How important is the timeline to gain strength and muscle mass?


Weight training has been widely used by athletes and recreational practitioners of exercise because it is an effective strategy for improving fitness, gain strength and muscle mass (Kraemer et al. 2003;. Tricoli et al, 2005 ). Despite already being the benefits of such a practice recognized, the researchers turned their attention to the training variables to optimize your results, one of the periodization. Researchers advocate periodized training indicating that it is more efficient for inducing neuromuscular adaptations regarding non periodized training (Ratamess et al., 2009).

The current literature highlights two models of periodization, as follows:

I) The traditional periodization (PT), with progression of charge starting from high volume and low overhead to high overhead and low volume;

II) periodization Rolling (PO), switches between low intensity and high training volume and low volume and high intensity within a week of training (MONTEIRO et al, 2009; Ratamess et al, 2009).

Currently, a group of researchers supports the hypothesis that periodized training programs are more efficient with respect to muscle strength gain (Fleck, 1999; Ratamess et al, 2009;. Stone et al., 2000; Willoughby, 1993). With regard to changes in muscle mass does not exist yet concrete conclusions, though studies comparing periodized methods and not periodized noticed more effectively in TP on the fat-free mass (Kraemer et al. 2003; Prestes et al., 2009) and thickness muscle (Simao et al., 2012).

Given that previous research comparing individuals with no experience with weight training, Souza et al. (2014) published a scientific paper in order to compare different methods of periodization and periodization not in adult men and participation in a training program with weights.

The authors split the volunteers into four groups, namely (Control Group, periodization Traditional (PT), Undulating periodization (PO) and No periodization (SP)), where they made a training program 6 weeks with two sessions per week, and volume and similar training load. The hypothesis of the authors following the literature would be that periodized training were more efficient in gaining strength and muscle area. However, not all results were as expected by the authors. Muscle strength had significant increases in strength not only in periodized groups and the wave method, the traditional periodization had increased, but not significant. Regarding the muscle area, all training groups had significantly increased and no difference between them.

While fleeing the hypothesis of the authors themselves point out that the result occurred because the traditional periodization be performed at a lower intensity for more than half of the training, unlike the other groups using higher overhead at the start of the training. Such progression is common in the EN method (Below check out how the trainings were designed).

periodização imagem

The findings of Souza et al. (2014) run counter to the study by Campos (2002), and it can be noted that in adults trained at higher overloads are more effective for increasing muscle strength. In relation to increased muscle mass, according to Burd et al. (2010) and Mitchell et al. (2012), there is no difference between high volume of repetitions and low load and low volume of repetitions and high loads, provided they are implemented to exhaustion.


Apparently periodization is an interesting tool to determine the scope of goals in a training program with weights. In trained individuals, equivalent volume overload and the results of thier muscle area are indifferent to the method used. However, with respect to muscle strength, higher overloads are more efficient in a short period of time.