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 Two of the six phases of periodization training is Build Base Fitness. After about a month of easy preparation, the real training starts. Your focus will now be on improving all the major areas of fitness, specifically cardiovascular endurance and strength. During this phase, which can last for several months, you’ll:
- ramp up your overall fitness,
- build strength and power,
- add interval training, and
- do a variety of all-body exercise
During this phase, you do a little of everything, including working on your weaknesses, flexibility, balance and developing a solid nutrition plan. Joining a club or team, or working with a trainer is great for those who need a specific plan during this phase of training.