A Simple Breakdown of Periodization

Flexibility → Stability → Strength

This basic concept will save you from a lot of injury. If you don’t have the flexibility to touch your chest to the floor when you do a push up DON’T DO IT! You must work on your flexibility, stretching your chest and shoulders until you gain that range of motion, don’t force it. If you can’t touch your toes don’t do a stiff leg deadlift….you get the idea. The no pain no gain mindset rarely leads to long term success and ultimately leads to injury and burn out. I know first hand.

3 sets of 15–30 reps with 30 seconds rest between sets is a great way to build endurance and a great foundation.

You should work on strength endurance for 4–8 weeks before advancing to functional hypertrophy which will lead to more muscle mass i.e burning more calories per day and looking more “toned” At this point you should also change the exercises you are doing to avoid pattern overload. Simply stated pattern overload can happen when you do the same motion over and over again. Joints can wear out and results can plateau due to the body adapting. So if you were doing db incline bench change to push ups, if you were doing reverse lunges change to side lunges, pull ups, bent over rows….get it?

4–6 sets of 6–12 reps with 45 seconds to a minute rest between sets is the best way to build muscle.

Give that another 4–8 weeks and then it is time to change it up again. Change the exercises and change the sets and reps scheme again. Now here we have a couple choices. You can go into a power phase or you can change the exercises and slightly vary the sets and reps to focus more on strength and less on hypertrophy.

5 sets of 5 reps is generally accepted to be the best blend of strength and hypertrophy (muscle building)

So there you have it. I brief overview of fitness periodization for anyone starting out on their fitness journey. Feel free to reach out to me at john@marathonjohn.com or cruise by my gym in Lafayette for a training session.

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Trainer.Runner.Gentleman Helping people move right and have fun in their strong bodies Play Hard. Rest Hard

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John Gillham

John Gillham

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Trainer.Runner.Gentleman Helping people move right and have fun in their strong bodies Play Hard. Rest Hard