A Hybrid Model of Periodization

>> March 29, 2012

Periodization is a training strategy that has been utilized by coaches to improve athletes' performance on the field. This concept of training organization allows no stagnation of stimulus as it effectively structures or "periodize" the training objectives in order to optimize an overall training effect.

Specifically, the distribution of workload is organized in a careful manner within a specific model of programming that allows peak performance to be attained during a major competition while minimizing the likelihood of injury.

There are several models that have been adopted; traditional (linear or step-wise), block (linear), and undulating (non-linear).

Furthermore, a relatively new model, Hybrid Periodization is based upon the latest scientific findings in training methodology, is being utilized in elite training to further maximize gains in speed and power.

Using any of these models, training for specific qualities, e.g. hypertrophy, strength, and power are arranged in a specific sequence to enhance adaptations and maximize the expected gains (e.g. power, speed, etc.)

a) Traditional periodization
- Proposed by Lev Matveyev, a Russian professor and coach, in the 1950s
- Emphasizes the relationship between volume and intensity; high volume low intensity at the beginning and progressed to high intensity and low volume
- Examples:
   - First 4 weeks  = 5 sets x 12 reps x 70%
   - Next 4 weeks = 5 sets x 6 reps x 85%
   - Next 4 weeks = 5 sets x 2 reps x 95%

b) Block periodization
- Proposed by Yuri Verkhoshansky, a Russian scientist and coach, in the 1970s
- Popularised by Vladimir Issurin
- Because of the need to provide a sufficient stimulus to high-performance athletes (elite), the Traditional approaches had to be modified; this approach, therefore based upon the idea of a concentrated training stimulus
- Follows a logical order in a sequential mesocycle or blocks: (I) accumulation (high volume and low intensity; (II) Transformation (e.g. strength emphasis); (III) Realization (e.g. power emphasis).
Examples: Accumulation (70-75%); week 1: 3 sets x 12 reps, week 2: 3 sets x 12 reps, week 3: 3 sets x 10 reps, week 4: 3 sets x 10 reps. Transformation (85-93%); week 1: 3 sets 6 reps, week 2: 3 sets x 5 reps, week 3: 3 sets x 4 reps, week 4: 3 sets x 3 reps. Realization (30-40%); week 1: 3 sets x 8 reps, week 2: 3 sets x 8 reps.

c) Undulating periodization
- Lev Matveyev modified his previous works and proposed a "wave-like" approach of volume and intensity (i.e. undulating).
- Popularized by Charles Poliquin in the late the 1980s
- Dan Baker, a coach, and scientist studied the effects of undulating periodization in the early 1990s
- It can be done on a daily basis (Daily Undulating periodization) or weekly basis (Weekly Periodization).
- Daily Undulating periodization: Monday (Hypertrophy), Wednesday (Strength),  and Friday (Power) ... and repeat the same setting in the following week.
- Weekly Undulating periodization: Week I (Hypertrophy), Week II (Strength), and Week III (Power) ... and repeat the cycle. Example; week 1: 3 sets x 10 reps @ 75%, week 2: 3 sets x 8 reps @ 80%, week 3: 3 sets x 5 reps @ 87%, week 4: 3 sets x 3 reps @ 93% or 3 sets x 8 reps @ 40% (fast)..

d) Hybrid periodization
- A hybrid model of periodization considers the utilization of mixed qualities within a unit of program, using a proven or logical training setting (e.g. complex sets).
- This model takes advantage of advancement in training methodology with regards to the combined or mixed training approach to further optimize the potential training gains.
- Setting: foundation aspect of training (e.g. hypertrophy or sprinters; endurance for runners; or a mix of both) and followed by a "mixed method" (i.e. hybrid) in the subsequent phases for optimal gains.
- Example 1:
   Phase I - Foundation (e.g. Hypertrophy)
   Phase II - Strength; contrast design, emphasizing maximal strength (main), and power (secondary)
   Phase III - Power; complex design, emphasizing speed and power (main), and strength as "stimulus". Phase III takes advantage of the effect of post-activation potentiation.

- Example 2:
   Phase I - Hypertrophy and Endurance; 5 sets x 15-15-12-10-10 @ 65-75%
   Phase II - Max strength + power; 3 sets x 5 reps @ 85%  plus  5 reps @ 30% (speed),
                    or 5 sets x 5@85%, 4@88%, 5@70% (fast), 3@90%, 5@70% (fast)
   Phase III - Power; 3 sets x 3 reps @ 90% plus 10 speed-bounding, or
                                 3 sets x 5@85% plus 6 box jump

A comparison among Traditional, Block and Hybrid Periodization (Three phases programming)

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