Friday, November 20, 2015

Building Blocks!

B.Chavez,
©2015 Evil Genius Sports Performance
The tried and true methods of block periodization have gained and lost favor in a strangely rhythmic cycle over the last 5 decades. Block periodization gave way to a dozen (or more) derivatives some having value others......well not so much!

Evil Genius Sports Performance has spent years developing training strategies predicated on  the basic ideas of BLOCK periodization. Sure there are other viable  periodized models, but the ㏄simplicity of the basic block model is so modular and adaptable it has almost infinite applications.



To properly explain Block Periodization and its near infinite applications would take volumes well beyond this modest article, but in its most simplistic form "B.P." is just breaking training into BLOCKS of time with definite and singular goals assigned to each. This simple yet powerful strategy makes training by definition very focused, allowing for very precise tracking and measurements of training variables (load, volume, duration, etc). The purpose of each BLOCK is to strategically enhance some aspect of ability or performance characteristic that can and (ideally) will result in peak competitive performance on "game day".

The focus of this particular article is something we at EvilGSP affectionately call a "Building Block". Tricky DB (douchebag) name aside a building block is most likely the singular most valuable tool available to aspiring early and intermediate athletes of almost every sport.

What is a BUILDING BLOCK you ask? An EvilGSP "BB" is a block of training time dedicated purely to the BUILDING of lean mass and "strength potential" in the fundamental athletic muscle systems. Ok, I can hear you now "You can’t re-brand Bodybuilding" and sell it as something new and clever! To this, I say YOU ARE CORRECT, a properly designed and applied BB does take its cues (at least fundamentally) from classic Bodybuilding but is and must be far more specific and focused. Classical bodybuilding (should) give no regard to athletic performance just the building and presentation of the lean muscular form, A noble and interesting goal for sure but of little value to sports performance you say? Yet again I say, "You are Correct", but the tools and techniques bodybuilders have developed over the last century should not be dismissed so lightly.

Who can argue that at least to a degree (a sizable one at that) muscular size predicts contractile force? Lever and neurological differences make size strength comparisons between differing subjects impossible, but if YOU get BIGGER you got STRONGER! With the above statement in place, who knows the techniques of "bigger" better than the world of Bodybuilding. I'm not suggesting that strength athlete much less athlete at large stop what they're doing and become closet bodybuilders, just that they recognize the wealth of hypertrophy based knowledge bodybuilding  has to offer!

So the amalgamation, the synthesis of Strength Training, Periodization & Bodybuilding leads to the EvilGSP "Building Block". Not the indiscriminate offseason bodybuilding type acquisition of mass but the very precise and discriminant accumulation (hypertrophy) of sport specific muscle systems! As an example let's say an early intermediate powerlifter was to implement a 10-14 week "Building Block" as part of a larger (periodized) off-season training plan. This protocol would actually begin during the last competitive cycle, with careful evaluation of relative strengths and weaknesses in the 3 lifts. After identifying what needs to "Grow" (triceps, mid back, glutes, etc) a hypertrophy based training scheme borrowing deeply from tried and true bodybuilding strategies would be designed to target (very specifically) the outlined "weaknesses".

General Building Block (bodybuilding) training protocols
  • A higher degree of Muscular isolation
  • high volume training(20-30 sets per muscle/session
  • High training frequency (2-3 sessions per muscle /per week)
  • Low training loads (%40-%60 of max)
  • High training pace (low rests periods 60-90 seconds)
  • Reduced repetition speed (high time under tension)
  • Full and even exaggerated range of motion
  • Accentuated eccentric contractions
  • the integrated nutrition and restoration to support the above points

The above protocols would then be employed in the creation of a coherent and highly targeted hypertrophy centric training cycle or “Building Block”.

*A word of caution with this and any block periodized training model, the acquisition of lean mass and strength potential does not ensure the effective utilization of said potential. Transitional and Preparatory blocks should be employed to effectively bring the newly acquired hypertrophy to bare on your chosen athletic endeavor.

B.Chavez is available for programing and nutritional consultations Email: EvilGSP@gmail.com
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