Athletes periodize, a good Trainer/Strength Conditioning Specialist does the same. This is how we help athletes/clients avoid injuries as well as fitness plateaus. A plateau is an upper limit to our physical condition, brought about by too little variance in routine, lack of planning, and lack of periodization. I have attached an excerpt below that explains this concept in slightly more detail. Simlply put though, periodization is the planning and execution of an indivuidual or team’s physical fitness routine into cycles. There are three types of these cycles called microcycles, mesocycles and macrocycles.
If you are a basketball player, within your planned workouts throughout the year (1 macrocycle), will be 4 mesocycles.
1. Preparatory/Off Season (heavy weight training 5x per week). 2. Transition/Pre-Season (Resistance training 2-3x per week, more emphasis on sport specific training) 3. Competition period/In season (resistance training 1-2x per week, emphasis mostly on sport specific movements) 4. 2nd Transition Period/Post Season (Active Rest/restoration phase, low volume and intensity resistance training for maintenance).
Inside of these mesocycles are microcycles, phases lasting form one to four weeks, which vary in both duration, intensity and volume depending on the goal during that phase, whether it be power, strength, speed etc. If you are an Olympic athlete, you might go through the above listed mesocycles in the course of one great macrycycle of four years.
Based on research by Hans Selye, endocrinologist and biologist who developed General Adaption Syndrome (GAS), Individuals as well as athletes gain strength most effectively in well planned phases, or “periodization”.
Below, I’ve attached the link to a simple but well written article on this topic by Jay R. Hoffman, PhD, who also holds his CSCS by NSCA (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, National Strength and Conditioning Association).
~Read Article Here ~ Periodized training for the strength and power athlete