Strength Periodisation Rundown
Strength Training

Strength Periodisation Rundown

Here’s a rundown on how our strength programming and periodisation works on a week-to-week basis, working in training blocks to help you build muscle, get strong and powerful.

The four phases that we work on are:

  • Hypertrophy
  • Strength
  • Deload
  • Power or Contrast

Think like this

Hypertrophy — Muscle hypertrophy is a term for the growth and increase in size of the muscle cells. In layman's terms, just make the muscles bigger.

Strength — The strength phases teaches the new 'bigger muscle' to move heavy loads.

Deload — The deload phase is used as a rest week from heavy and high-volume lifting to keep the muscles active.

Contrast — Teaches the new, big, strong muscles to move heavy weights fast!

Testing — Used to see progression and to find the baseline strength so all other phases then have a weight percentage applied to each lift.

How does it work?

Hypertrophy Phase

The hypertrophy phase is one part of the muscle building process that happens within the strength periodisation structure. To achieve hypertrophy, we program strength 3–4 sets of 8–12 reps.

During the recovery period post-training, new muscle tissue forms, building bigger stronger muscles that are able to withstand greater loads.

The hypertrophy phase generally lasts for 1–2 weeks.

Remember that recovery is just as important as the stimulus or workout.

Strength Phase

The strength phase is generally performed after the hypertrophy phase as the goal is to make the new bigger muscle fibres strong. This phase allows you to lift heavy loads which will increase you muscular growth.

Lifting high loads of 5–8 sets at 3–5 reps during the strength phase helps build that maximum force production that you need wit push heavy weight.

Strength periodisation is generally programmed for 1–2 weeks only.

Deload Phase

The deload phase is a one week break from main lifting.

Used as an active-type recovery, it allows major muscle groups to recover, preventing plateau and lessening the likelihood of injury.

The deload phase programming generally focuses on accessory exercises and a stronger emphasis on energy system development.

Contrast Phase

The contrast training phase involves a strength set followed by an explosive set where both exercises are of the same movement pattern. For example, performing a barbell back squat for 5 reps immediately followed by 5 box jumps.

This type of training has a substantial effect on the nervous system as well as the overall muscular structures, providing a more complete development of strength qualities.


And finally we have the testing week which allows us to find your 1REP max.

Generally starting with moderate weight and higher reps then progressively increasing weight and lowering reps. Testing is used to see progressions and to give you and us a baseline result of your what you can lift.

When we repeat the strength cycle we can identify what weight you should be lifting in certain phases so you continue to progress, get stronger and smash those PB’s.