A Simple Periodisation Plan

In last weeks blog post where I spoke about simplifying how we program and train, my aim was to do just that. Unfortunately it may have confused people! I’ve had a few questions about how to put this in place and for specific examples. So, here is a quick example of simple periodisation for you to think about!

Phase 1 – Body Composition

You might think that body composition training, reducing bodyfat and increasing lean mass, isn’t sports specific. But if you think about it, if you achieve good results you should have increased your relative strength! Or at least set you up for improvements down the line.

The duration of this phase will depend on many things. The further you are from ideal body comp for your sport/goals the longer this phase will be. Things to think about: age, training history, sport, position etc.

All of these things should be involved in your assessment as discussed last week.

Phase 2 – Relative Strength

This is where you focus on general relative strength gains.

A good target would be for your athletes to squat 2x bodyweight, bench press 1.5x bodyweight and chin up the same weight as bench press for 3 reps. The further they are from that the longer they need to train for strength.

Strength is the foundation of all physical qualities and so aiming for these targets should take priority over everything. Once you have achieved these goals there are diminishing returns for getting stronger and the next phase should be emphasised.

Phase 3 – Sport Specific strength/Power

This phase you look at the specific speed, power and strength demands of the sport. A prop in rugby, for example, has very different needs to a winger so make sure you can prescribe goals for each athlete that will carry over to their sport and performance.

I think that it is worth rotating through these phases with all athletes as each phase builds on the other and is potentiated by the last. Eg. strength is increased after a higher volume phase and power is potentiated following strength work. As I stated earlier the way to modify things is to adjust the duration at each phase based on the individual.

I hope that has given a good example of simple periodisation in practice. Let me know if you have anymore questions.

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