Keep Your Dogma, I’ll Keep My Cable Rows

Keep Your Dogma, I’ll Keep My Cable Rows: A Guide To Renaissance Periodization For The Shoulder Muscles

The Renaissance periodization model was developed by Charles Poliquin (1912–2011) in the early 1980’s. His idea was to use a variety of different exercise programs to stimulate the various muscle groups involved in a given sport or activity. This approach is called “periodizing” your program. The idea behind it is to have one set of exercises for each muscle group, followed by a rest day between those sets. You would then switch up the order of the exercises so that you are doing them in a different sequence every other workout.

In this way, you will vary your workouts from session to session and get the most out of each workout. However, there are drawbacks with this method. One drawback is that if you do not perform enough repetitions for any given muscle group, you may suffer some sort of injury. Another downside is that this type of periodization does not allow for much flexibility when it comes to changing up your routine. If you want to add weight to the bar for example, you cannot simply change up your exercises because they were originally designed with lower reps in mind.

Renaissance periodization is also good when you want to avoid overtraining. Maybe you’ve been following the same routine for a very long time and your body has adapted to that routine. This is very common, in fact it’s almost inevitable unless you’re constantly changing things up.

By switching up your workout every other day with different exercises, you’re giving your body a new stimulus to overcome. You may be surprised by just how quickly your muscles will adapt to that new stimulus and your strength will go through the roof!

You can do this in a number of ways. You can stick with a traditional set/rep scheme for all of your exercises and simply cycle through them every other day. This will involve splitting up your body into 4 groups (quads, hamstrings, chest, and back; calves, shoulders, biceps, and triceps). You would then exercise one group on day 1, then on day 2 you would move on to the next muscle group in the cycle. On the 3rd day you would cycle back to the first group.

The other method involves doing a single exercise for a given muscle group, then moving on to the next group and repeating this until you’ve covered all of your muscle groups. You would then go back through the same exercises as the first method, just in a different order.

Sources & references used in this article:

Innovation: The basis of cultural change by NB Cook – 1953 –

The relational ecology of identification: How organizational identification emerges when individuals hold divergent values by ML Besharov – Academy of Management Journal, 2014 –

Rethinking the brain by K Smith – 1999 – Grove Press

JM Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus: A Postmodern Allegory? by M Specter – The New Yorker, 2001 –

On the absence of time in mathematics by I Dimitriu – Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa, 2014 – Taylor & Francis


Culture is our business by B Mazur – For the Learning of Mathematics, 2004 – JSTOR