The concept of breaking training down into separate periods of phases is not a new one and this pattern doesn’t only apply to athletes. Let’s have a look at a brief history of periodization and then we will talk about the best periodization method that will help a bodybuilder to prepare for a contest.
History of Periodization
Siff and Verkhoshansky, in their 1996 book, Supertraining, noted that ancient civilizations, such as the Chinese, Greeks, and Romans, understood the need for proper physical preparation for warfare. They realized that you could not give weapons to the soldier and ask for fighting techniques. The first thing soldiers needed being to be whipped into shape.
This same concept applies to you as a bodybuilder. Before you concentrate on developing individual muscles with single-joint movements, you first have to focus on your maximum strength.
Today, all organized athletic teams use a periodization training program. This is due not only to athletes’ needs but also to guidelines set by governing bodies. The NCAA, for example, maintains strict guidelines for preseason and off-season training. Thankfully, the bodybuilder does not have to abide by these regulations.
Consider the great bodybuilders of the past who focused on strength and size in the off-season and then fat loss and symmetry as a contest approached.
Cyclically attacking these goals and changing training methods and modalities as objectives were sequentially accomplished represented periodization in action. Just think about it logically. Would a bodybuilder train the same way for a show four weeks out as he would for one four months out?
What is Periodization
The periodization refers to organized planning of athlete where he divides all his training programs into smaller periods with the aim to maximize performances that ultimately enhances his appearance on the stage. There are various styles of periodization such as linear, reverse linear, undulating, flexible nonlinear, and block periodization.
Different Periodization Methods
Linear periodization: This cycle starts with low intensity and high volume. Gradually intensity increases and volume decreases that means you will lift more weight with fewer reps. You can apply this method at the foundational phase.
Reverse linear periodization: This method is opposite to linear periodization that means intensity decreases with the increase in volume as the training cycle continues, though it starts with higher intensity with low volume.
Undulating periodization: Reps and the weight you lift both increased or decreased continuously.
Flexible Nonlinear Periodization: Same like undulating periodization but changes apply in training once an athlete is ready to go for a change and it is based on pre-workout testing.
Block periodization: It Is that periodization stage When you seek quality and want to put special emphasis on particular training for 2 to 4 weeks.
For example, if a bodybuilder especially wants to put more focus on quadriceps muscles, he should do squats and leg presses at least 3 times a week unless he is able to get quality muscles.
Linear Programing is The Best Periodization Method
Linear programming would be the best choice for bodybuilders to work on his physique throughout the year by following foundational, hypertrophy, cutting, and deload phase. This training starts from a higher number of repetitions with low intensity and gradually intensity increase when bodybuilder needs to work on hypertrophy. We all know exercise is all about mind and body relationship if you keep repeating the same thing over the years, you can’t get the desired results. In reality, you get bored by doing the same thing. So, this programming is best suited to bodybuilders because exercise keeps changing constantly in each mesocycle in terms of repetitions, volume, and intensity. For example, in the foundational phase, the volume and intensity will be different than the bulking, or deload phase.
This approach is actually helpful for a bodybuilder to work on different areas such as strength, muscle size, power, symmetry and the most important relaxing the body. Actually, he can concentrate very well when he gives proper time to all his muscles by following this approach. it’ shouldn’t be like that he keeps working on strength for 6 months, and neglect cutting phase or give less time to this phase. So, if he divides the whole training into smaller phases it will eventually maximize his performance.