Motivation & Fitness

The Importance of Periodisation

WHAT IS PERIODISATION?

Periodisation is a popular training style that is predetermined weeks, months, and years in advance. The goal of these predetermined training phases is to maximise performance and recovery at key times. This training style is especially useful for athletes as it allows sports figures to be at their best for the time of the year when competition starts. Periodisation follows the principals for general adaptation syndrome, or the utilisation of a precise amount of stress to allow the body to safely adjust, adapt, and excel.

BENEFITS OF PERIODISATION

Athletic Performance

Periodisation has been shown in several studies, such as this one from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, to be advantageous for eliciting increases in strength, muscle mass and overall sports performance while reducing body fat.

Goals, Dedication, OutcomesMens Category 85kg

Studies have shown that when setting goals, it is important to physically write them down. This instills a greater sense of importance on the goal; thereby, helping you stay committed to it. What’s more, planning out an entire year’s worth of fitness goals and realistically breaking them down into smaller, manageable sections alleviates stress while helping you see what you need to accomplish to reach your goal

BREAKDOWN OF PERIODISATION

 Progressive Cycling

The training phases in a periodisation program will manipulate the acute variables of sets, repetitions, volume, intensity, tempo and rest breaks, depending on fitness or sports goals. A traditional periodisation program is broken up into three main sections, beginning with the big picture and realistically breaking down training into months, weeks, and days.

Macro:

  • Is an annual (yearly) fitness plan that works to achieve a specific goal (e.g. – training for a sport or training for a bodybuilding show)
  • It is the complete breakdown consisting of mesocycles and microcycles
  • It is ever changing, based on your progress
  • It will be compromised of four basic categories or phases: Complete Recovery, Active Recovery, Building/Working, and Competition

Meso:Periodisation

  • Traditionally, at least 4 weeks in length (4 microcycles)
  • Associated with a broader training phase (e.g. – strength cycle or recovery cycle)
  • Will change/adjust based on progress as it relates to the larger picture (the macrocycle)
  • On average, there are going to be between 1 and 12 mesocycles for every macrocycle

Micro:

  • Traditionally, one week in length
  • Defines number of training sessions per week
  • Will change/adjust based on progress as it relates to the larger picture (the macrocycle)
  • On average, there are going to be between 4 and 12 microcycles within one mesocycle

Changing/Altering Program

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your body may adapt and excel faster than you anticipate. On the other hand, you may rush yourself, experience an injury, or simply not spend enough time in a particular phase. A periodisation program is always changing, meaning you can alter variables based on your present-day needs. If you need to increase or decrease the difficulty, you can do so without jeopardising the rest of the program.

CONCLUSION

Regardless of how big or small your goal is, I am a firm believer in using periodisation programs as a way to make it happen. By developing a periodisation program, you are setting yourself up for success. You will have every workout you need to accomplish laid out. All you need to do is get up and get at it.

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Nikos Saklabanakis

Nikos Saklabanakis

Being passionate about health and fitness enables me to achieve my all time goal of guiding and supporting people through achieving their personal fitness dreams and being a significant part of dramatically changing their lives for the better.

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