Whether we are training for a sport, preparing for a summer 5K, or just doing our normal exercise routine, it is important to use periodization. Eh, sounds complicated. Let’s break it down.
What Is Periodization?
Periodization means we create a plan to accomplish our goals. Depending on how much time you have determines how you will break it up. If I have a few months or more, I will break up my planning into 3 blocks of training: short, medium, and long term. If I have limited time then I will just create one block of training.
Types of Training Blocks
- The short term block will consist of specifics of each training session like what I want to do, for how long, with what weight, etc.
- The medium block should include increases in time, resistance, reps, or whatever other variables you are working with.
- Your long-term block will consist of further increases from the medium block and should provide a natural transition to what you are training for.
When you plan out months in advance you may not do everything you had planned, but it provides you with a well thought out plan designed to reach all your goals and keeps you on track.
Making it up day by day often leads to lack of progress. Doing the same thing over and over leads to injury.
What’s an Example?
Let’s use a high school football player with the season that runs from August through October and break it down into short, medium, and long-term blocks.
Short term block would be “in season” training and the athlete would not see, or should not expect, gains or changes during this block. In season training is used for maintenance of strength and sport specific training.
Medium block would be “pre-season” training and the athlete would have a workout to bring the offseason training toward your in-season training. For example, instead of running for cardiovascular fitness, start adding short sprints into your everyday run.
Long-term block is the “offseason”. This block is where you want to use cross training to see the most gains in strength, agility, flexibility and endurance
Why Should I Do Periodization In My Training
The main reason to follow this type of plan is to keep making progress while decreasing risk of injury. It also keeps you organized and on track to reach your goals, so you don’t waste valuable time.
What If My Training Time Is Different Than Your Example
Periodization can be modified in several ways. If you only have a few weeks, you only need one block of planning. If you have no timetable, you can make your long-term block over the course of several years. Again, the idea is to have structure that keeps you on track with your goals.
How Would That Prevent Injury
Athletic injuries most often occur when we don’t vary our training, jump into something without any training, or make big leaps in our training regimen that we weren’t ready for. By planning out what you will do and when you can think through how you will warm up, how you will cool down, how much rest time you need, and so on. Advanced planning protects you from, “If she can do that, I can do that” days.
I Don’t Know How To Create A Plan Like This
That’s okay. Without an exercise program design background this may seem like a daunting task. If you would like help with this, call our Fillmore clinic to schedule! As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, I am able to lead you through personalized training visits or individualized plan creation specific to you.