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Rational Periodization in Strength Training

Tom Kelso
Coach
Strength and Conditioning

Proper planning is essential if maximum benefits are to be obtained in a strength training program. Many approaches work and most will elevate existing levels of strength and size over the short term, provided key components are accounted for. However, the goal should be to intelligently lay out a plan that offers a safe, long-term approach that develops the maximum potential with minimal down time due to injury, chronic fatigue, and/or mental burnout.

 

Employ Universal Training Principles

First and foremost, the program should be developed and implemented within the universally accepted training principles of overload, recovery, adaptation, and progression. These principles are the key ingredients in the formula, in that order, which are used to make gains and improvement of muscle capacity. It is well-accepted that:

 

  • An overload on the muscles must first occur.
  • Adequate rest time (and proper nutrients) must be available for the muscles to recover from the overload.
  • Muscle adaptation and improved quality resulting from the overload will occur as a result of the rest/nutrients factor.
  • A system of progressively demanding overloads must be in place for further muscle adaptations/gains.
  • Without these four principles working in harmony, less than maximum results will be obtained, not to mention time wasted in training.

 

 

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