Traditional Periodization

Traditional Periodization

Stages: A B C D
Example Mesocycles: Strength
Strength Endurance
Cardio Endurance
Anaerobic Endurance
  • Trains multiple fitness component and motor skills at more or less at varying levels concomitantly peaking simultaneously at competition scheduled throughout stages C & D.
  • Cumulative training effect


  • Appropriate for novice to intermediate level athletes
  • Not ideal for high level athletes
    • Simultaneous training of multiple fitness components and motor skills decreases training efficacy.
      • Low stimulation
      • Conflicting physiological responses
      • Excessive fatigue accumulation
      • Difficulty to peak for many competitions

Classic Periodization

Phase: General Conditioning Specific Conditioning Sports Training Peaking
Intensity low moderate high high
Volume high moderate moderate low
  • Initiated by progressive volume first few weeks
  • Peaking phase allows for super compensation of both preparedness and performance.
  • Active rest phase immediately follows peaking phase at end of competition season.
    • Typically 2-4 weeks may can extend longer


  • Appropriate for novice athletes who need a long preparatory phase
  • Not ideal for intermediate and advanced athletes since it may not maximize the physiological and performance adaptations required by these athletes

Block Periodization

Block: Training cycle of the minimum number of highly concentrated, specialized workloads lasting 2-4 weeks.

Block Periodization

  Preparation Competitions -->


  • Blocks are performed in a sequential fashion to make up a stage
    • Arranged according to duration of fitness components' residual training effect
  • Duration of blocks and training stages determined by length of the training residuals and competition schedule
    • Close to two months
      • Can be shorter (eg: near to peak season)
      • Can be longer (eg: at the season's beginning or due to specific needs)
  • End of Realization phase
    • Must be within residual time parameters of abilities trained within preceding Accumulation and Transmutation blocks.
    • Competitions or testing can be performed
  • Stages can continue indefinitely continued (...D, E, F...)

Sample Block Variables

Accumulation Transmutation Realization
Goal General Training Sports Specific Taper & Peak
Duration 1-6 wks 2-4 wks 1-2 wks
Residual Longest Medium Shortest
Intensity low high high
Volume high moderate low


  • Both Cumulative and Residual training effect
  • Lower volumes are required compared to traditional periodization
    • since minimal number of abilities are targeted in a given block
    • allows for sufficient training stimuli for advanced athletes
  • Ideal periodization protocol for advanced and elite athletes

Periodization Phases

  • Preparation Phase
    • Duration: 3-6 months
      • Individual Sports
        • 1-2 times as long as competitive phase
      • Team Sports
        • No less than 2-3 months
    • General (Early) Preparatory
      • Goal
        • Develop work capacity and general physical conditioning
        • Improve technical elements
        • Learn basic game strategy
      • Duration: Longer for younger and less experience athletes
      • Progressively Increase Intensity and Volume
    • Specific (Late) Preparatory
      • Goal
        • Similar to general preparatory
        • Transition to more sports specific movements and motor patterns
      • Duration: Longer for older and more experienced athletes
  • Competitive Phase
    • Early Competitive Phase
      • Improve sports specific motor abilities and performance
    • Late Competitive Phase
      • Maintain fitness
      • Taper training before major competitions
  • Transition Phase
    • Maintain fitness through 2-4 informal short workouts per week

Foran 2001

High Performance Training Trends

Past Present
Competitions < >
Workload > <
Pharmacology Liberal Restricted
Development Concurrent Consecutive

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