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What is Periodisation and why is it important?

What is Periodisation?

Periodisation is the division of longer training cycles, called macrocycles, into smaller and more manageable periods, known as mesocycles.

A macrocycle is typically 6 to 12 months. A mesocycle is normally the main training target for a particular period such as anaerobic power or muscular endurance and contains 3 to 6 microcycles.

The primary goal of periodisation is to manage and coordinate all aspects of your training to reach peak performance at a certain point in time, such as a race or an event.

Periodisation can also be used to manage performance and improvement effectively over longer training periods, like summer racing season.

We use periodisation in the design of our training programs, like STRONGCorps Group Personal Training to maximise training adaptations of our athletes and prevent the onset of overtraining syndrome (OTS). We do this through planned manipulation of training variables, like load, sets, and repetitions.

Why is periodisation important?

The goal of periodisation is to maximise your performance and improvement whilst reducing your risk of injury and the staleness of your training over the long term.

  • Each mesocycle targets a specific goal or series of attributes to be developed within a designated period of time.
  • Periods of appropriate overload and recovery are designated within each mesocycle. This is done to ensure the neuromuscular system adapts maximally.
  • Alterations to training load or stress, volume, and intensity can be made, where necessary, within each mesocycle.

In summary, if programmed and utilised appropriately, periodisation can result in achieving peak performance multiple times over a series of activities such as competitive trail running or ultramarathons or optimise performance over an entire competitive season in sports such as soccer or netball.