Sunday, February 8, 2009


What are your thoughts re periodisation. Mine are that we must periodise (plan) in everything we do. There is often controversy about what structure to use with linear periodisation being the traditional method and also non linear also being noted as effective. The simple difference is that in a linear format we would have a phase of strength training being say 3 days/week all body with 4 sets of 6 repitions and we would maintain this set rep ratio but increase the intensity by increasing the load. In a non linear Monday we may do 3 sets of 8-10/Wednesday may be 4 x 6 and Friday may be 4x12 and this philosophy could transfer to conditioing work as well e.g long intervals mixed with shorter intervals. What is best well at the end of the day its what you see works/what your data says and only experience will help you. Also athletes adapt differently. There is motivational aspects related to non linear that are positive in that the workout is always different but it must be carefully planed. Also just ensure whatever session you are running you know where it fits into the entire plan


Anonymous said...

Putting more weight on the bar,for exercises like the low bar squat (below parallel), Power Clean, Deadlift, the Press and bench press, every time you train will make you stronger. This is especially the case for a novice to strenght training. They should follow a very simple linear approach. Rest and eating a lot of food for recovery and extra muscle growth are important considerations.
The novice period and linear progression will useally work for a period of 3 to 9 months. After this period one will need more complex programming for further gains.
I prefer 3 sets of 5 reps for all exercises except Power Cleans 5 sets of 3

Anonymous said...

I don't agree - my experience so far would indicate a high number of athletes that are involved across a variety of training methods (run, wgts, skills), they struggle to bang out those constant kinds of rep ranges in a linear loading progression without issues emerging later in a 3 week loading block (overuse niggles etc..) I also think that general increases in volume have been shown to elicit greater training adaptations in novices more so than progressing intensity (when expressed as a %1RM)
In summary, I always believe that there are many roads that lead to Rome, and sometimes we should take a different turn here and there to see what else we can find.

Dr Craig S. Duncan said...

Ak and Anon I agree with what you are saying and particularly AK that there are many roads to Rome - Linear progression and injury I have also seen happening and what I am suggesting is that only your experience and your knowledge of the athlete will enable you to get the best results. I think the worst thing we can do is to not be flexible with our plans and problems arise when we are so fixated on the structure of our plan without listening to the athlete and observation

Anonymous said...

AK, I agree that for athletes involved in a variety of training methods a linear approach to strenght training will be to much to recover from.

For a novice to strenght training the ideal situation would be to focus only on 3 x strenght training a week with no addittional training. As i said linear progress doesn't take long to finish, a few months, in which the trainee will make considerable gains.
After this period the trainee should focus on his sport specific training and try to maintain his strenght previously gained by performing each lift once a week at 95 % of the last 5 rep max.