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The importance of periodization of loads

6 min read

Every person involved in sports, at a certain moment, there is a so-called plateau. At this moment, beginners and inexperienced athletes either abandon training, thinking that they are no use, or increase the number of workouts even more, thereby loading their already tired body. And only a more experienced sports enthusiast knows that periodization of loads will help to get off the ground. This technique was invented so that the body, adapted to the usual loads, again began to respond to training and continued muscle growth.

History of periodization

The origin of periodization of loads was noted in 1956. It is gaining its popularity after the Olympics, where Soviet athletes showed excellent results. Due to the fact that the love of the USSR leadership for long-term planning also appeared in sports, the first task of the coach, who was to prepare the athlete for the games, was to draw up a four-year lesson plan, building on the previous results of successful athletes and based on the scientific works of Hans Selye about general adaptation syndrome. This method worked and tirelessly convinced Western trainers of this.

Hans Selye on adaptation syndrome

To study the general adaptation syndrome, an in-depth study of the protective mechanisms that the human body developed during evolution was carried out. These mechanisms helped a person to adapt to changing environmental conditions and survive.

girl on the simulator

The scientist identified successive stages:

anxiety – serves as a signal for the mobilization of all protective systems, at this stage the endocrine system is actively involved in the work, it produces an incremental activation of three axes, the decisive effect is produced by the adrenocortical structure;
resistance – at this stage, the body demonstrates the highest degree of resistance to adverse circumstances. In sports, it is not easy to notice the adaptation syndrome at this stage, since the body connects all resources to maintain a normal state and cope with stress;
exhaustion – when the body has exhausted its protective resources, its ability to survive is reduced. In sports, this is called overtraining, which for beginners often serves as a reason to give up and abandon classes.

The transition from one stage to another occurs naturally, naturally, that the body cannot constantly be under the yoke of anxiety. The second stage brings resistance, the expenditure of resources is optimized, the body functions, not greatly departing from the norm in terms of indicators. But sooner or later all resources run out, if a negative factor, in this case, physical activity, is not optimized, exhaustion will occur.

Deep stress can manifest itself in different ways, but in any case it involves both the body and the psyche, so the symptoms that it causes are psychosomatic. Unpleasant symptoms can occur from any of the systems, from the digestive to the cardiovascular. Long-term stress makes the weakest organs and systems vulnerable, and the risk of common infectious diseases increases, as immunity becomes lower. Obviously, not only sporting successes are at stake.

The most common sign of severe stress is shortness of breath, which is due to the fact that too much oxygen enters the bloodstream. If the anxiety state lasts for a long time, the mucous membranes in the nasopharynx will become overdried, this causes discomfort and is another factor for increasing the risk of infectious diseases. Further, the adaptation syndrome will manifest itself in the form of pain in the chest, spasms of the respiratory system. Another inevitable manifestation is an increase in the concentration of glucose in the blood and the increased production of insulin caused by it. First, glucose accumulates in the liver and muscles, then it is partially processed into fatty deposits.

What is periodization and why is it needed?

These are metered loads during the training process, which are divided into small stages to achieve the final goal. Also, cyclization can be called periodization, consisting of microcycles included in the mesocycles, which in turn make up macrocycles.

Microcycles are considered to be short periods, approximately one week, of training, during which weights of weights, the number of approaches, intensity and other indicators can change.

A mesocycle is a combination of several microcycles aimed at the development of any one quality (increase in strength, gain in muscle mass, achievement of relief). The duration of this period varies from 2 to 3 months.

A macrocycle is the finish line aimed at the final result. This is the longest period, its duration is from six months to a year of training.

How often to change the training program depends on your ultimate goal. If you dream of a swollen and sculpted body, then you can not do without periodization. Since for the growth of muscle mass, it is necessary to increase power loads, and for a beautiful manifestation of the relief, it is necessary to dry the body. These are completely different stages, with a significant difference in nutrition and in sports. And as noted above, consisting of three cycles.

Types of cycling

Linear cycling

How often do I need to change my training program? When stagnation has begun, in order to break through your ceiling, you need to go back a bit, reduce your working weight by 30% and increase it in each microcycle until you reach the working weight that was during the plateau. If done correctly, this weight will no longer be insurmountable for you, and next week you will be able to increase it, and you will reach your new maximum. An important point is that during linear cycling only weight is allowed to be changed.

In no case do not experiment with the number of approaches and repetitions, as this will prevent your body from relaxing, it will only deplete it even more.

Nonlinear cycling

Unlike previous cycling, in nonlinear workouts of different directions alternate. For example, in a weekly microcycle of four trainings, the first two pass with a serious load on each muscle group (heavy basic exercises with a small number of repetitions), and the other two with an average (less weight, with a large number of repetitions). They also alternate with each other so that fatigue does not accumulate in the body.

Wave cycling

This type of cycling is for advanced ones, since with it muscles need to be loaded much more often than in the previous ones. It can be used in two versions. In the first – within the framework of one microcycle, the weight of weights varies with each training (heavy, light, medium), but the number of repetitions remains the same.

The second variation of this cycle is as follows: the first workout is a lot of weight, the number of repetitions is low, the second workout is a small weight, the number of repetitions is high, the third is both the weight and the number of repetitions are average.

Differences in Periodization

Although there is a common understanding of periodization, there are still some differences depending on the desired result.

For periodization of loads in bodybuilding, a linear type of cycling is suitable, but there are some differences. For example, during one microcycle, workouts with different weights are performed.

girl in the gym

There are four periods in the periodization of loads during strength training: the first stage of endurance lasts from 6 to 20 weeks, then the stage of increasing strength from 6 to 12 weeks, the third stage increases coordination and increases the speed of movements, it lasts from 6 to 10 weeks and the fourth stage – the same macrocycle that is reaching the peak of maximum strength, its duration is from 8 to 10 weeks.

If you ask yourself how often to change the training program for mass, then for an example of one year it will look like this: 3 months of power regime are replaced by 3 months of mass training, and in the second half of the year, first 1,5 months of drying are repeated twice, then 2 months of training in repetitive mode with small working weights.

How often do load periods need to be

So, we list the explicit indicators that you need periodization:

the body ceased to "respond" to the load;
habitual workouts ceased to be fun;
the end goal has changed;
the routine of life has changed.

How often do I need to change my training program without waiting for a clear stagnation in performance? To achieve the highest quality result, this period varies from 1.5 to 6 months. In conclusion, we note that periodization of loads definitely gives good results, but do not get involved too much, everything should be in moderation.

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