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Periodization for Bodybuilders: Part 2

In Periodization for Bodybuilders: Part 1, I discussed some basic periodization concepts and mentioned some of the major writers on the topic. Yet, somehow I managed to miss one of the primary proponents of having bodybuilders perform different types of training to maximize appearance: Fred Hatfield. With his concept of Holistic Training, Dr. Squat may have been one of the first to formalize the idea of training different ‘components’ of a muscle to maximize/optimize growth and appearance. So let’s look at that briefly.

Fred Hatfield’s Holistic Training

In his original holistic training schema, Dr. Hatfield proposed using three different intensity/rep ranges to optimally stimulate a muscle. This included sets of 4-6 done explosively, sets of 12-15 done rhythmically and sets of 40 done fairly slowly. Different types of workouts were done in a fairly complicated cycling pattern (Hatfield called this ABC training) and, frankly, keeping everything straight was a huge pain in the ass.… Keep Reading

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Periodization for Bodybuilders

Over the next three articles I want to address the topic of periodization for bodybuilders.  Now, periodization is one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot and can have many many many meanings, depending on who you’re talking to. From fairly generic approaches to cycling training to meticulously planned out programs where ever set and rep is set ahead of time, you can find many different interpretations of periodization and what it means. In this article series, I want to discuss periodization as it applies to bodybuilding specifically.

Now, if you go into most gyms, you’ll usually find people working out in vastly different ways: there are your pumpers, the guys who go heavy all the time, etc. But, for the most part, the guys who pump always pump and the guys who go heavy always go heavy. Most bodybuilders tend to stick in a fairly static rep range (could be 6-8 or 10-12 depending on what theory of growth they ascribe to) but it’s rare to see a given individual change that much.… Keep Reading