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Load Periodization in Bodybuilding




Periodization supposes the organization of training in blocks by changing different variables like load, volume, the intensity for achieving the desired effect. In this article, we will talk in detail about load periodization, which is one of the most important factors in building muscle mass. Switching to this kind of training help you to get continuous progress in the results within a much shorter time.

Everything in our life is subject to specific cycles, and this is available for any sports activities too. It is impossible to constantly train to your limits because this is harmful to your body. That’s why is very important to establish a weight periodization and strictly follow it for great results and no injuries. Moreover, this approach ensures a painless recovery of muscles and tendons.

If we take a look at the past, we can see that most bodybuilders are not alternated their loads. They tried to use maximum weights, assuming that the degree of muscle fatigue will affect their growth. Unfortunately, this method was not successful because of constant nervous breakdowns, chronic fatigue, and a variety of diseases, including cardiovascular.

As time went on, the best coaches come to the idea that it better is to divide training into stages: primary, transitional stage, pre-competitive, and powerlifter stages. As it turned out, these periods allow the body to activate the entire physiological system by changing the load conditions to rest actively. The right periodization of the load in bodybuilding help to avoid a plateau and help you in the achievement of good results.

Must Read Our Article: Training Periodization And Its Importance For Bodybuilders

Nowadays, there are several methods of cycling loads. Every one of us is free to choose the one which fits most. Any cycling activity is usually divided by the duration of the cycle into three phases microcycle, mesocycle, and macrocycle. Some of you may think this is the name of new motorcycles, but it is not. Now a closer look at each of them.

Let’s see further the primary specifics of each of them. Microcycle is the shortest in duration cycle, which usually lasts from several days to a week and includes several workouts. Several micro-cycles will be already mesocycle.

Mesocycle usually lasts about 4-6 weeks and has different purposes: for example, training to improve power performance, increase muscle mass, and workout relief. Often this sequence is used by competing athletes. Several mesocycles will be already macrocycle.

The macrocycle is the most extended cycle and includes all of the previous cycles. Macrocycles are usually used by competing athletes who systematically by dividing the training process on the cycles to get to the top of their form for the competition. An athlete with a primary and secondary level can easily compose his training program with only one microcycle and mesocycles.

There is Three Main Type of Load Periodization:

  • Linear;
  • Nonlinear;
  • Wave periodization.

Linear and nonlinear periodization are the most common types of load periodization. Linear periodization implies an inevitable unidirectional progression, both in volume and in the intensity of training, where any parameters change will have a linear progression. It consists of the following phases: hypertrophy, strength, power, and restorative phases. During each of these stages, different goals are reached.

Let’s take, for example, the hypertrophy phase. During it is executed, a few sets of 10-12 reps are meant to develop muscle growth.  During the next phase -strength, the number of reps is between six and eight. During power, the phase is executed in several sets of 1-2 resp. The last phase supposes the avoidance of training in general.

This type of division contrasts nonlinear periodization that combines periods quite the opposite by volume and intensity, for example, few and many reps training. In the case of non-linear training, the load used in the next workout should not be higher by intensity than the previous one, that is, an alternation of light and heavy workouts.

Bodybuilding involves very common cycling workouts with variable intensity, where hard training increases due to the sufficient number of light workouts. To be more precise, let’s use an example. The goal of a person who made one back bar squat approach of 220 pounds with one repetition for the next workout will be to increase the load to 250.

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This load division model simplifies exercise adaptation and allows a much better and quicker recovery after a complex training cycle. N on linear periodization often is an alternative to a linear one. However, the last one is more criticized and is less popular than nonlinear.

In the case of linear cycling, there are periods when you get no results from weight training. Along with other disadvantages of linear load, periodization has to be added to the inability to control the growth of fat tissue, causing the growth of muscles and body fat.

Therefore, linear periodization, with all its benefits, reduces the training process's effectiveness unless you use special pharmacological preparations. Nowadays, it is widely used as called wave periodization. In this cycle, the number of sets and reps change with every workout, with gradual and slow progress in exercise intensity.

Must Read: Training Periodization And Its Importance For Bodybuilders

This method makes it difficult for the body to adapt to the program's conditions, so this type is suitable for more advanced bodybuilders. The body of an advanced bodybuilder does not respond to the classical methods of cycling loads; respectively, training is ineffective. Therefore, the wave type of periodization is just for those with a very long experience in bodybuilding.

Also, it has to be prepared for individual training methods using different load variations for each bodybuilder. Load periodization is a severe and essential part of any training process.

It does not matter whether you are a beginner or already an advanced bodybuilder; you should pay big attention because only the correct and systematic approach will improve your muscle growth, endurance, and overall physical and mental health.

As you see, linear periodization is more effective for beginner bodybuilders, non-linear for more advanced, and wave one for bodybuilders with many years of activity in the gym. If you want to increase weight, you have to increase the load for four weeks and then take a week for deloading. It was proved that such an approach would keep you away from the detrimental effects of overreaching.

Must Read: Take a Deload Week to Let your Body Recover Faster

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