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Some people want to get bigger. Others want to get stronger. But you, of course, want to get both bigger and stronger. So how do you do it? If you’re like many lifters, you probably had an “aha” moment where you thought you’d finally “figured out” this question and solved the riddle of periodization once and for all.

It’s simplicity itself, right? Just work up to a few sets of heavy doubles or triples for a strength stimulus, and then perform 1-3 (or more) back-off sets with lighter weights and high reps for hypertrophy development.

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This approach seems logical on the surface, and sure, it may work initially—what doesn’t? But pretty quickly, you no doubt found like many before you that it didn’t play out. Your strength gains came to a screeching halt, and muscle gains weren’t nearly as predictable as when you were training for hypertrophy alone.

The solution to this quandary has been known for decades. It’s called “block training” or linear periodization. Here’s how you can use it to stop struggling and start growing.

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