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Bodybuilding Periodization: Part 1 Bodybuilding Periodization: Part 1!
Where Science Meets Muscle!
By: Luis Berrios
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Periodization For Bodybuilding: Part 1!

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Bodybuilding Periodization is the method of alternating your workout intensity between high and low cycles for maximum gains!

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Periodization refers to introducing variety into your workouts by means of reps, sets, rest periods, tempo, intensity, super-sets, eccentric training, etc. The variety is contained in "cycles", usually 1-2 months each.

Why periodize? Periodization helps to keep your body stimulated and prevent injury while lifting weights. This is one of the most important concepts of bodybuilding. You can increase your strength and muscularity consistently, but your body's tolerance to high intensity exercise does not increase as easily. You cannot continually put the body through a high amount of stress from training without it eventually burning out. Working out at the same high intensity will result in overtraining.

Periodization is the method of alternating your workout intensity between high and low cycles for maximum gains. The low intensity cycle allows your nervous system and immune system to recover from the stresses of the high intensity training. You'll find that your strength will increase after a low cycle and you'll be able to reach a new level of intensity when you hit the high cycle. Plan your program to include this periodization technique for consistent gains and discipline yourself to stick to it because it works!

Heavy Light
Day 1 Legs Day 2 Chest & Shoulders
Day 3 Back Day 4 Arms
Day 5 Rest Day Day 6 Legs
Day 7 Chest & Shoulders Day 8 Back
Day 9 Arms Day 10 Rest Day

For the HEAVY sets use weight you can handle for 8 reps, and for the LIGHT sets use 75% of that weight and shorten rest time between sets. After a warm up set do 2 exercises for each bodypart: one compound and one isolation and 3 sets per exercise. As your strength increases and you can perform 12 reps on the heavy day, add no more than 5 lbs to take you down to 8 reps and start building up to 12 again.

Don't do a heavy day if your muscles still hurt, just take an extra day off or you'll burn out. When you get to a point where you can no longer add weight, stop the above light/heavy cycle and do very light (50% of normal weight) sets for 10 days. Then begin the light/heavy cycle slightly below where you left off.

Here Is Another Workout
Putting The Periodization Techniques In Play

Day 1

Bench - 3x12
Barbell Curls - 3x12
Incline Press - 3x10
Dumbbell Curls - 3x10
Dumbbell Press - 3x10
Seated Hammer Curls - 3x10
Dumbbell Flyes - 3x12

Day 2

Squat - 3x12
Deadlift - 3x12
Lunges - 3x12
Calf Raises - 3x12
Leg Press - 3x12

Day 3

Military Press - 3x12
Close Grip Bench Press - 3x10
Lat Raises - 3x10
Tricep Pressdown - 3x12
Front Raises - 3x10
Tricep Extensions - 3x10
Reverse Flyes - 3x10

Day 4

Same as day 1

Day 5

Squat - 3x12
Stiff-leg Deadlift - 3x10
Leg Curls - 3x12
Calf Raises - 3x12
Leg Extensions - 3x12

Day 6

Same as Day 3

Day 7


Repeat week one on week 2. After two weeks, decrease to 8 and 10 reps in each exercise, and add a sufficient amount of weight so that you reach or almost reach failure on the last set of each exercise. Stay at the same number of reps for two weeks, and try to increase the weight by at least 5% each week. At week 7, even out the number of reps for all the exercises. Those exercises that started at 10 reps should stay at last week's reps for another 2 weeks, but keep increasing the weight if you can.

Starting at week 11, decrease the reps from the previous week by 1, and really try to increase the weight, you can add some heavy negatives (no more than 3 per set, and 2 sets per exercise). You should take at least another 4-7 days off before you begin the next routine. You may be overtrained after this routine, so be sure to get enough sleep, and proper nutrition while you recover.

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