Do you dream of standing on the podium with a medal placed around your neck? To make those dreams come true, you need to peak on the day of the biggest competition of the year, whether it is the high school state finals, the Olympics, or the climactic Masters swimming meet of the season. The solution lies in the concept of periodisation, developed by coaches in the former Soviet Union in the 1950s. Periodisation, which varies the amount of your training, is based on solid research findings.
Science of Periodisation
The theory of periodization is based on the general adaptation syndrome, or GAS, which describes the three stages of adaptation your body experiences when it is stressed, such as during a training session. First, muscles momentarily get weaker. Then with repeated stress, such as swimming hundreds of laps or lifting weights, the body adapts and muscles get stronger. But if the stress becomes excessive, muscles become exhausted, and training benefits stagnate or decline. Periodisation is the creation of a daily, weekly and seasonal training plan that incorporates these different stages of adaptation.
A macrocycle is a periodisation-training plan for an entire year or season. A mesocycle last about six weeks, the amount of time time it takes for training to translate into significant gains in strength and performance. Microcycles range from about four to 10 days. A coach can build periodisation into each one of these cycles to develop your strength, endurance and acceleration.
Linear periodisation focuses on one or two distinct systems during each phase of the training plan. So you might spend several weeks of workouts focusing on endurance and then several weeks focusing on speed. The major benefit lies in stressing distinctive systems in the body for an adequate period for adaptation to occur. The downside is that you might lose some of the endurance gains when you switch to a focus on speed.
So what does this mean for me?
Aqualicious’s program is periodised around three events this year – in April, August, and November. The program should bring you to peak performance for each of those meets. And if you’re not competing? Periodisation is still an important training tool because it helps you improve your fitness, speed, and endurance while avoiding the plateau effect.
Come try Aqualicious’s programs today!