Last week I talked about what periodization consists of, and simple way of implementing it into your training by simply adding one additional set to your working sets each week, for a few weeks in a row, and then de-loading.
Let’s say you do a couple of warm-up sets and do 10 reps- 3 sets of back squats, then the next week would be 10 reps-4 sets, and then the following week would be 10 reps-5 sets. After the 5X10 week, you would de-load by reducing your overall working sets and also reducing the load(intensity) you usually use for doing 10 reps(typically drop by 40-50%, but this does depend on your training experience). This next way of periodizing your training involves varying the load(intensity) throughout the week, so that you prevent yourself from overtraining, and possibly injuring yourself. Let’s go back to the exercise of the squat, and you do squats quite frequently at three times per week. Monday you choose to go heavier, so you do 5 reps and 5 sets at 85% of your 1RM(rep max); you have 1 more rep left in the tank after each set. The next time you squat is going to be on Wednesday, and again you want to hit 5 reps, however, since you are going to still be pretty fatigued from Monday’s heavy session, then what you would do is decrease the intensity to maybe 75% of your 1RM, and still do the 5 reps and 5 sets. The third time you squat that week is going to be Saturday, and with that extra day of rest, you may be able to go back up to 80-85% of your 1RM for another 5X5 since you’ll be pretty recovered since Wednesday’s session was at a lower intensity. You could add this training principle on a weekly basis. One week you choose to use higher intensities for a majority of your exercises, but then the following week you could use low to moderate intensities since you’ll be pretty fatigued from the previous high load week.