Periodisation of programs

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by Simply strong, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Simply strong

    Simply strong Double-Digit Post Count

    Which is better ???

    A) choosing one program and running it over and over till you no longer see progress eg choosing PTTP or DDD or S&S and committing to that program for the next few years

    B) running one cycle of each program in a form of periodisation of programs. Eg running one cycle of S&S, then a cycle of PTTP then DDD and back to S&S again

    If B is better; what would the best order of programs be to follow? Does it matter?

    My guess would be...
    S&S, ETC, PTTP, DDD, S&S etc ?
    This is because the programs focus on higher to lower rep ranges (10x10 swings, 5-3-2 reps in PTTP and 5x1 in DDD)

    Is it better to choose 2-3 plans to cycle between or 4-5? Or more?

    I’d be interested to know how long people have been on their current programs / how many cycles they have run if it consecutively.
    Bauer likes this.
  2. Alan Mackey

    Alan Mackey Triple-Digit Post Count

    It doesn't really matter. Consistency trumps everything else.

    The best program is the one you follow consistently.
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  3. Alan Mackey

    Alan Mackey Triple-Digit Post Count

    I've been following several Easy Strength variations since the book was first published (2011, if memory serves). And I don't see myself doing any other type of training. Ever.

    But if the thing you need to train consistently is switching programs every week, so be it. Far from optimal but still WAY better than following the perfect program on and off.
  4. Papa Georgio

    Papa Georgio Triple-Digit Post Count

    I am goal driven, not activity driven. Meaning, I have a specific number I want to hit before I change my programming and chase something else. I have a specific goal I want to hit in my current program, and I will keep running some version of it until I hit it. I have goals in the deadlift (which I'm not currently working on) for instance, but chasing that will have to wait until I hit my current goals.

    There's nothing wrong with moving from program to program without any specific goals if that makes you content.
  5. Papa Georgio

    Papa Georgio Triple-Digit Post Count

    Sorry I guess I didn't really answer your inquiry.
    I'm currently doing S&S since November. My original plan was to hit S&S with 36kg, then move on to either PTTP or ROP to hit DL and pressing goals. I've stuck on S&S longer than plan because I'm still making progress, but I can't wait to hit my goals and move on to something else. My inner bro had planned on getting that EZ-bar out to get ready for summer, and now that ain't happening.
  6. freeflowme

    freeflowme Double-Digit Post Count

    I haven't been training long enough to know much, but I've been following PTTP with deadlifts and presses since the beginning of February - so ~4.5 months - and I'm getting to the point where I'm wondering if I wouldn't be better off switching to something "similar but different" - maybe even the RoP. At a certain point, I think there's just a mental thing where the gains come slower and slower and doing something fresh that will still contribute to your strength in your primary movements / get you closer to your primary goals is a good thing. Again, I'm just postulating here... no concrete evidence.
  7. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I would say option B. I think periodization of some sort allows longer-term progress. That said, all those programs are strength programs and may not provide the variance to really be considered periodization. I don't think a person can go wrong with the common:
    1. hypertrophy/endurance (maybe S&S)
    2. strength (maybe PTTP)
    3. power/speed (maybe DDD)
 likes this.
  8. More than 500 posts

    Better For What?

    This amount to wanting to know which is better a hammer or a crescent wrench. The job determines which tool is the most effective.

    When it come to training, the training objective is the determinate factor in a well written and executed training program.

    Periodization Training For Long Term Progress

    As per Bro Mo, a Periodization Training ensure long term progress; Plan your work, work your plan.

    Research and anecdotal data have demonstrated that variation of exercise and training program ensure a greater training response.

    Hypertrophy, Limit Strength and Power Training

    Incorporating these type of Strength Training into your training program will elicit a greater training effect.

    Linear Periodization Training

    Training each type of Strength individually over a length of weeks, laid out by Bro Mo, is one method.

    6 Week Training Cycle Example

    1) Hypertrophy Training for 6 weeks, followed by...

    2) Limit Strength Training for 6 weeks, followed by...

    3) Power Training for 6 weeks; then recycle, start over with Hypertrophy Training and run the progression.

    Undulating Periodization Training

    Focusing on one type of Strength Training during a weekly training session is another effective method.


    1) Monday: Hyperterophy

    2) Wednesday: Power

    3) Friday: Limit Strength

    Kenny Croxdale

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  9. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    runninggirevik likes this.
  10. More than 500 posts

    Everything Works But Nothing Works Forever

    This is especially true for someone who hasn't been training that long.

    However, at some point you training exercise and program need to be changed. That has to do with...

    The General Adaptation Syndrome

    This is the foundation on which Periodization Training is based. At some point the body adapts. When adaptation occurs, progress stops.

    When progress stops, that means you need to change something to get it going again.

    Training Age

    This mean the length of time you have been training.

    Novice Lifter take longer to adapt to training. They can use the same training program for around 8 - 12 weeks before they need to change it.

    Advance Lifter adapt quickly. They need to change their program about every 3 - 4 weeks.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Philippe Geoffrion likes this.
  11. freeflowme

    freeflowme Double-Digit Post Count

    Not to hijack the OP's thread, but I feel as though this may be what I've been experiencing lately. After ~4.5 months on PTTP, I feel like I don't really get sore or fatigued like I used to, but I also don't notice strength coming on like I did even a month ago. Perhaps it's finally time to switch to a different program for awhile.
  12. More than 500 posts


    Soreness really mean much.

    "Repeated Bout"

    You're don't get sore any more due because you body has become adapted (The General Adaptation Syndrome).

    Everything Works But Nothing Works Forever

    Your lack of progress is due to adaptation (The General Adaptation Syndrome). Once adaptation occurs progress stops.

    Varying Exercise

    Research and anecdotal data have demonstrated one of the keys to maintaining progress is varying exercise.

    Periodization Training

    The foundation of training revolves around changing training cycles (exercise, reps, sets, etc) to elicit a greater training effect.

    Change Something

    When progress stops, it definitely time to change something.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  13. Alan Mackey

    Alan Mackey Triple-Digit Post Count

    Or... you could just pick a new pair of exercises.

    If you were doing deadlifts plus presses, you could give squats and pull ups a try for a few months.
    Steve A likes this.
  14. freeflowme

    freeflowme Double-Digit Post Count

    Being new to "easy strength" programs (all of my work in the past was bodybuilding splits, where you'd be doing multiple exercises for each muscle group at least once a week), I have this fear that if I do squats and an upper body pull (both of which I'd actually really like to do) for a month or two, my deadlift and overhead pressing strength will diminish. Especially because my squat is so low compared to my deadlift that the workload that I'd be subjecting my body to on a daily / weekly basis would be much lower.
  15. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    I cannot imagine a challenging month of squat and upper body pull effecting your press and DL enough to be concerning. In my experience heavy squat translates to just about everything.
  16. Alan Mackey

    Alan Mackey Triple-Digit Post Count

    If your squat numbers are really that low, neglecting them now will only get worse and might cause some nasty imbalances in the not-so-distant future.

    Alternating eight weeks of hinge plus press and squat plus upper body pull (irrespective of the variations used) is always a good idea.

    Yes, you may lose some peak strength while doing the other combo (*), but you will be better off in the long run.

    (*) Waving the load makes you actually weaker.

    When you start a new cycle of PttP, the load is effectively so low that you are losing peak condition. And that's on purpose. De-training yourself in a controlled manner is the way to ensure progress on your slow and steady way up.
    freeflowme likes this.
  17. Bauer

    Bauer More than 300 posts

  18. More than 500 posts

    Training Cycle

    A training cycle over a specified number of weeks need to be progressively increase each week with the final week being performed to the limit or close to it; which end this training cycle.

    The following week, a new training cycle begins with a light, easy low. The purpose is somewhat what you indicated, it's for...

    Active Recovery

    Active Recovery after a hard, all out training session, means performing exercises that are light and easy. Performing the exercise with a light load enhances recovery by increasing blood flow to the muscles.

    Each week the exercise load increase over the set number of week, with the final week in the training cycle pushed to the limit or near it.

    You then, start the process all over again. This is...

    Periodization Training

    Periodization Training is a planned program that stresses the muscle and then allows them a recovery period, for growth.

    Kenny Croxdale
  19. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    One's strength in an exercise can not be held constant, nor should it be the aim. The typical athlete, and the trainee, should aim to peak some times a year. The novice can be near the peak more often, the top athlete only a couple of times a year. Not being in the top condition doesn't mean you lose strength. You lose the momentary capability to express it. A month is nothing. A month of squats, if you haven't done them, is the best thing you could do.
    Glen, Geoff Chafe, damogari and 2 others like this.
  20. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    Our flagship strength design approach, PlanStrong, does not follow these rules. See several blogs here about varying intensity and volume independently from each other - one can stay on such a "cycle" for quite some time and continue to make progress as evidence by a test or competition every 3-6 months or so.


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