Are you one of those people that hates change? If so, I have some bad news for you: in order to see results in your fitness journey, you’re going to have to change things up every once in a while.
One way to do this is through training periodization.
But what exactly is that? And more importantly, why should you do it?
Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Training Periodization?
The training process for athletes is always evolving. In the early days of sports, training was fairly low-key and unstructured.
Athletes would simply show up to practice and go through the motions.
However, as competitions became more organized and demanding, coaches began to look for ways to improve their team's performance.
This led to the development of training periodization. Training periodization is a systematic approach to planning and managing a training program.
It involves dividing the training process into distinct phases, each with its own specific goals.
This allows coaches to better tailor their workouts to their team's needs and helps athletes to avoid burnout.
As a result, training periodization has become an integral part of many successful sports programs.
But how can we apply all of this in the context of your Average-Gym-Joe style of training, where no competitive goals are in mind?
Well, the simplest way is to go by the seasonal changes of our planet.
Allow us to give you a glimpse into exactly what we mean here.
Warm weather and long days just beg for us to get outside and move our bodies.
We naturally want to be more active when it's sunny out, whether that means going for a run, a bike ride, or just playing with the kids at the park.
And all that activity can help burn calories and promote weight loss.
But that's not the only reason why we tend to lose weight in the summer.
Our appetites also naturally shrink when it's hot out.
Have you ever noticed that you don't get as hungry when it's hot?
... Yeah. We've all been there.
And though it may seem bad at first, it would only be natural to place your "leaning out" period during summer.
This is the period when all that muscle underneath the fluff can be put on display, with a little shredding!
Gaining muscle and strength during the wintertime may sound counterintuitive, but there are actually a few reasons why it can be the ideal time to bulk up.
For one thing, our appetites are generally increased during the colder months, making it easier to consume the extra calories needed for muscle growth.
Additionally, we tend to be less active during the winter, which can make it even easier to create that caloric surplus.
Of course, you'll still need to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly, but if you're looking to add some extra muscle mass, winter may be the best time to do it.
This is why we recommend our clients (and you, reader!) to place the "gaining" period during wintertime!
Anyone who has done a bulking and cutting cycle knows that the experience is not for the faint of heart.
It takes a lot of dedication, discipline, and, most importantly, time. But what many people don't realize is that there is a transition period between bulking and cutting that is just as important as the cycles themselves.
During this time, your body is adjusting to the new changes in your diet and training regimen.
For this exact reason, we recommend you incorporate a careful transition period between your summer and winter cycles.
For instance, if you're transitioning from bulking to cutting, that would mean gradually decreasing your calories and increasing activity levels for a few weeks.
And vice versa, if you're transitioning from cutting to bulking, that would mean gradually increasing your calories and training output.
Periodization is an important tool that can help you achieve your fitness goals.
It may seem like a lot of work, but the benefits are worth it. Have you ever tried periodizing your training? What were the results?