Priodization Training Program for Bodybuilding

We are all driven by passion, pain and the sweat of accomplishment in anything. From a training session at your local gym to becoming CEO of your company, it all revolves around planning for success. All of the top bodybuilders plan their workouts in phases.

Periodization is the heart of bodybuilding. Without changing your cycle, you are currently doing you will start hitting a training plateau or you will stop growing muscle. Sports science has proved conclusively that the best way to keep gaining muscle after the first few months of training is periodization.

All professional athletes train using periodization, usually lasting between 4 or 6 phases of 12 weeks. Each phase will have its own very specific and unique goal, or objective. Building muscle simply cannot be maintained without periodization. Progressive resistance cannot be permanently sustained, your body stops adapting when it is fully adapted to the cycle and weights you're training with.

The concept of periodization is not complicated. As soon as you start to feel stale when you get halfway through your routine, you need to change what you're doing. The objective of switching focus in this way will add new stimulation that will stimulate a new set of these constantly changing adaptations.

If each phase is 12 weeks you then need to change your objective or specific goal for that phase. Changing your style of training takes practice but you've got 12 weeks to sort it out. The result is more often than not the shattering of previous plateaus. Below is a typical periodization cycle for a year with 3 phases of 4 months each.

Phase 1: 4 Months Bulking and Building Muscle

Training the Big Four compound lifts plus some Olympic lifts if you still have anything left. Start light but the objective is hard and heavy increasing the weights, you need to eat extra good quality calories using whey and casein proteins. Always ensure good rest and recovery, recuperation is key to the process.

Phase 2: 4 Months Cutting and Losing Fat

The specific objective of phase 2 is to maintain your current lean body mass while you lose fat. Your training would now incorporate dumbbells and machines to help stimulate all the muscles you have built, but from a different angle. When training with high intensity you should always try to reduce the rest time between sets. You need to increase both the reps and the volume you use in phase 2.

You need to reduce your carb intake by 400 or 500 calories, eliminate all simple carbs. It is strongly recommended that while you are increasing the volume, you also put some time aside for 30 minutes of cardio two or three times a week.

Phase 3: 4 Months Active Recovery and Functional Strength

In this last phase of the year you want to still be gaining muscle but at a slower rate than phase 1. Select the movements you prefer and mix it up with half reps, negatives and quick explosive reps help to stimulate all the muscle fibers left that have not been fully utilized.

This is a good time to concentrate on any lagging body-parts that you need to deal with. You should select your rep range and your intensity to suit your objective. Doing a moderate amount of cardio will also help you keep your body-fat down. Phase 3 is also a good time to take a complete break from training and do a week or two of flexibility, calisthenics and/or bodyweight exercises or swimming. You would use this phase to experiment with new movements using new techniques or different protocols you may implement in the future.

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