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What is periodisation?

  • the division of training into blocks / periods / phases
  • it aims to progessively develop to reach a peak at the correct time for a specific target

Training year: 

  • pre season
  • competition season
  • transition (off season)
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1). Mega cycle - long term plan lasting up to 4 years eg. Olympics

2). Macro cycle - long term plan or goal, normally one year. Consists of three meso cycles: pre season, competition and off season

3). Meso cycle - intermediate block, typically 4-16 weeks

4). Micro cycle - short term goal, typically 1 week. Divided into units with a specific aim

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Benefits of periodisation


  • helps prevent overtraining


  • doesn't allow time for fitness to decrease


  • each block is designed to prepare for a specific performance component


  • training is split into smaller components
  • motivation is maintained
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Benefits of periodisation


  • performer can manipulate training intensity, frequency and rest

Progression / testing

  • monitoring helps when stepping up training to increase adaptations
  • decreasing to prevent overtraining

Warm up / cool down

  • should be included in every session


  • double periodisation is where someone peaks twice
  • undulating periodisation is where someone peaks regularly in a long season, prevents one single overload
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