Natural Bodybuilding Routine with Periodization

If you are wondering how to implement periodization (which is the orderly variation of your workout parameters – sets, reps and rest in between sets) in order to gain muscle and lose fat, here is another sample natural bodybuilding routine that uses periodization.

Why Use Periodization?

Because, as I have mentioned several times, your body will get used to any routine that you throw at it. Thus, you need to change your workout parameters in order to continue to gain muscle and lose fat.

Sample Natural Bodybuilding Routine Using Periodization

Here is a sample bodybuilding routine that uses periodization.

Weeks 1-3

Workout (A): Monday/Thursday –Legs

Leg Extensions 3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps (45 sec rest)

Superset:

Medium Stance Squats 3 sets 10-15 reps (no rest)
Wide Stance Squats * 3 sets 10-15 reps (90 second rest)

* Use the same weight for the wide stance squats that you used for the medium stance.

Superset:
Leg Press 3 sets 10-15 reps (no rest)
Stationary Lunges * 3 sets 10-15 reps (90 second rest)

*Perform the stationary lunges, one leg at a time followed by the next one. Press with the heel to emphasize the glutes and hamstrings.

Superset:
Lying Leg Curls 3 sets of 10-15 reps (no rest)
Dumbbell Stiff Legged Dead-lifts 3 sets of 10-15 reps (1 min rest)

One Legged Calf Press Giant-set * 7 sets of 8-20 reps

*Perform all 7 sets by alternating back and forth non-stop between legs. Start with a weight you can do for about 20 repetitions.

Workout (B): Tuesday/Friday-Chest/Back/Abs

Superset:
Wide Grip Pull-up (or Pull-down) to Front 4 sets 10-15 reps (no rest)
Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets 10-15 reps (1 min rest)

Superset:
Close Reverse Grip Chins (or Close Grip Pull-down with palms facing you) 4 sets 10-15 reps (no rest)
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets 10-15 reps (1 min rest)

Superset:
Incline Flyes 3 sets of 10-15 reps (no rest)
Low Pulley Rows 3 sets of 10-15 reps (1 min rest)

Tri-Set:
Bicycle Crunches 3 sets of 10-30 reps (no rest)
Crunches 3 sets of 10-30 reps (no rest)
Leg Raises 3 sets of 10-30 reps (30 sec rest)

Workout (C): Wednesday/Saturday-Shoulders/Arms

Lateral Raises 3 sets of 10-15 reps (45 sec rest)

Superset:
Bent Over Laterals 3 sets 10-15 reps (no rest)
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 sets 10-15 reps (1 min rest)

Superset:
Concentration Curls 3 sets 10-15 reps (no rest)
Triceps Pushdowns (straight bar) 3 sets 10-15 reps (1 min rest)

Giant-set:
Dumbbell Curls 3 sets of 10-15 reps (no rest)
Triceps Dips (on parallel bars) 3 sets of 10-15 reps (no rest)
Hammer Curls 3 sets of 10-15 reps (no rest)
Seated One Arm Overhead Triceps Extensions 3 sets of 10-15 reps (90 sec rest)

Weeks 4-6

Workout (A): Monday/Thursday –Legs

Modified Superset:
Wide Stance Squats 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)
Lying Leg Curls 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)

Note: alternate back and forth between exercises resting 90 seconds after each set.

Modified Superset:
Leg Press 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)
Stationary Lunges 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)

Standing Calf Raises 6 sets of 6-12 reps (60 sec rest)

Workout (B): Tuesday/Friday-Chest/Back/Abs

Modified Superset:
Wide Grip Pull-up (or Pull-down) to Front 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)
Incline Bench Press 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)

Modified Superset:
Close Reverse Grip Chins (or Close Grip Pull-down with palms facing you) 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)
Bench Press 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)

Modified Superset:
Rope Crunches 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8 (60 second rest)
Weighted Leg Raises 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8 (60 second rest)

Workout (C): Wednesday/Saturday-Shoulders/Arms

Modified Superset:
Military Press 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)
Rear Delt Rows 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)

Modified Superset:
Preacher Curls 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)
Close Grip Bench Press 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)

Modified Superset:
Barbell Curls 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)
Triceps Dips 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps (90 second rest)

Bodybuilding Workout Frequency Training Options

Even though the sample periodization workout that will shortly be presented prescribes six days a week, if you need more recovery you have several options:

  • Three Days a Week: After Week 1, perform Workout (A) on Monday, Workout (B) on Wednesday, and Workout (C) on Friday. After six weeks, move on to the workouts presented under Weeks 5-7 and perform Workout (A) on Monday, Workout (B) on Wednesday, and Workout (C) on Friday. You will perform those workouts also for 6 weeks and then go back to Week 1, change the exercises and start over.
  • Two Days On, One Day Off, One Day On, One Day Off Cycle: After Week 1, perform Workout (A) on Monday, Workout (B) on Tuesday, and Workout (C) on Thursday. On Saurday you start again with Workout (A), Sunday perform Workout (B), and Tuesday finish off with Workout (C). Keep repeating the cycle in this manner for a total of 6 times. After the sixth cycle move on to the workouts presented under Weeks 5-7. You will perform those workouts also for 6 cycles and then go back to Week 1, change the exercises and start over.
  • Three Days On, One Day Off Cycle: After Week 1, perform Workout (A) on Monday, Workout (B) on Tuesday, and Workout (C) on Wednesday. On Friday you start again with Workout (A), Saturday perform Workout (B), and Sunday finish off with Workout (C). Keep repeating the cycle in this manner for a total of 6 times. After the sixth cycle move on to the workouts presented under Weeks 5-7. You will perform those workouts also for 6 cycles and then go back to Week 1, change the exercises and start over.
  • 5 Days On, Weekends Off Cycle: After Week 1, perform Workout (A) on Monday, Workout (B) on Tuesday, and Workout (C) on Wednesday. Start again with Workout (A) on Thursday and Workout (B) on Friday. Rest over the weekends and start the week with Workout (C) on Monday. After three weeks, move on to the workouts presented under Weeks 5-7.

Related Articles About Natural Bodybuilding Routines:

Mass Training Tactics, Part 1

Mass Training Tactics, Part 2

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13 Comments

  1. Veri good programs,but I still think that evry bodybuilding program should fit to each person body.

  2. Awesome routine Hugo. Can u post some more training routines like this one?
    After finishing the 6 week training cycle should we go at it again or follow a different routine?

  3. For weeks 1-3 do we add any extra sets as we progress from week 1 to week 3 (assuming we are working out each body part twice a week), the way you outline in BRE? Also in week 1 where we superset medium stance squats and wide stance squats, you mention to use the same weight for both exercises. Does this mean we will not reach failure in the first exercise? Or can the body generally handle more weight when you switch to wide stance squats and that way you reach failure on both exercises?

    • Hi there!

      For this periodized routine you can either follow it as is or add an extra set every week…up to you. It will work as is however.

      For the squats you will reach failure on the first exercise BUT the wide stance allows you to hit more reps. 🙂

      Best!
      HR

  4. hey! Hugo, I just want to know is it better to do more sets with light weight or few sets with more weight? does weight matter. is it necessary to add more weight. I haven’t change my dumble weight for 2 years, rather I have increased sets. I am getting good shape, but I am not building to much muscles. so what do you think. should I increase the weights.

  5. Hugo Rivera, you are simply the most amazing person i ever known. My wife and I were on your site yesterday night and we were blown away by how much info and knowledge you offer on your awesome site. I love your 7 minute youtube workouts they give me the greatest pumps. I even stumpled across your fitness for kids, what an awesome routine for kids . I have a 3 yr old who loves zumba and doing body squats and crunches LOL.. I printed that and the workout for when your travelling both awesome pieces of work, like everything you put out… I’m sorry to brag so much about you, but you have helped my family and i very much.. Your a great man Hugo… keep up the wonderful job.

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