Week (6-9) Legs and calves Exercises Sets Reps Rest period
Reverse pyramid Weighted Squats 3 5,8,10 2 minutes
  Kettlebell Lunges 3 10 each side  
Super set (a,b) Laying Hamstring (a) 3 12  
  Leg Extensions (b) 3 12  
Drop Set Leg Press 3 12,10,8     1 minute rest between drop set
  Seated Calf Raises 4 20  

Cardio: Sprints

Treadmill Incline:

  1. 5 min walk, level 5, 1 min jog 6.5,
  2. Repeat 3 times: 30 seconds sprint, level 10, 1-minute walk, level 5
  3. Repeat 7 times: 30 seconds sprint, level 12.5, 2-minute walk, level 5
  4. Cooldown: 5 min walk

Macronutrient, Micronutrient and Supplementation Requirements during Periodized Training Program

The following are the nutritional recommendations during each phase of training to get the perfect body.

Macronutrient Requirements at Foundational Training Phase

  1. Recommendation for a Bodybuilder’s diet 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates (complex carbs after every 2 to 3 hours), 25 to 30 percent protein after every 2 to 3 hours, 15 to 30 percent fat focus on good fat.
  2. Minimum water intake 64 oz if daily energy expenditure is 2000 calories ad goes up to 220 0z maximum if daily energy expenditure is 6000 calories.

Let’s take an example if a bodybuilder is taking 2700 calories with 25 percent protein 55 percent carbs and 20 percent fat and body weight was 198 pounds or 90 kg.

Foundational Phase

  1. Protein requirements= 2700*.25= 675/4=169 g
  2. Per kg protein 169/90= 1.8 g
  3. Carbohydrate Requirements= 2700*.55= 1485/4=371 g
  4. Fat Requirements= 2700*.2=540/9=60 g

Macronutrient Requirements at Bulking Training Phase

An Additional 2 calories per pound body weight to your daily caloric intake on training days, divided over 5 meals, 1-2 pounds muscles will be added per month.

Nutrition Requirements

Previously calories intake was 2700+392=3092

  1. In this phase, he needs a minimum of 30 percent protein and goes up to 35 percent. 55 percent carbs and 15 to 20 percent fat.
  2. Protein requirements= 3092*.30= 927/4=232 g
  3. Carbohydrate requirements=3092*.55= 1700/4= 425 g
  4. Fat requirements= 3092*.15=464/9=51
  5. 2.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight requires for building lean muscle mass. Let’s discuss the previous example
  6. Protein requirements= 2.2 g per kg that means now he needs 90*2.2= 198 g protein
  7. He will consume extra calories of 198-169=29 g *4= 116 calories
  8. Carbohydrate Requirements= 2700*.55= 1485/4=371 g
  9. Fat Requirements= 2700*.2=540/9=60 g

Macronutrient Requirements at Cutting Training Phase

  1. On cutting phase caloric intake is reduced by the same 2 calories per pound you reduced calorie intake.
  2. 2700-392=2308
  3. Protein per kg 2.6 per kg that means 90*2.6=234*4=936/2308=40 percent
  4. In this phase, he needs a minimum of 30 percent protein and goes up to 35 percent. 55 percent carbs and 15 to 20 percent fat.
  5. Carbohydrate requirements=3092*.55= 1700/4= 425 g
  6. Fat requirements= 3092*.15=464/9=51

Micronutrient Requirements

  • Vitamin Requirements
  1. There are 2 types of vitamins that are water-soluble (B, C) and fat-soluble (A, D, E, K) vitamins. The balance of both is equally important for a healthy body. Deficiency of any of them can cause health problems like joint problems and poor performance.
  2. For bodybuilders, vitamin B is very important for the purpose of protein and fat metabolizing also delivering oxygen to muscles.
  3. Vitamin D can make your joint pain free.
  • Mineral Requirements
  1. When we talk about minerals we can’t deny the importance of minerals for a bodybuilder. Being a Bodybuilder the intake of calcium magnesium iron gives your body an extra boost. To reduce fatigue spasms you must ensure your magnesium intake. For endurance activities, iron helps to carry oxygen to your muscles through the blood.
  • RDA of Vitamins and Minerals
  1. Vitamin A – 5000 IU, Vitamin C – 60 mg, Vitamin D – 400 IU, Vitamin E – 30 1U,
  2. Vitamin K – 80 mcg, Thiamin (B1) – 1.5 mg, Riboflavin (B2) – 1.7 mg,
  3. Niacin (B3) -20 mg, Pyridoxine (B6) – 2mg, Folate, 400 mcg,
  4. Cobalamin (B12) – 6 mcg, Biotin – 300 mcg, Pantothenic Acid (B5) – 10 mg
  5. RDA of Minerals
  6. Calcium – 1000 mg
  7. Iron – 15 mg
  8. Magnesium – 350 mg
  9. Potassium – 3500 mg
  10. Zinc – 15 mg
  11. Selenium – 55 mcg
  12. Copper – 2 mg
  13. Calcium, Biotin, Iron, Vitamin c, Selenium, Omega 3, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Copper, Magnesium, Riboflavin, Zinc should be the part of bodybuilder’s diet at bulking and cutting phase as well.

Supplementation Requirement during Periodized Training Program

Before consuming any form of supplements you should keep an eye on your daily macronutrient needs. You do not need to depend on supplements. First, you must consume the right proportion of macronutrients from your food and if you feel you are not able to take enough macronutrients because of hard training or if you are preparing yourself for any competition then you should include these supplementations according to your needs.

The most important supplements are BCAA, Creatine Monohydrate, L-glutamine for a bodybuilder on different phases of training. These supplements are important for muscle recovery, muscle growth, performance enhancer, and protein synthesis respectively.

Leave a Reply