Variety is the Spice of Life AND TRAINING

Daily Undulating Peroidised Resistance Training:

The specificity of training is an important principle in sport and exercise, with training programmes designed to target specific goals. In many cases, individuals wish to target a number of factors within a training period, e.g. improve body composition, increase strength and power, etc. Therefore, logically planning an exercise training programme is vital and is referred to as periodisation.

Specifically, in resistance training periodisation can be accomplished by manipulating various training variables, including the number of sets, reps or exercises performed, the amount or type of resistance used, the amount of rest between sets or exercises, the type of contractions performed, or the training frequency. Therefore, due to the number of variables that can be modified, many different periodisation models exist, which can get a little overwhelming! Typically, periodisation is applied among elite athletes, with aim to achieve peak performance at an established time point, usually major competition. However, periodised resistance training has been shown to be superior to non-periodised programmes for promoting various physiological (e.g. body composition) and performance (e.g. strength and speed) improvements in males and females, and across various training backgrounds and all age groups. Therefore, implementing appropriately periodised training programmes in any population is important, and has also been shown to reduce the risk of overtraining, illness and injury.

Daily undulating periodisation (DUP) is one of the more recently popularised models, characterised by a daily manipulation of training volume and intensity, whereby each training session within a week targets a different training goal. For example, if an individual is performing resistance training three times per week, the first session may target improving muscular endurance, the second muscle hypertrophy (i.e. growth), and the third maximal strength, as illustrated in Table 1. Not only does DUP work towards hitting multiple training goals across the week, but it also increases training variety, thereby reducing boredom and increasing motivation and enjoyment.

Table 1.


Monday Wednesday Friday
Sets & Reps 3 x 15 3 x 10 4 x 5
Training Goal Muscular Endurance Muscle Hypertrophy Maximal

Why not apply this information to your current training programme and give it a go for yourself? After all, they say variety is the spice of life!

Ms Jenny Conlon (PhD Candidate)

BSc, MSc (Exercise & Sports Science)

AB Profile JENNY