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      FITNESS TIPS FOR 8/9/2000                  
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Lost Bodybuilding Secrets  
Part 3:  Intensity Cycling - Periodization Weight Training 

Intensity cycling refers to the regular varying of training 
intensity through changes in poundageís used and the 
effort level given forth. Very simply you build up to your 
previous best weight over a five to eight week period and 
then slowly add very small drops of weight for as long as 
possible. When increases stop, have a few weeks off lifting 
and start again. By taking two steps back in order to travel 
three steps forward, persistent sticking points and 
plateauís are removed and progression can he seen and 
predicted. 

The human body can not be pushed to failure week after 
week, month after month. year after year, no matter how 
geneticallv advantaged one is. Linear progression cannot 
be sustained forever, but linear progression can be 
maintained for an individual cycle, where progress is 
seen relative to the previous workout and absolute 
progress observed at the end of the cycle 

For novices and the genetically gifted, intensity cycling 
is not essential, but for average men of intermediate 
level it is impossible to become as big and strong as 
one possibly can without cycling training intensity. 
There are many forms: Modified powerlifting cycles, 
mini-cycles, alternated volume intensity cycles, long 
cycles, periodization weight training, etc. I have tried them 
all, but the one that works best for me, is the simplest It 
consists of building up to my previous, personal best 
weight for a fixed number of reps over a period of 5 or 
6 weeks Then I add tiny bits of weight to the bar and keep 
the reps the same. If I fail to get all the targeted reps in a 
workout. I stick with the same weight the next workout and 
make dam sure to get all the reps on all the sets I then add 
a tiny amount of weight and continue. The key is to supply 
your body with a running start and then add just a small 
amount of iron to the bar. Your body can become 2 lbs 
stronger for a very long time, but if you are impatient and 
add too much weight to the bar too quickly, the 
momentum produced in the cycle will be lost 

As an example. I have used an excerpt from an actual 
training cycle which shows progress in the bench press. 
All weights are in kg. e.g. 30 kg for 5 reps with two 
warm-up sets. followed by two working sets My 
personal best was 87.5 kg for 5 reps before this cycle. 

WEEK 1 30X5 60X5 70X5 70X5 
WEEK 2 30X5 60X5 75X5 75X5 
WEEK 3 30X5 60X5 80X5 80X5 
WEEK 4 30X5 60X5 82.5 X5 82.5 X5 
WEEK 5 30X5 60X5 85X5 85X5 
WEEK 6 35X5 65X5 87.5 X5 87.5 X5 
WEEK 7 35X5 65X5 88.5 X5 88.5 X5 
WEEK 8 35X5 65X5 89.5 X 5 89.5 X 5 
WEEK 9 35X5 65X5 90 X5 90 X5 
WEEK 10 35X5 70X5 91 X5 91 X5 
WEEK 11 35X5 70X5 92 X5 92 X3 
WEEK 12 40X5 70X5 92 X5 92 X5 
WEEK 13 40X5 70X5 93 X5 93 X5 

Note that the second set on week 11 was a triple so the 
next workout I stuck with the same weight. After 13 
workouts I was totally exhausted, so I finished the 
cycle 6.5 kg stronger in the bench press This might 
not sound a lot, but a 6.5 kg net gain per cycle adds 
up to about 19.5 kg in a year. And how many of you o
ut there can honestly say your bench press increases 
that much per year? 

© David Gentle 1997/98. from Muscle Mob Magazine, by 
permission of the publisher. 

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