Tip: For Maximal Strength, Periodize Your Training

Only newbies can bring up every lift at the same time. Once you get stronger, you'll have to get smarter. Here's how.

There's no denying that periodization works. Too many lifters, both genetically gifted and not so much, have used it with great success.

But when most people think of periodization, they think of a bunch of percentage charts and cycles based around meets. And that can be part of it. But you also need to periodize your entire training blocks at times and put some things on the back burner while making other things a priority.

Within every macro cycle (a year or two) of training, there should be meso cycles (a couple weeks to a couple months) and micro cycles (up to a week), where certain things are put on maintenance mode and other things become the priority.

Lifters often make the mistake of trying to bring up too many movements at once. They'll say their bench is going great, squat is maintaining, but their deadlift has been stalled for a long time. So why are they still training the bench press and squat in a way to maximize them if their deadlift has been stalled out?

Within a yearly macro cycle, do you have meso cycles where you prioritize the following?

  • Hypertrophy
  • Injury prevention
  • Weak points
  • Squat
  • Bench and/or press variation
  • Deadlift
  • Competition

Each of these plays a major role in the development of maximal strength, and they can't all be maximized at the same time. So use some periodization to figure out what should be prioritized at different points within your yearly macro cycle.