Periodization training…From my personal experience and after coaching thousands of athletes one of the most effective things to help consistency is:
for people to NOT get bored and have variety.
Oh and let’s not forget actually making progress and getting results.
But how do you measure progress, subjective or objective data? Photos, maxes, mile time? We will get into all of that.
Today we are going to discuss:
- What is a training cycle
- Why is doing a training cycle important and the most effective way of training
- Test versus Re-test
- Objective data versus Subjective Data
- Macro, Meso, and Micro Cycles (what the heck all that means)
What Is A Training Cycle – Periodization Training
A training cycle may also be referred to as a training block, periodization, or for other coaches mesocycle, microcycle, and macrocycle (more on that later).
Think of a training block/training cycle as a short term focus on a goal.
Our training cycles are 7 weeks long, so let’s speak to that.
If you were to join our training program at the start of a “new cycle” everyone would be starting at the same place.
And during the FIRST week of training we are gathering baseline data for each individual person.
Let me give you a strength test example:
It’s week 1 and day 1 of a new training cycle (the start of a new training block)
After taking you through a warm up and some mobility drills we might ask you to*:
Take 15 minutes to build to a:
- 5 rep max Back Squat
You would then take 15 minutes to try and find your 5 rep max.
Let’s pretend you did 95 lbs, 115, 135, 155, and then 175 you barely got it.
THAT would be your “baseline data” for that particular test.
*the test that are in the training cycle are dependent on what the focus or goal is for that 7 week training block.
Conditioning test example:
It’s also week one of a new block and the conditioning test is:
Run x 1 mile
So you would run a mile as quickly as you can and then chart/record your time.
Example: 8 minutes and 29 seconds.
I’m using very simple examples so that you can begin to understand the concept.
In the next section lets show you how to use that baseline data you gathered.
Why Is Doing A Training Cycle Important & The Most Effective Way Of Training – Periodization Training
Do you see the photo above?
That’s what my gym looked like after about a days worth of work.
The walls were terrible and had holes in them. We boarded them up and then painted the wood white.
Why does this matter?
Because just like a training cycle we have to look back on how far we have come.
We use data to measure and reflect back on how far we have come.
Because you see when you are starting something new and you aren’t sure where it’s going it can be easy and hard to get stuck.
Feeling like you aren’t making any progress.
But when following a training program we use progressive overload training which helps create physical adaptation.
AKA you adapt to the stimulus and you get more efficient and stronger!
Let us show you how this works:
If we use the example from above where we gathered your “baseline data”.
For this example let’s stick with the 175 lb 5 rep max back squat.
Week 1: we gathered our data (175 x 5 rep max back squat)
Week 2: we begin working on a progression, drills, exercises that are going to help support and build muscular endurance and strength.
Week 3: we do the same thing but maybe we increase your weights by +5% and give you more variations, drills, maybe shorten the rest time, etc.
Week 4-5: we continue to do the same thing. Gradually increasing the weight and or training demand.
Week 6: we take a small “deload” which gives your body a chance to recover.
We do this by decreasing the volume which will set up us for success in week 7.
Week 7: We go back and do the very same test we did in week 1. In our example we would test your 5 rep max back squat again.
And what is your goal now?
TO FREAKING CRUSH IT!
You did 175. What can you do now? Can you do 180, 185, 190? etc.
You worked hard the last 6 weeks and now you get a chance to see your hard work pay off.
Do you see what this does guys/gals?
It helps you stay focused.
And that’s why test and re test matters.
Let’s dive into that.
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Test & Re-Test – Periodization Training
Referencing the text above did you see what started to happen on week 4 or 5?
Weeks four and five is typically the time frame that people can stay consistent for and things start to drop off.
But knowing that a re-test is coming soon it helps you stay focused and keep your eyes on the goal that you set for yourself.
It’s engrained in you to want to get better.
To show up on week 7 and re-test and want to see a better score than week one.
Let’s be crystal clear here what is taking place:
Week 1 when we were gathering baseline data you performed a series of test.
Which as you know now are varied upon the goal of the program for this particular cycle or training phase.
Week 2 – 6 we took you through a ton of progressions, skills, drills, etc so that on…
…week 7 when you repeat week 1 again.
You feel confident, stronger and more efficient at the movement.
“What doesn’t get tested doesn’t get measured”– Something we say frequently
What does that mean?
It means if we don’t measure it…it being, where you started.
How do we know what we are doing is working or not?
In short, it’s extremely important to test and re-test to evaluate what is working and what is not working.
Let me also add…
…look it’s AWESOME to see results.
But sometimes when we train we just are trying to get a good workout and want to feel better mentally.
That’s a huge part of this entire process.
It’s OKAY if you aren’t 100% every single workout.
The training programs we created have varied intensity. Some days will be harder than others and some easier than others.
That’s to help prevent burn out.
Let’s talk about some other ways to measure progress.
Objective Versus Subjective – Periodization Training
What we have talking about throughout this blog and especially with our test and retest method is objective data.
Objective – facts, numbers, increasing your 5 rep max back squat by 10-20 lbs
Subjective – you FEEL better, you are happier, you sleep better etc
Training and working out is not just about working out and get stronger.
Those things are awesome.
But working out empowers you to do things in your life that may matter more to you.
- having more energy at work
- more confident with your spouse or in business meetings
- not getting tired playing with your kids
- being able to play sports and have fun
Always remember why you started this journey in the first place.
Getting PR’s are nice.
But being healthy, strong, and mentally fit feels even better.
There are a ton of great programs out there, get you a coach, and a support group.
Don’t go through this journey alone.
Ready to get stronger and be a healthier you? Click here to get your first week for free and join the new “cycle” 🙂
Macro, Meso and Micro Training Cycles – Periodization Training
This section is for those who really want to learn what the big picture looks like.
If you are like us 🙂
Or maybe you are a coach or just an athlete who really likes to know where the program is going.
The big picture matters so you can have peak performance. Whether you are trying to get stronger, faster, compete in triathlons, runnings events, crossfit, athletics, periodization is what helps you get there.
As you have learned above you don’t just do the same thing day after day to get better.
You go through…training cycles.
This is where the coach takes a step back and looks at a full calendar year and puts in place in place for the full 52 weeks.
Often times we you have a BIG event that is taking place at some point int year.
- crossfit open
- half marathon
- powerlifting meet
Whatever fitness you are into you pick the date and then you can essentially work backwards when creating your plan.
To do that you create several mesocycles (which is what has been discussed in this blog)
A macrocycle takes a look at the full calendar year and the mesocycle is what makes up the different training blocks throughout the year.
As I mentioned the way we program is with 7 weeks training blocks.
Week 1: test
Week 2-6: progressive overload training to create adaptation and change
Week 7: re test
That is an example of a mesocycle.
Depending on the goal of the mesocycle the training “focus” changes.
Depending on your sport it could be:
- improving neuromuscular power
- barbell cycling
- muscular endurance
- top end strength
- improving your engine
We worked from the top down so can you guess what this is?
A microcycle is broken down in most cases to a week
Macro – annual
Meso – ranges but in our cases 7 weeks
Micro– is what we are actually doing from week to week.
And that matters because that is where our progression takes place.
We use the mesocycle to establish the goal of the test that we want to test.
Then the magic and the progressions are in the micro cycles.
Makes sense right?
You may be asking yourself okay…
…I got it!
But what the heck do I do each day? That’s where we come into play.
Best way to learn is and fast track your success is to get a coach who understands this concept.
We have multiple different training programs that you can check out and if you want to take your performance to the next level. We would love to have you!
We also provide free weekly education if you just want to get more awesome tips like this.
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A training cycle is a block of time (for us 7 weeks) where we have a goal of the "cycle".
Throughout the 7 weeks we are trying to help the athlete improve at something.
Week 1: we gather baseline data by taking you through a serious of test
Week 2-6: our goal is to get you stronger, create physical adaptation and prepare you for the re-test that takes place in week 7
Week 7: re-test all the test that took place in week 1.
When we follow this method is allows us to:
- see what's working
- stay focused for a short block of time (which helps increase consistency)
- an opportunity to become more proficient at the skills/test that we worked on
If you have any other questions drop them in the comments below!
Want to join our next training cycle so you can start making progress too?
Let us know what you want to get better at and we will let you know the next time we have a sweet periodization training cycle starting!