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Thread: Weekly Discussion Thread #4

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    Administrator. Graeme

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    Default Weekly Discussion Thread #4

    This weeks topic: Periodization!
    What do you use?
    What program are you running?
    What is your experience with program writing?
    What are your thoughts on the various types of periodization?
    What do you think most people do wrong in creating a periodized program?





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    YOLO Kunce Jungnaut has made a donation to the forum!

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    I don't think there's enough ladies in here to talk about this subject.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jungnaut View Post
    I don't think there's enough ladies in here to talk about this subject.
    Lol.


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    This is a worthwhile topic. Speak people. I autoregulate but yearn for a more formal structure.
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    Although I speak from the perspective of a non-achiever, as I was crudely reminded by AusBB's greatest CT, I do mini three week cycles.

    Culminating in flat out session on 3rd week, I mix up weekly session with medium to moderately heavy sessions before doing a light session prior to flat out one in 3rd week.

    I find this approach keeps me near my peak, albeit a very low one (thanks CT), but allow for six medium intensity sessions for each muscle group, where I believe I get most benefit given my preference for moderate weights with short rests.
    I can't wait for Kevin Aitken to join World Powerlifting.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    This weeks topic: Periodization!
    What do you use?
    What program are you running?
    What is your experience with program writing?
    What are your thoughts on the various types of periodization?
    What do you think most people do wrong in creating a periodized program?
    We typically talk about 3 main types of periodisation. When you peel back the cool names and the cool aide, they're really just:

    - Direct progressive overload.
    - Progressive overload in different intensities, rep ranges, speeds, etc.
    - Progressive overload in different exercise variations.

    I use all of the above. If we want to get better, we want direct progressive overload to happen over time. We want to be able to do more of something.

    Bodybuilding is generally aligned with doing lots of different exercises and progressing them in different rep ranges to optimise the amount of muscular overload, so that's generally quite friendly towards the second two forms of periodisation. In powerlifting, because the lifts are an end to themselves, people sometimes need a bit more convincing.

    If we were to go truly minimalist on powerlifting, we'd only practice heavy singles of squats, bench press and deadlifts. If we were blindly committed to progressive overload, we'd even require a PB every time we train, because decreasing the weight is the opposite of direct progressive overload. If our only option was direct progressive overload, we could never go backwards. Everyone who's not a complete beginner knows that this is a bad idea.

    If we back off a bit, then, and do lighter singles, we're actually deviating from direct progressive overload. We might now be aiming to progress in a different intensity. Having done this, we might also be able to move faster. We might also be able to do more reps, and replace our singles with doubles or triples (or even higher reps as we back off the intensity). Now that we're playing with more variables, we're making it easier to progress in multiple rep ranges, speeds etc, which we manipulate to make our 1RM also improve over time.

    We'll also have weak points that need different exercises to improve upon. Suddenly we find ourselves doing two or three different squat, press and hinge variations and progressing all of them. And as we improve in lifts that aren't our competition lifts, if used properly, it gives us more muscle mass and skill to lift with. We also add exercises to prevent injuries and imbalances, which allow us to make more progress on the competition lifts for longer. And as we overcome certain weaknesses, we find ourselves needing a different variety of exercises to overcome new obstacles. Or we become so proficient in the current exercises that they grant us access to more specialised variations that can help us even more.

    Areas where people tend to go wrong:

    - Thinking that there's one best way to periodise.
    - Not being mindful of the details. What you do this week is intended to prepare you for what you will be doing next week. It also needs to be grounded in what you are already able to do, as of last week. You need to be forward-thinking with the intent of each workout, and backward-thinking with the context of each workout.
    - Getting either too caught up in the details. Paradoxically, people who are too focused on the details will end up unable to deal with the variables of daily life. If you're having a particularly good day, it may be worth going above and beyond where you should be on paper. If you're having a particularly bad day, trying to make the exact prescribed sets, reps and intensities happen is how you do serious damage to yourself.
    - Changing things for the sake of changing things. This can be fun, and keeping things fun will keep you training (the best program is the one you'll actually do). But fun should really be built into it, rather than something done that distracts you from the goal.

    My own experience with educated program writing is about 7 years. I started this in 2008. I first started letting trainers do programming for me back in 2004, and around 2006 I started thinking I could do my own programming. My body hasn't gotten over some of the harm I caused myself. In 2008 I started studying fitness at TAFE. We can all laugh at how bad TAFE PT's typically are, but the information I took away from that time has been priceless. I had a lot to learn after graduating, of course, and how I coach, train and program is vastly different to what it was back then (which is good news, because I shake my head at a lot of the stuff I did back then). But even after all these years, it's less different than how I tried programming, coaching and training beforehand.
    SQ 172.5kg BP 102.5kg DL 200kg OHP 62.5kg


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    Punxsutawney resident

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    Has anyone employed undulating periodisation? Did you find it effective? How much variance did you use in your rep schemes?
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    For most people undulating periodisation could be also called spinning your wheels for years on end.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Repacked View Post
    Has anyone employed undulating periodisation? Did you find it effective? How much variance did you use in your rep schemes?
    Undulating periodisation, AKA "heavy day/light day." So long as I replace the reduced weight with more of something else (more reps, more speed, more sets, more technical difficulty etc), I find it works. I don't have a strict means of varying intensity and all the other factors, but if I'm using the exact same exercise, the lighter day will typically be about 10% less weight than the heavier day. Having said that, I'm just as likely to use a different variation of the lift that requires a lighter weight anyway (eg low bar squat on heavy day, high bar on light day) and adjust accordingly.
    SQ 172.5kg BP 102.5kg DL 200kg OHP 62.5kg


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