You might have heard of different types of periodisation. From Linear to Conjugate and to Daily Undulating Periodisation (DUP).
You might think you have to choose from one of these principles to create your own training program but actually they are not independent from one another.
You can still structure your training by using a bit of everything as long as it works for you and your level of experience.
First of all, let's explain the exact terminologies.
Linearity: Progressing your training in a linear fashion or "progressive overload" which essentially means that your training volume and intensity increase over time.
Undulating: Changes within training variables. Volume and intensity can change in a training block to put your body under different stressors - i.e. hypertrophy, strength, power in one training block
Conjugation: Improving athletic qualities at the same time (such as maximal strength and speed)
Let's consider a few examples to understand these concepts better.
Our lifter Matt squats 3 times per week. He uses the concept of Daily Undulating Periodisation so the number of sets and reps is different each session:
Monday: Back Squat 75% 4x7
Wednesday: Back Squat 80% 4x5
Saturday: Back Squat 85% 5x2
We mentioned a way to progress in our previous articles but we'll go into a bit more details now.
Matt can progress week by week by adding 2.5kg to 5kg on each session; or by adding a set or reps. This type of progress is more linear. There is an increase in volume and intensity overtime just like Linear Periodisation.
Matt might also want to work on other aspects of his training so he decides to add a few assistance and supplemental lifts to address his weaknesses and areas he wants to improve.
His training week could look like this:
‚ÄãIf he was to change the accessory work every 1 - 3 months (or even every other week) to expose his body to a new stimulus and continue working on his weaknesses the method would be considered as conjugate.
By doing so the program includes all of the three concepts: daily undulating periodisation each session (by undulating sets and reps to focus on hypertrophy, strength and power within one training block); weekly linear progression (by increasing the load, sets or reps); monthly - or every other week - conjugate periodisation (by frequently changing the accessory exercises for new stressors).
For a beginner progressive overload is a good way to start. A novice lifter will see results quicker just by adding a bit more weight every week and by increasing volume overtime. Programs can be more simplistic by practicing the competition lifts and adding hypertrophy work that will benefit the lifter in the long term.
For an intermediate to advanced lifter combining daily undulating periodisation with linearity is an effective way to see results and progress nicely in the three lifts, as well as addressing weaknesses by choosing the right supplemental exercises.
For someone with more experience it might take a bit longer to progress.
They might need to increase volume every mesocycle or adding volume week by week over a month and then try to increase the load the next mesocycle.
Obviously if you are close to a meet, specificity needs to increase so undulation will be a bit different than the beginning of an accumulation phase.
You might practice the competition lifts by staying between 90 and 97% of your maximal load, similar to the conjugate system. The "dynamic day" is replaced with "circa max day" which utilises heavier load than the one used for speed.
There is no one type of periodisation. All these concepts can be put together in one training program depending on years of lifting and experience.
To build a good program you have to understand what areas you need to develop (strength, speed, technique, body composition) in order to reach your full potential.
Plan the training ahead and apply these elements together to expose your body to new stressors and new stimuli.
I hope you found this post useful for your training. If you have any questions or would like to talk about your current program feel free to contact me and I would be happy to discuss it with you.
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