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htm FROM: PERIODIZATION: Theory and Methodology of Training -by Tudor O. Bompa, PhD
Annual Training Program
The annual plan is the tool that guides athletic training over a year. It is based on the concept of periodization, which divides the annual plan into training phases, and the principles of training. An annual training program is necessary to maximize performance. In principle, this means that athletes must train continually for 11 months, then reduce the amount of work during the last month. This work should vary from regular training to facilitate physiological, psychological, and CNS rest and regeneration before beginning another year of training. The main objective of training is to reach a high level of performance at a given time, usually the main competition of the year, based on correct development of athletic shape. Good athletic shape occurs when the degree of training is high and the psychological status enhances a high level of performance. To achieve such a performance, the coach must properly periodize and plan the entire program so the development of skills, biomotor abilities, and psycho logical traits follow logically and sequentially. Wellorganized and planned training is difficult to achieve. In many instances, the highest performance of the year does not occur at the major competition, a result of inadequate knowledge and planning experience. In training methodology, one of the most challenging and complex problems is peaking athletic shape on the planned date. Often, athletes peak before the main competition due to being pushed to reach a high level without adequately alternating work with short regeneration phases. It is also common for athletes to peak after the top competition, the result of deficient preparation or an inadequate load or demand. A typical example of poor planning occurs in gymnastics when routines are finalized just before an important competition. The coach must do the planning, especially for inexperienced athletes. Experienced athletes should help the coach set objectives and plan for the following year. This way, they have a say in designing their programs, and the coach can use their feedback in a positive way. Athlete involvement in planning can be an important motivational tool for them and the coach.
Periodization is one the most important concepts in training and planning. This term originates from period, which is a portion or division of time into smaller, easy-to-manage segments, called phases of training. The concept of periodization is not new, but not everybody is familiar with its history. Periodization existed in an unrefined form for an unknown time. It is difficult to trace who initiated it. It was used in a simple form by the Greek
I developed many aspects of periodization. psychological adjustment to training and competitions. making it easier to plan and man age a training program and ensure peak performance for the main competition of the year. Athletic performance depends on the athlete's adaptation. Athletes train many months for competitions. Each smaller cycle has specific objectives derived from the general objectives of the annual plan. improving the knowledge to the present status. Since 1963. aiming to reach their highest level on those dates. The preparatory and competitive phases are divided into two sub-phases because their tasks are different. Over the centuries. the annual training cycle is conventionally divided into three main phases: preparatory. The duration of phases depends heavily on the time the athlete needs to increase training level and athletic shape. This requires organized. The main criterion for calculating the duration of each training phase is the competition schedule.1 illustrates the division of the annual plan into phases and cycles. In most sports. Periodization of the annual plan divides it into smaller training phases. competitive. which results in confusion. many authors and practitioners added to the process. and transition. each phase is composed of macro and microcycles. Periodization of biomotor abilities refers to structuring training phases to lead to the highest level of speed. and development of skills and abilities. Many are unaware of the difference between periodization as a division of the annual plan and periodization of the biomotor abilities. well-planned annual training that facilitates psychological . As mentioned. and endurance. Figure 8. copyrighted under the names: Periodization of Strength Periodization of Bodybuilding Periodization of Psychological/Mental Training Psychological Supercompensation Periodization of Endurance Periodization of Nutrition Integrated Periodization The Chart of the Annual Plan Periodization refers to two important aspects.Olympians. Philostratus was the vanguard of today's planning. strength. Furthermore. based on the different characteristics of training. and the competitive phase usually is preceded by a short precompetitive subphase. The preparatory phase has a general and a specific subphase.
Seasonal sports. A phase of stressful activities. Greece). The reverse is true for winter sports such as skiing and hockey. rowing. are restricted by climate. as proposed by the principle of load progression. Climatic conditions and the seasons also play decisive roles in the needs of periodizing training. Athletes should precede any increase in training work with an unloading phase in which they decrease the training level. Classifying Annual Plans Simple annual plans have been used since ancient Olympic Games. and by U. an optimal periodization for each sport and precise data regarding the time required for an optimal increase in the degree of training and athletic shape is not yet exact. Competition and intense training specific to the competitive phase has a strong component of stress. Individual characteristics. Also consider physiological and psychological potential and realize athletes cannot maintain athletic shape at a high level throughout the year. this is also true for strategical maneuvers. based on yearly observations. psychophysiological abilities. In sports such as rowing and soccer. the more sophisticated strategical tools a coach can use. You can facilitate your planning ability by developing a model plan that you can continually improve. and strive for perfection according to the needs of competitions during the competitive phase. The athlete learns a skill sequentially throughout training phases over time. even though most athletes and coaches may be able to cope. strategic maneuvers. A similar approach was used for the modern Olympic Games (1896 in Athens. Develop athletes' physiological foundation during the preparatory phase. It is important to alternate stressful phases with periods of recovery and regeneration. unique for each training phase. The methodology of developing skills. The duration of a training phase often depends on climate. and regeneration increase this difficulty. diet. such as maximum concentration and CNS fatigue. and soccer. Such a phase. Enhancing athletic shape requires increasing the volume and intensity of training in an undulatory manner. and biomotor abilities also requires a special approach.S. Philostratus referred to a preparatory phase for the ancient Olympic Games with few informal competitions before and a rest period after. winter is always the preparatory phase.and physiological adaptation. You can enhance the organization of an annual plan by periodizing training and using the sequential approach in developing athletic shape. . The closer to perfection a skill becomes. Needs of Periodization Adaptation created the different training phases because athletes progressively develop and perfect functions over a long period. such as skiing. However. providing a solid foundation for the following period of heavy work. usually the transition phase. during which the athletes experience less pressure. and the competitive phase is in the summer or spring and fall. creates a favorable mood and generates potential. should not be long. Periodization also influences developing a sequential approach to perfecting biomotor abilities.
The difference between the specialists of the early 1900s and post-World War II is that the Russians. Planning has progressively become more sophisticated. sub-phases.5 illustrate models produced by four authors. In 1965. He analyzed the information statistically and produced an annual plan divided into phases. Germans. Matveyev published a model of an annual plan based on a questionnaire that asked athletes how they trained. . Figures 8. when coaches used a 4year plan and annual plans. culminating with the German programs for the 1936 Olympic Games.2 through 8. forgetting what had been done before Matveyev from Philostratus onward. Some enthusiasts called it the classical model. and Romanians have published books and articles about planning. After World War II. and training cycles.college athletes at the beginning of the 20th century. the Soviets started a state-funded sports program with the scope of using athletics as the stage to demonstrate the superiority of their political system.
the coach plans two shorter phases. of lower volume and intensity so athletes can regenerate and supercompensate before the main competition. note the relationship between general and specific preparation: as one decreases the other increases substantially. and football. In figure 8.6). and transition phases. Before the most important competition of the year. During this period. canoeing. or sports with one major competition during the year. The competitive phase is divided into smaller sub-phases. precedes the subphase of main competitions. since there is only one competitive phase. use only one competitive phase. Seasonal sports such as skiing.6. During the preparatory and early competitive phases. quantity of work should dominate. there is only one peak (figure 8. which usually includes exhibition competitions only. or tapering off. The precompetitive subphase. emphasize training volume with low levels of intensity according to the specifics of the sport. as opposed to the competitive phase when you emphasize work intensity or quality . Such an annual plan is a monocycle. competitive. during which the coach may make technical and tactical changes. Another important point: as the competitive phase approaches.Although annual plans differ according to the specifics of the sport. in which all official competitions are scheduled (C). classification depends on the number of competitive phases in a plan. A special preparation phase follows. The coach can organize this phase separately or with the unloading phase and may use it for relaxation and psychological preparation for competitions. the training volume curve decreases drastically while the intensity curve increases (figure . The preparatory phase includes general and specific preparation. This plan is divided into preparatory. The first is an unloading phase (U).
• Competitive phase II. the curve of the training volume must be high throughout the competitive phase as well. I have pro vided another model (figure 8. which should be the longer preparatory phase. Figure 8. such a plan is called a bicycle (bi in Latin means two). A completely different approach is taken in sports that have two separate competitive seasons such as track and field. the volume of training. • Competitive phase I. For sports in which ergogenesis is close to 50-50% or dominant aerobic. For aerobic-dominant sports.8 illustrates a bicycle that incorporates the following training phases: • Preparatory phase I.7. • Short transition (12 weeks) linked with a preparatory phase II. in which indoor and outdoor sea sons are common. Training specialists from endurance sports would be mistaken to follow figure 8. Otherwise. Also.6.6). The model illustrated in figure 8. Such a monocycle model is typical for sports dominated by speed and power. • Transition phase.6 is not appropriate for everyone. is dominant throughout the year.8. The volume curve decreases to allow the coach to concentrate on speed and power.7). . the division of the annual plan in the training phases is based on the type of endurance training the athlete will perform. Please note in figure 8. Because there are two distinct competitive phases. the development of specific endurance will be insufficient and negatively affect the final performance. The unloading transition phase is for recovery. so important for aerobic sports.
Again. (In our example of track and field. transition. It is not unusual for sports like boxing. the level of athletic shape may be lower in competitive phase I. Assuming each competition is 3 or 4 months apart. even during the competitive phase. As illustrated by figure 8.A bi-cycle consists of two short monocycles linked through a short unloading/transition (U/T) and preparatory phase. or preparatory phase III • Competitive phase III • Transition . for endurance sports. and gymnastics to have three big competitions during the annual plan (for instance. meaning three).9. an athlete would have three competitive phases. transition. the volume curve must always be higher than intensity. a tricycle incorporates the following sequence of training phases: • A long preparatory phase I • Competitive phase I • A short unloading. which in the end (competitive phase II) will translate into better performance. the approach may be similar except for training volume. and the competition itself). national championships. which in preparatory phase I is of much higher magnitude than in preparatory phase II.) This is illustrated by the curve of the athletic shape. or preparatory phas e II • Competitive phase II • Unloading. a qualifying meet. which reaches the highest values during competitive phase II. For each cycle. the outdoor championships are usually more important. wrestling. Also. This approach will ensure proper emphasis on the dominant energy system. and the plan would be a tricycle (Latin tri.
children and teenagers do not. as opposed to the following two preparation phases. martial arts. the most important competition of the three should occur during the last cycle. the coach would plan the highest peak for the third cycle. A multicycle of four or more competitive phases is a challenging task. We see this situation in tennis. in which many players are injured or withdraw from tournaments because of physical and mental exhaustion. and physical foundations that will foster the following two cycles. Finally. The first of the three preparatory phases should be the longest. during which the athlete builds the technical. the general preparation subphase is only in the early part of the first cycle. Although international athletes with a good foundation of training during the early years of athletic development may find it easy to cope with such a heavy schedule. is short. Both the volume and intensity curves drop slightly for each of the three un loading phases preceding the main competitions.10). In such cases. .When planning a tricycle. The curve of intensity for each cycle follows a pattern similar to a monocycle. reflecting the relative importance of training volume in the preparatory phase I. the structure of the annual plan differs in that the preparatory phase. which corresponds with the main competition of the year. sports such as tennis. so important for developing skills and biomotor abilities. This is especially true if the athlete skips a quiet preparatory phase in which to regenerate and focus on improving biomotor skills in an un-stressful environment. Also the curve of volume is the highest. and boxing have four or more competitions when peak performance is desirable (figure 8. tactical. For the curve of athletic shape. Be cause such a plan is conventionally used with advanced athletes. This is why many young tennis players burn out before they have a chance to experience the satisfaction of winning major tournaments.
Stress is additive and is produced by competition. Stress . A tricycle and multi-peak plan are recommended only for advanced or international athletes.1 could be a good guideline for distributing weeks per training phase. athletes experience biological. Irrespective of whether you are in a sport of multi peaks. and training intensity. which if not properly manipulated may affect athletes' performance and behavior. A monocycle is for novice and junior athletes. the audience.Planning and Periodization Stress is a significant by-product of training and competition. the concept of periodization is an important tool in properly planning stress. As shown in figure 8. the curve of stress does not have the same magnitude throughout the annual plan. free from the stress of competitions. Because training deals primarily with biological and psychological components. peers. Again. Presumably.Selective Periodization Programs for young athletes often follow those specifically produced for mature and advanced athletes. Even then. family. these athletes have a solid foundation and their background allows them to handle an annual plan with three or more peaks with greater ease. Although the duration of training phases depends on the competition schedule. table 8. This allows the coach to concentrate on developing skills and a strong foundation of physical training. the preparatory phase should be as long as possible. coach's pressure to perform well. A wise coach deals with these athletic by-products by training athletes to cope and by planning the stress properly throughout the annual plan. to allow time to train fundamentals. and sociological stressors. consider the following sequence of types of annual plans. I would like to propose that everyone concerned look at periodization from the point of view of athletes' readiness for heavy schedule competitions. A bicycle is for experienced athletes who can quality for national championships. elicited by internal and adverse external influences.11. stress is considered the sum of these phenomena. psychological. . Throughout training and competition. a distinct advantage of periodization. The advantage of such a plan is that it has long preparatory phases.
and others have more difficulty. During the preparatory phase. While the volume or quantity of training is high. and only when athletes are almost recovered do they participate in intensive training lessons again. The shape of the curve is low during the transition phase. The stress curve throughout the competitive phase has an undulatory structure because of alternating competitive with developmental and re generation microcyc1es. the curve of stress is also low. the days before selection are often stressful as well. Training intensity is a prime stressor.11 that the curve of stress parallels the curve of intensity-the higher the intensity. When top competitions are more frequent. which could stress some athletes. It appears evident. the higher the stress. the coach must plan a few days of regeneration following competitions. Similarly. especially those who find it difficult to meet the standards. because coaches in team sports select the team during the preparatory phase. that the number of competitions and their frequency cause an elevated stress curve. the intensity is lower. . When selecting athletes. progressively elevates through the preparatory phase. because it is difficult to emphasize a high amount of work and an elevated intensity simultaneously (with the probable exception of weightlifting). Some athletes cope well. Similarly. and fluctuates during the competitive phase because of alternating stressful activities (competitions) with short regeneration periods. Those who have difficulty dealing with stress may need more than motivational and relaxation techniques. the coach would be wise to plan a short unloading period (23 days) before important competitions. Because the coach emphasizes it less than training volume through most of the preparatory phase. on the coach. the magnitude of the stress curve is the outcome of the relationship between training volume and intensity.Please note in figure 8. to a high degree. therefore. athletes experience more stress. the coach should consider psychological tests that sort the candidates according to the needs of high-performance athletics. One exception to this may be testing dates. The ability of athletes to cope with stress depends. In these cases. The coach has to plan the program to allow phases of regeneration and relaxation and introduce athletes to mental training and its specific techniques. Apart from alternating high and low stressful activities. the coach may also use relaxation techniques to help athletes cope.
While creating a periodized training program. . "Perfect fitness results in the best psychology!" A well-planned periodized program will ensure superior psychological readiness.I strongly believe that athletes' psychological behavior depends on their physiological wellbeing. In other words. Following are the mental training phases as suggested by Bacon (1989). This is why I believe that. Canadian psychologists were among the first to realize the necessity of psychological periodization. the coach should produce a psychological periodization (please also refer to Integrated Periodization later in this chapter). athletes' mental state is a by product of their physiological condition. stress management. and mental training.
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