Block Periodization: Breakthrough in Sport Training

Anyone read this book? I don’t know is it published yet, but it seems like awesome read. I am just reading Issurin’s article:

Issurin, V. Block Periodization versus traditional training theory: a review. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2008. 48:65-75.

And it is very good… I hope this book is good too.

Block Periodization: Breakthrough in Sport Training
by Dr. Vladimir Issurin


Chapter 1. Basic terms and principles of sport training.
1.1. Essence of sport training and athletic preparation.
1.1.1. Objective, aims and training targets. 1.1.2. Basic terms of the athletic training. 1.1.3. Training methods.
1.2. Training and principles of adaptation.
1.2.1. Training load magnitude and the overload principle. 1.2.2. Training load specificity. 1.2.3. Accommodation.
1.3. Supercompensation principle and its application to practice.
1.3.1. Supercompensation cycle following a single load. 1.3.2. Summation of several loads within a workout series.
1.4. Specialized principles of sport training.
1.4.1. Specialization. 1.4.2. Individualization. 1.4.3. Variety. 1.4.4. Load interaction. 1.4.5.Cyclical training design

Chapter 2. Training effects.
2.1. Training effects: General overview.
2.2. Acute training effect
2.2.1. Acute training effect assessed by sport-specific indicators. 2.2.2. Acute training effect assessed by psycho-physiological variables. 2.2.3. Programming of acute training effect.
2.3. Immediate training effect.
2.3.1. Indicators of immediate training effect. 2.3.2. Monitoring of immediate training effects
2.4. Cumulative training effect.
2.4.1. Improvement rate in physiological variables. 2.4.2. Improvement of motor abilities 2.4.3. Improvement of athletic performances
2.5. Delayed training effect.
2.6. Residual training effect.
2.6.1. Basic concept and types of residual training effects. 2.6.2. Factors affecting short-term residual training effects

Chapter 3. Trainability.
3.1. Heredity related determinations of trainability.
3.1.1. Outstanding sport families. 3.1.2.Genetic determination of somatic and physiological traits. 3.2.3. Genetic determination of cumulative training effect.
3.2. Trainability and performance level 3.2.1. Long-term trend of trainability 3.2.2. High and low responders
3.3. Trainability and gender differentiation.
3.3.1. Gender differences in maximal athletic performances. 3.3.2. Gender differences in physiological determinants of motor fitness. 3.3.3. Gender differences in training response

Chapter 4. Block Periodization vs. traditional theory.
4.1. Traditional theory of periodization: basics and limitations
4.1.1. The scope of traditional theory. 4.1.2. Merits and demerits of the traditional approach. 4.1.3. Why the traditional planning approach should be revised.
4.2. Block Periodization Concept - general outline.
4.2.1. New concepts affecting the rationalization and designing of alternative training periodization.
4.2.2. General principles of the Block Periodization Concept. 4.2.3. Compiling the annual cycle. 4.3. The main consequences of the modern approach. Summary

Chapter 5. Designing the training programs
5.1. Workout compilation (general principles, compatible and non-compatible combinations, key-exercise, acute and immediate training effects)
5.2. Microcycle compilation (general principles, microcycles’ typology, key-workouts, load variation)
5.3. Mesocycle compilation (mesocycles taxonomy, cumulative training effects, training monitoring)
5.4. Annual cycle compilation (general approach, training stages, seasonal trends of physiological variables, coordination of cumulative and residual training effects, peaking)
5.5. Long term preparation (particularities of junior and adult athletes, modeling approach in prospective planning, monitoring of physical status and motor abilities)

About the author

I was fortunate to have received a copy in advance a few months ago.

I will state, without hesitation, that it is one of the most meaningful, complete, significant additions to the sport science literature that one could imagine.

I bought one copy of the DVDs right now.

I have used block periodization à la Verkhoshanskij (which doesn’t differ much from Bompa’s, but that is another matter…) with great results in 1999 and I am using it again this year (a bit more extreme if you want) and again I am having great results.

The system works for me.

How do you buy the book or DVD?

Sprinterouge could you explain how you have used block training? What type of athlete are you? thanks

I am a professional S&C coach.

I am also a (slow) Master sprinter. :smiley:

I am having the same sensations as when I used the block periodization 9 years ago, and the times are good, too, so far: 2.8" 20m from blocks and 3.7" standing 30m. Also my relative power has increased 14 W/Kg since the beginning of the preparation, which is a lot.

Re. how I used it, I have trained strength->power->speed, with very limited mixing among the three and very little aerobic training.

How each macrocycle affected power output was tested via force mat.

Bompa only suggested to me starting technical training a little earlier, which I agree, anyhow I was away from sprinting for three months and I am running my best times in 9 years easily.

Thanks for your comments - did you adjust the macrocycle length depending on the targeted component i.e., strength, speed? When you refer to power and speed does this mean weights or track work or both? Congrats on your best times! Keep it up!

Thanks for replys guys. I am so eager to look at this book. James, can you expand a little futher? Thanks.

I also found this presentation from Take a look:

Thanks for your comments - did you adjust the macrocycle length depending on the targeted component i.e., strength, speed?When you refer to power and speed does this mean weights or track work or both?

Nope, the strength block was well tried and tested, the core of it being a H-H-L-M-H-H-L sequence of microcycles, somewhat similar to Charlie’s 3+1+3, that I have been using for several years also with many of my athletes.

The power block was also longer than usually seen for several reasons, one being that I am testing the program for next year’s European Indoor Master Championships which will be held at the very end of March, so the preparation phase is pretty long.

Power was trained mainly via plyometrics while maximum strength was retained, during the power macro I began to do accelerations and technical speed work on the track. I didn’t focus on the accelerations untill my power indexes began to raise (unloading of the plyos work and beginning of the delayed training effect).

It’s a typical sequential approach, although Bompa or Verkhoshanskij would have you do tempo work during the preparation as well as begin the technical work earlier, in the strength block.

Duxx, it’s quite difficult to expand because the text is so incredibly comprehensive. I would liken it to a single text encylopedia of sport training.

Do you know any info when it is going to be avible?
BTW, I just finished 20pages article entitled ‘Concurrent Strategies in Strength Training’ and have it sent to TC at t-nation for a refiew and possible publishment. It is going to be fine read. I killed some sacred cows in it hehehe

I believe that it will be available within the next month.

Pre-orders are already being made through a certain site although I’m not sure that these forum rules allow me to post the link.

I just read that, I am going to have to read again and again to understand it.

If you have Serious Strength Training by Zatsiorsky you can grasp it a little quicker.

Sometime authors like to use fancy words for simple concepts…

I think I do have it. Thanks.


The info I have read about blocks uses Accumulation, Intensification and Recovery. Same thing?

Accumulation and intensification are quite the same as accumulation and transmutation (at least methodologically), realization is a bit more complex than simply recovery (so is transmutation compared to intensification, but to a lesser degree).

I’m impressed. I expected it to be a bunch of propanda and buzz words. Not bad!

Does the terminology accummulation, intensification and recovery mean the same as

  1. development,
  2. retention and
  3. restoration

I know it is terminology, but as you said different people use different saying to mean the same thing.

I modified the earlier post, take a look.

Here’s the basics:


  • Greater volume/lesser intensity (although intensity is what is being accumulated) training of means less in specificity relative to ultimate training objective
  • Development of morphological resources


  • Increased intensity of training means higher in specificity
  • No possibility of complete recovery between workouts
  • Intentional accumulation of fatigue


  • Maximum intensity of most specific means typically in the form of actual contests or tests in training with complete recoveries between
    (the realization of current maximum potential/readiness)