Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Concurrent Periodization for Gaelic Games

Last week one of my athletes asked me when are we going to do a power phase!

A coach she had had previously use to implement the old linear periodization model of Endurance phase, followed by a Hypertrophy phase, follow by a max strength phase, followed by a power phase. Given that this athlete is still a beginner in strength training terms, Im fairly sure that this coach wasnt implementing a block periodization scheme (which is a different kettle of fish), which is for very elite level athletes anyway.

I explained to her that what I implement for the most part with my athletes is a concurrent style of periodization where all qualities (max and sub max strength, power, speed, etc) are always been trained in each phase of training.

The disadvantages of a linear scheme have been well documented by a lot of coaches.

Some are as follows:

1) Only one quality is trained per phase. With this scheme one quaility may improve while others diminish. I say may as it also makes no sense to me that your power will improve with "just a power phase" as your Max strength will be diminishing during this phase. You need to be strong to produce power!

2) Endurance phase at the start. High reps for beginners is stupid in my book.

A concurrent method, or an emphasis concurrent method (basically a modified block periodization scheme for my more advantance athletes) to me is best scheme for dealing with most athletes, particularly team sports like Gaelic Games.

The benefits:

1) All quailites are improved, or a worst maintained while emphasizing one quality.

2) If a new member where to join the team during the season the concurrent model is a fair better system for the athlete to begin with. If we where to use a traditional linear model this athlete would have to start doing taxing hypertrophy work while the rest of the team would be on the power phase. Linear just makes no sense in this situation.

3) The fact that all qualities are being trained also gives you more flexibility with having to change the program on the fly. "Not feeling great today on the olympic lifts. Ok, how about we leave the olympic lift today, and just hit one set on our strength stuff and get out of here."

4) Less Boring!!

Anyway thats all I have to say on this for now. Im off to bed.

Stay Strong,

1 comment:

  1. Good post, Robbie. Indeed the negatives you've given for linear periodization barley scrape the surface. Thankfully, I think many coaches have moved on from the NSCA linear days (at least I hope).

    To grossly oversimplify what I do in the public sector:

    Freshman/Sophomores - Concurrent
    Sophomores-Juniors - Modified Western Conjugate
    Seniors - Block

    Some freshman I get come in with a higher training age then most and thus I move them right on to the next model. But for most, a concurrent program is just what the young lad's need.

    All the best,