Periodized training, or cycling in the world of body building, is a training plan that concentrates on stressing the body without exhausting it so fitness/training goals can be reached.  It is a great method for training for a specific event, or can be used in general to make fitness gains.     

There are different types of periodization techniques, but today I am going to discuss classic periodization.  In classic periodization the training volume progresses from low intensity with high repetitions (reps), to low reps with high intensity with the goal of peaking the individual at the appropriate time. 

Classic periodization involves three cycles.  There is the macrocycle which is the long term training goal (usually 6 months to 1 year, but may even be longer).  The macrocycle is broken down to microcycles (typically a week long) and mesocycles (lasting several weeks to months).  There are different types of mesocyles (hypertrophy, basic strength, strength/power, peaking and active rest), which directly dictate training volume and intensity.

If you have a big event coming up or just want to get stronger try classic periodization! Here is an example of a training plan using classic periodization:

Macrocycle: Goal- increase bench press (test initial bench press strength prior to starting mesocycles)

Mesocycle I.: Hypertrophy– 4-5 sets of 8-20 reps of light weight for 4 weeks

Mesocycle II.:  Basic Strength– 3-4 sets of 2-6 reps of moderate weight for 4 weeks

Mesocycle III.:  Strength and Power-3 sets of 2-3 reps of heavy weight for 4 weeks (the second two weeks focus on power)

Mesocycle IV.: Peaking-1-3 sets of 1 rep of heaviest weight for 1-2 weeks

Competitive event or test to see if max bench press weight increased

Mesocycle V.: Active rest– partake in an activity (typically of a cardiovascular nature) other than what you have been training for 1-2 weeks.

*** Each of the weeks in the mesocycle is considered the microcycle***





Sophie Pratola
Personally Trained By Sophie