Periodization and weight loss programs
Periodization programs of all kinds have become the de facto focus of sports training for strength and speed. Problems can arise when combining a typical weight loss diet with a periodization program. At all times, you must ensure that your body can handle the stresses placed on it while allowing you to lose weight and gain athleticism.
The typical weight loss program restricts total calories, and most also restrict total carbohydrates. The idea is to control the blood sugar response by controlling the release of insulin. This has proven to be an effective form of diet for everyone from bodybuilders to housewives.
Periodization programs recognize that it is impossible to always make gains in strength, speed, or overall endurance. Traditional weightlifting programs talk about doing 3 sets of 10 reps per exercise and then trying to increase the weight from one workout to the next. If you were to gain 5 pounds per workout and exercise 3 times a week, that would be over 500 pounds of gain! Clearly, this is not possible.
A typical periodization program divides the calendar into phases such as “recovery,” “strength,” “endurance,” and “maintenance.” The idea is that within a phase you focus your workouts on a specific type of training. If there is a competition or goal you are working towards, the phases and schedule are adjusted so that it peaks just before the event.
You don’t want to be on a 12 week weight loss program and in the middle of a 10 week periodization phase for maximum strength. Your body will be overstressed and this will hinder, not help, your weight loss efforts. Training for maximum strength requires adequate carbohydrate and protein intake and actually works against your fat loss efforts.
However, the periodization phases do not have to last for months. The duration of a phase can even be shortened to one day! This form of periodization program is called “undulating periodization” and it allows you to exercise 3 days a week, usually with a different approach to each workout. One day he focuses on strength, another on speed, and another on endurance.
This type of periodization program is perfect for melting fat when combined with an adequate intake of protein (at least 1 gram per pound of lean body mass) and healthy carbohydrates. The advantage of this approach to weight loss and periodization is that this program makes the body emphasize a different part in each workout.