If you want to get the absolute most out of your workout you’re going to have to completely understand periodization. This is the most effective way to organize your workout in order to get the best results. Over a number weeks you will vary the amount you lift and the intensity in order to increase the effectiveness of your weightlifting. A different routine is applied to each period. For the first month you may start off with dumbbells or barbells and in the following month you may switch over to weight machines. From one month to the next you can change the number of exercise repetitions or sets that you do. If you are an athlete then you’re probably accustomed to changing your weightlifting routines based on whether or not you’re in season or you’re working out during the off season.
Periodization will give you the best results possible. Take for example if you were doing a typical weight training routine to say use 10 weight machines and you did one set of 8 to 10 reps per machine. If you do this workout three times a week for nine months after about four months you would begin to hit a plateau. But if you change the number of sets performed per exercise you will see continued gains throughout the nine months.
In order to get started with periodization start with the beginners program. This program lasts about one month. If you like you can also shorten the periods to two weeks so the entire program would last 10 weeks. This cycle should be repeated over and over again.
Beginning phase: You’ll start off with a basic workout to prepare yourself for the next phases. During this phase you want to use lighter weights. You only want to do between 1 to 4 sets per muscle group, and then only complete between 12 and 15 reps per set. Between each set you want to make sure that you get at least 90 seconds of rest.
Phase 2: Increase your effort during this phase. We want to increase the amount of weights we use while reducing the reps to 10 to 12%. You want to increase the number of sets for each muscle group. We want to do at least 3 to 8 sets.
Phase 3: In this phase, per muscle group, we are only going to do 2 to 3 different exercises, but we will do multiple sets. You want to do a good 10 reps per set while resting at least 30 seconds between sets.
Phase 4: We are looking to build maximum strength in this phase. In order to do that we’re going to need to increase the amount of weight we use and decrease the number of reps. In this phase we will do 15-20 sets per muscle group and 6 to 8 reps per set.
Rest days: once you’ve reached this phase you have a decision to make, you can either take a break and not train at all or you can go back to the beginning phase. If you stop training altogether you want to make sure that you take no longer than a two-week period break. This is a very important phase because it gives your body a chance to recuperate from all the work you’ve been doing. You can then go back into the cycle reinvigorated and ready to work hard. Absolutely do not skip this phase if you do you’ll find that at some point you will plateau and stop making any progress at all.