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The keys of the wavy periodization: so you can organize your training

Choosing to do our training always with the same weight, the same number of series and the same number of repetitions, is one of the worst mistakes when it comes to “programs” our routine. Knowing how to conjugate volume, intensity and rest is what we know as training periodization.

Periodization is basic if we want our training to give results and not stay at the door of our objectives.

What is wavy periodization?

As we already know, volume, intensity and frequency are some of the factors on which we plan and structure our training routine , and it is precisely this planning that is known as the periodization.

There are two types of periodization: linear periodization , in which you start with a high volume of training and average intensity to reach the end of the planning with a high intensity and a lower volume; and there is the wavy periodization , in which we are going to dedicate less time to the work of hypertrophy, strength and power, but on the contrary we are going to work them more frequently.

In addition, in the year 1997 William Kraemer suggested the possibility of a type of daily wavy periodization , which would consist of combining different charges throughout the same training session to work on strength, power and hypertrophy.

Phases of the wavy periodization

In any periodization of a training routine we will be able to distinguish several phases in which the volume increases, the charges go down or rise, etc … In the wavy periodization, we can distinguish three phases:

  • In the first phase , the training volume (understood as the total number of series by the total number of repetitions, that is, the total amount of work performed either in a session or in a week) will be greater than the intensity.
  • In the second phase , the intensity (being this, in its purest definition, the degree of effort involved in the performance of a certain exercise) increases to the detriment of the volume that descends.
  • And finally, in the third phase , the volume will descend to the lowest possible level (always within a minimum) while looking for a maximum training intensity. This phase is known as ” peak ” ( in people who compete is what is called “tuning” ).

Benefits of wavy periodization

First, we must point out that one of the most widespread principles in training is that the more often you train a quality, the more that quality improves, so one of the advantages of wavy periodization is that by working more frequently strength, power and hypertrophy, better results we will obtain over time.

This type of periodization also allows us greater flexibility to adapt to factors external to planning and that can affect training such as mood swings or moods.

Also, muscle protein synthesis (which occurs when repairing damaged muscle fibers in training and the muscle “grows”) reaches its maximum level at approximately 24 hours, returning to normal levels after about 36 hours, so training more frequently, it will lead to an increase in protein synthesis throughout the week.

Damages of the wavy periodization

Like everything in life, this model of periodization is not exempt from those who point out some negative aspect. In this respect we find two studies ( Strength gains: block versus daily undulating periodization weight training between track and field athletes of Painter and collaborators of the year 2012 and Effects of different periodization models on rate of force development and power ability of the upper extremity of Hartmann and collaborators of the year 2009) in which they pointed out as a negative aspect of the wavy periodization the increase in fatigue , especially due to hypertrophy training.

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