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WTF is Training Periodisation: Used for Top-Level Athletes, How You Can Benefit!




Training periodisation is an important concept in sports performance at all levels, but especially at the top 10% where athletes are competing at the highest levels.


Periodisation refers to the systematic planning of athletic training. It involves breaking down the training plan into specific phases, each with a specific goal, and progressing through these phases in a planned and structured manner. The goal of training periodisation is to optimise the athlete's training and peak for important competitions.


There are several key elements to consider when implementing a periodised training plan at the degree level. These include the athlete's goals, the demands of their sport, the athlete's current fitness level and training history, and the competition schedule.


The first step in implementing a periodised training plan is to determine the athlete's goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, an athlete's goal might be to improve their sprint time by 0.2 seconds by the end of the season.


Once the goals have been established, the next step is to identify the demands of the athlete's sport. This includes factors such as the type of movements involved, the duration and intensity of competitions, and the importance of specific physical qualities like strength, power, and endurance.


Based on the athlete's goals and the demands of their sport, the next step is to assess the athlete's current fitness level and training history. This involves conducting a thorough physical evaluation, including tests of strength, power, endurance, and other relevant physical qualities. The results of this evaluation will help the coach determine the athlete's strengths and weaknesses, and guide the development of the training plan.


The final step in implementing a periodised training plan is to align the training phases with the competition schedule. This involves breaking down the training plan into specific phases, each with a specific goal. For example, the first phase of training might focus on building a foundation of strength and endurance, while the second phase might focus on developing speed and power. The final phase of training, known as the tapering phase, is typically focused on rest and recovery in preparation for the important competitions.


A sprinter's training program for example, will vary depending on their specific goals, the demands of their sport, their current fitness level and training history, and the competition schedule. However, a sample training program for a sprinter might look something like this:


Phase 1 (Foundation):

  • Focus on building a foundation of strength and endurance

  • Include exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, and plyometric jumps

  • Training sessions consist of 3-4 days per week, with a mix of lower and upper body exercises

  • Each training session includes a warm-up, mobility work, and a cool-down

  • Emphasize proper technique and form

Phase 2 (Power):

  • Focus on developing speed and power

  • Include exercises such as sprints, plyometric jumps, and power cleans

  • Training sessions consist of 3-4 days per week, with a focus on explosive movements

  • Each training session includes a warm-up, mobility work, and a cool-down

  • Emphasize proper technique and form

Phase 3 (Peak):

  • Focus on tapering and recovery in preparation for important competitions

  • Include exercises such as sprints, plyometric jumps, and light resistance training

  • Training sessions consist of 2-3 days per week, with a focus on maintaining strength and power

  • Each training session includes a warm-up, mobility work, and a cool-down

  • Emphasize rest and recovery

This is just one example of a training program for a sprinter. The exact training program will vary depending on the athlete's goals, the demands of their sport, and other factors.


How might this be beneficial to the average gym user?


Training periodisation can be beneficial for the average gym user in a few different ways.


First, it can help them set specific, achievable goals and plan their training in a way that will maximize their progress towards those goals. By breaking down their training into specific phases, each with a specific goal, and progressing through these phases in a planned and structured manner, they can ensure that they are consistently making progress and not plateauing.


Second, training periodisation can help the average gym user avoid overtraining and burnout. By including periods of lower intensity training and rest and recovery, they can give their body the time it needs to recover and adapt to the training stimulus. This can help them stay healthy and injury-free, and continue making progress over the long term.


Third, training periodisation can help the average gym user stay motivated and engaged in their training. By setting specific goals and tracking their progress, they can see the progress they are making and feel a sense of accomplishment. This can help them stay motivated and committed to their training program.


In conclusion, training periodisation is an important concept for athletes at all levels, and can be especially valuable for top-level athletes who are competing at the highest levels. By breaking down the training plan into specific phases, each with a specific goal, and aligning these phases with the competition schedule, athletes and coaches can optimize their training and maximize their performance.


If you would like any further information or help with implementing a periodised training plan, please feel free to contact me on Instagram. I would be happy to assist you in any way I can.


Thank you for reading,

Coach Jack.


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