Acrobolix periodization

February 5, 2014 Training

I cycle my training methodologies, and so should you if you want to be a buff trickster.  My cycling only makes sense in the context of a simple truth: to make significant, permanent-like gains in anything, we have to let some things decay while we go full in on a single focus.

Starting point with Acrobolix Periodization

  • Do you want to learn to trick as a lifter?  Stop lifting and trick exclusively for a year.
  • Go full in, then next year rebuild your physique and lifts while you maintain your new tricks.

Go full in, then get what you lost back. 1 year straight tricking is going to give you better, more sustainable results than if you had tricked every other month for 2 years.  Or just tricked a little on the side of your other interests. It’s easier to maintain something than get it for the first time. Getting things back is always easier than getting them for the first time. To get them for the first time, go full in.

  • For the first time in your life, if you want greater muscularity, stop tricking and become a body builder.
  • And if you want to trick for the first time, then quit lifting weights and learn to trick.  Full in.  One year.

Ending point with Acrobolix Periodization

For experienced trainers who dabble in body building, tricking, strength training, all of the above, and have cycled training all over the place, then Acrobolix Periodization is always experienced as regaining something lost.  I’m always getting back my tricks after I spend a block increasing my mass and strength.  I’m always getting back my mass and strength after I spend a block increasing my tricks. It’s always reaching the next level in tricking, mass, or strength and then trading back, reaching the next level, and trading back.  It’s 5 steps forward in one, 2 steps backward in each of the other two.  Always.  You have to get used to this if you want to become a buff trickster.  It will drive you crazy but it’s the only way.  This is what Acrobolix periodization is all about: perpetually regaining something lost.  Losing, regaining, gaining, losing, regaining, gaining. losing.  It’s not easy, but if it was, there would be a lot of buff tricksters and body builders who could throwdown amazing tricks.  But there aren’t, and that’s why you’re here, because you like it, because it’s different.  It’s real life DBZ, real life Street Fighter characters.  

A little help with Acrobolix Periodization

Imagine you have 5 points to spend total between tricking, brute strength training (deadlift, squats, strongman stuff, etc) and body building (high volume isolation work that focuses on pumps).  5 points being some sort of measurement of your resources, how do you split your resources for Acrobolix periodization?

* Note 1: These templates are for individuals with 3 good years of training experience in both tricking and lifting.

* Note 2: Reserve 2 months of the year for a No-Season.

* Note 3: Advanced body weight strength exercises fall into the “Strength” category below.

Acrobolix periodization

The balanced approach is best for someone experienced in all three: tricking, body building, strength training who simply want to make the best use of seasonal variations.  Winter for strength and bulking, summer for tricking and body building, fall for peaking the physique after a summer of lean tricking, tanning, and gradual build up of body building style training volume.

Acrobolix periodization

Tricking and a little muscle gain is good for a buff trickster who find their tricking suffering in the context of their weight training and bodybuilding efforts.  Time to go in heavier on the tricking and do more maintenance style training in the weight room.

Acrobolix periodization

Here’s an example of what to do when you want to add even more muscle at the expense of tricking.  More muscle.  Less tricking.  This is the approach I recommend for a trickster ready to let their tricks slide back a notch and focus on growing again.  Eat, body build, lift heavy things.  Let your tricks go, they’ll come back.  The goal is to pack on a shit load of muscle and become a beast and then go back and get your tricks back next year.

Some suggestions and reminders for Acrobolix Periodization

Remember, I suggest people serious about Acrobolix tricking to go FULL IN for a year on their weakness.  The above periodization schemes are for people with experience in both tricking and weight training / body building.  They will probably be useless for anyone with experience in only one discipline.

Also, you may notice this is a very linear periodization style.  The reason is because I believe linear periodization is the best for being a buff trickster.  I’ve tried doing everything all the time and switching day to day, week to week, in a less linear way, and it just doesn’t work as well for me as doing seasonal blocks.

Finally, it would be easy to inquire what’s the difference between strength training and body building?  Don’t heavy deadlifts build muscle?  Of course.  But so does high volume isolation work.  They build the muscle in different ways too.  There is overlap between everything.  I wanted to differentiate between “strength” and “body building style training” because when you do the high volume isolation work for extended periods, and cycle that style of training in and out, you begin to “look” like a body builder in the long run.  My arms and pecs never grew despite high levels of strength on all the classic compound exercises… Bulking didn’t help either.  Muscles do not grow from bulking alone, you have to target them.  You don’t get that “body builder look” unless you do the exercises body builders do and focus on getting “a pump” like body builders do.  You must get a pump.  You must!  There are exceptions to that statement.  There are always some guys who only do heavy compound exercises who never train to get a pump who look like body builders, but there are far, far, FAR more examples of drug free trainers in the gym with a bodybuilder look because they train like bodybuilders.  Observe them for awhile and you’ll see they love to train their “arms”…  They love to get a big muscle pump.  Arm day and muscle pumps are mainstays for them.  They do isolation on every muscle group.  So you’re gonna want to throw curls and tricep extensions and machine work and cable work and a million other bodybuilding isolation style exercises into the mix if you really want that body builder look.

You cannot put forth your best efforts in the bodybuilding way of training if you are zapped from strength training the classic exercises (squat, dead, whatever) or tricking to oblivion.  So this is why I differentiate in my periodization schemes: “strength training” and “body building” and why I recommend cycling in and out between classic compound strength training and isolation bodybuilding training.  Go back and forth between the two, you’re going to want both, but not tons of both at the same time.