We have been focusing on improving Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Neurological, Muscular and Circulatory functionality, but how do you know when you need to focus on which system? Periodization, or scheduling, your training will be an important part of your physiological advancement. Whether your goals are sport-related peaking for an “Alpha” game or you simply want to dance at your child’s wedding, periodizing your training will ensure that you meet your goals effectively, injury free and on time.

For a triathlete, the goal is simple, maximum potential on the day of the Ironman, or whatever your focus race may be for the year. For a rehabilitation-recovery or elderly client, the focus may not be as clear. We know we want to get back to health as fast as possible with as little complication as possible. A complex goal for this person may be getting them self out of the bathtub safely. To achieve this we would encourage smaller, more attainable goals leading to efficiently performing the desired action. The same holds true for weight loss. The more reasonable the goals, the more likely this person is to maintaining the schedule and therefore not burning out before accomplishing their desired weight. In this case we will encourage reasonable thinking with smaller goals based on an award/penalty system to add a point of success for each goal reached. Three completely different goals and still all in need of periodized planning.

So how does periodization work? Simply, it outlines your goals and mathematically aligns it with your schedule to produce a realistic look at your peak performance times. OK, so that doesn’t sound simple, but it is! To illustrate this, we will break the athletes year down and periodize it appropriately.

The first step is to focus on your primary goal. We will typically print out a small annual calendar with all 12 months listed in 2 columns. With our list of races in front of us, choose which race will be Alpha, which is Beta and Which is Charlie… or A, B, C if you like… where Alpha is the most important race to you. Beta will be used as time trials but not an all out race. C-races are thrown in for fun and technical skills work. Once we have our ranked list in Chronological order, we will then circle those dates on our calendar. This is our race schedule for the year, otherwise known as a Macro Cycle. We will then count the weeks backwards from our alpha, ranking each in priority of intensity and focus of discipline.

Once we have our priorities straight, we will break our year into 4-6 week cycles, also known as meso-cycles. These meso-cycles will vary in intensity and function as will each week within in order to train all systems involved. From here we will break each week into micro and nano-cycles to program each individual workout or partition of a workout.

No matter what your goals, periodization will get you there as effectively and safely as reasonably possible. A true periodized schedule will be organic and allow for changes due to the outside factors of life. If you would like learn more about how to periodize your year to meet your goals, Please Contact Carolina Gold Fitness to schedule an appointment with a personal trainer