Ever wondered, can I look strong? I have been searching the internet on how to do this. Got this from http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/use-periodization-and-never-hit-a-training-plateau-ever-again.htm
Phase 1: 4 Months – Bulking/Muscle Mass Building
The focus is simple: gain muscle and size. Back to the basics, train heavy. If you can muster up the courage, add in some Olympic lifts. First make them light then higher intensity – back squats, bent over rows, deadlifts, barbell bench press, and more.
Those are the hard core bodybuilding moves that the sport was built on. You should also be eating for size as well. Utilize whey protein isolate and casein proteins. Maintain a diet that is slightly higher in carbohydrates and calories to create an anabolic environment in the body. Eat a clean diet to avoid adding excess amounts of body fat!
This intense type of training can’t last for too long without the proper fuel to burn. Utilize straight sets with longer breaks when designing your program. Move as much weight as possible each session and make sure to rest and recover.
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep. Our strength gains are made while we sleep. Routinely choose a max of 2 body parts per training session. At this phase in your program keep cardio light and when it comes to the weights go hard!
Phase 2: 4 Months – Cutting And Leaning Out
The goal here is to maintain muscle mass while dropping fat. Hopefully you gained some great quality muscle mass in the previous phase, and here is where you uncover it.
At this junction you should start to sprinkle in your selected machines. This is when you should incorporate the use of dumbbells to stimulate as many muscles as possible during training.
Focus on abdominal training and make sure to use very short breaks between sets. Use compound sets and supersets freely. Raise the number of sets to increase volume. Add a variety of exercises with higher reps; add more sets to your routines.
Your diet should also be altered big time. Lower the amount of simple carbs. I would suggest a calorie drop of 500-700 calories. Anything else may be too drastic and cause your body to leach onto your hard earned muscle for an energy source.
Your overall volume of exercise should increase to help burn more calories in a shorter period of time creating a slightly catabolic environment in the body.
Try to maintain 2 separate workouts a day. In the AM your cardio is key and in the afternoon or evening go hard with your lifting regimen. 45 minutes each session should suffice. Glutamine and other recovery supplements will help in this phase. The use of a thermogenic aid during this phase is great to integrate into your routine at this point.
Phase 3: 4 Months – Active Recovery, Research And Functional Strength
Focus on maintaining or slightly gaining muscle mass. You should be leaner, stronger and looking better. Pick the lifts that you like the best and focus on them. Mix in half repetitions, negatives, and quick explosive repetitions to really stimulate as many muscle fibers as possible.
Make sure to focus in on your lagging body parts and train them harder. Choose a rep range and intensity that you consider moderate when training. Moderate cardio will help you look your best.
Focus on flexibility and mix in other challenging resistance exercises. Use kettlebells, calisthenics, sports, and body weight exercises of all sorts. Add the finishing touches on the body you have created and make sure to sleep and recover.
This is also where you should do your research and try any new exercises, techniques or protocols that you would like to implement in other future cycles.