Periodization // pe·ri·od·i·za·tion

August 15, 2019

What is periodization?

If you’ve ever wondered what periodization was, and why you hear fitness trainers talk about it, then you’ve come to the right place for a little crash course on the wonderful world of periodization!

To begin, periodization is splitting up different training aspects into different cycles to meet different fitness goals.

The four phases of periodization that I’ll talk about include:

  •  Foundational
  • Hypertrophy
  • Strength
  • Endurance

(there are more than just these phases when it comes to periodization, especially if you are a runner or cyclist, but I’ll be focusing on the above phases specifically)

Now, it’s important to start in the foundation phase, and from there you can move between the three other phases, depending on what you believe your body needs.

Foundational Phase: This is where primal movement patterns are observed and re-built. This is the phase where most of the teaching gets done. If you want to perfect your deadlift, hang out in this phase for a while.

Parameters

Load: 60 % of maximum strength
Sets: 2-3
Repetitions: 12-15
Duration: 2 weeks to forever
Exercises: Hip hinge, squat patterns

 

Hypertrophy Phase: This is where muscle tone and muscle mass are created. When completing exercises in this phase, you want to move slow and controlled. When planning out which exercises you want to complete in this phase, focus on having 80% of the exercises compound (push, pull) and 20 % isolated (tricep pulls, bicep curls). If you want to see results, it is important to do 12-16 working sets of a larger muscle group (quadriceps) in a week  and 6-9 working sets for smaller muscle groups (calf muscles).

Parameters

Load: Moderate weight
Sets: 2-3, with positive fail
Repetitions: 8-12
Rest: 1-2 minutes between sets
Duration: 6- 8 weeks
Exercise: Front squat, Romanian deadlift

 

Strength Phase: This is where your body recruits more muscle fibres by adapting to the demand you impose on your body. The heavier the weight, the more demand on the body and the more the body needs to work to recruit all the muscle fibres. Interestingly enough, this is the phase where people see most weight loss.

Parameters 

Load: Heavy weight
Sets: 3
Repetitions: 2-6
Rest: 2-3 minutes between sets
Duration: 6-8 weeks
Exercises: Bench press, deadlift, front squat

 

Endurance Phase: This is the phase where you will complete as many repetitions as you can in 30 seconds OR you will increase time under tension by holding a position. The endurance phase can help build up cardiovascular strength, allowing your heart to pump more blood out to the body, when needed most.

Parameters

Load: Light weight or body weight
Sets: 3
Time: 20- 30 seconds
Rest: 15-60 seconds This increases time under tension
Duration: 6-8 weeks
Exercises: Burpees, squat hold

 

It’s important to remember that periodization does not have to be linear! You can travel back-and-forth between the phases, allowing your fitness planning to match your life and goals.

Which phase do you want to work in?

Dylan Crake
R. Kin,
Registered Massage Therapist