Periodization -7 Grandaddy Laws

 Josh’s clients at Metroflex all train differently.

When the ivory tower studies periodization, they allude to each type like mutually exclusive dating and usually end up getting married to their favorite.  

Those in the trenches with the highest amounts of success use each type of periodization for the right situation and context.

Nearly all successful training plans weave together elements from each type of periodization to maximize transfer of training.

In designing programs, you gotta be a playa and have an open relationship with periodization—if you are in love with block periodization, you can still court undulated on the side.

Remember, no matter what big words the lab coats drop at the next whiskey tasting post science symposium, all that matters is your training obeys the 7 Granddaddy Laws. 

Assuming your goal is strength and you do not find pleasure in the mental masturbation of abstract exclusive periodization models, the buck stops with the 7 Grandaddy Laws.

These laws were categorized by my late mentor, Dr. Squat “Fred Hatfield.” These laws are the measuring stick for all programs!

Here is an overview of the 7 Granddaddy Laws. All programs I design circle back to these laws.

The Law of Individual Differences

An-ex con, Pentecostal preacher, exotic dancer and Peace Corp General walk into a weight room………. guess what?  Just as they have individual differences in vocation, they also do in strength training!

This law of individual differences states that everyone cannot train in the same manner. It is relevant to periodization when you consider the fact that individual differences of the athlete will change with training. Everyone will become an entirely different individual after a year of proper training. Certainly, a beginner will not keep the same physical and psychological characteristics after training; he will literally become a different individual in that he will be stronger, more explosive, recover more quickly and have a different perspective on training than when he began.

When my clients ask me why I do not train them in the same way as one of my high-profile clients, I refer them to exhibit A (the law of individual differences).


The Laws of Overcompensation and Overload

This is the first principle most learn in exercise physiology. Simply put, training must progressively increase in intensity over time. Using the same reps, sets, frequency, training loads, and methods of training, time after time, will not result in increases in performance.

Milo of Croton was a 6th century bc wrestling champion. Milo’s feats of strength were legendary. History says when Milo was just a small boy, he would pick up a calf on a daily basis. As Milo became a man, the calf became a bull. Because Milo successfully lifted the calf every day, his strength increased as the calf turned into a bull. Even though the bull grew larger than Milo, he was still strong enough to lift it.

This is progressive overload in action, the basis of all strength training!

The SAID Principle and the Law of Specificity

The body will adapt in a highly specific manner to the stress it receives. Simply put, you have to train like you compete! However, the rigors of extreme strength competition are too extreme to jump right into. You won’t win the West “By God” Virginia Tough Man contest doing cardio kick boxing at the local community center or the World’s Strongest Man by sweating to the oldies.

Every time you see a program that advocates getting better at the deadlift by not deadlifting or using variations of the deadlift, realize a granddaddy law is being contradicted. To get better at strongman events, train strongman events; to become a better squatter, you have to squat.

The GAS Principle and the Law of Use/Disuse

Periods of high intensity must be followed by periods of low or no intensity. If you complete only one hard workout, adaptation for larger muscles will take weeks. Too long not to train! Therefore, there must be frequent periods of low intensity between periods of high intensity. This is why reloads should regularly scheduled, so you can super compensate to make gains..

Final Thoughts

These are not suggestions; they are training LAWS!  In the Supreme Court of training, this is the Constitution and if you break the law you will get thrown into a prison of no gains and physical flaccidity.

Neck training for The Law of  Specificity & SAID Principle is essential for contact sports, it is most effectively done with The Strong Neck – Get it HERE!