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PERIODIZATION: Still the best way
Periodization, training in cycles of gradually increasing intensity, began with the work of Soviet sports scientist Dmitri Matveyev in the early 1960s. Elite athletes, Olympic weightlifters, swimmers, and track and field performers have used it all over the world to an ever-increasing degree since that time. American Olympic lifters and power lifters have been using periodization for a long time for example Frank Zane (Ripper 3, Fleck, Steven 34). Periodization provides a method by which the plateau can be avoided. One of the problems with most training programs is that it is the same day in and day out. Intensity, rep range, etc tend to be varying constant. However, the body is extremely adaptable and will eventually stop responding to a certain exercise scheme regardless of the intensity. Periodization provides a method of training that over rides the bodies mechanism by keeping them it plateauing.
There are two types of periodization, strict and Modified. Strict periodization consists of four or five distinct stages. Each stage has a specific goal and method of execution. Generally, the program moves from a low intensity workout to short, high intensity workouts. Each phase stresses a different aspect of the muscle. By changing the stress, progress can continue without plateauing. Modified periodization, is for non-competitive builders, and has four stages.
My personal workout will generally follow the modified periodization model. It follows as: (Taken From http://staff.washigto.edu/griffin/period.html)
Stage 1: Base
Type of movement: slow, continuous movement
Purpose: To build muscular endurance, increase capillarization and blood flow to muscle
Stage 2: Strength/Endurance
Type of movement: moderate speed
Purpose: To increase strength and muscle size
Stage 3: Strength
Type of movement: fast but controlled
Purpose: build power
Stage 4: Recovery
Purpose: This stage allows the body to completely recover before beginning stage 1 again, it should last 2-3 weeks
The length of each stage may be more consistent for modified periodization. Anywhere from 1 to 3 months can be spent on each stage (Ripper 3, Fleck, Steven 89). Studies have found that strength tends to peak at about12 weeks during strength training with either a plateau or decrease in strength occurring after that. Also, there is some evidence that there is a shorter 3-week sub-cycle when the body tends to hit smaller peaks (The Running Commentary). This workout works for many great athletes and has gotten results.
In conclusion, the only way to prove the method of periodization works is to attempt it by myself. The final result of the periodization paper will occur at the end of the semester.
Ripper 3. Fleck, Stevens. February 1987. Pages 34 & 89.
The Running Commentary. Periodization.
http://www.lakeheadu.ca/ newhouse/ian/seven.html.(Jan 1996).
Untitled. Periodization rules.
http://www.staff.washington.edu/griffin/period.txt (June 1991)
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