Periodization

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    Periodization


    Hi everyone, I can use some advice about my training.

    I use weights 3 times per week. Example:
    day 1: flat bench, barbell row, bicep curls
    Day 2: squats, straight legged dealifts, barbell shrugs
    day 3: weighted situps, CGBP, overhead press

    I typically do a total of 4 sets per exercise, so 12 ste sper workout. Each week I aim to do eitehr more reps or more weight. The progress is usually very good ie, 2 reps per week, adding 5 more lbs every 2 weeks or so.

    Now for the periodization...

    After about 12 or so weeks, each exercise will eventually stop gaining. Ven if I switch it up by doing very light weight, it will stop gaining anything. QWHat I then do is switch the exercise. Ie, when my flat bgvench platueas, I will switch to incline bench. The gains will come, and then stop again. I will then switch to decline bench etc.

    If I attmep[t to go back to flat bench too soon, it will still be plateaued. I need to typically wait alkmost a year for the orignal exercise to keep gaining again.

    Is this normal? Is there a way to make it so that I gain on all exerfcdises all teh way till I hit my genetic limit?

    Everyone aorund me who works out (and are farily suucessful at it) do not periodize liek this. They doi no form of periopdization and can keep dpoing teh same exercise for years. Ie they can go from benching 100lbs to 300lbs within 4 years and have never switched exercises, rep schemes, etc.

    WHats the deal here?

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    You can't gain forever, plateaus are inevitable. That's why it's good to occasionally switch routine or vary the intensity.

    There are several different options:

    You can utilize planned deloads, Wendler's 5 3 1 for example has you deload every 4th week for active recovery, and DC has "blasting and cruising" phases. Deloads/cruises are necessary, you have to give your body a break once in a while, like it or not.

    You can do what you call "staggered volume" where you set up different weekly schemes of progression. For example week 1 you hit 5x5 on the squats, and the following week you do 3x10. By doing this you keep things fresh and regulate the intensity since you will be obviously using lighter weights on the higher reps, but at the same time you will still be putting forth the effort.

    You can use a recovery day in your split. Bill Starr/Madcow 5x5s (some of the most famous strength programs ever) and Rippetoe's Texas Method have light days in the middle of the week for the purpose of active recovery. The idea behind this is by hitting submaxmial weights (ie 80% of you normal worksets) you will be pumping blood into the muscles and expedite the recovery process.

    Lastly, you could just look into a proven program like the ones mentioned above that already take this into account. I like how the 5 3 1 has you deload every 4th week, ensuring you stay fresh, and will make gains much more so then continuing to blast away.

    If you have anymore questions bro let me know.
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    You can make gains without having to switch exercises if you do it correctly. You simply can't try to operate at your max (for whatever rep range you are doing) all the time. For instance, if your flat BP stalls, then reset whatever weight you are doing for your sets by decreasing it 15-20% and work your way back up slowly. If you do this, by the time you get back up to where you stalled previously, you should be able to surpass it. You just have to be patient. The workouts will be relatively "easy" when you first reset, but they are still productive. You can't operate at your peak or max all the time.
    Also make sure you diet is in order. If you are restricting your calorie intake too much things will have a tendency to stall sooner.
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    Ok so basically getting is 2 steps forward 1 step back right, and teh 1 stepo back is 10-20% less from my maximal.

    I also failed to mention that I pyramid down. SO I do a warm up set and then I do a max strength set usually consisting ofr 7-10 reps. Then tyhe enxt 2 sets I lower the weight and pump out as mnay reps as I can (usually 10-20 reps)

    WHen I back off 10-15% of the max, does that mean I should back off on teh following sets with teh lower weighhts too or JUST that max set?
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    Quote Originally Posted by rombusempire View Post
    Ok so basically getting is 2 steps forward 1 step back right, and teh 1 stepo back is 10-20% less from my maximal.

    I also failed to mention that I pyramid down. SO I do a warm up set and then I do a max strength set usually consisting ofr 7-10 reps. Then tyhe enxt 2 sets I lower the weight and pump out as mnay reps as I can (usually 10-20 reps)

    WHen I back off 10-15% of the max, does that mean I should back off on teh following sets with teh lower weighhts too or JUST that max set?
    So basically you're saying you hit a back off set after your work set(s)?

    Those are ok from time to time especially when you are feeling good and strong but I wouldn't include them at all times.
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    usually 1 very strong set (utter failuire) then another 2-3 back off sets where I pump out a lot of reps. It burns so bad I have to stop and then I force myself to keep going heh.

    SO i shoudl realy stop doing that so often right
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    Quote Originally Posted by rombusempire View Post
    usually 1 very strong set (utter failuire) then another 2-3 back off sets where I pump out a lot of reps. It burns so bad I have to stop and then I force myself to keep going heh.

    SO i shoudl realy stop doing that so often right
    There's a lot of debate on training to failure and leaving some in the tank. I am neutral in the matter, but I will say this, if you are training to failure I would NOT do those back off sets as you are just eating into your recovery there.

    When training to failure you already exerted 100% effort as is on that set so there's no need to do any more. 1 set to failure per exercise will suffice, or you can do multiple sets leaving a rep or two in the tank with a static weight.
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    ok got it!

    that makes sense. It's all those hardcore bodybuilding training videos I watch of the pros pumping out massive amt of sets. Probably not a good idea for someone on only 250mg of test e
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    Quote Originally Posted by rombusempire View Post
    ok got it!

    that makes sense. It's all those hardcore bodybuilding training videos I watch of the pros pumping out massive amt of sets. Probably not a good idea for someone on only 250mg of test e
    The elimination of those drop sets alone should help in your recovery and enable you to start progressing again. I would just focus on one balls out set to failure per exercise and strive for progression each week in that set by adding a rep or two or a little bit of weight. If progress stalls or you feel burnt out occasionaly, don't be afraid to take a day off every now and then or just go light(er) for some active recovery.
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    will do, thank you!
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    Sounds like you are trying to destroy yourself with every workout, so that's probably a big part of the problem. As you get stronger, you have to choose your battles more carefully. I'm not a big fan of training to utter failure on a regular basis. I've found leaving a couple reps in the tank gets me just as good of results, but is much easier to recover from. Based on your current template, I would just do a top set of 8. Start with a weight that isn't really difficult to get 8 reps, but stop at 8 reps. The next week work up to a weight that is 5 lbs. heavier and do 8 reps again. Keep this pattern up until you can't get 8 reps. After your top set, drop the weight 10-20% and do 2 sets of 10 just to get some extra volume in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rombusempire View Post
    Hi everyone, I can use some advice about my training.
    I highly recommend you read the following:

    Periodization for Bodybuilders - Part I by: Lyle McDonald

    Periodization for Bodybuilders - Part II by: Lyle McDonald

    Periodization for Bodybuilders - Part III by: Lyle McDonald
  

  
 

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