What is Periodization Training?

Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert. Sport & Exercise Nutrition. British Army Physical Training Instructor. 


Periodization training is a form of fitness that is designed to help you improve your performance.

In addition to improving your physical fitness, it can also have a positive impact on your mental well-being.

However, not everyone understands what periodization is all about and why it is so effective. This article will explain what it is, how it works, and why you should try it for yourself.

What Are the Traditional Phases in Periodization?

Periodization is a method of athletic training that allows athletes to break up their training plan into specific phases.

The goal of the periodization process is to maximize the potential of the athlete. In addition to developing the physiological ability of the athlete, it also helps to facilitate recovery.

The term "periodization" dates back to ancient Greece. It is a systematic approach to designing an athletic training program that focuses on alternating high loads with lower loading phases.

This allows the athlete to improve different aspects of their muscular fitness, while minimizing the risk of injury.

Physiologist Leo Matveyev, who studied the Soviet Olympic athletes, introduced the concept in the mid-1960s.

There are different types of periodization, including linear, stepwise, and undulating.

Each of these programs has its own advantages and disadvantages, but they all have one thing in common: a structured plan to increase performance.

Using an approach like this can help athletes achieve their goals.

Progressive loading

The National Academy of Sports Medicine defines periodization as the division of the training program into small, progressive stages.

These stages are designed to build the body's capacity to withstand stress. They include an increase in muscular strength, an increase in anaerobic capacity, and an increase in aerobic capacity.

Some of these are achieved through Progressive Overloading. However, it is important to remember that the progression of these stages is not linear.

As a result, there may be times when an athlete has to change phases to avoid a plateau in their progress.

For most competitive athletes, their training plan will consist of three cycles. A typical cycle consists of a preparation phase, an intensity phase, and a competition phase.

All of these phases prepare the athlete for higher levels of intensity, which will lead to improved performance.

Periodization is a valuable tool for any athlete, but especially for those pursuing an advanced level of fitness.

Those who want to reach their full potential should take the time to understand how this system works.

By focusing on the different phases and the specifics of each, an athlete can ensure that he or she is working to the best of their abilities.

Planning and preparation

When designing a periodization plan, the trainer must consider the client's physical condition and the goal of the training.

An athlete's genetic predispositions, motivation, and transient social and environmental variables also play an important role.

During the preparatory phase, the athlete's physical strengths from previous training cycles should be addressed.

Similarly, weaknesses should be identified and corrected. Additionally, this phase will lay the foundation for the full program.

Once the preparation period has ended, the schedule will reset and the training will begin.

During the intensity phase, the athlete will work on the anaerobic capacity and lactate threshold. He or she will also focus on speed and agility.

Finally, the athlete will move into the competition phase, where the focus will be on neuromuscular power.

Periodization is a valuable tool, but it can be oversimplified in coaching. To ensure optimal results, a trainer should start with a clear end goal in mind.

Ideally, this goal will be centered around a certain sport or skill. After that, he or she should map out a periodization plan that will help the client reach their goal.

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Daily undulating periodization

Daily Undulating Periodization (DUP) is a training method that allows you to change the intensity and volume of your workouts throughout the week.

This is a great way to maximize your workouts without putting your body through too much stress.

It's important to choose the right kind of periodization for you. There are several different types. While all of them are effective, they aren't mutually exclusive.

The best one for you depends on your goals. You'll have to decide if you want a hypertrophy program, a strength training program, or a combination of both.

For beginners, you'll probably focus on technique and progressive overload. Once you've worked through a few months of consistency, you can start to add more load to your routine.

To get started, you'll want to make sure you're getting adequate rest and eat enough calories.

A DUP routine should consist of multiple repetitions of every body part each day.

Depending on the exercises you're using, you may need to do accessory exercises on a separate day. Also, make sure to do some form of core lifts.

Daily Undulating Periodization is a popular type of training for intermediate and advanced level lifters.

It has been endorsed in the scientific literature for numerous years, and can be simple to implement. Some coaches have even incorporated it into their programs.

As for the benefits of daily undulating periodization, it has been proven to accelerate strength gains.

The concept behind this is the repeated bout effect. In other words, more exposure to a stimulus weakens your reaction.

However, you should be aware that it can cause problems with accommodation. This is when you're not able to lift as heavy as you're used to doing.

When you do this, you might have to do less repetitions than you're used to, or you'll need to modify your form.

Daily Undulating Periodization also helps you to achieve the SAID (Specificity, Adequate, and Intensity) principle. When you're a beginner, it's easy to get confused.

Periodization is a key component of any high-level sports performance. It provides a structure and context for your training, so you can focus your efforts on developing specific skills and physiological outcomes.

Reverse periodization

Reverse periodization is a type of threshold training that has gained some attention in the scientific and coaching literature.

This type of training involves higher intensity workouts in the early stage of a training program and gradually decreases volume.

It is based on the notion that higher intensity training will improve an athlete's performance and body composition.

However, more research is needed to understand the benefits of reverse periodization.

There are some advantages of reverse periodization. The most prominent is its ability to improve performance in certain sports.

For example, it has been shown to increase maximum strength levels and muscular endurance. Other studies have found similar improvements in swimming, sprinting, and anaerobic endurance.

The benefits of reverse periodization may be limited to athletes with limited base aerobic fitness.

While it can improve short sprint events, it does not appear to have a significant effect on middle or long distance running.

On the other hand, reverse periodization has been shown to significantly increase VO2max. In addition, it has been shown to reduce fat mass.

Unlike HIIT, this training method may be of interest to people in sports that are concerned with body composition.

Traditional periodization is also an effective strategy for improving anaerobic swimming performance.

It has been shown to improve endurance, strength, and VO2max. A recent systematic review found that it is the most common form of training used by trained swimmers.

However, researchers have found that existing periodization studies do not provide much in the way of psychological, nutritional, or fatigue information. Furthermore, the benefits of reverse periodization are not well described.

To get the full picture of the pros and cons of reverse periodization, a systematic review was conducted.

Researchers identified 11 studies that met the following criteria. Each study had to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, be at least 8 weeks long, and include participants without disabilities.

Overall, the findings show that traditional periodization is more effective than reverse.

The former had the best effects on strength, hypertrophy, and endurance gains. Although it is not clear whether this is because of the volume of technical work that was done during the program or the duration of the exercise.

Nonlinear periodization

Nonlinear periodization training is a new way of training allowing an athlete to alter their training schedule, and to train based on the physical readiness of the athlete. 

Nonlinear periodization is a system of resistance training that focuses on varying the intensity of the training sessions.

Some studies have shown that a nonlinear program results in significant fitness gains. The program can also be altered to accommodate team practice and illness. It has also been applied to athletes who are recovering from injury.

Periodization can be used to train high-level athletes in a variety of sports. It allows for flexibility in the calendar, while maintaining the same overriding focus.

For example, an NFL training camp schedule could include heavy power training days. These can be easily adjusted to accommodate the physical needs of the players.

An NFL training camp schedule can also include light practice sessions. Players can work with their teammates to strengthen their skills.

This is a good option for teams that just completed a difficult practice.

Nonlinear periodization is suited for athletes who are recovering from an injury or who are under-trained.

It is a good option for collegiate athletes and professional football players. Athletes can use flexible nonlinear periodization plans to maintain their fitness and performance markers during the season.

One study showed that a daily nonlinear periodization plan resulted in increased strength. It also emphasized the use of varying intensity and volume. Researchers found that body mass and total lean tissue increased with the program.

Another study showed that flexible nonlinear periodization was not only a good way to maximize fitness gains, but it was effective in preserving the physiological markers of collegiate

Division I soccer players. In addition, researchers noted that this type of training improved lower body power, and increased trunk lean tissue.

Does Periodization Training Work?

Periodization training is a system for maximizing performance by changing the volume and intensity of workouts.

This method is used to balance workouts, decrease fatigue, and lower the risk of injury. It can be used in a variety of sports.

The main benefits of periodized training include a reduction in injury risk and improved muscle growth.

In addition, periodization helps improve the efficiency of workouts and can help break training plateaus.

Some studies have found that periodized programs can increase gains in muscle mass by 10%.

Periodized training is especially useful for athletes who train frequently during the off season. For this reason, it can be very helpful for strength or power sports.

However, it is important to note that it may not be useful for athletes who compete a lot during the season.

Periodization is typically broken into three basic types. There is block periodization, conjugate periodization, and undulating periodization. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Regardless of which type you choose, it is important to understand your goals. If you are new to weightlifting, you should stick with a simple program that incorporates a few exercises and a few rep ranges.

Once you make progress, you can move to a more complex plan.

Advanced athletes should be more flexible with their routines. They should perform main lifts and variations multiple times a week.

These variations should also focus on different goals. Besides increasing strength, it is also important to focus on accessory exercises that strengthen the muscles.

Does Periodization Increase Muscle Growth?

Periodization is the process of organizing training into blocks of time and intensity. It allows you to maximize the effects of your workouts.

There are many different methods and strategies. However, one of the most effective is varying the volume and intensity of your exercises. This is the key to maximizing hypertrophy.

Periodization also includes variations in rest times. For example, your body gets a nice boost when it can recover from an intense workout.

The best periodization schemes combine the best elements from each type. A typical strength and power training program will feature a linear style of break-up with a couple of micro-cycles.

Each phase is designed to make one skill more proficient while potentiating the next.

For instance, your chest and triceps may be worked out on Monday and Friday, and your legs may be worked out on Tuesday and Thursday. All in all, you'll be working out each muscle group with a high volume of low intensity.

You probably have seen or heard about a lot of hype about the many ways in which periodization can help you build more muscles.

The truth is that it doesn't always work, and some stdies are conflicting but there can be some benefits to implementing it. 

Of course, the best periodization scheme will be tailored to your needs. If you're a beginner, a less rigorous approach is ideal. As you progress in fitness, you'll want to increase the amount of training you do, but this should be done in stages.


Periodization is a training method that helps athletes to progress and adapt to various types of fitness activities. It's a structured way to increase and maintain strength, endurance, and speed.

There are various methods that are used. They include macrocycles, mesocycles, and microcycles.

Each type of cycle is designed to improve specific skills. The macrocycles are usually 4-6 week cycles. These cycles are typically used by high-level athletes.

The microcycle is a shorter cycle within a mesocycle. During the microcycle, the intensity of the workout is decreased. This will allow the body to recover from fatigue. In addition, the volume of the workout increases.

Athletes can also use a deload week, a week that involves a lower load and volume. Using this strategy will help to prevent overtraining.

Numeorus studies have examined the effects of periodization. Results show that it can decrease the risk of injury, improve performance, and increase strength. Studies also show that it can reduce stress and burnout.

However, there are disadvantages associated with periodization. For example, many of the models do not account for psychological stressors that can lead to injury.

Additionally, the models can make achieving multiple peak performance modes harder. Moreover, the amount of exercise must be monitored to prevent overtraining.

Although there are many factors involved in training, the most important is how the body adapts to it. Whether you're an athlete or an amateur, it's vital to understand how your body is reacting to the changes implemented.

If possible, work with qualified practioners such as strength and conditioning coaches, sports nutritionists and sports psychologists.


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