The 3 Principles of Periodization

Even if you’ve not a star athlete, folks, there are always better ways to work out. Getting the most workout bang for your buck is pretty essential in today’s time-strapped society!

One thing you may have never heard of is periodization, which is a performance-boosting strategy athletes use. By alternating intensity, training focus and experience at certain times in the year, athletes are able to produce their best performances at needed times.

While you’re probably not training for the Olympics, you can still reap some benefits by introducing some intention and planning into your training. With the three basic periodization principles below in mind, you can make your training a long-term and successful habit.

Exercise variation plans

Planned variation of exercise is a part of the periodization concept. Note that this doesn’t mean adding new exercises randomly but rather having a focused commitment on a set of exercises until you’ve maxed out your progress with them. The goal is to accomplish as much as you can with a specific workout before you move onto the next one. Although this may sound odd, the more you do an exercise, the better you’ll get at those movements and your body will be forced to adapt to it. In addition, whenever you get to start new exercises, you’ll find yourself more inspired.

A goal hierarchy

Set a series of goals meant to get you to one large goal. This will give your workouts a structure that supports motivation, making it more likely you’ll stick to your workouts and give your top effort every time you hit the gym or your home workout space.

Highlight skill complexity and progression

If you constantly compare where you are now to your long-term goal, you’ll end up discouraging yourself. If you want to lose 20 pounds in six months, for example, but get frustrated that you only lost 5 pounds in the first two weeks, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

Working out is often a delayed-return endeavor; you’re going to see results, but not right away. This is why periodization puts your short-term progress more at the forefront, and that’s what you should do, too!

Keep the three periodization principles in mind when you approach just how you plan to work out. By changing how you approach and think about your exercise right now, you can improve your performance and your results.