Periodisation: An Overview | Acrobatic Arts

Earlier than I begin this text, I simply need to point out that this can be a quite complicated subject, and I will probably be modifying this article in the future if my understanding of it modifications further. Thus far, annually I coach I have discovered more on this subject. I hope you study quite a bit from this and put it to good use in your personal teaching or training. Try to not skip elements, as all the knowledge contained right here is necessary, though take your time to get via it as it’s around 9 pages lengthy excluding references and images.

What’s periodisation and why ought to I exploit it?

Periodisation is the idea of planning a coaching programme by breaking down the training into numerous training phases and biking them in an order that may permit the athlete to be ready for their greatest performance on the right time. Akin to acting at their greatest at a Nationwide Championship. Periodisation must take the objectives of the athlete into consideration and use the training rules as a guide to construction the programme.

You have to be using periodisation if you’d like better outcomes from your athletes. Good periodisation can maintain training from turning into stale, and may help forestall or overcome training plateaus. It will possibly additionally assist with damage prevention by making sure that the athlete has progressively tailored to handling more durable coaching.

Table of Contents

Sports activities Coaching Rules ↑

There are loads of coaching suggestions and rules out there, even just whereas scripting this I came across nicely over 10 numerous coaching rules or tips, many that are comparable variations of each other.

Under are the rules and tips I consider to be key to remember while creating your coaching plan.

Early Sport Specialisation ↑

An athlete who specialises of their chosen sport early will reach relative peak performance sooner, nevertheless greater efficiency while the athlete is a toddler leads to lower efficiency once they turn out to be an adult.

Athletes who’ve age applicable training have an extended time period at their peak of performance, in addition to being more doubtless to be able to set world data, in comparison with athletes who specialise early and have a shorter time period at their peak performance [1].

What this implies is that in gymnastics youngsters are sometimes chosen for competitive training by the age of 6 or 7. By the point they’re 9 or 10 they are coaching round eight to 9 hours every week, and are sometimes expected to prioritize gymnastics coaching over other sports activities. Quite often they need to stop collaborating in other sports solely. This is early specialisation, and will preferably not be occurring before the age of 12. Ideally before the age of 12 the athlete will diversify their training and pattern a wide range of different sports activities which can help to develop other areas that inventive gymnastic won’t do [2].

Gymnastics develops a wide range of talents so for my part sports activities which may benefit the athlete probably the most might be things comparable to swimming or ball sports for manipulation expertise. I’m not saying that before the age of 12 they shouldn’t be training 9 hours every week, nevertheless, they need to hopefully not have to stop different sports activities due to gymnastics.

Tremendous-compensation – Overload & Development ↑

An athlete could make progress by overloading their body with greater than what it might deal with. This is completed through the use of information of the body’s processes referred to as super-compensation.

We will break down Tremendous-compensation into 4 steps.
Step 1 – Coaching load. The athlete trains at a difficult load or intensity, and their body reacts by going into a recovery mode making them tired and reducing their performance.

Step 2 – Restoration. The athlete trains in the next session at a neater coaching load, or they’ve lively relaxation. Because of this recovery time, the athlete’s power and efficiency levels will return to the place they have been earlier than their first session.

Step 3 – Tremendous-compensation. As soon as the athlete has returned to their unique power and performance ranges, they then adapt and their power and efficiency levels continue to rise further so that they are able to dealing with even more then what they initially might. This can be a physiological, psychological, in addition to technical response of the athlete. That is when the athlete can carry out in a fair more durable coaching session.

Step 4 – Decline. That is when the athlete loses the super-compensation effect. This decline in power and performance ranges will occur with or with no more durable coaching session through the super-compensation part. [3]

Utilizing this process, an athlete could make progress in a wavelike method by manipulating the coaching load and depth. The load have to be increased progressively and not by giant jumps. If the load increases too quick the physique will move into the decline part and lead to damage or overtraining syndrome, which no athlete or coach needs. Overtraining is sort of a critical dysfunction that takes from several weeks to a number of months to get well from whereas the athlete suffers with something from persistent fatigue and illness, to other things akin to loss of motivation and urge for food [4].

Figure 1. Time, expressed in hours, for several types of training to succeed in 
the maximal super-compensation [5].

Above is an image that exhibits us the super-compensation wave of several types of coaching. If coaching periods are timed appropriately you possibly can reap the benefits of this effect. The horizontal line is the baseline of the athlete, the a part of the line that rises above the fitness baseline is the super-compensation wave, if an athlete does a second training periods while the wave continues to be growing, then the health baseline moves greater. Nevertheless, if the subsequent coaching periods is just too quickly, or too arduous, then the athlete will progressively get worse as they haven’t completed their recuperate time but.

The perfect training windows are listed at the backside of the picture. Splendid length between coaching periods is dependent upon what sort of training the gymnast is doing, however for my part they should sometimes do brief energy and dash work at the beginning of the week so there’s roughly a 30 hour rest period between the subsequent session, and then carry out extra of their power coaching at the end of the week to offer roughly a 48 hour coaching gap.

It is very important realise that there are numerous methods to control the super-compensation process. A number of varieties are proven within the picture under, with the 4th instance being commonest sort used in sports coaching. For example, a number of coaching periods by means of the week with out satisfactory recovery time and reducing performance, followed by an extended relaxation over the weekend perhaps, and a delayed but giant super-compensation effect.

Figure 2. Timing of applied stimulus and the correlating adaptive response. [6]

Precept of Diminishing Returns ↑

Lodging is a common regulation of biology, which in a simplified manner says that a person’s response to a continuing stimulus will decrease over time. In sports activities coaching this is the precept of diminishing returns. A brand new athlete may enhance enormously from a slightly straightforward coaching load, while experienced athlete might have barely any enhancements even with exhausting training masses. Due to this manner that our our bodies work, using the identical coaching masses over a very long time period could be very inefficient. Coaches ought to differ their coaching masses and intensities to beat this concern [7].

Specificity ↑

The best way an athlete adapts to coaching could be very specific. For instance, you could have 3 athletes from numerous sports activities all coaching sprints. Your 200m sprinter would have numerous profit from the dash training, your tennis participant a small profit from the coaching, yet your golfer would probably haven’t any benefit from the dash training. For training results to transfer to the athlete’s sport, the coaching must be as just like the specified end result as attainable. The more comparable the coaching to the game, the better the transfer. For example; a basketball player should relatively practice vertical jumps and sprinting than they need to practice rope climbs. This specificity can also be necessary when taking a look at power methods. A 100m dash uses totally different power techniques compared to a 42.2km marathon, subsequently a marathon runner wont have a lot benefit training brief sprints.

That being stated, all athletes are totally different people, even if they are in a group, and what may go to improve one athlete won’t necessarily assist the opposite. All training programmes should go well with the person, profiting from their strengths. For example, if your basketball participant has dangerous knees they could have to do swimming to scale back impression [8]. This part is usually referred to as the principle of individualisation, nevertheless I wish to assume it’s widespread sense.

Detraining & Maintenance ↑

Detraining, also called reversibility, is when a training load shouldn’t be excessive sufficient, or not present at all, and the physiological elements of an athlete’s health begins to lower [9].

That is relatively essential for coaches managing injured athletes, or athletes on holiday. Additionally it is essential in periodisation to make it possible for sure varieties of training are completed often enough as to not lose the advantages. It is very important observe that the detraining effect does not apply to expertise.

That is where information of the residual training results turns into essential. Between training and detraining is where the residual training effect sits. This is how long your training impact will last for earlier than the benefits of your training session starts to decrease. Totally different techniques last more than others nevertheless [10].

Under, table 1  exhibits roughly how lengthy an athlete can maintain their fitness / sports activities shape earlier than the detraining effect begins to occur. The desk exhibits a rough range, although we do know that athletes who have been coaching their sport years longer have a larger residual impact than athletes who are new to their sport [11]. Table 2 is an instance as to how you can time numerous coaching when coming up to a contest.

Desk 1. Training residuals of various physical talents [12].

Means Period of residual effect (days) Physiological background
Cardio endurance 30±5 Elevated quantity of; aerobic enzymes activity, mitochondria quantity, muscle capillaries, hemoglobin capability, glycogen storage, & larger fee of fats metabolism
Maximal power 30±5 Enchancment of neural mechanism & muscle hypertrophy happens mainly because of the muscle fibers’ enlargement
Anaerobic glycolytic endurance 18±4 Increased quantity of; anaerobic enzymes activity, larger lactate accumulation price, buffering capability, and glycogen storage
Power endurance 15±5 Muscle hypertrophy occurs primarily in slow-twitch fibers, better native blood circulation, and lactic tolerance
Maximal velocity 5±3 Improved neuromuscular interactions, motor management, and increased phosphocreatine storage

Desk 2. Example of Residual Coaching Effects within Target Peak Date [13].

Aerobic Endurance —> Competition
Anaerobic Glycolytic Endurance —>
Maximal Velocity —>

Power Methods ↑

I wrestle to know power techniques myself because of the amount of data out there and the varied terms used, but I’ll do my greatest for this half. The first thing to find out about power techniques is that there are three power methods. There’s the Alactic Power System, the Lactate Power System, and the Aerobic Power System. To make issues even more confusing, they typically go by other names relying on what sort of gasoline source is used.

Gymnastics use of the power techniques is cut up into the following; 80% is ATP-PCr & Anaerobic Glycolysis, 15% Aerobic Glycolysis & Oxidative, and 5% Oxidative [14]. An athlete will use all techniques in their sport, and the system that’s most dominant is just due to the size of the exercise. For example in a 1km run the athlete will start with the alactic system at first, nevertheless end the run using the aerobic system.

Table 3. Work-to-rest ratios for numerous exercise durations [15].

Approximate % of most power Main power system harassed Typical exercise period Range of exercise-to-rest interval ratios
90-100 Phosphagen 5-10 seconds 1:12 to 1:20
75-90 Glycolytic 15-30 seconds 1:Three to 1:5
30-75 Glycolytic and oxidative 1-Three minutes 1:2 to 1:four
20-35 Oxidative >3 minutes 1:1 to 1:Three

The necessary half that the desk above exhibits is the work to rest ratios within the final column. Maintain this in mind whereas the gymnasts practice or while understanding conditioning programmes. If you need them to work at their greatest, they’ll need sufficient rest in between sets or makes an attempt.

Age Applicable Coaching ↑

For gymnastic coaches who work with youngsters, we should goal to do the following;

  • Never deliver hurt to the athlete bodily or mentally
  • To help the athlete develop the view that it is a life long sport for them to be lively in.
  • To develop the foundations progressively as to organize the athlete for the subsequent stage.

Athletes aged 6-11

Their skeletal structure continues to be creating, it is very important develop good posture. Guarantee they do not spend an extreme time doing bridges or develop hinging within the spine.

Their focus is usually less than 5 minutes lengthy.
Coach should steadily take the youngsters from fun enjoying, to enjoying structured sports preparation.
It will be significant for the coach to set an excellent instance and keep constructive.

Athletes aged 11-15

Athletes can be going via puberty and gaining power quicker than what their tendons and ligaments are capable of handling.
When the athlete has their peak progress spurt (typically around 13/14) they may typically have vestibular and coordination points.
During this time interval the coach typically needs to be a bit extra cautious of the mental aspect of training.

Athletes aged 15-18

Muscular tissues, bones, tendons, and ligament power should all be completed throughout this time interval.
Coaching can turn into much more intense and the athlete should have the ability to start to deal with a lot more.

There are specific time durations the place sure motor talents are sensitive to improvement. Coaches ought to goal to take maximum benefit of this to assist their athletes.

Table four. Durations of sensitivity in the direction of particular improvement of talents in younger male athletes.

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Aerobic Endurance
Anaerobic Endurance

Table 5. Durations of sensitivity in the direction of particular improvement of talents in younger feminine athletes.

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Aerobic Endurance
Anaerobic Endurance

Word.  All the info above about age applicable training is tailored from Zahradník and Korvas (2012) [16].

Periodisation Models ↑

Just before we get into the varied fashions of periodisation, we’ll simply shortly cover the terminology for the cycles.

Table 6. Periodisation cycle lengths.

Cycle Rough Period
Coaching Day 1 day, although not all the time only one training session
Microcycle 1 week
Mesocycle four weeks
Macrocycle 52 weeks, annual plan
Quadrennial Cycle four years

There are numerous ways to construction the hundreds and intensities for these cycles, the primary cycle sometimes checked out for load structure is the mesocycles. I sometimes stick with using step loading, though there are a variety of different strategies out there, flat, reverse, and so on.
You can read more about load construction by following this hyperlink. Click on >HERE<.

Under are the three major periodisation fashions that I recommend, and they’re also probably the most commonly researched. We’ll start with the straightforward and end with the onerous. After those three I will point out a couple of other models you could hear about, though I really feel for a gymnastics coach they are unneeded.

Traditional Periodisation (by Dr. Leonid Matveyev)

Traditional Periodisation is an effective mannequin to start out with in case your athlete is a newbie in power coaching or basic sports preparation. It’s relatively straight forward, as the primary adjustments are merely to the training load and intensities. It doesn’t use the precept of super-compensation a lot, quite focusing extra on preparation levels [17].

These phases are the Common Preparation (endurance / hypertrophy), Particular Preparation (power), Competition (energy & peak), and Transition phases.

On this model, you start with endurance (excessive volume, low intensity), and progressively work in the direction of your coaching peak where you’re engaged on max power or energy (low quantity, high intensity).

I might recommend you only use this model for a yr or two, before utilizing a extra superior mannequin, as the normal model doesn’t actually perform properly for a number of peak occasions, which is usually required by athletes. It also appears to not accommodate for the precept of diminishing returns too properly, although it nonetheless handles it higher than no periodisation at all [18].

Determine 3. Instance of Traditional Periodisation Mannequin. Click >HERE

Undulating Periodisation (by Charles Poliquin)

There are two designs for undulating periodisation, weekly and every day undulation, with day by day undulation being the most typical [19].

With the undulating technique, an athlete trains in numerous methods during every micro-cycle. For instance if the athlete trains three days every week, they could practice hypertrophy twice, and energy as soon as in the micro-cycle. Although numerous techniques are educated every microcycle, every system also needs to progress with a loading sample.

Research have shown that undulating periodisation is best than the normal mannequin for power positive aspects and enchancment of the central nervous system mechanisms, which suggests the athlete positive factors more power with less muscle mass, an enormous constructive for sports resembling gymnastics the place more weight can effect a considerable amount of expertise. Day by day undulating periodisation has also proven to be more environment friendly in avoiding plateaus in more elite athletes battling the precept of diminishing returns [20].

This makes it a sensible choice of periodisation for gymnastic coaches or athletes to use. It’s a good system for intermediate to comparatively advanced athletes

Determine four. Instance of Every day Undulating Periodisation Model. Click on >HERE

Block Periodisation (by Verkoshansky)

Block periodisation is designed extra in the direction of elite athletes and is designed to accommodate for residual training results. This can be a relatively difficult technique to be used for superior athletes. Studies have proven this model of periodisation to have been the only affordable approach to completed training objectives in some troublesome situations [21].

The design uses training blocks the size of a mesocycle, which are highly specialised workloads.
There are Three fundamental blocks.

Accumulation – By which you develop common cardio endurance, muscle power, and common patterns of movement method.

Transmutation – By which you’re targeted on creating specific talents like combined aerobic-anaerobic or anaerobic endurance, specialized muscular power, and event-specific method.

Realization – This can be a pre-competitive coaching part that focuses mainly on competitive mannequin workouts, attaining maximal velocity, and restoration previous to the subsequent competition. [22]

Reverse Periodisation (Initially used by Charlie Francis, popularised by Ian King)

Reverse periodisation is aimed more in the direction of long distance runners or different endurance athletes, and is predicated on sustaining intensity nearer to what is required in competition, then slowly elevating the quantity [23].

As gymnastics is just not an endurance sport, and it’s what this website focuses on, I’ll depart reverse periodisation here. It is extremely comparable and based mostly on the normal periodisation model.

Conjugate Periodisation (Westside Barbell by Louie Simmons)

The Westside conjugate system was created by Louie Simmons by combining numerous coaching methods together, particularly an previous Soviet system, and a Bulgarian system the place they practice near maximal effort in every exercise [24].

This technique was designed utilizing numerous weightlifting methods and workouts, as such I consider it’s a bit tough to make use of it as a extra generalised system to use for different sports activities. It’s typically confused with the block periodisation mannequin resulting from identify and terminology confusion. When reading up on a periodisation sort, ensure you know exactly what they’re referring to.

In conclusion…

I hope this article has been of some use to you. It has taken me roughly 2 months to collect all this info together, and it’s my hope that you need to use this to return back and revise every time needed. I tried to cover all of the important info, although I do know there’s a lot I nonetheless haven’t coated, or gone into enough element with. If it is advisable know extra you’ll be able to lookup a few of the references for additional studying, just be warned, there is a ton of data out there, and it may be robust to type by way of it all.

References ↑

[1] ↑ & [16] ↑ Zahradník, D., & Korvas, P. (2012). The introduction into sports training. Retrieved November 4, 2015, from

[2] ↑ Balyi, I., Means, R., & Higgs, C. (2013). Lengthy-term athlete improvement. Retrieved November 6, 2015, from

[3] ↑ Gambetta, V. (2007). Athletic improvement: The art & science of practical sports activities conditioning. Retrieved November 10, 2015, from

[4] ↑ Mackinnon, L. (2000). Overtraining results on immunity and performance in athletes. Immunology and Cell Biology, 78, 502-509. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1711.2000.t01-7-.x

[5] ↑ Olbrecht, J. (2000). The science of profitable : Planning, periodizing and optimizing swim coaching. Luton, England: Swimshop.

[6] ↑ Zatsiorsky, V., & Kraemer, W. (2006). Science and follow of power coaching. (2nd ed.). Champaigne, IL: Human Kinetics.

[7] ↑, [8] ↑, & [22] ↑ Zatsiorsky, V. (1995). Science and follow of power training (pp. Three–16). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

[9] ↑ Godfrey, R. (2006, April 7). Detraining – why a change really is best than a rest. Retrieved November 12, 2015, from

[10] ↑ Mäestu, J. (2013, April 1). Residual training impact. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from

[11] ↑ Mantak, M. (2012, November 30). How a lot down time is too much: The idea of detraining. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from

[12] & [13] ↑ Exercise Prescription. (2013, December 3). Residual training impact. Retrieved November 18, 2015, from

[14] ↑ Fox, A., Keteyian, S., & Foss, M. (1998). Fox’s physiological foundation for exercise and sport (6th ed.). Boston, Mass.: McGraw-Hill.

[15] ↑ Leyland, T. (2007). Relaxation and restoration in interval-based exercise. CrossFit Journal, (56). Retrieved December 21, 2015, from

[17] ↑ & [20] ↑ Winer, L. (2014, November 10). A easy information to periodization for power training. Retrieved November 20, 2015, from

[18] ↑ Hassen, A. (2009, October 22). Periodization: Linear vs. Non‐linear. Retrieved November 22, 2015, from

[19] ↑ Fleck, S. J. (2011). Non-Linear Periodization for Basic Health & Athletes. Journal of Human Kinetics, 29A, 41–45.

[21] ↑ Kirckof, C. (2012, December 14). Methods of training: Sequencing of programming and organizing coaching. Retrieved November 25, 2015, from, Chris.pdf

[23] ↑ Grantham, N. (n.d.). Base endurance: Transfer forwards with reverse periodisation. Peak Efficiency, (272), 5-7. Retrieved November 21, 2015, from

[24] ↑ Simmons, L. (2011). The westside conjugate system. CrossFit Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2015, from