The science of periodization has, for the past seven decades, borrowed substantially from the science of stress to substantiate certain fundamental periodization principles. Yet although stress science has dramatically diverged from its historical roots, periodization theory continually recycles old stress dogma as justification for contemporary doctrine.
Few dimensions of elite sports performance are as important, as complex, as experimentally impenetrable, and as shrouded in historical myth as the topic of training planning: the periodization of training. Many periodization approaches exist, each offering differing rationales and templates for the sub-division of the program into sequential, specifically focused training periods designed to prepare athletes for peak performance during prioritized time frames.
This rationalization should not be interpreted as an attack on tradition. Previous generations were limited by the informational environments of their time and wisely, we should, of course, respect and learn from those that came before us. We do not, however, honour the past when we cling to convention in the face of disconfirming evidence. The intention here, accordingly, is simply to highlight that the set of assumptions, presumptions, and rules implicit in periodization theory were formulized under the dictates of a no longer sustainable theoretical reality. In truth, there seems no optimized pre-determinable planning path. There is only the informed exploration of a dynamically changing landscape. An exploration best guided, not by contrived rules and automated decision making, but by critical thinking, examined experience, and the unbiased interpretation of evidence evaluated through a conceptual lens accurately reflecting phenomenological reality.
Tudor O. Bompa, PhD, revolutionized Western training methods when he introduced his groundbreaking theory of periodization in his native Romania in 1963. After adopting his training system, the Eastern Bloc countries dominated international sports through the 1970s and 1980s. In 1988, Bompa began applying his principles of periodization to the sport of bodybuilding. He has personally trained 11 Olympic medalists (including four gold medalists) and has served as a consultant to coaches and athletes worldwide.
The author of the book attempts to systematize, generalize and analyse various scientific data concerning modern sports practices in the area of training periodization, and to present it as a comprehensive theory.
In the fourth chapter, Platonov makes an attempt to systemize and validate special and general didactic rules of training periodization system. The most important specific rules of sports preparation, which, according to Platonov, have been verified in sport practice and scientifically developed, are as follows:
ABSTRACTAll teams and athletes have goals in mind with their prospective sports. They work hard and train in the off-season to achieve their goals. Most coaches and athletes change the intensity, volume, and exercises in their workouts to improve performance. In the past, the attempts at this have been from intuitive knowledge. But over the past 20 years, many coaches have learned and utilized the periodization theory. Although periodization has become more popular, coaches and athletes still appear to struggle with completely grasping the idea of periodization.
Many coaches periodize training without a full understanding of the many facets of this invaluable training method (10). A long term plan can periodize training in the weight room that will allow athletes to reach their full athletic potential, and, just as important become as strong as possible in the off-season right leading up to competition. The goal of this article is to give coaches and athletes a better understanding of a very relevant way to program for improvements in strength and performance. It will also provide specific ways of applying facets of periodization in setting goals for their athletes (11).
Macrocycles and MesocyclesTo fully understand periodization, it is imperative to discuss macrocycles and mesocycles. Macrocycles and mesocycles are fundamental organizational planning elements used throughout periodization. The larger period of training is considered a macrocycle and can range from multiple months to four years long. The mesocycle is what the macrocyle is broken up into and is numerous weeks to numerous months. There are also microcycles, which are the broken up periods of a mesocycle. The microcycle is focused more on daily and weekly specific training differences, whereas the macrocycle is the bigger picture of the overall training goals and styles. The traditional periodization system, the macrocycle is divided up into two major parts; the first is for more wide-ranging work in the preparatory period and the second is geared toward sport-specific work and getting ready for competition in the competition period (3). Periodization is simply devising a macrocycle that has specific mesocycles and microcycles for each planned period.
For the neuromuscular system to fully benefit from the training load or stress, it is imperative to vary the volume and intensity. If the system is allowed to adapt to stressors without associated changes in overload, the body will no longer need to adapt, and increases in the wanted results will stop in time. Planning changes in volume and intensity assists in avoiding this problem since the load on the neuromuscular system is constantly changing. Periodization is useful for adding variations to workouts, which helps athletes avoid boredom and/or training plateaus (8). The most common and beneficial way to utilize a periodization program is to manipulate the volume and intensity of the workouts.
Studies (5-7, 9) have shown that nonlinear periodization results in greater fitness gains and overall better results than other training models provide. These studies, which included Division III college football players and women Division I tennis players, proved that nonlinear training models produced significantly greater changes in body composition, strength, and power than nonvaried training models. These changes still continued to happen after months of training. It was evident that these benefits hold true for trained and untrained athletes (4, p.15-21).
Through experiments with block periodization in other sports, the chief organizational loads of training were nearly indistinguishable. The overarching themes of block periodization remained constant. Training blocks have a high number of exercises that focus on a low number of specific skills. The projected number of training blocks is usually three to four. This is different from the traditional model which has a mesocycle taxonomy of 9-11 types; one mesocycle block can be from 2 to 4 weeks in length. This helps permit the beneficial biochemical, morphological, and directed changes to occur without unwarranted fatigue build up. The linking of one mesocycle creates a training phase. Putting mesocycles in the best order possible is valuable to competition and peaking (3, p.199). 2b1af7f3a8