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Oscillating Periodization Program (OPP) Overview

This 5-week program will get you bigger, stronger, and leaner with my new oscillating periodization model.

Oscillating Periodization Program (OPP)

One of the key things that separates elite training programs from amateur “make-it-up-on-the-fly” routines is periodization, defined as the systematic manipulation of training variables (namely, rep ranges and load) over a period of time. It’s why constantly bouncing around from one program and one trainer to another never works.

For continued results, you need a real plan formulated by a real expert. You need continuity in your training. You need a program where each week and each phase builds off the one before it to essentially “compound” your results. You need a variety of exercises, loads, volume, and rep ranges, but that variety needs to be intelligently designed. Going in each day and making up something completely new just for the sake of change may qualify as “muscle confusion,” but it won’t give you results for very long. You’ll quickly hit a plateau. 

You need periodization to make impressive gains in muscle size and strength, and while dropping body fat. That’s why ALL of my programs – even my 5-7-day Train With Jim programs – on JimStoppani.com involve periodization, albeit different types.

My latest program involves a unique periodization scheme: Oscillating Periodization. When you first glance at the workouts, it may look random, but it’s anything but. As I’ll explain below, there’s a pattern and a specific rationale behind the design that over the course of five weeks will deliver more muscle, more strength, and a leaner physique.  

Periodization Rundown

If you’ve read my Using Periodization article, you should be familiar with the other four periodization models I use in my programs: linear, reverse linear, undulating, and pendulum. This 5-week plan introduces you to a fifth style of periodization that I developed called Oscillating Periodization (OP for short).

The classic linear periodization model increases weight over time while decreasing reps. For example, in a 6-week linear plan the rep ranges may look like this from week to week: Week 1, 16-20 reps; Week 2, 13-15 reps; Week 3, 10-12 reps; Week 4, 6-8 reps; Week 5, 4-5 reps; Week 6, 2-3 reps.

The reverse linear model follows the opposite pattern – it starts at the lowest reps and heaviest weights and gets lighter (with increasing rep counts) over time. Like this: Week 1, 2-3 reps; Week 2, 4-5 reps; Week 3, 6-8 reps; Week 4, 10-12 reps; Week 5, 13-15 reps; Week 6, 16-20 reps.

An undulating periodized plan has no set pattern and is more or less randomized. A 6-week undulating program may look like this: Week 1, 10-12 reps; Week 2, 2-3 reps; Week 3, 16-20 reps; Week 4, 6-8 reps; Week 5, 4-5 reps; Week 6, 13-15 reps.

A pendulum periodized plan combines linear and reverse linear in alternating fashion; as the name implies, you’re “swinging” back and forth between the two models. A pendulum scheme might look like this: Week 1, 8-12 reps; Week 2, 6-8 reps; Week 3, 3-5 reps; Week 4, 6-8 reps; Week 5, 8-12 reps; Week 6, 6-8 reps; Week 7, 3-5 reps. As you can see, a linear model is followed at first, then the reps go back up in reverse linear fashion, then back down again (linear).

Another example of a pendulum scheme is illustrated in my Pendulum Full-Body Micros 2-week program.

Now that you’re up to speed on the four main types of periodization, let’s move onto a fifth type…

What Is Oscillating Periodization?

My Oscillating Periodization (OP) model looks similar on paper to an undulating scheme. Upon first inspection, it doesn’t appear to have a specific pattern:

Week 1: 10-12 reps

Week 2: 13-15 reps

Week 3: 6-8 reps

Week 4: 16-20 reps

Week 5: 4-5 reps

However, once you visualize the pattern, you realize it’s not random. Rather, it oscillates from the center of the repetition continuum toward the outer points. Here’s another way to look at it:

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As you can see in the table, the program oscillates around the midpoint (10-12 reps), starting at that rep range in Week 1 and working toward the outer points in both directions (16-20 reps on the high side, 4-5 reps on the low end).

The Benefits of Oscillating Periodization

The benefit to the oscillating pattern is that you start in the midpoint of the rep continuum – nothing too heavy and reps not too high. Then, the rep ranges oscillate out in both directions from this happy medium. Every other week, the rep pattern alternates from a reverse linear to a linear pattern. You’re starting in the middle rep range (10-12 reps) and getting heavier every other week,

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