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Periodization - Phases & The Big 3

After introducing periodization in our previous video, this video gets specific about what it is and what it looks like. It also discusses how to incorporate periodization into your training.

There are 4 phases we need to concern ourselves with: accumulation, intensification, realization, and recovery. In the endurance world these are often referred to as endurance, intensity, competition, and recovery. We will use the strength language going forward.

Each phase has a purpose.

The accumulation phase exists to condition our muscles with lots of volume at a comparatively lower intensity compared with the other phases. The idea is to build muscle size.

The intensification phase increase the intensity, but lowers the volume compared to the accumulation phase. The purpose is to improve functional power.

The realization phase further increases the intensity and further lowers the volume. The purpose here is to improve our neural-muscular power.

The final phase is recovery. It's true, we normally build recovery into each phase, but the actual recovery phase is a longer more purposeful recovery period. We drop the intensity and volume. Then we start preparing ourselves to go through another macro cycle.

Speaking of macro cycles, there are three cycles we're concerned with that use these phases. The macro cycle is the big cycle that we'll use with a very specific goal (SMART) in mind.

The macro cycle and its duration is split up into meso cycles. The meso cycles typically last 21-28 days and typically one of the previously mentioned phases.

A micro cycle typically lasts one week and in typically concerned with only changing one training variable.

The macro cycle is our overall strategy, the meso cycle is used to support it along the way, and the micro cycle is the very specific incremental improvements we'll make to achieve our goal.