It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class!
As we head into a new year of training and exercise programs, we’ve recently been blogging about the six principles of conditioning that every athlete or trainer should follow when prepping for the optimal workout or exercise program. These principles (Individual Differences, Overload, Progression, Adaption, Use/Disuse, and Specificity) are universally accepted and should be followed so that those participating can make the most gains and improvements in their fitness and performance levels.
Designing a program that adheres to all of these guidelines can be challenging, so it’s not a surprise that many athletes turn to a coach or trainer for help with the details so they can focus on the workouts. One common training method is Periodization Training, which builds on specific training phases throughout the year. It’s used by athletes to ramp up and down training in order to be in the best condition at a target time frame. Each phase may last weeks or even months, depending upon the ultimate goal, but the principles of conditioning are followed so that fitness increases but the risk of overtraining or developing an overuse injury decreases.
Periodization training plans can be complex and individually designed, but we’ll be discussing the basic annual periodization phases that can be used by most athletes with some minor tweaking.
Phase Five of the six phases of periodization training is Peaking. This refers to an athlete being in the absolute best condition (physical, emotional and mental) at a specific time for an event or race. The peaking phase of periodization training can last one to two weeks and is the ultimate payoff for the training program.
After the Tapering phase (discussed last blog), most athletes find their fitness is at the maximum for a period of one to four weeks, depending upon how they spend that time. If you have a long season (soccer or football) you will need to create smaller rest/work phases during the active season. For example, if you compete each Sunday, Monday will be a recovery day, building back up by Wednesday and Thursday and tapering again on Saturday.