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Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501
We  shortly    talked  about  the  periodization. There is a great  article , Blog   from golden cheetah on this is  a super great summary , where  cycling coaches  are  this  day in training   ideas, assessment ideas and   last but not least periodization.  There are some  historical   discrepancy between the idea in periodization   when  you go to  school in Europe and when  you look what is  told her in north america.
 Here  1982  Bompa  is  the  " founder "  of  periodization and  many believe it is Friel.
 Bompa  moved  from  Europe  and  saw a   missing link in this field ,  at  that time  periodisation was   used  for some  other reasons  than real  physiological  workouts    certainly in cycling.
  Reality  is that periodization  was started in the  former UdSSR in the     1950
It  than was  very well used  in thee now   Russian  sport  for the last   few Olympics. Physiologcially  periodization  based on weeks    or  days make no sense  sense  at all it can be used as a guide  but really  the  individual  reactions on   the physiological stimulation will decide , when to move to annotate   stimulation. Below a start of  some interesting   people on  periodization as a  nice   discussion  and   again it shows  the fundamental differences  we see today in training ideas, which is  great  as  all is  in motion.  google 


By Yuri Verhoshansky Russian sport science expert, Prof. Yuri Verhoshansky, questions the validity of Matveyev’stheoryofperiodization, considers it outdated and provides detailed criticism on why the concept is supposed to be unacceptable for contemporary training. The article appeared originally in Leistungssport, Germany, Vol. 28, No. 5, September 1998. This abbreviated translation is reprinted from SA Sports Institute’sdocumentation services. Re-printed here with permission from Modern Athlete and Coach. “PERIODISATION”FACES CRITICISM The methodical principles of contemporary training systems are frequently based on the work of Russian coaches in the early1950’s when the former Soviet Union prepared for the first participation in the Helsinki Olympic Games (1952). The preparation followed the information collected by L.P. Matveyev at the Moscow Institute of Physical Culture, generalized, and published as a theoretical concept known as“periodization”in1965.Matveyev’sconceptattractedattention outside the Soviet Union, because training theories had at this stage not yet involved scientists and the successes of Soviet coaches and athletes on the world stage were exceptional. The periodization conceptbecamegraduallyasynonymfor“planningoftraining”. Many specialists use even today this concept in progressive presentations of the organization of training. However, the majority has found in practice that the theory of periodization is not acceptable and it has been criticized at home, as well as internationally. Many experts today consider that the theory of periodization does not meet the requirements of contemporary sport and can have a negative influence on performance development. It also appears that periodization does not present a model training system for elite athletes within the demands of modern competition calendars and other international development tendencies. Only some of the thesis of the periodization concepts can somehow be applied to the training phases of young athletes. It has been stressed that a formal, mechanical division of a training year into periods and mesocycles is not practical. Further, the principles of periodization are not really reliable because they are based on a relatively short study and

Jiri Dostal

Development Team Member
Posts: 51
There used to be a great knowledge in Soviet Union and Eastern Germany ( and Czechoslovakia :-) as well ) in the past. Many of then usual training approaches are now just reborn with a lot of marketing buzz around. Of course, there was a lot of doping and silly stuff, but there is lamost no difference compare today. The cheating is just more sophisticated. Anyhow, there is a great site run by a doughetr of one of the big names of those days. Have a look at the attachec presentation, and wou will realize how much they knew 50 years ago. Of course you need to critically look at their biofeedback measures - white cell line. But the main principles are not far away from our current thinking...

Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501
as usual  thanks  for this  great  paper  and feedback. I like   for fun to add  her dads  critical   view  or at least  the initial  review.




By Yuri Verhoshansky

Russian sport science expert, Prof. Yuri Verhoshansky, questions the validity of

Matveyev’s theory of periodization, considers it outdated and provides detailed

criticism on why the concept is supposed to be unacceptable for contemporary


Many publications draw attention to the fact that the methodical

recommendations in the concept of periodization are not sufficiently concrete and

fail to meet the demands of contemporary high performance sports. This applies

in particular to team games, endurance sports, speed events in track and field

etc. Periodization also fails to provide acceptable methodical recommendations

for the improvement of specific conditioning and final competition preparations.

Endurance sports experts are most critical about Matveyev’s periodization

theory. A very dynamic organization of training loads has been in these sports

gradually eliminated. Coaches still following the outdated elements of

periodization find it extremely difficult to keep their athletes in top form throughout

the competition season. Attention should also be paid to the fact that the

successes of African athletes (particularly Kenyans) can be explained not only

because they live at altitude, but also because they have rejected the theory of

periodization in the planning of training.

British coach, Frank Horwell, in an article titled “Periodization — Plausible or

Piffle?” claims that the theory of periodization is unacceptable for modern running

training. He also states that neither the former Soviet, nor the West European

runners (male), have broken world records in middle distance running or won

Olympic gold medals over the last 30 years.

Zanon of Italy, a well known expert of the Soviet Union’s training doctrine from

1960 to 1980, has rejected Matveyev’s periodization principles, because “when a

training concept is not based on biological facts — as it happened in the Soviet

theory — but on theoretical understandings without a correlation to realistic

condition, it can be expected that the corresponding training programs will lead to

a loss of sporting talent”.

Tschiene (Germany), in an analysis of several training concepts (1985), comes to

the conclusion that Matveyev’s periodization theory has, since its publication in

1965 remained unchanged, although enormous changes have meanwhile taken

place in high performance sport. He recommended that the theory of

periodization of a yearly training cycle must be reformed and changed to a

modern concept based on substantiated principles that take into consideration

the role of the competition exercise and individualization.

The rejection of the periodization concept was even more categorical in Russia,

where the former Vice-President of the State Committee of Sport, Kolessov,

declared that participants in high performance sports “should not continue to

follow the outdated system of Prof. Matveyev (Sovietsky Sport 1991)”

Periodization is based on the lack of understanding and the
" disrespect"of nature versus calculation to the individual responds  of  every person to stress and stimulation and the individual responds time therefor.
If  we " believe " we  can calculate physiological zoning  than we   ease can  believe in  fixed  periodisation.
If we believe in the possibility ,that we have very individual physiological reactions, than it is easy to accept that physiological reactions will create the periodization,not calculated  speculations.


It hardly makes much sense today to analyze the theoretical weaknesses and
clearly senseless methodology of the periodization concept. We will therefore
follow only the major scientific factors involved to avoid a repetition of similar
attempts in the future.
Disregard of new biological understandings.
It is a grave mistake to overlook the biological knowledge and achievements of
sport sciences. In these days it is not necessary to convince anybody about the
value of the “biological components” in the theory of training (Verhoshansky
1993, 1996, 1998). However, Matveyev maintains that the biological laws do not
determine the macro structure of training and the development of form is rather
guided by other laws.
Matveyev agrees in the reference to the theory of adaptation that “adaptive
processes play a certain role in the reconstruction of the organism through
sporting activities,” but claims that “adaptation is only one aspect in the
improvement of performances”. The priority in the interpretation of the processes
involved in the perfection of sporting performances and the related phenomena
should not be regarded as the theory of adaptation but the theory of
development” (Matveyev 1991).
Missing Legalities in Training Concepts
The methodological and scientific untenabilities of periodization become obvious
in the terminological chaos of scientific legalities, principles, directions, principle
thesis, etc. This chaos occurred from a strange and uncompromising search for
legalities in the concept of Matveyev’s theory of periodization.
Matveyev claims that periodization principles “express the biological legalities of
adaptation in training” (Matveyev/Meerson 1984). This was a strange declaration
because it is known that training processes have so far been based on subjective
concepts of their contents, structure and temporal sequence. There are no
“legalities”. At the best we can only talk about methodical rules in training, which
are formulated according to empirical data.
The logically speculative presentation of training and competition without an
objective evaluation led the concept of periodization to an “inseparable
correlation between general and specific preparation of an athlete” (Matveyev
1991). To this were added other similar “legalities”, such as the “cyclic character
of training, a wave-like formation of training” etc. At this time it was already
known that progress in international high performance sports was tied to more far
reaching and complex factors than in the periodization theory. (Jakovlev 1976,
1993; Kassil et al 1978; Sergeyev 1980; Verhoshansky 1988; Viru 1994; Booth
Disregard of Biological Adaptation Processes
Matveyev’s speculative conception was based on a phasic development of top
form. A dynamic development of sporting form was introduced by Letunov (1950)
and Prokop (1959). They were the first sports medicine specialists who
formulated ideas that the improvement of the training state of an athlete is based
on the biological laws responsible for the development of adaptation processes in
training. They arranged these processes into three phases:
1. Ascent of the training state;
2. Sporting form;
3. Drop in the training state (according to Letunov).
1. Adaptation;
2. The highest practical performance capacity;
3. Re-adaptation (according to Prokop).
However, it appears that Matveyev failed to understand the biological ideas of
Letunov and Prokop. This appears to be the reason for his primitive
“pedagogical” interpretation of the nature oftraining. Matveyev merely changed
the nature of training phases and maintained that his phasic development of form
is the natural assumption for the periodization of training. It is easy to recognize
that this concept of training gives from the viewpoint of the “dynamics of the
sporting form” only a superficial picture and is today regarded as naive.


Development Team Member
Posts: 279

Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501
Here  just  the  abstract   form  Ruuds  link   for people under time pressure.
The planning and organization of athletic training have historically been much discussed and debated in the coaching and sports science literature. Various influential periodization theorists have devised, promoted, and substantiated particular training-planning models based on interpretation of the scientific evidence and individual beliefs and experiences. Superficially, these proposed planning models appear to differ substantially. However, at a deeper level, it can be suggested that such models share a deep-rooted cultural heritage underpinned by a common set of historically pervasive planning beliefs and assumptions.

A concern with certain of these formative assumptions is that, although no longer scientifically justifiable, their shaping influence remains deeply embedded.

In recent years substantial evidence has emerged demonstrating that training responses vary extensively, depending upon multiple underlying factors. Such findings challenge the appropriateness of applying generic methodologies, founded in overly simplistic rule-based decision making, to the planning problems posed by inherently complex biological systems. The purpose of this review is not to suggest a whole-scale rejection of periodization theories but to promote a refined awareness of their various strengths and weaknesses. Eminent periodization theorists-and their variously proposed periodization models-have contributed substantially to the evolution of training-planning practice. However, there is a logical line of reasoning suggesting an urgent need for periodization theories to be realigned with contemporary elite practice and modern scientific conceptual models.

In concluding, it is recommended that increased emphasis be placed on the design and implementation of sensitive and responsive training systems that facilitate the guided emergence of customized context-specific training-planning solutions.

Welcome in the kitchen  and the   world  of  live feedback  ideas.
Thanks Ruud  for the input  as usual.

Study Participant
Posts: 45
It is unfortunate that the Canadian nccp program still focuses a great deal of emphasis on periodization. It is one of the reasons we began fact-education with Juerg as our mentor, many years ago. We still use many of his principle in our daily work with our athletes, and appreciate that there is now supportive evidence to Juerg's "crazy" ideas from 20 years ago.
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