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Periodization is an organized approach to training that involves progressive cycling of various aspects of a training program during a specific period of time. The roots of periodization come from Hans Selye’s model, known as the General adaptation syndrome (GAS), describing biological responses to stress. Selye's work has been used by the athletic community since the late 1950s (Fleck, 1999). The GAS describes three basic stages of response to stress: (a) the Alarm stage, involving the initial shock of the stimulus on the system, (b) the Resistance stage, involving the adaptation to the stimulus by the system, and (c) the Exhaustion stage, in that repairs are inadequate, and a decrease in system function results. The foundation of periodic training is keeping ones body in the resistance stage without ever going into the exhaustion stage. By adhering to cyclic training the body is given adequate time to recover from significant stress before additional training is undertaken. Selye (1957) labeled beneficial stresses as "eustress" and detrimental stresses as "distress". In athletics, when physical stress is at a healthy level (eustress), an athlete experiences muscular strength and growth, while excessive physical stress (distress) can lead to tissue damage, disease, and death. Periodization is most widely used in resistance program design to avoid over-training and to systematically alternate high loads of training with decreased loading phases to improve components of muscular fitness (e.g. strength, strength-speed, and strength-endurance). Russian physiologist Leo Metveyev and Czech sport scientist Tudor Bompa expanded and further organized the periodization model. Bompa and Metveyev have been regarded as the fathers of modern periodization. Since the 1960s, other coaches and exercise physiologists have added to the original models, creating “modified” periodization models. However, despite the differing terminology amongst scientist and practitioners, the scientific basis for periodization remains a common ground.Periodic training systems typically divide time up into three types of cycles: microcycle, mesocycle, and macrocycle. The microcycle is generally up to 7 days. The mesocycle may be anywhere from 2 weeks to a few months and can further be classified into preparation, competition, peaking, and a macrocycle refers to the overall training period, usually representing a year or two.
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