Tag Archives: Periodisation Training

Scientific Principles Of Periodization Training To Get Results

Over the last three and a half decades, I have come in contact with tens of thousands of athletes and fitness enthusiast in my work as physical therapist and sports performance specialist. In my experience, with the exception of the genetically gifted elite athletes, almost all of them work out for body image. They want to look better! At the same time, almost all of those I meet are not happy with the results they have achieved from ever longer and more taxing workouts; they still don’t like what they see in the mirror. Typically, after initially losing a few pounds from their workouts, their weight loss stalls and many even gain weight as they continue to train harder and harder.

Fighting the Fit But Fat Syndrome

The problem is human nature and the American work ethic. Human nature dictates that when we find a good thing, we want to do more of it. Workouts make us feel good, so we do more and more until we are overtrained or broken down with injury. Reinforcing this human tendency is the American work ethic. Nothing is worth having if you don’t have to work hard to get it — this seems to be the philosophy of most athletes and gym rats. This creates an overtrained population of sportsmen and fitness buffs who remain pudgy, bloated, and perform below their potential. The public is also lead astray by the media representation that professional athletes perform grueling workouts for hours each day, month in and month, out, to get their svelte and muscular physiques. Not true. We train elite world champion athletes on a maximum of 11 hours per week early in the training cycle with low intensity, longer duration workouts, and as little seven hours per week when we peak their fitness over the six weeks before competition.

You cannot fight human physiology. Training too much, too hard, and without built-in recovery or an aggressive recovery program leads to the all-too-common overtrained and frustrated, “fit but fat” athletes. When we are overly stressed, whether it be from work stress, emotional turmoil, or over exercising, our body produces too much of a hormone call cortisol. Cortisol directs our body to store fat and water and leaves us with poor performances and a bloated image in the mirror. This leads most people to work out even harder and longer, which only exacerbates the problem.

The solution to the “Fit But Fat” syndrome is found in scientific principles of periodization training, with a progressive work load, built-in recovery periods, and a rationally-driven variation to workouts in regular eight week periods.

Training is only half the battle when it comes to achieving the body you want. Food and science based nutrition is the other.

Robert Forster

In his book, Healthy Running Step by Step out in Sepetember Robert Forster covers nutritional strategies. Whether you are a runner, hiker, cyclist, swimmer, or a person who works out in the gym, this information will make your journey to the fit and lean body you have always wanted a lot easier.

healthy-running-step-by-stepHealthy Running Step by Step: Self-Guided Methods for Injury-Free Running: Training – Technique – Nutrition – Rehab

Authors Robert Forster, P.T., and Roy M. Wallack

Review – “Authentic, loaded with insight and information, “Healthy Running Step by Step” illustrates the scientific approach Bob used to help me and many others stay injury-free and achieve our ultimate Olympic goals.” – “Jackie Joyner Kersee, six-time Olympic medalist and multiple world record holder

ROBERT FORSTER, PT, has practiced Sports Physical Therapy in Santa Monica, CA, for 31 years. Robert has lectured throughout the US and Europe on Sports Rehabilitation and safety in exercise. Robert served as a private physical therapist at four Olympic Games for Olympians Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Florence “Flo-Jo” Joyner, Alyson Felix and their teammates who have won a combined 32 Olympic Medals under his direct care. He also worked pro athletes Pete Sampras, Kobe Bryant, Elton Brand, Maria Sharapova, as well as M.M.A. champions including B.J. Penn. Robert has published several articles in the scientific press and co-authored The Complete Water Power Workout Book published in 1993 by Random House. He has also written a regular column in Triathlete magazine, appeared in several episodes of the popular Fit to Hit series on the Tennis Channel and recently created the Herbalife 24 Fit Workout DVDs based on the principles of periodization training.

Periodization Training Is For Life – Part One

phase1-24fit-workoutIf you want to keep jumping into every fad fitness workout that comes along and don’t care about losing large chunks of time (and your hard earned fitness) to nagging injuries and burnout, then keep following the fads. But if you want to get lean and fit and stay fit, stop getting injured, and maybe train for a specific event, your run-of-the-mill haphazard training won’t cut it. To kick your fitness up several notches and keep it there year round, you have to train in a way that is good for your body, building it up methodically while limiting the potential for disruptive injuries.

To do that, you need a strategy that is almost bipolar in that it combines workouts that progress your fitness with rest days and rest weeks. Over the weeks and months, this hard/easy training schedule is the paradigm that gives your body time to recover and get stronger, more flexible and leaner.

Sequence is key. The science shows that you have to properly sequence your training to develop one aspect of fitness at a time and then use that as a foundation to build the next. In fact, to achieve your best fitness levels you must be incredibly patient. You will spend a long time building a broad base of aerobic infrastructure and musculoskeletal resiliency before adding more intense workouts. This strategy is virtually foolproof, used by the world’s best athletes in every sport, and it’ll work for you if you have the discipline to follow it.

It’s called Periodization.

The foundation of all modern sports training, Periodization was developed in the Eastern Bloc countries during the cold war in an attempt to dominate the world of sport. It proved so effective that now athletes all over the world, and across all sports, use it routinely to achieve the highest levels of fitness while avoiding burnout and injury.  The reason this approach to fitness is so effective and has replaced of all other approaches is because it is on based research showing how the body best responds to exercise. It’s all about human adaptation and it provides predictable outcomes when exercise is orchestrated in a scientifically rational sequence.

Basically, the Periodization model builds your fitness up with a stair step series of methodical, progressive challenges and recoveries that strengthen your body and keep brain and brawn fresh.

Check out the 13 DVDs used in the 24 Fit Workout, which incorporate Periodization Training methods.