Nancy and I discuss her motivations for pursuing our current periodization program. We also discuss the metabolic diet, a low carb diet frequently used by athletes.
In this podcast (Quicktime, 11.5 MB; Google Video, no download), Nancy Arnold and I (Bud) go back to basics and discuss her motivations for starting on our current periodization program and what she hopes to accomplish during the hypertrophy mesocycle (phase) we just started. We also muse about what diet should be during this phase and discuss features of the metabolic diet recommended in Serious Strength Training, the book we are following.
Nancy is basically looking for change. Periodization combines a number of different weight training disciplines to develop all aspects of muscle function. The hypertrophy mesocycle lasts four to twelve weeks and focuses on muscle growth. It relies both on explosive power to get the heavy weights up and on endurance to sustain performance over multiple repetitions in multiple sets. The program also devotes mesocycles specifically to power and endurance. Varying the focus in this way is key to maintaining progress in training.
Finally, Serious Strength Training also suggests that we should be gaining two lbs. per week during this phase. It also recommends following the metabolic diet, a low carb diet that uses carb loading on the weekend to give the metabolism a little fillip. Neither Nancy nor I are following this diet. An open question is whether we are consuming enough calories and the right kind.
- Wikipedia gives a good overview on periodization and its history in modern sport.
- Periodization is based on Selye's work on General Adaptive Syndrome. Essentially, if stress is never varied, the body ceases to adapt.
- Tudor Bompa, lead author of Serious Strength Training, is well known as the father of periodization in sports training.