Overview of Periodization Methods for Resistance Training

Last week I posted up an article covering Daily Undulating Periodization which is just one of the ways in which you can periodize your training. Todays post is going to cover all of the different types of “pure” periodization and the pro’s and con’s of each. Mladen Jovanović does a great job in this article over at EliteFTS.com and hopefully adds to your knowledge of training. While the article was intended for coaches I feel everyone can get a better understanding from reading this.


The purpose of this article is to put my current knowledge regarding periodization into some sort of systemized form. This will allow for deeper discussion and will put more knowledge into your coaching toolbox and mine. My purpose is not to attach “good” or “bad” attributes to the different forms of periodization, but rather to critically analyze them. I will discuss their pros and cons, allowing strength and conditioning coaches to make easier choices/decisions on how to implement and combine them in specific situations for specific athletes.

This article will not discuss what periodization or strength is or similar topics but will rather be general in nature. Although I will try to make this article readable and fun, it was written for coaches who possess an advanced knowledge of resistance training and periodization.

Before We Start

There are four goals that resistance training should cover:

  • Structural and strength endurance (15–20 RM)
  • Hypertrophy goals (5–15 RM)
  • Max strength (1–5 RM)
  • Power/explosiveness or dynamic effort (50–70 percent 1RM and Olys)

This classification is highly debatable and is used only so that I can more easily explain the different periodization methods. Please do not bother me or yourself with it, but just accept how it is and direct your attention to the periodization methods described. Thanks.

Many Coaches, Many Methods

I’m going to discuss “pure” forms of periodization methods, situations that don’t happen very often in real life. Real life periodization is a combination of periodization methods. You train your athletes for skill, endurance, strength, flexibility, or (you name it). You can combine different periodization methods for different components of your system, thus using one periodization method for strength work and another for speed work. When you examine the whole, it is hard to distinguish what method of periodization is used. The system as a whole is always bigger than the sum of its components, and one component will affect another and vice versa. Everything is interconnected so plan your training accordingly!

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