An Advanced Bodybuilding Workout That Uses Periodization

An Advanced Bodybuilding Workout That Uses Periodization
Stimulate New Gains in Lean Muscle Mass, Size and Strength Using Periodization

By Hugo Rivera, About.com

This bodybuilding workout routine induces gains in lean muscle mass, size and strength through the use of periodization. Periodization is a training method that changes the workout variables of sets, repetitions, rest in between sets, and exercises used in an orderly manner that will produce the best gains in muscle mass and strength.

Through the use of periodization, not only you keep your body guessing (and thus changing), but you also maximize your training efforts by priming your body for muscle growth, then taxing the body to the point that it is on the brink of overtraining, and finally cutting back on the training volume in order to allow the body to recover and grow.

Periodized bodybuilding workouts are most useful for people who are in excellent cardiovascular shape and who have been training for at least 6 months. If you are an absolute beginner, please read my article on Getting Started. If you have been training for at least 3 months but less than 6, then please take a look at my suggested Intermediate Routine.

Bodybuilding Workout Frequency Training Options

Even though the sample periodization workout that will shortly be presented prescribes six days a week, if you need more recovery you have several options:

* Three Days a Week: After Week 1, perform Workout (A) on Monday, Workout (B) on Wednesday, and Workout (C) on Friday. After six weeks, move on to the workouts presented under Weeks 5-7 and perform Workout (A) on Monday, Workout (B) on Wednesday, and Workout (C) on Friday. You will perform those workouts also for 6 weeks and then go back to Week 1, change the exercises and start over.

* Two Days On, One Day Off, One Day On, One Day Off Cycle: After Week 1, perform Workout (A) on Monday, Workout (B) on Tuesday, and Workout (C) on Thursday. On Saurday you start again with Workout (A), Sunday perform Workout (B), and Tuesday finish off with Workout (C). Keep repeating the cycle in this manner for a total of 6 times. After the sixth cycle move on to the workouts presented under Weeks 5-7. You will perform those workouts also for 6 cycles and then go back to Week 1, change the exercises and start over.

* Three Days On, One Day Off Cycle: After Week 1, perform Workout (A) on Monday, Workout (B) on Tuesday, and Workout (C) on Wednesday. On Friday you start again with Workout (A), Saturday perform Workout (B), and Sunday finish off with Workout (C). Keep repeating the cycle in this manner for a total of 6 times. After the sixth cycle move on to the workouts presented under Weeks 5-7. You will perform those workouts also for 6 cycles and then go back to Week 1, change the exercises and start over.

* 5 Days On, Weekends Off Cycle: After Week 1, perform Workout (A) on Monday, Workout (B) on Tuesday, and Workout (C) on Wednesday. Start again with Workout (A) on Thursday and Workout (B) on Friday. Rest over the weekends and start the week with Workout (C) on Monday. After three weeks, move on to the workouts presented under Weeks 5-7.

Weeks 1-4

Week 1 – Active Rest
Monday/Thursday:
Modified Compound Superset:
(Rest 1 minute after the 1st set of exercise 1 and then do the first set of exercise 2. Then rest a minute and go back to exercise 1. Continue this pattern until both exercises are done for the prescribed amount of sets).
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
One Arm Dumbbell Rows 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

Modified Compound Superset:
Dumbbell Bench Press 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
Pulldown to Front 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

Modified Compound Superset:
Bent Over Lateral Raises 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 2 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

Modified Compound Superset:
Incline Dumbbell Curls 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

Modified Compound Superset:
Dumbbell Lunges 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)
Leg Curls 3 sets x 10 reps (1 minute rest)

Modified Compound Superset:
Squats 2 sets x 10 reps (2 minute rest)
Calf Raise 3 sets x 10 reps (2 minute rest)

Weeks 2, 3, & 4 – Loading Phase
Notes: If unable to train 6 days a week, then perform Day 1 on Monday, Day 2 on Wednesday and Day 3 on Friday.

Day 1 – Bodybuilding Workout (A)

Shoulders & Arms (Monday/Thursday)
Superset:
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 sets x 10-12 reps (30 second rest)
Bent Over Laterals 4 sets x 10-12 reps (30 second rest)

Superset:
Dumbbell Curls 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

Superset:
Incline Curls 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

Superset:
Wrist Curls 3 sets x 15-30 reps (No rest)
Reverse Wrist Curls 3 sets x 15-30 reps (No rest)

On Week 3, add:
Superset:
Bent Over Laterals 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Concentration Curls 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Triceps Pushdowns 3 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

On Week 4, add:
Superset:
Lateral Raises 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Hammer Curls 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Triceps Dips 3 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

Day 2 – Bodybuilding Workout (B)

Legs (Tuesday/Friday)
Superset:
Squats 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Lying Leg Curls 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

Superset:
Wide Stance Squats 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Standing Leg Curls 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

Superset:
Adductor Machine 3 sets x12-15 reps (No rest)
Abductor Machine 3 sets x12-15 reps (No rest)

Superset:
Standing Calf Raises 4 sets x 10-12 reps (30 second rest)
Seated Calf Raises 4 sets x 15-20 reps (30 second rest)

On Week 3, add:
Superset:
Leg Extensions 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Seated Leg Curls 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
One Legged Calf Raises with Dumbbells 3 sets x 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)

On Week 4, add:
Superset:
Leg Press 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Dumbbell Stiff Legged Dead lifts 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Calf Press (on Leg Press Machine) 3 sets x 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)

Day 3 – Bodybuilding Workout (C)

Chest & Back (Wednesday/Saturday)
Superset:
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Wide Grip Pull-up to Front (Palms facing away from you) 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

Superset:
Chest Dips 4 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Close Grip Pull-up (Palms facing you) 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 minute rest)

Superset:
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 sets x 10-12 reps
External Rotations (for strengthening of the rotator cuff) 3 sets x 15-20 reps

Superset:
Leg Raises 4 sets x 25 reps (30 second rest)
Crunches 4 sets x 25 reps (30 second rest)

On Week 3, add:

Superset:
One Arm Rows 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Knee-Ins 3 sets x 25 reps (1 minute rest)

On Week 4, add:
Superset:
Stiff Arm Pulldowns 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Incline Flyes 3 sets x 10-12 reps (No rest)
Side Crunches 3 sets x 25 reps (1 minute rest)

Weeks 5, 6, & 7 – Growth Phase

Day 1 – Bodybuilding Workout (A)

Shoulders & Arms (Monday/Thursday)

Modified Compound Superset:
Military Press 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
Rear Delt Rows (Performed on T-Bar Row Machine, elbows and upper arms away from torso in order to primarily stimulate the Rear Delts and not the Lats) 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

Modified Compound Superset:
E-Z Curls 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
Lying E-Z Triceps Extensions 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

Modified Compound Superset:
E-Z Preacher Curls 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
Triceps Dips 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

Superset:
Wrist Curls 2 sets x 15-30 reps (No rest)
Reverse Wrist Curls 2 sets x 15-30 reps (No rest)

Day 2 – Bodybuilding Workout (B)

Legs (Tuesday/Friday)

Modified Compound Superset:
Squats 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
Lying Leg Curls 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

Modified Compound Superset:
Wide Stance Squats 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
Standing Leg Curls 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

Superset:
Adductor Machine 2 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)
Abductor Machine 2 sets x 12-15 reps (No rest)

Superset:
Calf Press 4 sets x 8-10 reps (No rest)
Seated Calf Raises 4 sets x 15-20 reps (30 second rest)

Day 3 – Bodybuilding Workout (C)

Chest & Back (Wednesday/Saturday)

Modified Compound Superset:
Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
Wide Grip Pull-up to Front (Palms facing away from you) 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

Modified Compound Superset:
Chest Dips 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)
Close Grip Pull-up (Palms facing you) 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6 reps (90 second rest)

Superset:
Dumbbell Shrugs 2 sets x 10-12 reps (No Rest)
External Rotations (for strengthening of the rotator cuff) 2 sets x 15-20 reps (No Rest)

Superset:
Hanging Leg Raises 4 sets x 25 reps (No Rest)
Crunches (performed on Decline Bench) 4 sets x 25 reps (30 second rest)

NOTES:

1. Do cardio for twenty to thirty minutes right after the workout (or first thing in the morning on an empty stomach if you wish to train twice a day) for four times a week.
2. Regarding the issue of reaching muscle failure or not in all sets, the best advice that I can give you is to perform each set to the point where it would be impossible for you to perform an additional repetition on your own with good form. This philosophy has always kept me injury free and allowed me to train by myself for years without any accidents.
3. After finishing up the last week of the growth phase, go back to an active recovery phase for a week and re-start the loading phase with different exercises. Training in this manner will keep the body off guard and will continue to stimulate gains in muscle size.


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