The Death Of Periodization

thought this would be of interst to some of you out there. ive always been a strong proponent against periodization because i awalys felt that there are better ways of program organization. this is an old article by our good buddy Yuri somewhat backing my basic beliefs in the area.

James thanks for the article.
However for some reason I found it very difficult to read.
Am I the only one who could not comprehend a single bit of it?
On another note about periodization, what is the alternative?
I would say conjugate sequencing taking things week by week working many qualities simultaneously evaluating how the organism is adapting on a weekly basis. However when doing so if you put together a set plan of when the competition dates are and you work backwards are you not still organizing “periodizing” your training?
With my sprinters I write the plan week by week depending on how they adapt but I do keep track of volume and know where I need to be at various times of the year. I guess you can call this autoregulating and “going with the flow”.

Sprinting WR’s are done using periodization
Middle Distance WR’s are done using periodization
Distance WR’s are done using periodization

If you think there are different ways to train, there are
That dont make them better than periodization, it just means one is too lazy to sit down and write up a yearly program, planning out your work load, comps and recoverys. Doing a correct periodization program can be hard to write up if you have never done one.
Plan your work, then work the plan.
Those that fail to plan, plan to fail.
Writing up a yearly periodization plan properally, then working that plan, is the only real smart way to go.
Invest in The Vancouver DVD and you will see.

Thanks for the article. I enjoyed reading it…
I think that Verkho attacked a “mechanistic” periodization — or spliting a year in periods without considering individaul athlete and his characteristics (adaptability, recoverability, etc)-- In this case he is right — but coaches eventually, with expericnce, finds out how much time, work, ratios they need to bring a particular athlete to desired state, under fixed circumstances (comp calendar) — this comes with experience…
Verkho also attacked the “linear” peridiozation… I attcaked it too in my Training:Planning & Programming article. There are numerous other posibilities than “volume goes dow-intensity goes up” — Take a look at Vertical Integration graph.

Also, this same Verkho, uses his famous A,B,C bloks and put them into yearly plan — and what the hell is this if not Mechanistic approach?
I think this “old goat” is giving his best to cause “scandals” and provoce reactions in his last days… very badly from him.
Anyway, principles exists, he can say whatever he wants but principles of training are NATURAL LAWS — you cannot break them — you can only break yourself on them!
As my mentor prof Koprivica has explained me couple of time, the Russian System brough couple of great scientist (from the same “root”) – Zatsiorsky, Verkhoshansky and Matveyev — everyone of them is a leader in his own area. But now, Verkhoshansky, whoe is leader in special strenght try to go into Matveyev area, and that is planning — Don’t be fooled, Matveyev have great experience tracking and analysing the elites training.

periodization should not be equalled with planing! Periodization is a “tool” that can/should be used in planning a realization of goals… nothing more!

I guess there might be some confusion in terminology? If you change stimulus according to a preset plan, you’re using periodization in one way or another. The paper seems to be more about critique against Matveyev’s theory of periodization, not necessarily against practical solutions.

Tapering works and changing stimulus works…hmm, perhaps this is an indication that some kind of periodization works? It’s about ‘how much’ and ‘in what way’ change should be present throughout the training plan, not necessarily that ‘nothing’ should change.

The alternative is no further than this website. Vertical integration by Charlie Francis.

Check this thread:

“YV changed over the years and seemed to be open to anything that could stand up to thoughtful analysis.
I met him when I presented at a conference in Holland in 1994 and he questionned me extensively on my theories and ended by saying he liked them and wished his coaches were there to hear the lecture.
Not long after that, he wrote an article saying “Periodization is Dead” What he meant was that serial application of training elements was being supplanted by concurrent schemes.”

Note he attacks the original set model proposed by Matveyev of Endurnace>Strength>Power> not the concept of alterning training throughout the year. When i spoke to Tudor recently he too proposed that most westered coaches used the NSCA example of periodisation and didn’t realise that there are many different ways of periodising a programme.

That dont make them better than periodization, it just means one is too lazy to sit down and write up a yearly program, planning out your work load, comps and recoverys. Doing a correct periodization program can be hard to write up if you have never done one.
Plan your work, then work the plan.
Those that fail to plan, plan to fail.

Could you explain how periodisation is used in a weightlifter or bodybuilding program??

I think alot of Verkho’s stuff is a prime example of being a good coach and a poor communicator. If it wasn’t “Russian training”, I wonder how many people would even pay attention to him.

Check the Overview of Periodization Methods for Resistance Training article I have wrote… it might give you a general picture.
I also did overview of periodization and comparation btw linear/sequential, concurent and CSS in Training: Planning & programming! Hope it helps!

without read the articles, i say myself
he was YVerkh to write this one!

i think it is only a question of terminology (all training system are some sort of periodizating like conjugate sequencing of YVerkh
i think also the scientist has some diatribes with some coachs/scientistes and so he want to punishes them

Ok I had a look and it says a lot yet tells me nothing.

Try this one.
Matt Shirvington run 3km per in training one week to race 100 meters how many repetitions and sessions would a weightlifter have to lift to do the same quantity of work??

I’ll guess around 20-30 Sets of 1-3 depending on intensity. Stay outta the danger zone !!!

I agree, i have always found his stuff hard to read. Hence perhaps why Supertraining was such a big success. Siff could do the writing.

english is not his first language but even if it was the russains use a lot of terms unfamiliar to the average american reader. perodization has long since been dead. i knew there was something wrong with it when i was 15 and just starting out training. but really we have to define perodization because some associate it with planning and others cycles of hypertrophic/strength/power phases. in this thread lets use the second def. its a joke pure an simple. why, simply because you are wokring against you self, in each step you take 3 steps forward and two back. gains made from one phase are lost in the next when instead all phsyiological factors adding to performance should culminate at any given time, most preferabbly the time of major competition. will perodization yeild results, yes. will they yeild the best results, no. perodization is actually the lazier way out for most western world coaches simply becasue they institute as scheme of sets and reps at this time or another and let the chips fall where they may. a real coach has to be completly involved in the program altering it to best fit the circumstance. this is not traditional perodization. the best planing ive ever seen the atheltes never once did the same workout twice in a row and everyworkout was intergrated into the whole. every workout was effected by those that came before it and effected those that came after it. workout sessions were like pieces to a complex puzzle and the results were far beyond anything ive ever seen.

But wasn’t Verkho a proponent of the weights block, followed by plyometrics block, followed by shock jumps block? That always seemed similar to what James spoke of just above (2steps forward, 1 step back).

just becasue he was doesnt mean he is. lord knows ive changed my ideas on training many times. and if you dont change your dying. new information new expereinces sway your choices hopefully refining your knowledge to something that produces the best results. dont knock anyone for changing their ideas or beliefs.

charlies system is a form of periodization.
gpp, training phase, comp phase, gpp ect ect.
within that is the 3weeks of loading, 1 wk of unloading
within that is each wk is easy one day, hard the next, easy , hard

He also mentions as an example, ems, the benifits only keep coming for so long,
you need to have a break from it or your just using it to get next to nothing out of it.
Its the same for various other exercises. Hence the reason they are periodized.

yuri is not saying that you shouldnt organize your traiing to allow for recovery and prevention of injury he is saying the traditional model of perodization is outdated, and even then it is greatly misunderstood outside of the eastern bloc. let me set this for the record, in the eastern bloc perodization does not mean program planing. it means perodization thats it, perodization as was laid out in Matveyev’s original scientific article.

In which case we are arguing about the definition of words - which is annoying when you consider that a well developed field of enquiry should have well defined terminology. Another failing of sports science where they can’t agree on whether they want to base their words on engineering terminology or russian literature.