KC's Linear Periodization Experiment Log

Alright, so I have mentioned this a couple times and now I’ve decided to do it. This log should hopefully keep me on track and also give some people a chance to see a basic periodization schedule looks like. The goal is to hit a peak in overall strength by the first week of August, when I have a grappling competition. Since that is about 7 months away (28 weeks) I’ll be using a double peaked schedule, with a false peak halfway through. This is due to the long period of training, as well as the increased effectiveness of going through the periodization schedule twice.


December 23-Jan. 14: Anatomical Adaptation phase
Use relatively light loads and medium volume to build tendon strength and train various movements. Training will be 3 times a week.

Jan 14 to March 10: Max Strength phase
This phase will be made up of two 4 week cycles of max strength work. Weights will range from 75-95% of 1RM, depending on the week. Volume will range from light to heavy, and exercise selection will be 4-6 exercises per session.

March 10 to April 7: Power Conversion
Focus will be on improved power (strength + speed) through lower weight explosive exercises. This will be a mix of barbell, db and bodyweight exercises.

April 7 to April 21: Deloading or Transitional phase
Active rest, or “back off” period. Most likely going to be a couple bodyweight circuits 2 or 3 times a week. Main goal is to maintain strength attributes while still allowing for rest and recovery.

April 21 to June 16: Max Strength Phase
Similar to the first MxS. Two 4 week cycles of Max Load Method-type training. I might go on vacation sometime in this phase, so everything might get bumped back a week.

June 16 to July 14: Power conversion
Explosive exercises, lighter load. In order to garner sport specific strength, some exercise selections will be changed to provide for sport specific strength. At this point I will also change the work/rest ratio to reflect those of a grappling competition (which is generally 5 minutes of non-stop work, followed by a long rest).

July 14 to August 4: Competition prep
The last 3 weeks will be taken from Ross Enamait’s Never Gymless program. A few changes will be made to keep strength and power extremely high, while incorporating sport specific training. Lots of grip work, anaerobic endurance and cardio. Volume will dip slightly but intensity increases.

August 4 to Competition: Rest and Prepare
Take a week or so off in order to let any injuries heal and allow full muscle recovery. If weight cutting is an issue, then it can be addressed at this time. Other than that, all training will be technique based, working on actual sports skills.

Following Competition: Maintenance or Transition
Depending on future plans, I might compete 2 or 3 more times in the following 2 months. If so, then the goal is to maintain strength and conditioning. If not, then the program enters an extreme deloading phase.


Okay, that took a while to write up. This is the basic plan of attack, and obviously there are going to be changes neccessary once the wheels start rolling. The main goal for this training program is to improve relative strength, that is strength per pound of bodyweight, in order to provide an advantage for weight class competition. As of right now, I am in the middle of the strength spectrum for the weight class (top end is 200 pounds), so the program is going to focus primarily on increasing strength and power. Cardio is also an important consideration, but since I’ll be training at least two times a week in sport specific cardio (sparring 4 minute rounds or more), this shouldnt be a problem. If cardio becomes an issue, then it will be added to the last power conversion phase (in addition to comp prep).

This is just a basic outline, I’ll add more details on the workouts as I get all that straightened out. The AA phase is just circuit work, much of which I have already posted in the megathread, so there is no need to include that in the log. I’ll try to note any problems inherent with the linear model (I am using Tudor Bompa’s linear model, by the way), and any negative effects on training caused by the program.

Just a little update…

Like I said, the AA phase is pretty boring since it is all circuit type work. Right now going about 8-9 exercises per session, 2 sets each of around 10-12 reps. Load is either bodyweight or less than 50% of 1RM. Main goal is to strengthen tendons throughout the body and set the stage for the big work that is yet to come.

As far as baselines for performance, it is sorta hard to guage because I cant do any 1RM maxes in this phase. I messed around with deadlifts yesterday, just doing as much as I could without putting any real effort. Started at 135 and started adding incrementally til 205 - that is probably 60-65% of my 1RM right now. That would put my deadlift 1RM in the 320 zone. Did pushups to failure after the circuit tonight because I got curious, did 39. Not bad since I havent been training endurance, but hopefully that’ll be around 50-60 by competition time (muscle endurance plays big in grappling).

Nutrition is turning into a bigger hurdle than anticipated. Christmas is always a time of junk food and overindulgence, but this year seems to be dragging on and on. There are no veggies in the house and the fruit is limited. It definitely begins to take a toll on how you feel and how the body responds to demands being placed on it. This week’s workouts have been extremely easy, but I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck. Anyway, going to start going a bit more aggressive on green supplementing to try and right the ship. We have some oatmeal as well, so that should give some decent fiber for breakfast.

Tomorrow will be a light workout mainly focusing on form for the big lifts - the full squat and the deadlift. Already having bad knees, the squat is something that really needs to be pefect. After skimming Rippetoe’s section on squats, I can already tell you that his views and what I have been taught are very different. Feet position, how to drop down, where to hold the weight, posture - everything is new. But, I do trust the info that Rip is giving, and it is backed up with a lot of information and charts of anatomy. He has some drills in the book to build correct form, so I’m starting at the beginning and trying to progress to ideal form. This weekend is my friend’s 21st b-day, so no training scheduled til Sunday night.

[quote=“kc86”]
Tomorrow will be a light workout mainly focusing on form for the big lifts - the full squat and the deadlift. Already having bad knees, the squat is something that really needs to be pefect. After skimming Rippetoe’s section on squats, I can already tell you that his views and what I have been taught are very different. Feet position, how to drop down, where to hold the weight, posture - everything is new. But, I do trust the info that Rip is giving, and it is backed up with a lot of information and charts of anatomy. He has some drills in the book to build correct form, so I’m starting at the beginning and trying to progress to ideal form. This weekend is my friend’s 21st b-day, so no training scheduled til Sunday night.[/quote]

Just curious what style Rippetoe preaches?

His powerlifter background makes me guess it’s gonna be something like:
Low bar, very wide stance, sit back, attempt to keep shins perpendicular, all about creating force with the hips on the way up?

I could be way off base, so I was curious about his basic teaching points.

He was a powerlifter, but the style he teaches in the book is more about getting max muscle involvement and protecting the knees. Most of Starting Strength seems to be geared to amatuer athletes and strength coaches, so the end goal is performance.

The way he teaches is to go with a shoulder wide stance, toes point out slightly (30 degrees). The main difference (for me at least) is flaring your knees out wide, so that they are essentially over your toes as you drop down. The one drill that I was working last night is where you hold the bottom of the squat with your elbows inside of your knees (hands together). When you go deep into the squat like Rippetoe says, your hips are below the level of your knees. I’m not sure if it’s a flexibility issue, or just a lack of muscle memory, but that part has been the most difficult. Honestly, we never really had any instruction in the weight room for football. It was just load the weight, do the lift.

I’m thinking the Dan John Squat Video may provide for a good visual and quick fixes. He also uses a similar drill (About the 4 minute mark)
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744

I would say it’s a bit of muscle memory, and a matter of getting comfortable with your weight on your heels. Maybe static stretch the hip flexors a bit? But really I think anyone that’s in decent shape is capable if they follow some of the teaching points, I just think the John video allows a quality visual, I mean heck it’s almost like you were attending the seminar.

I was at the same point as yourself, struggling to get comfortable with the position. I can now pop down into a full squat whenever, perfectly comfortable.

Oh one other thought, I don’t know if you were doing the drill in shoes or not, but the raised heel of a shoe could potentially make it a bit easier to learn.

It’s getting a little better. I think the adductor/abductor flexibility might have caused a bit of it. Anyway, did some unloaded squats with just the bar to work on form. Probably gonna go back to using goblet squats I’m using Nike freetrainers for lifting outside, and going barefoot when I lift inside.

Anyway, I got a little bored today so I threw an extra workout in today. Grappling school is closed til next weds., so a little extra work should be fine. Started with a barbell no rest circuit, 65 pounds.
Upright rows
Military press
Bent over rows
Curls

5 trips through the circuit. 5-6-7-6-5 rep scheme.

For the legs, decided against trying to squat since my form isnt perfect yet. Went with deadlifts and sumo deads to work the legs. 135 pounds for 4 sets. 7 reps per set.

Overall it felt pretty good. No soreness afterwards.

Another AA style lifting day today. Did an upper body circuit with 75 pounds (upright rows, military press, curls, bent rows, power cleans). 3 sets of 7 reps. For lower body did regular deadlifts and sumo deads with 155 (hamstring and quad targetting). My grip got fried by the end. Finally I finished the workout with 2 sets of pushups and crunches, then a static stretching session and cool down.

I was going to take today off, but felt like lifting. Did an abbreviated session:
4 sets of deadlifts @155 (5-5-7-6 reps)
4 sets of bent rows @100 pounds
2 sets of military press @100(5-5)
followed by a set of sprints.

The plan will be to workout tomorrow, friday, sat/sun, then 3-4 times next week. Then on Monday the 14th the lifting focus will shift from just getting the tendons and muscles prepared to handle heavy loads to actually moving those heavy loads around. The loading schedule will be (this is going week to week) light, medium, heavy, backoff for each 4 week cycle (75-80%, 80-90%, 90-95%, respectively). The main lifts for the max strength period will be deadlifts (sumo and regular), power-cleans, military or push press, bent rows, squats (goblet and front), and a couple others.

Rest intervals will be around 3-5 minutes, depending on the intensity of the exercise. The basis of max strength is getting the most powerful muscular tension possible, rather than trying to push through fatigue. In the power conversion phase (and pre-competition period) this will be addressed more directly, as the program shifts toward sports specificity of short rest periods and heavy dependence on anaerobic endurance.

1-2-08

DB Circuit
Hammer Curls (8-10-8.) @35 lbs
Shoulder Press (8-10-8.) @35
Tricep Extension (10-12) @35 (10) @50
DB Bench (10-10) @35 (8.) @50
DB Snatch (10-10) @35 (7) @50

Situps (25-25)
Supermans (12-12)

Supplementary Grip Work
Cheap gripper (warmup) - 20,25
COC Gripper - 4,5,6
Cheap Gripper (cool down) - 15,15

1-4-08

Powercleans - 3x7 @100 pounds
Hang Cleans - 3x7 @100 pounds
Overhead Press - 3x8 @100
Bent Rows - 3x7 @100
Hammer Curls - 2x10 @35
Tri Extension - 2x12 @35

then followed with static stretching and neck iso’s.

And here’s a cool highlight video of one of my favorite grapplers, Jacare de Souza. Should give you an idea of the pace and strength factors in a grappling competition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXM9J10IfSw
He is currently competing in MMA at 185 pounds (middleweight).

Saturday : 1.5 hour sport specific workout (warmup, core workout, drilling, sparring, cool down and stretching)

Sunday: DB Circuit
Hammer Curls (10-10) @35 lbs
Shoulder Press (10-10) @35
Tricep Extension (10-10) @50
DB Bench (8-8.) @50
DB Snatch (9-9) @50

Monday: Weather limited the workout to indoors (barbell and heavy stuff is on the patio outside). Similar dumbbell circuit to Sunday, but changed exercise selection. Also added situps, crunches, and med ball rotational work.

Tuesday: Sports specific day.
1 hour of technique and conditioning work.

Tomorrow will (hopefully) be a larger volume session outside. Since next week is the start of the max strength phase, I’ll be increasing the weight during the next couple workouts (weds, fri, and sunday) in order to transition more smoothly. The AA period has been extremely easy, almost like a total backoff. It has been sorta frustrating to limit my workouts, but that is what Bompa says to do - no straining, low volume, let the tendons strengthen.

Well, now that week 4 of the AA period is almost over, we get to move into the challenging part. I’m interested to see how the MLM (max load method) training coincides with grappling training, which will be 2-3 times a week. This is a concern that is valid for any athlete, pitchers as well. The last thing you want is for a strength program to interfere with your improvement in sport specific training. With that in mind, I am going to be keeping a close eye on soreness and making any notes thereof.

1-9-08

Push Press: 3 sets (5-6-7) @ 100
Hang Cleans: 2 sets (5-5) @115
Deadlifts: 5 sets of 5 reps @185

Thursday: 1 hour sports specific

Friday: neck is really sore and starting to get some flu-like symptoms. Probably going to shelve the heavy lifting for today and move it to sunday/monday. Might do some limited medball stuff tonight just to get work in.

[quote=“kc86”]Thursday: 1 hour sports specific

Friday: neck is really sore and starting to get some flu-like symptoms. Probably going to shelve the heavy lifting for today and move it to sunday/monday. Might do some limited medball stuff tonight just to get work in.[/quote]

Don’t get sick now!

Yeah, I’m trying not to. Whole family passed the flu around about a week ago and I was spared (something I credited to my superior immune system :lol: ) but it seems to have caught up. Gonna go overdose on vitamin C later :wink:

The neck thing feels way worse right now. I cant turn my head or bring my chin down to my chest without pain. The joys of grappling…

Monday: First Day of Max Strength Phase

Today is the beginning of transition from anatomical adaptation to max strength. Wasn’t able to get much done over the weekend, but the neck stiffness and psuedo-flu are gone. Today was more about trying to see what type of weight I’m going to be able to start with. The main lifts for this phase are going to be squats, deads, cleans, rows, and presses (and all variations thereof). Without a squat rack available there is no real safe way to squat heavy, so I’ll be doing different stuff for leg push strength in order to develop that (goblet squats, bulgarian split squats, etc.).

Deadlift max right now looks to be around 245-250 (note: I’ll be sticking with double overhand grip in order to maximize grip strength gains), cleans 150-ish (form isnt good), overhead press around 130-140, and bent rows are 145. This is the starting point and over the next 8 weeks the emphasis will be on raising these numbers. The 8 weeks are divided into 2 four week microcycles, which go light, medium, heavy, backoff (75, 85,95, and 80% of 1RM respectively). Reps per set will obviously correlate to the weight used, but it should be between 3-6 reps and 4-6 sets.

Today’s Workout
Warmup
Powercleans - 5x6x115
Push Press - 5x6x115
Bulgarian Split Squats - 2x6x50
Deadlift - 1x3x225, 1x2x245, 1x5x205, 2x5x185
Cooldown and stretching

Just like to add that I was incredibly sore today. Added to that is some knee problems stemming from me being an idiot and deciding to do some sprint training last night. Everything went great until I hit a hole in the grass and landed funky (no flex in the leg). It was one of those things where you know right away that you hurt something. Still a little swollen and walking with a bit of a limp. Had to skip BJJ practice today because of it, but shouldn’t affect tomorrow’s lifting.

1-16-08

Avoided heavy lowerbody exercises due to knee soreness (almost gone).

Bent Rows - 4x6x115
DB Benchpress - 4x8x50
Stepups - 2x10
Situps - 3x25
Elevated feet pushups - 3x12

Basically a junk session but at least it was something.

Thursday - 1 hour sports specific training

Friday
Push Press - 3x5x115
Bent Rows - 3x5x115
Step Ups - 3x6x50 (per leg)
Sumo Deadlifts - 3x5x165