Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by KOU In3, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. KOU In3 Orange Belt

    Oct 29, 2005
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    It seems as if very few people in here are periodizing their training. Are those of you lifting with relatively low reps (5 reps or less) doing this year in and year out?

    It seems like most of the strongman and powerlifters I talk to in person engage in some type of periodized program still. But in the S&P forum it appears that everyone is lifting 'heavy' (read low rep) year in, year out.

    My understanding has always been that when lifting for strength it was important to have 6-12 week periods of heavy lifting followed by similair periods of medium (6-8) and higher reps (8-12 reps) with correspondingly lower percentages of 1RM used.

    Is this 'old-school' and no longer typically followed? What am I missing here?
  2. Urban Savage Mystic

    May 16, 2003
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    Sippin on sunshine
    I have found that linear periodization is a good way for me to spin my wheels for 8+ weeks at a time. Right now, I'm lifting heavy this week and trying to outperform myself next week, and it's working very well. Every 4-6 weeks I take a week off and it seems to work out fine.
  3. Brad Morris Green Belt Professional Fighter

    Sep 15, 2004
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    Melbourne, Australia
    Here is the first part of an article by Dr Verkhoshansky (translated) with an introduction by the late Dr Mel Siff, regarding Dr Verkhoshansky's opinion of Periodisation. Especially the work of Dr Leonid Mateev who is widely regarded as the modern pioneer of periodisation. I found Dr Verkhoshansky's opinion very interesting and it made me view Periodisation in a whole different light.

    Since many of you may be unfamiliar with recent debate on the validity of
    periodisation as a method of organising sports training, I would like to
    share with you a liberal translation of a very long recent article by Dr
    Verkhoshansky on this topic (Teoriya i Praktika Fizischeskoi Kultury
    29/10/97). Due to its length, I will serialise this article in a few
    episodes, then follow it with another article by a Bulgarian scientist who
    criticised Dr V's article.

    You will notice that attention is focused on the work of Dr Leonid Mateev who
    is widely regarded as the modern pioneer of periodisation. His book,
    "Fundamentals of Sports Training" (Progress Publ, Moscow, 1977) was published
    in English and the type of material in there is what Dr V criticises

    The implications of Dr V's critique are vast, because periodisation in many
    circles is the only reigning doctrine, yet, here we have a proponent of one
    of its forms ('Concentrated Loading' and "Conjugated Training'), criticising

    Before impulsively accepting all of the article as definitive, remember that
    it offers the opinion of one expert, who has spoken in terms of
    generalisations and not discussed any specific related issues such as
    research into rhythmicity in adaptation, biological cycles, 'body clocks',
    diurnal cycles, and other issues in the cyclical behaviour of the human body.
    In our textbook,"Supertraining" (1999, Ch 6), we mentioned that some of the
    origins of periodisation in the earth's seasons and in the communist
    philosophy of 5 year plans etc. Later, you will notice that Dr V analyses
    such origins in some depth.

    Whatever your opinion on this topic, you will find Dr Vs comments to be great
    interest. Those of you who own "Supertraining" should read the introductory
    section of Ch 6 to refresh your memory of the evolution of periodisation

    Mel Siff



    JV Verhoshansky


    Already there is no official program in physical education for teaching the
    theory of sports training as based upon the concept of so-called
    'periodisation' born in the 1960s. Until now, it strongly guided sports
    practice, but already for a long time it has lost the theoretical and
    practical importance. Today, quantitative facts from adjacent sciences (first
    of all the issue of biological cycles), have elevated sports training to a
    new qualitative level, but similar publications to those of the past have reta
    rded progress of scientific knowledge in sports, causing irreparable harm to
    the professional training of domestic experts and sportsmen of all levels of
    skill. Finally, periodisation is one factor that has belittled the former
    stature of our sports science.

    Worldwide recognition of this theory, putting it mildly, do not represent the
    real facts. On the contrary, the opinion of the broad foreign authorities in
    the field of sports training and trainers reveals just the opposite. Here
    the out-of-date concept of 'periodisation' is promoted as the appropriate
    scientific theory and methodology of sports training. Such theory is
    represented by knowledge drawn completely from pedagogical sources and not
    the biological sciences.

    And because biological sciences undoubtledly should lay the foundations for
    sports science and training, the recognized authorities from allied sciences
    (physiology, biomechanics, biochemistry, medicine, psychology) should be
    involved to balance out the opinions of philosophers and methodologists.

    This article analyzes the state of the art of the 'official' theory of
    sports training and the causes of its crisis.


    The fundamental methodology of the present system of sports training was
    developed by Russian trainers in the early 1950s, in connection with the
    preparation of the Soviet sportsmen for the XV Olympic Games in Helsinki
    (1952) and other international competitions. The practical experience up till
    that time was generalized and submitted as the concept of "periodisation"
    training (abbreviated as periodisation). Because at that time questions about
    the theory of training did not become subject matter for the attention of
    more serious experts, and because Soviet athletes successfully performed on
    the world stage, periodisation, as the first generalised aspect of the
    theory of sports training to emerge from behind the "Iron Curtain", naturally
    attracted the attention of foreign experts.

    The concept of "periodisation" has gradually become a synonym for "the
    scheduling of training", so that many experts and trainers from the Soviet
    Union, and overseas, till now have used this far-fetched, conceptual device
    called periodisation, referring to it as one of the more progressive ways of
    organising the training process. However, periodisation not only has not
    necessarily found broad support in practice, but also has been criticized in
    our country, and abroad.

    Experts consider, that the out-of-date periodisation notion of training does
    not answer the demands of present sports, does not assist growth of the
    functional reserves of sportsmen and it hinders the progress of achievements
    in sport. Finally, it has caused recent wasteful results.

    Periodisation is not a model of system of training for elite sportsmen and
    should be rejected or modified according to features of a present calendar of
    competitions and tendencies in progress of world sports. At best, separate
    forms of periodisation can be used by novice and young athletes.

    The typical mechanical division of annual training into periods and
    'mesocycles' in periodisation has been based on the short-term experience of
    preparation of athletes during the early stage of formulating the Soviet
    system of training (of the 1950s) and mainly on the example of three sports
    (swimming, weightlifting, track and field athletics), therefore cannot be
    plausible or universal. It is emphasized, that any system of training should
    be based not so much on logic and empirical experience, but much more on

    Many publications indicate that the principles and methodical recommendations
    of periodisation do not conform to the demands and progress of the major
    sports. They do not conform, in particular, to actual conditions of
    preparation of athletes in sports requiring endurance, in gymnastics, track
    and field and other sports. Periodisation does not provide or propose
    methodical decisions for the effective physical preparation of athletes in
    different sports. Periodisation also incorrectly stresses certain
    objectives, tasks, principles, ideas and tendencies of the training process.

    Russian experts in cyclic sports, guided by periodisation, have applied
    outdated training methods which for many years have retarded progress of
    sports results. Such procedure is insufficiently scientifically proven and is
    not capable of providing preparation of athletes. Plans to produce high
    results should not be based on training to achieve notorious "peaks of sports
    form", but to meet the ongoing demands over all the competitive season as
    required by the present sports calendar.

    The causes of the crisis in cyclic sports in Soviet Union are considered in
    detail in Mellenberga's work. This author emphasizes that extensive
    experimentation has not confirmed the efficiency of the stage-by-stage
    technique of constructing training as proposed by Matveev, and states that
    "it is not known how much our athletes will continue to be disadvantaged by
    methodical miscalculations using similar concepts".

    Experts point out that the successful African (in particular, Kenyan)
    athletes train in the mountains and have certain genetic predispositions as
    confirmed by Soviet experts, and that they have not implemented periodisation
    in their training. They have added that African athletes should not imitate

    In an article entitled "Periodisation - Plausible or Piffle?", Horwill
    examines why the concept of periodisation, based on the theory of Matveev, is
    inapplicable in the present preparation of runners. In another publication
    the same author condemns "the slavish worship of the theory of periodisation
    as used by some runners in different countries". He stresses that "Soviet
    runners did not improve world records in running middle distances and the
    British runners who used the Russian concept of periodisation did not gain
    gold medals on Olympic games over the last 30 years, but produced great
    achievements before they used such concepts. British runners started to use
    Matveev's block scheme of periodisation widely after 1980 and from then on
    their results showed a disturbing tendency to decline".

    It is interesting to note that, even if periodisation has been accepted
    without reservation in many countries of the world, it has not found
    universal use.

    One of sports magazines has published an interview with the expert S Zanon
    regarding the knowledge which the USSR and countries falling under its
    influence developed in the field of sports training during the period from
    1960 to 1980, He emphasized the importance of rejecting this theory and
    replacing it with a doctrine that is more scientifically adequate. He states
    that "if the concept of training is defined not on the basis of biological
    research. As it is offered by this Soviet theory based on concepts which
    bear no relation to the actual conditions of sports progress, it follows that
    programs of training show a high probability of loss of sporting talent."

    The well-known German theorist,Tschiene, who has analysed a number of present
    training concepts, has noted that periodisation has not changed from the
    moment of its first publication (1965). Although the big sports and
    scientific achievements have moved far ahead, many trainer's doctrines have
    not progressed or given way to other more progressive approaches. In this
    connection it is difficult for me to understand why Professor Matveev has not
    noticed the signs or has not wanted to notice them, even though difficulties
    concerning the use of his block diagram in sports for a long time became
    noticeable. Therefore the theory that he proposed for periodizing the yearly
    cycle should be transformed or replaced with more current doctrines,
    involving more specific principles stressing the role of competitive
    exercises and the individualization of training according to changes in
    international practice.

    In Italy the fundamental work on periodisation training not only was not
    translated into any other languages, but also has undergone critical analysis
    in a specially issued booklet. It questions the certainty and practical
    efficiency of a concept based only on the training of swimmers,
    weightlifters and athletes in the period approximately from 1950 to 1960.

    From many other remarks one should stress the artificiality and clumsiness of
    classifying the various "micro-" and "meso-" cycles, as well as how
    misunderstanding of those terms can distort the design of a training program.
    For instance, the use of an unloading microcycle in a given "mesocycle"
    while the body of the sportsman is in a state of supercompensation does not
    take into account the sometimes random effects of average and small waves of
    loads on the body. As a result, the authors conclude that "organizing
    training according to the model of Matveev can be used only by athletes of
    low qualification".

    So, we see that periodisation relies on old data, but its creator does not
    cease to state that it is still appropriate. He persistently does not
    acknowledge the critic, declaring that his concepts are still significantly
    productive, theoretically valid and methodologically attract broad
    international recognition. He is offended by complaints which he ignores, so
    that the distorted interpretation of his doctrine have virtually become the
    most fashionable phenomenon in some training publications of recent years.

    Despite numerous invitations to "creative and efficient critical discussion"
    of his ideas, Matveev nevertheless considers periodisation as a one-way
    street with traffic that is legally adjusted to only one viewpoint, that as
    German expert, Tschiene, has noted, excludes any possibility of creative
    discussion for the advancement of the theory of sports training. This is one
    of the main causes of the crisis in our domestic theories of sports training.
  4. cockysprinter Purple Belt

    Dec 25, 2003
    Likes Received:
    most people here dont periodize very well. periodization can be somewhat redundant when you have few motor qualities to train (lifting). i periodize my lifting and my track workouts.

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