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Linear Full-Body Micros

This 5-day full-body program will take you from high reps to low reps to promote muscle-building as well as power and strength.

Linear Full-Body Micros

You're going to get stronger head to toe – literally – with a more muscular physique and some added brain power.

This program and the three that will follow it are intended as much to educate you as to deliver gains in size, strength, and fat loss. What you’re about to get is a crash course in periodization – the systematic manipulation of acute training variables over a period of days, months, and/or years.

In this case, you’ll be utilizing and learning about periodization one week at a time via the three most common forms of periodization (linear, reverse linear, and undulating), plus a fourth (pendulum training) that combines the first two.

This will be the schedule of full-body periodized workouts over the course of five weeks:

Week 1: Linear Periodization (5 workouts)

Week 2: Reverse Linear Periodization (5 workouts)

Week 3: Undulating Periodization (5 workouts)

Weeks 4 and 5: Pendulum Training (12 workouts)

Before I start getting into the details of the programs, I’ll call attention to my Using Periodization article here on JimStoppani.com. This piece gives a thorough explanation of all four periodization schemes I’m going to be using in the programs. Read that article in its entirety if you want to learn the background of periodization, a concept that was first established back by Eastern Bloc countries in the 1950s.

In this series of programs, I’m going to be employing periodization quite a bit differently than its traditionally used. First of all, in keeping with my “Train With Jim” concept, all workouts will be full-body routines, training all muscle groups each time out.

Moreover, I’m going to be presenting periodization on a “micro” level. Traditionally, a fully periodized program given to competitive athletes takes place over many months and even years – aka a macrocycle. Within this model, you’d have mesocycles (training phases lasting several weeks or months) and microcyles (weekly phases).

As the names of these full-body programs imply (“Micros”), I’ll be working at the microcycle level. But actually, I’ll be condensing periodization even further – with daily microcycles instead of weekly ones. 

Although it doesn’t parallel the traditional model perfectly, think of the five weeks of workouts in total as your macrocycle; each of the first three weeks and the final two in combination as your mesocycles; and each individual workout being a microcycle.

That’s periodization #TrainWithJim-style!

Let’s get into the first week of workouts, which I’ll be posting on my social media channels (Facebook and Instagram) as well including below in this article….

Week 1: Full-Body Linear Microcycles

Linear periodization (aka Classic Periodization) is a staple training technique that’s been around for decades and has helped many athletes perform at peak levels on the world’s biggest stages of competition (think Olympics, where a macrocycle could last multiple years).

Unfortunately, strict linear periodization rarely makes its way into bodybuilding programs or the regimens of non-pro-athlete gym-goers like you and me. I’m trying to change that right here and now, because periodization in all its forms can benefit the average fitness fanatic just as much as the Olympic athlete.

The basic premise of linear periodization is to start with microcycles of relatively high rep counts to promote hypertrophy (muscle-building), and then systematically drop the reps (while increasing the weight) to maximize power and strength by the end of the program.

That’s the exact scheme you’ll see in the five workouts this week. Below is what the rep ranges will look like, per exercise, day to day. Take note of the rest-pause sets in Workouts 1-3 and the drop sets in Workouts 4 and 5; you'll do these for every exercise in the respective workouts.

Workout 1: 16-20 reps*

Workout 2: 12-15 reps*

Workout 3: 9-11 reps*

Workout 4: 6-8 reps**

Workout 5: 3-5 reps**

Note: You’ll do three sets of each exercise in all workouts.

*On the last set, after reaching failure, do one rest-pause set.

**On the last set, after reaching failure, do one drop set.

Linear periodization has been shown in research to be the optimal method for maximizing strength – here's an article discussing one study: Linear Periodization Boosts Strength – but it's also great for muscle-building. After all, a stronger muscle is capable of lifting more weight for more reps, which leads directly to more lean mass.

Below are the five workouts ("microcycles") in my full-body linear periodized program. Up next will be the exact opposite scheme: reverse linear microcycles for five days. I'll cover that style of training in the next Train With Jim article.

Linear Full-Body Workouts

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

Workout 4

Workout 5

Download All Workouts Here



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