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 Three of the six phases of periodization training is Build Sports-Specific Fitness. Over the next two months, you will focus on sports-specific fitness. This calls on the Principe of Conditioning we talked about a couple of weeks ago – the Principle of Specificity, which implies that to become better at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that exercise or skill. During this phase, you simulate race-like conditions and practice skills needed during your event. You’re body is strong and fit and you can focus on technique, strategy and mental-skills training. You’ll practice skills again and again so they become second-nature and combine them in one coordinated, flowing movement. You may also start competing in “lead-up” events to get used to actual competition and race-day conditions.