How Periodization Works
Hi, I've been reading your article Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph for a while. I just started doing fitness for 2 months:
3 day workouts: Chest/shoulder/tricep; back/bicep; & legs split. All compound exercises.
I've gained 2 kilograms of weight during this time. I'm limiting the sets to 3 or 4, with rep ranges 6-8. I used machines almost all the time.
I've seen in these latter 3 weeks that I've stopped gaining weight, & I can't lift more than the week before. Did I hit plateau?
I'm switching to dumbbells, or I'm going to try your article listed above, 10-8-6-15. How do I use the weights on the 10-8-6-15?
I know as the set progresses, I accumulate fatigue & lose power. Any recommendations?
Also how do I do periodization. I haven't gotten the grasp of the meaning: The Nuts and Bolts of Program Design.
Thank you for your time reading this.
P.S. I mean for the weight, do I go heavy for the 10-8-6-15, or I will pick moderate weight all the time?
My Answer: For pyramid training, use a weight that allows you to perform the prescribed reps for each set. So the weight will be heavier from set to set until the 4th set, where you must drop the weight to perform 15 reps.
You've hit a plateau, because you've been using the same program over and over for 2 months. At the very least, change to free weight exercises. You will find that you cannot use the same weights on free weights as you did on machines, so use the appropriate weights to accomplish the prescribed reps for each set.
Now if you go with the Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph, then don't worry about periodization. Microperiodization is already occurring in pyramid sets with a wide rep spread (10-8-6-15).
But if you want to do periodization, then this means you cycle the reps throughout the week. The article explains this. So your reps throughout the week may look like this:
Monday- 10-12 reps
Wednesday- 8-10 reps
Friday- 6-8 reps
You are not designed to be in peak condition all the time. You cannot max out and beat your prior weight every day. That is a sure way to burn out. Your body responds better to periodization and varying its workload. There is far more to periodization than just repetitions, which I go over in great detail in my books.