Since we have been discussing plateaus and how to get the best out of your exercise in general, a very important and effective way to reach our exercise goals is - periodization! As the name suggests, periodization means organizing, designing and planning your workout, focusing on specific goals - accomplished one at a time and yet covering all goals, over a period of time!
Periodization is popular in the sports and athletic circles, whereby athletes are given planned workouts focusing on specific areas like strength training, hypertrophy, agility training or endurance training.In simple words, Periodization deals with altering the exercise and training to target certain benefits at a certain time of the year and to help the athelete “peak” (performance wise) for big events.
The benefits of periodization are -
* The focus on one component of fitness, maximizes the results with respect to that component.For example, when one is training to maximize endurance or speed, it is necessary to minimize hypertrophy (muscle growth). If not done properly, it can hinder your performance by not only adding way too much extra body weight, but also in other ways!
* It can avoid plateaus, overtraining and over use/stress injuries!
* It can avoid boredom, and improve motivation and adherence to the workout
The modern approach to periodization was developed by a Russian sports scientist and usually begins with a general physical preparation phase(GPP) where the training intensity is kept low and the volume is kept high.
This helps to develop some basic hypertrophy, strengthen ligaments, tendons, other connective tissues, and helps build a foundation from which further training takes place. As the training continues, intensity gradually increases and (frequency and duration may change as well) to become more sport specific while the volume reduces.
Individual programs can take into account, your personal schedule, injury history, and goals.Each phase has a different set, repetition, and speed scheme to target various areas of training.