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I still have my copy, which is pretty old. I learned more from that book about how to be a successful coach than probably any other single work. Periodization is one of the most important aspects of training for any coach to consider. It was one of the most brilliant and influential works in philosophy ever. But ultimately, Descartes was wrong in much of what he wrote.
Similarly, and not in any way to discredit Bompa, but much of Theory and Methodology of Training is brilliant but flawed. Before continuing on, let me clarify what is meant by periodization for those who may not be completely familiar. Simply, periodization is dividing training goals into blocks of time, usually a month or longer in length. For example, many athletes have diverse needs like strength, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular endurance.
To prepare for competition, coaches who use periodization might focus on developing mostly strength for a month or two and then switch to another goal afterward. The criticisms of periodization, however, center on the loss of those attributes while not working them. Considering the success of the conjugate method, so named for working two athletic traits within the same week of training, alternative methods such as this have all but squeezed the life out periodization.
A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning would agree with eliminating periodization, at least where similar exercises are concerned. In the study, researchers looked at three methods of training athletes. One in which they periodized exercises into 3-week blocks for some athletes, 1-week blocks for others, and another group in which they trained each exercise daily.
The tested the athletes before and after on a series of exercises and each had made similar improvements. I have a few thoughts on this study. The researchers took active soldiers who, to some degree, were already trained, but probably had some general acclimations as a result of the study. In the study also, the exercises trained were not as diverse as the goals I listed above. Ultimately for athletes who focus on basic lifts, such as powerlifters , periodization is probably all but unnecessary.
However, as an example anecdote, I need to keep up my cardio work for my own training all year or it will suffer. Depending on your sport, your goals, and your genes, periodization may have a small place in your training but mostly needs to be left in the dust.
Irineu Loturco, et. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock. Check out these simple workouts and fun exercises that can be done at-home with makeshift or no equipment at all. Stay at home, stay fit! Next Article. Breaking Muscle Newsletter. Get updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
Periodization Is a Thing of the Past
Periodization : Theory and Methodology of Training. Tudor O. Bompa , Greg Haff. Bompa, the pioneer of periodization training, and leading periodization researcher G.
Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training
I will break it into two parts as I have many notes. Tudor O. Bompa, PhD, is recognised worldwide as the foremost expert on periodization training. Chapter 1 — Basis for Training. This chapter lays the outlining the multiple factors associated with the training process. It is important that a progressive increase in stimulus will lead to adaptation and improved performance, lack of stimulus results in a plateau and hinders performance, whereas too excessive of a stimulus results in maladaptation, decreasing performance.
When it comes to designing programs for optimal training, Tudor Bompa's expertise is second to none. Bompa revolutionized western training methods when he introduced his groundbreaking theory of periodization in Romania in Today, periodization is the basis of every serious athlete's training. Periodization is a scientifically based method for structuring short- and long-term training plans. Grounded in current research on exercise physiology, athletic psychology, and training methodology, periodization varies the intensity and volume of training to optimize the body's ability to recover and rebuild. This results in better performance and less risk of injury.