Jujimufu’s 2015 life periodization

January 3, 2015 Other

This year 2015 I intend to use periodization for more than just my training (read Periodize your life). Here’s my process,

Step 1: stuff I want to do

As of this moment, here is the stuff I want to do this year,

Training stuff

  • Weigh in on average around 230 lbs with 10% body fat (measure using bodpod)
  • Fix my calves, shins, and ankles (they’re fucked up)
  • Practice and master new mobility and self massage techniques
  • Find new gyms to trick in
  • Learn new tricks (I have a couple moves in mind I want to learn this year)
  • Peak my physique and tricks in the summer
  • Become leaner than I’ve ever been in my life (face vascularity)
  • Photoshoot photos
  • Attend 2 local tricking gatherings
  • NSVI? (up to Antoine Vaillant, I’ve been waiting)

Non-training stuff

Acrobolix website stuff,

  • Finish the Acrobolix flexibility eBook
  • Finish my 2nd eBook (I’m not announcing the topic just yet)
  • Redesign & Reorganize Acrobolix website entirely
  • Add an exercises and drills index
  • Finish a new annual training compilation video
  • Fix my sorry excuse for a YouTube page
  • Begin providing training services online
  • Continue updating the Acrobolix blog a few times per month

Other stuff,

  • Upgrade my kitchen appliances, cookware, layout, etc
  • Upgrade my wife’s laptop and online accounts so she can be more efficient with schoolwork
  • Entertain people with new spoof videos and steady Instagram updates
  • Actually train myself to use the extra PC peripherals I bought in 2013
  • Level up my keyboard shortcut capabilities again
  • I have about 5 books I bought but didn’t read. Read the important ones
  • Update my resume

Step 2: group my stuff into blocks of time

I grouped my stuff into 8 blocks, 4 training and 4 non-training, and sequenced them into an annual plan sketch,

jujimufu_life_periodization

At first glance it looks no different than an ordinary step by step plan for what I want to do for the next year. But one major feature that makes this a periodization plan and not just an ordinary plan is that I’m not only planning on what I’m going to do at certain times, I’m also planning on what I’m not going to do at those times. Most plans leave this part out, which makes most plans unrealistic and, thus, worthless.

I alternate training and non-training blocks. My non-training blocks also serve as rest breaks, deloads, tapers, back off weeks, whatever term you want to use. In a way, these blocks can serve as times for my body to super-compensate from the prior physical training, while I get staggering amounts of stuff done I can’t get done when I’m occupied by, and fatigued by (burdened by) daily or twice-daily training. Inevitably I will still train during these “non-training” blocks at times, but if so it will be maintenance training loads. And vice-versa: as usual I will work on non-training projects during my training blocks, but more or less, just on the side with the scraps of energy I have.

This all may seem elementary and unremarkable in its simplicity, but this is the most effective way I’ve found of using periodization. Any sort of micro-planning should only be done in advance of about 10-14 days. No more than that, for human reasons.

Step 3: block duration

I recommend just doing what I did: create arbitrary blocks of time to put things into. Start by making them a little shorter than you think they need to be, then just give yourself wiggle room (I gave myself 12 weeks wiggle room total for the entire year). I’m not going to stick doggedly to the block length I planned, they are merely estimates for how long I can stay productive before I reach a point of diminishing returns. When that happens, I switch gears, and make a regard to carryover.

Step 4: regarding carryover

A major feature of periodization is carryover (aka cross reference). Qualities and accomplishments in one area benefit other areas. Here are some long term examples,

Example 1. Succeed in tricking and you will have a very real advantage in the strength training game.

(see Tricking helps (a lot) with strength)

Example 2. Learn a skill or a get a job that earns more money. The money can be spent on gym equipment, supplements, cameras, travel to gatherings and competitions, etc, which helps with training.

jujimufu_powerrack

I have a Rogue Monster power rack in my dining room, that I essentially didn’t pay a dime for. Thanks in part because I learned to make money trading stocks some years ago.

Note: for more discussion on long term budgeting and training priorities, be sure to check out Ask Jujimufu #2 – Muscle and tricks on a budget

Example 3. If I improve my kitchen equipment/layout I’ll cook faster, healthier, better tasting meals. This saves me time and supports my training with improved nutrition.

Example 4. Build a bad ass, or merely fit physique and you will open up doors in nearly every social avenue in life. Beauty is powerful. Power is beautiful.

Regarding this long term carryover, recognizing how everything affects everything else, how all that we do exists together in an ecology, is what keeps you sane in any periodization plan. I constantly run all this through my mind. By identifying connections between all the disparate things that I do, I diminish the worry and guilt that comes with neglecting something in particular at the moment. I keep the big picture in mind. For example, if I’m not training for 2 weeks, I recognize that what I’m doing in my non-training time is going to benefit my training in the long run. Freeing myself of worry and guilt in this way, I’m more effective. See the 4 examples above again. Think about it, think about what you do and what it means for everything you do.

jujimufu_looking_into_the_future

Not tricking now. Bulking. That’s okay, because I can see when I will be tricking again in my future. I see how this non-tricking period inevitably helps my buff tricking goals… Actually I can’t see at all, because I’m looking directly at the sun.


Periodization need not be complicated

I think most people shy away from periodization planning because they think it is a complicated science requiring calculators, charts, calendars, moon phases, percentages, and a new vocabulary. Most people think everything needs laid out in advance, for months and years. No!!! All Periodization plans are born simple. A periodization plan is only made complex by an arrogant person who believes they have a crystal ball. Don’t worry about details and numbers months in advance, you can’t predict them anyway, so just take care of them when you encounter them: leave blank spaces in your periodization plan. If you over-engineer your periodization plan from the start, trying to make it look more complete or sophisticated, you’ll just be wasting your time. If the plan is too rigid from complexities it’ll be hard to use. Starting simple and staying simple keeps a periodization plan flexible, fluid and easy to change: and thus, useful! Remember, it’s the work you do that matters, planning is no substitute for work, it’s just a supplement. Now, keep this mantra in mind to guide you during the process of doing your work in the middle of your periodization plan,

The Periodization Mantra

Do the right amount of the right kind of work,
at the right times and right circumstances,
only for the right amount of time,
and only when it matters!

Please give me feedback

Let me know what you guys think of the idea of periodizing your life. If you have questions or ideas please comment below! Also, I will report at the end of 2015 how my own plan works out for me. Thanks for reading!

21 comments

  1. Caleb says:

    This sounds like a fantastic idea that I’ll be implementing myself.

  2. I think those who consider themselves an ‘intermediate(or above)’in the realm of training will understand all aspects and reasons behind training periodisation. Now; non-training periodisation is the fun part and what interests most, particularly the thought of intellectual perdiosation. I’ve noticed all of your non-training goals are specific enough to be tangible; this seems likely to be the key. I’m wondering how we would go about maintaining something such as…say…A Mathematical concept, let’s just say calculus. What would you do to keep your calculus chops in good shape? A past exam paper once every week/month? I’m thinking ‘Anki’ territory for some things. Anyway, I’m going to have a think about this concept and how I can apply it to my own non-training activities and come back.

    • Jon Call says:

      Thanks for the feedback. My hunch is that for intellectual stuff you would need more than just doing a past exam periodically. If you could find a website that generates new questions that would be better, as you will quickly memorize the answers to the exam like you would a computer password, login info, phone numbers, etc. You would probably have to read/play with it too, not just answer questions. “brush up” so to speak, not just drill.

  3. Booker says:

    Congrats on getting married, ya dingus.

  4. Mick says:

    Important question, do you use the potato button for sweet potatoes?

  5. Josiah says:

    Well, it looks like in Minnesota I have the entire winter off of tricking (one day I’ll find a gym to trick in). I have strength training and bodybuilding for now at least, well that’s all year for me. Each late spring, summer and early fall though, my tricking is at a whole new level.

  6. STEVE YEAH! says:

    Fantastic read, Jon. Read both articles and it really puts things in perspective. People always have goals but some people never put them into an actual way to make progress like you do. Gave me some ideas for some of my goals as well. I was going to ask you what you do if you start on a certain block and feel like doing something else instead of what was planned but i’m pretty sure you answered it in the last paragraph with the empty spaces. Plus also don’t be a pussy and just do it works too I guess. One more thing.. that picture of the bedroom in the last article.. Was that yours and your wife’s bedroom when you moved in together?.. because I went through that too haha.

    • Jon Call says:

      Thanks Steve! And lord no that wasn’t our bedroom haha! The first time I walked into my wife’s bedroom when we were dating I noticed two things, 1. she didn’t have almost anything, it was weird, the room looked like a spartan hotel room except 2. her nightstand had more supplement/pill/herb/medicine bottles/containers/whatever than all my spaces combined… stacked and butted into one another forming a mass of “what the fuck is this?!” … haha. That really got me more interested to say the least. If her room looked anything like the hoarder bedroom I would have been totally turned off. You can tell a lot from a person’s room in my opinion.

    • Jon Call says:

      Also, if I start on a certain block and feel like doing something else… has never been the case because I’m always looking forward to switch from whatever else I’ve been doing that I’ve grown tired of hahaha! So the only thing I’ve experienced like this is starting a block and not wanting to do it quite as long as I anticipated. 🙂

  7. STEVE YEAH! says:

    Hahaha that’s hilarious! Definitely a conversation starter. See I love my wife to death but she is a hoaaaaarrrrrrderrrrrrrrrr. I’ve threatened to put her on that Hoarder show on tnt or tbs or whatever it’s on lol. But as we’ve been together over the years, i’ve been slowly breaking her of it.. also throwing out junk we don’t need when she’s not looking is key. Shh. Okay she’s really not that bad. She just has emotional attachments to pretty much everything she owns. So I shove as much as I can in our attic.

    Good point about growing tired of what you’ve been doing! I’ll see what happens as I start using periodization for goals.

  8. hans says:

    congrats on your wedding! your mrs is a very lucky lady haha. i can’t really periodize much because my progress is way too unpredictable. i’ve been tricking for almost 3.5 years now and all my tricks are shit haha. so i’ve been tricking as hard as i can recently. haven’t even lifted for months. i just go with the flow of emotions because i’m too volatile to commit very long. i feel that periodization is more suitable for people who are fairly advanced in both acro and bolix. i liked what you said about connecting everything we do to training though. in regards to non training periodization, i usually have a vague idea on what i want and having an approximate deadline. can’t really plan everything out and there are too many opportunities for things to go wrong.

    it would be interesting if you wrote about your experience in trading stocks! and btw just curious what tricks do you want to learn? are they new to you or have you lost them from getting bigger?

    • Jon Call says:

      Thanks for your feedback hans. 🙂

      I pick good stocks 75% of the time, I have great intuition, but I have a problem with holding on too long expecting it to run up more and then the stock reverses and I lose all profit. I had 3 opportunities to sell 3 different stocks that had doubled over the past 3 years, and I skipped all three opportunities… because I was previously pissed about the 3 stocks I sold and profited at double prices that ran up waaaay much more. For example, with one of these stocks I bought and traded back within 4 months, I bought a new car and payed in full with the profit (my black van). If I had held that stock for another 6 months, I could have bought 3 of my car! At the moment I’m a frustrated bag holder, sitting at about even on my trading history. Trading stocks permanently warps your perception of money and work.

      And as for tricks they will be some new ones but they will be easy-intermediate stylistic tricks. Think some Bboy moves and Capoeira type stuff. My days of chasing power moves is done because of my size.

  9. hans says:

    haha yup, that feel about holding on to something in the hopes of reaping more of the benefits carryover to other parts of life too! thanks for your input, i’ll read up as much as possible on stocks.

    i don’t know if you’ve heard of him but check out marcus ‘lelo’ aurelio. he’s a capoeira fighter and he has some incredibly flashy moves. he does this reverse tdraiz thing that is foking blows my mind haha. it’s gonna be interesting to see someone 1.5x his size try the same things!

  10. Sebastián says:

    Hi Hans! Do you have a video of that reverse TD raiz? Sounds like something I’d like to see 🙂

  11. Twilly Spree says:

    Hi Juji, I was wondering just how focused each of these blocks is. For example, during your mobility block how much weight training are you doing? Or during your lifting block how much tricking? It’d be great to focus on one aspect at a time, but I worry about loss of strength/mass/technique without consistent training. I know some is expected, that’s the point as you mentioned in the other article, but are you doing some work to minimize it or is everything neglected (temporarily) for the sake of your current focus? As someone who has never stopped lifting since they started (short breaks aside) the idea of neglecting it for maybe 3/4 of a year sounds terrifying.

    • Jon Call says:

      Hi Twilly, great questions.

      First, I’m learning myself so I don’t have all the answers. 😛 With that said resistance training is a form of mobility training for me. Sumo deadlifts, wide squats, front squats, any sort of ring work heavily stimulate flexibility development. A lot of body building isolation exercises don’t do this as well, so that sort of answers the question in a round about way (I switch exercises during certain blocks).

      In general, I don’t trick from mid November to mid March. At all. If I do it’s not much. So during a “bulking” block I don’t trick.

      Everything is not neglected for the sake of my current focus, for long. Some weeks during the year, yes, something is completely neglected. When I’m peaking my mass and strength, tricking is the LAST thing on my mind. I simply don’t care, don’t try, don’t worry. If I’m peaking my tricking and physique in summer, gaining weight and putting on strength on exercises are the LAST things on my mind. During the summer I will actually go months without training my legs at all. I simply don’t care, don’t try, don’t worry. But this is more during the extreme poles, up to the point I’m peaking, I still have a balance going on. It’s just when I start to really get something good, I drop everything else to let it flourish completely.

      Also what I’ve found is when I switch back to something, the first few weeks are tough, but then I often end up shattering PRs after just a few sessions back. And yes, I agree, it is terrifying, but it works.

  12. Twilly Spree says:

    Thanks for the quick reply! I’ll give periodization a shot!

  13. Ahmad says:

    Great article that helped me a lot! I’m at a point in life right now where working on my Master’s Degree consumes all my time and I can’t train, which made me feel bad in the past. By realizing that it is temporary and will give me better chances for training periods in the future, my mind is free from the guilt of not training while i see all my friends progressing. Thanks a lot for this helpful article and I’ll keep reading what you put up on this page and referring it to friends. And I’ll be forever grateful that I learned Tricking from you through TT 10 years ago 😀
    Take care and all the best for you 🙂

    • Jujimufu says:

      Thanks for feedback, I’m glad you’re getting the biggest benefit out of this periodization mindset: peace of mind and focus. Get that master’s like a boss and then you’ll be able to shift to training! 🙂

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