More on Periodization


Anonymous wrote the following in reply to my previous post on periodization:

I realize that it’s impossible to “periodize” to the extent the eastern Europeans did, but Bompa defined Periodization as “a process of structuring training into phases”. Isn’t that still the basic idea?!

No, not really. I am not sure it ever was the idea. Just dividing training into phases is easy, that is not periodization that is one aspect of periodization. That is where everyone is missing the point. It is not about time, it is about timing. It is what you do when. I prefer to call it Planned Performance Training, I think changing terms gets us away from this fixation on time and refocuses the emphasis to timing of the application of the various training stresses and the subsequent interaction of the various stresses and then the adaptation to those stresses. Kenneth Graham, Sport scientist at New South Wales Academy of Sport, put it quite well in a conversation with me. He said that it is important to always be close to the event in some form, neural, metabolic, mechanical, or hormonal. At the risk of shameless self promotion I refer you to chapters five and six of my book Athletic Development – The Art & Science of Functional Sports Conditioning at
In those chapters there are many ideas and thoughts that reflect my experiences in dealing with these issues during my years of coaching and also my time training as an athlete. There really is not of complexity when you get to the essence of it. It is: know the athletes, know the sport, know the competitive schedule. Factor all of this together into a sound roadmap and have a good compass, because in any journey there are always times when you are off course.
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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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