Are you training for an event or competition? Or your upcoming sports season? Ever wondered what goes into an S&C training program? Or wondered what that term ‘periodisation’ means? And why it is used so often?

Here is some info on periodisation and what goes through our Strength and Conditioning Coach, James’ head when designing an individualised training program for you to achieve your goals..


So first off, what is periodisation? According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, periodisation is defined as a “method of employing sequential or phasic alterations in workload, training focus and training tasks contained within a microcycle, mesocycle and annual training plan”.


Every plan will look different depending on the goals established, the training phase you are in, different sports and/or different events you may be training for. A periodised plan can provide a general framework or guideline for benchmarks/progressive goals to reach or strive for leading up to your event or competition to ensure you are mentally and physically prepared. Periodisation is generally broken up from the “annual training plan” or what is generally referred to as the macrocycle, for example this generally runs from ‘one world championship to the next world championship’ or from ‘one AFL Grand Final day to the next’.


Next the plan can be divided into a mesocycle, this can range from anywhere between 2 weeks or a few months of the annual training plan. Lastly, it is broken up into the microcycle which is 1 week of the annual plan.


I’ll start with Linear Periodisation (LP) (or what has been known as “traditional periodisation”. Developed in the 50’s and 60’s by Mateveyev in the Soviet Union. This approach runs on the theory that as training volume progressively decreases over time, then training intensity progressively increases followed by a taper weeks prior to competition.


Next is Undulating Periodisation (UP), this refers to training structures repeatedly changing in both their volume and intensity over time. There are two types of UP; Weekly undulating periodisation & Daily undulating periodisation. Weekly UP involves fluctuating volume and intensity on a weekly basis whereas Daily UP involves fluctuating volume and intensity on a Daily basis with individual workouts. This is my preferred method as I think volume and/or intensity needs to fluctuate depending on where the athlete is at in terms of their preparation and also their body status (i.e. soreness, tiredness and/or fatigue levels).


Lastly, comes Block Periodisation (BP). Originally, BP looked exactly the same as LP, more recently BP refers to a program that will focus on things a ‘block’ at a time, so a program will focus on strength endurance for a block, then shift focus to hypertrophy, then maximal strength and then finally power/velocity.


Results varied across numerous studies and amongst certain populations, the general consensus was that athletes that undergo a periodised training plan achieved average strength gains of 21-23% and with weekly gains of 1.96-2.05%, compared to a non-periodised approach which produced strength gains of 18-19% and weekly gains of 1.59-1.70%.

For a periodised approach and performance orientated S&C program come and see James, he will design and set you up to exceed your goals and ensure you’re peaking performance at your event/competition/race.


For more information on Strength & Conditioning at The Injury Clinic, please click HERE

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