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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Periodization

Periodization is one of the most effective ways to prevent overtraining syndrome- the point where the athlete experiences physiological maladaptions and chronic decreases in performance. Prevent overtraining by planning workouts for an entire year worth by breaking it into macrocycles, mesocycles and microcycles or 12 weeks, 4 weeks and 7 days of training, respectively. Within each cycle, load is progressively increased to challenge the body and then decreased shortly to allow for recovery.

Expressed in percentages, a year long periodized program is broken down into four parts:
  • 50% Preparation
  • 25% Precompetition
  • 15% Competition
  • 10% Active rest

Applying these percentages to each cycle... The numbers are intensity values on an RPE "Rate of Perceived Exertion) scale of 1-10.

Macrocycle (12 weeks): 5, 6, 8, 4, 6, 7, 9, 4, 7, 8, 10, 4
  1. Three moderate intensity weeks (preparation)
  2. Three moderate to high intensity weeks (precompetition)
  3. Three high duration or volume OR race speed weeks (competition)
  4. Three recovery weeks (active rest)
Mesocycle (4 weeks): 5, 6, 8, 4
  1. One moderate intensity weeks (preparation)
  2. One moderate to high intensity weeks (precompetition)
  3. One high volume/ duration weeks (competition)
  4. One recovery weeks (active rest)
Microcycle (7 days): 6, 7, 8, 5, 8, 9, 4
  1. Two easy/ recovery days
  2. Two hard/ high intensity days
  3. Three moderate intensity days

Resources:
  1. Plowman, Sharon A., and Denise L. Smith. Exercise physiology for health, fitness, and performance. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011. Print.