Training Variation: Periodization

Exercise Training Programming
• A training program should seek to improve all
physiological abilities in proportion to the needs and
overall goals of the individual through systematic
manipulation of program variables
• The program should strive to improve function,
overall health, and changes in physical
• A person’s needs should be the first focus
• Needs are determined by a fitness assessment
• Exercise Programs should focus on building a
base of strength, endurance, stability, flexibility,
and mobility
Exercise Program
• A collection of exercises grouped together into
routines and performed with a certain amount
of volume for a specific amount of time
• You can assemble an endless combination of
exercises and techniques for any program
• You can perform these exercises with an
infinite number of intensities, reps, sets, and
• With so many programming options, it is
important to establish systems to adjust all
these program variables
General Training Goals
• Before beginning, ask yourself why
you are choosing this exercise for
your client and why you are having
them perform it in a certain manner
• Example of a general goal is to
increase muscular endurance and
have your client perform 12 reps of a
body weight squat
Program Design Variables
• Volume for a muscle is the total amount of
time it is under tension
• Most critical component of volume is the
number of reps performed
• Use a preplanned number of repetitions to
select the necessary weight loads
• The number and the tempo of reps
determine the duration of a set; therefore
dictate the energy systems and muscle fiber
types that will be trained
• The most overlooked element of
exercise technique
• Defined as the specific movement
speed of the body or segments
during any given exercise
• Tempo for resistance training deals
with the actual speed of each
The Science of Tempo
• Golgi tendon organs, muscle spindles,
connective tissue, joints, tendon, and
the muscles monitor muscle force and
joint range of motion which makes
tempo very important and
demonstrates that no one speed can
offer the best results for all training
The Science of Tempo
• Breathing is also closely related to the tempo and
will tend to speed up or slow down with the tempo
of the exercise
• Example: 4-2-3-1 tempo on a squat would mean to
lower the body and bar four-second eccentric, hold
at the bottom for two seconds, press the body and
weight load back up with a three-second
concentric movement, and then pause for one
second at the concentric-isometric phase then
• This would be a nine-second tempo for the squat
The Science of Tempo
• Slower tempos with longer pauses at the eccentricisometric phase are ideal for developing maximal
strength gains
• The muscle must learn to produce more force and
recruit more motor units (i.e., fast-twitch muscle
fibers innervated by the nerve) in absence of the
• Faster tempos are ideal for speed, agility, and
power exercises. These exercises are designed to
increase power-producing capability of the muscles
by exploiting the stretch-reflex
Tempo Examples
Training Goals
Tempo Assignment
2-1-1-1 (5 sec)
3-1-2-1 (7 sec)
4-1-2-2 (9 sec)
• Recovery is necessary for the
adaptation process referred to as supercompensation
• It might take 2-10 days for tissue repair
and protein synthesis, depending on the
levels of intensity
• Muscles become bigger and stronger
while resting , not while training
• Lack of recovery leads to exhaustion
and overtraining
• Exhaustion is the result of short-term
imbalances of stress and recovery
• Overtraining is the long-term result
• Overtraining causes declines in tissue
repair and nervous system function
• Overtraining can create hormonal
imbalances and often results in
severe deficiencies of the immune
system, leaving the person weaker,
chronically fatigued, mentally drained,
and prone for illness
• You need more rest when working with
higher intensities
• Nerve cells take five to six times longer to
recover than muscle cells
• Sequence is the specific planned
exercise order in a given routine
• Place exercises of high neurological
challenge and demand before those
with low demand
– DB Lunge before Seated Horizontal
Leg Press
• Train the more functional
movements before machine exercise
• Compound movement before isolation
–Squat before a Leg Curl
• Place new exercises in the sequence
before those previously mastered
• Place exercises requiring high
balance like BOSU and SB’s before
fatiguing the primary movers
Metabolic Changes
• Neural metabolic changes take place within the
neuromuscular system based on intensity and
duration of a given set
• More neural, intramuscular adaptations occur
with sets performed with low reps and high
• Conversely more cellular, metabolic
adaptations of the muscle result from prolonged
sets or greater amounts of time under tension
Neural Metabolic Continuum of
GlycolyticLactic Acid
(Aerobic and
IIa and
Oxidative- Type I
Training Goals Between
5 + min
1-4 min
0-30 sec
Designing A Beginner Exercise
Teach the Basics/Fundamentals
Use Body Weight First
Progress from Simple to Complex
Use a preplanned number of sets,
repetitions, and rest intervals to
correspond with the appropriate
Periodization and Progression
• The key to designing successful
exercise programs year-round is
to develop a system that manages
all program variables
• Long-term planning and tracking is
what periodization is all about
• Strategy to promote long-term
training and performance
improvements with preplanned,
systematic variations in training
specificity, intensity, and
volume organized in periods or
cycles within an overall
• Periodization involves shifting
training priorities from non-sportspecific activities of high volume
and low intensity to sport-specific
activities of low volume and high
intensity over a period of many
weeks to prevent overtraining and
optimize performance
Periodizing Your Training Plan
• Dividing up your long-term training program
into discreet blocks of time and varying both
training intensity and skill set from one block
to the next
• Working at different levels of intensity over
time improves your overall fitness, teaches
you to cope with fatigue both physically and
mentally, makes training more enjoyable,
lowers your risk of injury and helps you to
avoid the dangers of overtraining.
Periodizing Your Training Plan
• Periodization introduces structure and
efficiency to your training plan,
allowing you to make the most of
each workout session
• There’s no wasting time on sessions
that don’t help you to reach your goal,
which translates to better
performance on event day
Periodizing Your Training Plan
• Periodizing your training plan
involves two concepts:
–Figuring out a workable timetable
that fits you and your schedule
–Selecting the appropriate workouts
for each time period that will help
you achieve your fitness goals
Periodization Goals
• Promote long term training and
performance improvements through
manipulating training variables:
–Intensity, volume, recovery, and
• Reduce overtraining
• Peaking at the appropriate time or
providing a program for sports with a
specific season
What Periodization Can Do For You
Reduce risks of overtraining
Promote physical and mental
Promote an optimal response to a
training stimulus
Encourage consistent physical
Avoiding the tendency to plateau
• You stay fresh and motivated which
improves your adherence and enjoyment.
Responses to Training Stress
• The roots of periodization come from Hans
Selye’s model, known as the General
Adaptation Syndrome, which has been used
by the athletic community since the late
• General adaptation syndrome describes the
body's short-term and long-term reaction to
• The general adaptation syndrome describes
a three stage reaction to stress
• Later the concept was applied to training
General Adaptation Syndrome Phases
• Alarm/Shock Phase:
– Where the body detects the external stimulus
(lifting heavier weights), the individual experiences
excessive soreness, stiffness, and or drop in
• Resistance Phase:
– Body adapts to the stimulus and returns to normal.
• Exhaustion Phase:
– When the training stress is too great or there is no
variation in the programming, monotony or
overtraining can occur
Periodization Cycles
• Three time divisions of a
periodized training plan:
• Macro = large
• Typically an entire training year
but may also be a period of many
months up to four years (for
Olympic athletes).
• Meso = middle
• It is the intermediate increment of time
between the largest and the smallest
• There are several mesocycles in a
• Each mesocycle lasts anywhere from
several weeks to several months
• Micro = small
• The smallest increment of time in the
training plan, usually lasting from
seven to 14 days (could last as long
as four weeks)
• Two or more microcycles make up a
Periodization Cycles
• Think of a workout session as the basic building
block of the training plan; several workout
sessions occur in each microcycle
• Mapping out a periodized training plan involves:
– Put your goal or event on the calendar and work
– Determine your macrocycle
– Divide your macrocycle into mesocycles
– Divide your mesocycles into microcycles
– Plug workout details into your microcycles
Training Period
Typical Length of Time Characteristics
One training year
General plan
Overall goals
6-8 weeks
Detailed plan
Specific goals
Training Phases
1-3 weeks
Strength, Power
Fine adjustments for
maintaining goals
Training Phases Within Cycles
Preparatory Period
Transitional Phase
Hypertrophy/Endurance Phase
Basic Strength Phase
Strength/Power Phase
Competition or Peaking Phase
Active Rest Phase
Preparatory Period
• Longest phase (up to four months)
• Occurs when there are no competitions
• Emphasis of this period is to establish a base
level of conditioning to increase the individuals
tolerance for more intense training
• Conditioning activities begin at low intensities
and high volumes; long slow distance
running, low-intensity plyometrics, and
high-repetition resistance training with
moderate loads
Transitional Phase
• This phase is typically the first week of a
mesocycle and is characterized by low-intensity
and low-volume training
• It is common to place these weeks following
mesocycles that end with high-intensity strength
or power phases
• During this week assessments to measure
progress should be performed to measure
progress and identify adaptations achieved in
the previous mesocycle
Hypertrophy/Endurance Phase
• Increase lean body mass
• Develop an endrurance base (muscular
and metabolic) for intense future training
using a resistance training program that
includes sport-specific or nonsport-specific
exercises performed at high volume and
low intensity
• 50%-75% of the 1 RM
• 3-6 sets of 10-20 repetitions
Strength Phase
• Increase maximal muscle force by
following resistance training program that
focuses on sport-specific exercises of
moderate volume and intensity
• Examples:
– Sport Skill is Freestyle swimming and related
exercises would be the lat pulldown, lunge,
and lateral raise
• 80%-90% of the 1 RM
• 3-5 sets of 4-8 repetitions
Strength/Power Phase
• Increase the speed of force development
and power by integrating sport-specific
power/explosive exercises of low volume
and high intensity
• Example:
– Sport Skill is sprinting and the related
exercises would be assisted and resisted
sprinting and plyometric drills
• 75% -95% of the 1 RM
• 3-5 sets of 2-5 repetitions
Competition or Peaking Phase
• Attain peak strength and power by
performing very high intensity and
very low volume sport-specific
resistance training program
• Example:
–Sprinter will focus on speed and
reaction time
• 93% of the 1 RM
• 1-3 sets of 1-3 repetitions
Active Rest Phase
• Allow physiological and mental
recovery through limited low-volume
and low-intensity resistance training
or by having the athlete perform
physical activities unrelated to his or
her sport
• Example:
–Athletes playing a round of golf
Classic Periodization Model
• Linear
–Training intensity gradually and
continually increases and training
volume gradually and continually
decreases from one mesocycle to the
–There is no variation in the assigned
number of sets and repetitions within
each mesocycle
Linear Periodization Example
• Hypertrophy/Endurance Phase
–2-4 weeks in duration
–3-5 sets
–8-12 repetitions
–1-2 minutes of rest
–75% of the 1 RM
–Multijoint to single-joint Exercises
Linear Periodization Example
•Strength Phase
–2-4 weeks in duration
–3-5 sets
–5-6 repetitions
–3-5 minutes of rest
–85% of the 1RM
–Multijoint exercises
Linear Periodization Example
• Strength/Power Phase
–2-4 weeks in duration
–3-5 sets
–3-4 repetitions
–2-5 minutes of rest
–90-93% of the 1RM
–DB clean, agility drills, and plyometrics
Linear Periodization Example
• Competition Phase
–2-3 weeks in duration
–3-4 sets
–1-2 repetitions
–3-5 minutes of rest
–95% or less of the 1 RM
–Sprinting and Plyometrics
Linear Periodization Example
•Active Rest
–Intensity and volume are decreased
to facilitate recovery
–1-3 weeks in duration
–No resistance training
–Rehabilitating any injuries
Nonlinear Periodization Model
• Also referred to as Undulating
• Varies the intensity and volume of exercises
throughout the week or microcycle
• The key element of this type of training is the
variation and ability to allow rest
• This type of training is most popular so that
training can continue through the season
• This model may be more effective at
promoting muscular strength gains
Nonlinear Periodization Example
• Monday:
– Strength (heavy day)-85-93% 1 RM
– 3-4 sets
– 3-6 reps
– 2-5 minutes of rest
• Tuesday:
– Endurance (light day) - 65-75%1RM
– 2-4 sets
– 10-15 reps
– 1 minute of rest
Nonlinear Periodization Example
• Thursday:
– Power (high intensity)
– 3-4 sets
– 2-4 reps
– 2-5 minutes of rest
• Friday:
– Moderate Intensity -75-80% 1RM
– 2-4 sets
– 8-10 reps
– 1-2 minutes of rest
Applying Sport Seasons to Periodization
• Most sports have an annual
schedule that includes the
following mesocycles:
• Period between the last event and six weeks
(varies) prior to the first event of next year’s
• Includes most of the preparatory period
• Leads up to the first event
• Later stages of the preparatory period and first
transition period
In-Season and Postseason
• In-season:
– Events
• Postseason:
– After the final event
– Active rest before starting next year’s offseason

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