Rational Periodization in Strength Training

Tom Kelso
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.



To access the content, please login.



A career as a coach or trainer is a never ending opportunity to learn, grow, and re-invent yourself.


You don’t get to pick the problems you solve because everyone who you come across is different: Different genders, ages, fitness levels, disposable time, disposable income, and almost always unsure of their commitment.


Here on Coaches Only we update the content regularly, we go in lots of different directions, and we engage with experts in all walks of life so long as they help coaches and trainers in pursuit of a fulfilling career.


There are no simple answers to how to be a good pro. No one can sell your services for you. There is no silver bullet for success.



That’s why you should sign up, be present, and when the opportunity arises, also take the initiative to contribute to the conversation.


Coaches Only is for independent coaches and trainers who believe in the value of their work and have a love of this industry.


Coaches Only is for professionals who strive to make a career that lasts, has impact, and rewards people who work hard at it.