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Understanding Periodization

Understanding Periodization

By Jason Tremblay PFT Certificate Program

 

Periodization can be defined as the systematic manipulation of training variables to elicit specific adaptations. The purpose of this article is to help you understand how to structure your training to maximize gains for whatever your goals may be. Let us start at the most basic level, understanding the cycles of periodization:

 

Microcycle – training phase that lasts 1 – 2 weeks.

Mesocycle – a summation of various microcycles, usually lasts 4 – 6 weeks.

Macrocycle – a summation of microcycles and mesocycles that lasts 1 – 4 years.

 

Now lets look at the various types of macrocycle structures:

 

“Mono”cycle – 1 major competitive period.

“Bi”cycle – 2 major competitive periods.

“Tri”cycle – 3 major competitive periods.

 

During these competitive periods the goal is to have the athlete “peak” for competition. Peaking is defined as, “the absolute zenith of competitive condition achieved by an athlete”. To peak for a competitive period, training phases need to be planned to allow the athlete to peak physically, mentally, technically and tactically for the date(s) of competition.

 

Next lets examine the acute training variables so you can start to identify the rationale behind certain training phases.

 

Choice of Exercise:

  • Depends on demands of sport or goals.
  • What equipment is available?
  • Primary exercises vs Assistance exercises.
  • Primary exercises should be multi-joint, transferability to sport.
  • Assistance exercises normally isolation movements.
  • Does the benefit outweigh the risk?
  • Is there a more efficient movement towards the goal?

 

Order of Exercise:

  • Compound before Isolation.
  • Exercises that require highest amount of coordination first.
  • Depends on demands of sport or goals.
  • Most intense to least intense movements.

 

Number of Sets, Reps and Set Structure:

  • Multiple set approach more beneficial.
  • Single set approach works well for beginners.
  • Depending on type of training total number of sets can vary from 10 – 40.
  • Cluster training? Dropsets? Forced Reps? Negatives? They all have their place.

 

Tempo:

  • Manipulated at submaximal loads.
  • Important for Hypertrophy, can control time under tension.
  • Ability to control which contractile phases are being trained (Isometric, Concentric, Eccentric).
  • Directly proportional to % of 1RM.
  • Longer reps can be used to enhance strength and size gains, not thoroughly researched but research is positive.

 

Rest:

  • Depends on current phase of training.
  • Maximum Strength 3 – 5 minutes for ATP-PC repletion and CNS recovery.
  • Power 3 – 5 minutes for ATP-PC repletion and CNS recovery, 4 minutes for lactate removal if higher rep submaximal power being trained.
  • Muscular Endurance 30 – 60 seconds, want fatigue and its byproducts to enhance tolerance and clearance ability.
  • Hypertrophy 1 – 2 min, lower rest times as well as higher reps increases lactate buildup. Strong relationship between lactate levels and levels of GH and Testosterone are associated with a higher anabolic response.

 

Load:

  • Intensity of exercise dependent on training phase
  • Intensity is inversely proportional to repetitions performed.
  • Intensity of load dictates how much or how little CNS is fatigued. Important concept for periodization.
  • Strength 85% 1RM or greater
  • Power 75 – 85% 1RM multi-effort and 80 – 90% 1RM single-effort
  • Hypertrophy 67 – 85% of 1RM
  • Muscular Endurance Less than 67% of 1RM

 

Training Frequency (not considered acute programming variable but important)

  • How many times per week can you train?
  • Study was done doing same amount of volume on a body part in one workout, or dividing the same amount of volume across 3 separate workouts. Splitting training up works best.3
  • Skill based movements can be trained daily.
  • What phase of training are you in?

 

Now that you understand some basic programming considerations, lets examine some basic guidelines on the 4 main foundational phases of training:

 

Variable Strength Power Hypertrophy Endurance
Load (% of 1RM) 80 – 100 70 – 100 60  – 80 40 – 60
Repetitions per set 1 – 5 1- 5 8 – 15 25 – 60
Sets per exercise 4 – 7 3 – 5 4 – 8 2 – 4
Rest between sets (mins) 2 – 6 2 – 6 2 – 5  1 – 2
Duration (secs per set) 5 – 10 4 – 8 20 – 60 80 – 150
Speed per rep (% of max) 60 – 100% 90 – 100% 60 – 90% 6 – 80%
Training sessions per week 3 – 6 3 – 6 5 – 7 8 – 14

 Adopted from Supertraining.

 

Okay so by now you should understand at a very basic level why these guidelines exist, and how to create programs for strength, power, hypertrophy and endurance. This is the foundation of periodization, knowing how to create a program that will elicit specific adaptations. Now we can start to look at what happens to the body during training by examining a theoretical fatigue curve.

 

Heavy resistance training without adequate recovery time results in progressive fatigue (depletion) of the central nervous system. Now on an acute basis this is not a bad thing, depletion actually creates a stimulus for supercompensation. However, if progressive fatigue keeps occurring without adequate recovery time, overreaching or overtraining will occur.  This is why periodization is so important for safety as well as for maximizing performance. Without any plans for stress management (regeneration microcycles) you can chronically mess yourself up with overtraining.

 

To plan training phases its quite simple, what is your goal? If you are a speed athlete you should allocate more training phases (mesocycles) to power, speed and strength phases. If you are a bodybuilder you should allocate mesocycles to hypertrophy, strength and endurance.  There is no perfect way to organize training phases, there are pros and cons to each periodization system. Even though there have been incredible advances in sports science over the last 3 decades, there is still no 100% right way to train.  Don’t make the mistakes of failing to plan, create a periodization model, play around with training variables in your programs, and most importantly find out what works best for you.

 

Did you like the article? Did you hate the article? Send me an email TheStrengthGuys@Gmail.Com or you can follow me on Twitter @TheStrengthGuys

 

 

References

1. Candow, DG. Burke, DG. (2007) Effect of short-term equal-volume resistance training with different workout frequency on muscle mass and strength in untrained men and women. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

2. Comfort P, Haigh A, Matthews MJ. (2012) Are Changes in Maximal Squat Strength During Preseason Training Reflected in Changes in Sprint Performance in Rugby League Players? Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

3. Bompa, Tudor. Haff, Gregory. (2009) Periodization 5th edition.

4. McArdle, William. Katch, Frank., Katch, Victor. (2008) Exercise Physiology 7th edition.

5. McLester, John R. JR.; Bishop, E; Guillams, M. E. (2000). Comparison of 1 Day and 3 Days Per Week of Equal-Volume Resistance Training in Experienced Subjects. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.

6. Siff, Mel. (2004). Supertraining.

7. Souster, Mike. (2011). Periodization.

8. Stopanni, Jim. (2006). Encyclopedia of Muscle & Strength.

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Abdominal Training V2.0

6 Pack Ab Training V2.0

Like I mentioned in my last post, we are coming up on the 1 year anniversary of the Hunt-Fitness website. In honor of the 1 year anniversary I decided to create a remake of the first article that generated a lot of interest here on the blog. In May of last year “Secret to Six Pack Abs” was published and quickly became a hit. I was not surprised by this as abdominal training is one of the most popular topics in the fitness industry.

Although both “Secret to Six Pack Abs” and “Version 2.0” share many of the same characteristics, I have added a few features that will really amplify your RESULTS! In the Secret to Six Pack Abs blog I mentioned how important it is to train all four sections of the abdominals: upper, lower, obliques, and core. That fact has not changed however; this time around we are going to take it a step further. Not only are we going to train all 4 sections of the abdominals, but we are going to incorporate MORE stabilization techniques as well. When thinking about abdominal training two exercises normally come to mind, sit-ups and crunches. As many of my readers know (yes most of you are more educated on exercise than the general public) those are not the only two exercises to work your abs and not the two most effective either. The real keys to developing strong and muscular abs that create the coveted six pack that everyone wants is a combination of stabilization, added resistance and increased intensity.

Pure stabilization in reference to ab training is the ability to keep your back/spine aligned in a straight path. Basically the only real way to accomplish that is to perform a version of the plank. To make things more versatile and challenging we are going to incorporate both a regular plank and side plank along with progression techniques to up the intensity. There is also Dynamic Stabilization. This refers to the ability to stabilize the core while in motion. This opens up endless opportunities for exercises to be performed.

To go along with both pure and dynamic stabilization the ab workout is going to include direct ab work as well. The only difference here is going to be the use of added resistance along with intensity principles. Why is it that you see people do all kinds of intensity principles on muscle groups like chest and biceps but none on abs? The abdominals are like any other muscle and require a progressive resistance approach along with added intensity. Most people when it comes to ab training just increase volume to create a progressive overload. When just increasing volume to create a progression it becomes very easy to go through the motions and limit the intensity of the workout.

This ab workout is only to be done ONCE per week. I suggest training your core 2-3 times per week so for the other sessions do a workout similar to the one described in the “Six Pack Abs blog”.

6 Pack Abs Workout V2.0

–          Each circuit is to be performed with no rest in between exercises.

 

Sample Workout

Circuit #1 (pure stabilization) – 1 rotation through circuit

–          Plank hold for                                             60-90 seconds

–          Side plank hold for                                    45-60 seconds (each side)

–          Feet elevated plank hold for                 60-90 seconds

–          Feet elevated side plank hold for       45-60 seconds (each side)

Circuit # 2 (dynamic stabilization) – 2 rotations through circuit

–          Exercise ball knee tucks                         15-25 reps

–          Barbell roll outs                                          15-20 reps

–          Elevated side plank bends                      12-15 reps (each side)

–          Exercise ball mountain climbers         25-50 reps (each side)

Circuit # 3 (Direct ab work) – 2 rotations through circuit

– Kettlebell double crunch                  15-20 reps       *continuation set with…

– Kettlebell crunches                  10-15 reps       *continuation set with…

– Crunches                                        5-10 reps

– Hanging leg raises                                15-20 reps       *drop set with…

– Hanging knee raises               10-15 reps

– Weighted rotation on ball                   15-20 reps       * set with…

– Rotation crunches on ball        10-15 reps (each side)

*Bonus exercise to preform at the end…

– Turkish get up ladder                       5,4,3,2,1 (each side)

Note: Turkish get ups work the abs because the center of gravity is offset which causes your core to engage through the entire movement.

Try this Ab workout a shot and see if you see any noticeable changes in your physique.

As always I can be reached at Huntfitness@aol.com. If you have any questions regarding this workout or if you are interested in getting a custom workout or nutrition plan feel free to get a hold of me. I look forward to hearing from you!

Kyle Hunt

“One Dream, One Reality”

-Hunt Fitness

One Year Later

One Year Later…..Where have the blog articles been???

 

            As many of you know Hunt Fitness started right here on the Blog and eventually transitioned into what it is today. The first time the name came about was when I created a Word press account under the name “Hunt Fitness”, that was a little over 14 months ago. Here we are on the last day of July and I realized we are coming up on another milestone. August 28th will mark 1 year since the official Hunt Fitness website went live. I am proud to say the website as a whole has grown quite a bit over the last year. There is still a long way to go and hopefully it never becomes stagnate and always keeps improving. That’s something I think we all should think about for a moment. In life and especially in health and fitness, it’s not where you start but where you finish. Let that be a constant reminder to work harder everyday in every aspect of your life, it is rewarding to look back at how far you have come.

            It has been a long time since I have written a blog article.  There are two plausible explanations for this: For one, I just plain forget about it. It’s true with all that I have going on in conjunction with the website the blog sometime gets overshadowed. That is a shame because I really enjoy writing and keeping up to date articles available. Secondly, my time gets divided differently now than when I first started Hunt Fitness. In the beginning most of my time was spent writing articles and posting on the facebook page and trying to get the name out there. Don’t get me wrong, I still spend a great deal of energy and focus on marketing but now my time is better spent focusing on my clients. I love it! Team Hunt Fitness is growing every day.

            I woke up on this Sunday with a focus. I want to get back to writing more articles. I want to build the Hunt Fitness Blog into a place where people can go to get quality information that will help them reach their goals. And in the end that’s what it is all about, helping people reach their goals! I am going to be incorporating scientifically backed information (no B.S) along with my opinions and views on a number of topics. You can go anywhere to get information but you can only come here to get my personal perspective. (For the most part anyway, I can be found on other pages throughout the web). So look forward to more articles on training, nutrition, supplementation, and more.

            This quick blog post was just to let everyone know the blog is still here and can be found right on the website (www.hunt-fitness.com) at the top under “Blog”.  

                In conclusion I just want to thank everyone who has supported Hunt Fitness over that last year! I greatly appreciate it. I want us all to come together and strive for more success in years to come.

As always I can be contacted at huntfitness@aol.com

Thank you,

Kyle Hunt

 

Off Season Wrestling Training Program

Hunt Fitness Offseason Wrestling Workout

The offseason program is designed to build strength, add lean muscle and improve upon the athletes conditioning. The bulk of the program is going to be built around basic compound movements because they are the best for developing both muscle and strength. The offseason training program is broken down into two six-week phases.

Phase one is called “Basic Strength and Hypertrophy”. The beginning phase is to get the athletes used to resistance training and to prepare them for the more advance training to come in phase two. In phase one the emphasis is on learning the movements and building a base to work with. Phase two is where the priority shifts to performance and sports specific training.

Phase two is called “Maximum Strength and Power”. As the title suggests this phase is designed to get the athletes stronger and more explosive. A focus is put on constant improvement and performance in this phase. Having the team work together or athletes budding up in this phase can be very beneficial to promote competition. Muscular endurance and sport specific training will be added into this phase as well.

The aerobic conditioning is going to come from a mix of lower and higher intensity training throughout both phases.

The use of plyometrics is going to be incorporated into both phases of the training program.

Phase 1: Basic Strength and Hypertrophy

Weeks 1-6

Warm up – Fast walk or jog for 5 to 10 minutes followed by a series of dynamic stretches. Do this before every workout, mon-fri.  (Same every day)

            Dynamic stretching–  Arm circles 20 each direction, Arm swings 20, Side bends 20 each side, Lying scorpions 10 per leg, 10 Deep lunges, High knees across gym floor, “Butt- kicks” across gym floor, Straight legs across gym floor. More can be added to this.

Cool down– Light walk for 5 minutes to help remove lactic acid build up followed by static stretches. Do this after every workout.

Static stretching–  is to be done after the workout because research has shown that static stretching reduces strength if done before the workout and has tremendous recovery benefits if done following the workout. For each day do static stretching for the muscle group that was worked. For example on leg day focus on leg stretches and on chest day focus on chest stretches. Only stretch to a point of mild to moderate discomfort and hold it for 15 to 20 seconds.

Cardio- After the resistance training sessions on Mon, Wed, Fri. – Do 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio. Examples include jogging, biking, elliptical, stationary bike, treadmill. Hear rate should be around 60-75 percent of max. High intensity cardio on Tuesdays and Thursdays combined with plyometrics.

 

Training Program:     

Monday– Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, abs

  1. Barbell Bench Press 4 sets 6-8 reps
  2. Incline Dumbell Press 4 sets 6-8 reps
  3. Barbell Military Press 4 sets 6-8 reps
  4. Barbell Upright Row 3 sets 6-8 reps
  5. Lying Triceps Extensions 3 sets 6-8 reps
  6. Cable Triceps Press down 3 sets 8-12 reps
  7. Weighted crunches 2 sets 15-20 reps
  8. Hanging knee raises 2 sets 15-20 reps
  9. Twisting medicine ball crunch 2 sets 15-20 reps
  10.  Plank holds 2 sets 60 sec

*30-45 minutes of cardio

Tuesday– Lower Body Plyometrics and High Intensity Cardio

*Same warm up every day.

Lower Body Plyometrics Workout

  • Bodyweight lunge: Perform a lunge one leg at a time. Keep your back straight and make sure the knee is in line with your ankle. 3 sets 20-25 reps
  • Squat Jumps: stand with your legs open at a shoulder width stance. Go down to a squat position and jump up in a fast and explosive manner. Perform each repetition without stopping. 3 sets 15-20 reps.
  • Side to Side Hop:   Stand in the same position then jump to one side and land on foot then jump to then next side and land on the other foot. Pretend like you are a speed skater and you get the idea of how to do it. 3 sets 15-20 reps
  • Standing Jump and Reach: Stand in the same position and in front of a wall or a basketball rim. Raise your arms up and jump as high as possible. With each jump try to reach the highest point on a wall. 3 sets 10-15 reps.

High Intensity Cardio

–          Light jog for 5 minutes

–          5 x 50 yard sprints (90 seconds rest in between sprints )

–          Light jog for 5 minutes

           

Wednesday– Back, Biceps, Forearms, Traps, abs

  1. Deadlifts 4 sets 6-8 reps
  2. Barbell Rows 3 sets 6-8 reps
  3. Lat Pulldown 3 sets 8-12 reps
  4. Barbell Curl 3 sets 6-8 reps
  5. E-Z Bar Reverse Curl 3 sets 6-8 reps
  6. Wrist Roller 3 sets 8-12 reps
  7. Barbell Shrug 3 sets 6-8 reps
  8. Machine crunches 2 sets 15-20 reps
  9. Bicycle crunches 2 sets 15-20 reps
  10. Leg lifts 2 sets 45-60 sec holds
  11. Side plank 2 sets 45-60 sec holds

*30-45 minutes cardio

Thursday– Upper body plyometrics and High Intensity Cardio

Upper Body Plyometrics Workout

  • Plyometric pushup: Perform a push up but explode up so your hands come off the ground. 3 sets 15-20 reps
  • Overhead throw: Using a medicine ball, stand about 10 feet in front of a wall. Pull the medicine ball over your head and forcefully throw it into the wall and catch it on the rebound. 3 sets 15-20 reps.
  • Medicine ball slam:  Using a medicine ball thrown the ball onto the ground as forcefully as possible. 3 sets 15-20 reps
  • Squat throws: Holding a medicine ball, squat down and throw the ball into the air as you come up. 3 sets 10-15 reps.

High Intensity Cardio

–          Light jog for 5 minutes

–          5 x 50 yard sprints (90 seconds rest in between sprints)

–          Light jog for 5 minutes

Friday– Legs, Calves

  1. Barbell Squats 4 sets 6-8 reps
  2. Leg Press 3 sets 6-8 reps
  3. Walking Dumbell Lunges 3 sets 6-8 reps
  4. Leg Extensions 3 sets 8-12 reps
  5. Lying or seated Leg Curls 3 sets 8-12 reps
  6. Standing Calf Raises 3 sets 8-12 reps
  7. Seated Calf Raises 3 sets 8-12 reps

*30-45 minutes of cardio

Weekends- No scheduled training session. Rest up for next week

 

Phase 2: Maximum Strength and Power

Weeks 7-12

Note: Same warm up, dynamic stretching, cool down, static stretching and cardio as phase 1.

Warm up – Fast walk or jog for 5 to 10 minutes followed by a series of dynamic stretches. Do this before every workout, mon-fri.  (Same every day)

Dynamic stretching–  Arm circles 20 each direction, Arm swings 20, Side bends 20 each side, Lying scorpions 10 per leg, 10 Deep lunges, High knees across gym floor, “Butt- kicks” across gym floor, Straight legs across gym floor. More can be added to this.

Cool down– Light walk for 5 minutes to help remove lactic acid build up followed by static stretches. Do this after every workout.

Static stretching–  is to be done after the workout because research has shown that static stretching reduces strength if done before the workout and has tremendous recovery benefits if done following the workout. For each day do static stretching for the muscle group that was worked. For example on leg day focus on leg stretches and on chest day focus on chest stretches. Only stretch to a point of mild to moderate discomfort and hold it for 15 to 20 seconds.

Cardio- After the resistance training sessions on Mon, Wed, Fri. – Do 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio. Examples include jogging, biking, elliptical, stationary bike, treadmill. Hear rate should be around 60-75 percent of max. High intensity cardio on Tuesdays and Thursdays combined with plyometrics.

 

Phase 2 of the workout Program is located on my new website. 

Click the Link below to check it out

http://www.kylehuntfitness.com/off-season-wrestling-training-program/

 

Periodization

Periodization can be defined as a training program that is divided into separate time frames referred to as “macrocycles”, “mesocycles”, and “microcycles”. The training cycles change after a designated amount of time thus creating a new stimulus to the body. This style of training is becoming increasingly popular in the general public however athletes have been training this way for years.

Periodization offers many different benefits to the trainee that standard training programs do not. Everyone can benefit from using a periodized plan. For one, using a periodized plan allows for the body to develop in a progressive manor without reaching a plateau as easily. The changing cycles crete a different stimulous that act like steping stones to progress.  Secondly, periodization allows for the trainee to peak for a special event or a specific time. This is important because it is impossible to maintain optimum physical shape all year long. This fact is why periodization is so benefitial to the athlete that need to be at their best for a specific event as a powerlifter or strongman would. Lastly, using a periodized plan keeps the workouts fresh and interesting. Since the routine keeps changing it prevents the client from becoming bored.

Periodization can be used in any number of different ways. One way to use periodization is to use the law of overcompensation and overload. To make progress, ones training must progressively increase over time. This method of periodization can be done a number of different ways by changing up either the amount of sets, reps, exercises or intensity of the training. Another way to use periodization is through the GAS principle. A high level athlete must train at a very high intensity which requires ample time for recovery. The GAS principle rotates periods of high intensity with periods of lower intensity. Another way to use periodization is to train for a specific event. A powerlifter will use a periodized plan when getting ready for a competition. They might start out doing 4-6 reps during training and by the end they will be completing only 1 or 2 per lift. Periodization techniques are important for a trainer to understand and implement with their clients. It not only keeps the trainee making progress but it keeps them interested in the training as well.

Until next time I’m O-U-T!

Kyle Hunt

Be sure to join the Hunt Fitness Forum!

Importance of Stretching

 Importance of Stretching

By: Richard Sirianni

Many forget about the importance of stretching or are too tired or lazy to do it prior to or after their workouts. We allow ourselves to not realize the full potential of stretching. For nothing else, it can improve strength by getting the muscles loosened and an increase in nutrient supply to the stretched area. This allows for quicker healing and greater muscle growth. The faster we deliver nutrients into the torn muscle fibers, the faster they heal and cause less soreness. Moving the lactic acid from our muscles into the bloodstream allows for this (lactic acid) to be excreted from our bodies and water, minerals, nutrients to occupy that space that lactic acid occupied. Thus stimulating more growth in our muscle fibers,

On a functional side, stretching helps prevent injury in sports and out everyday lives. I found this out the hard way. I have been training bodybuilding style for 4 years. I have had low back pains from herniated disc when I was 17. I always chalked all pain in that region to my injury. Recently I have been seeing a long term care chiropractor to help with some pain. Mid September 2010, I had such intense cramping in my lower back, hips, and oblique’s of my right side. The problem was the damage from my injury caused me to compensate my weight to my left side to alleviate my pain. I believed I had slipped a disc with the amount of pain I was in. Come to find out, my psoas muscle (internal obliques) cramped and spasmed, without letting go for 3 days. I began a rigorous stretching regiment and within a week the spasms and cramping had relinquished themselves and my everyday back pain also was gone. I now incorporate stretching into my pre-workout home routine. That way when I get to the gym I’m ready to wage war on my body.

For prevention of injuries we look for two types of stretching, static and dynamic. Static stretching is an older method in which you reach to a point of tension and hold that for a designated count. The more preferred method is dynamic stretching. This involves extending and retracting our stretch with our breath. This allows the body to slowly reach a point further into your stretch, but is not forced by anything more than ourselves. A simple example is the unweighted walking lunge. The walking lunge stretches the hip flexors/extensors, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

I found out the hard way the importance of stretching, and I write this to inform us all that we need to stretch. It promotes better health, prevents some injury, and can lead to greater muscle growth. Even if you’re not into bodybuilding, it still can help our everyday life with a better posture and in turn can a better life.

“One Dream, One Reality”