Periodization is Passe


Good now I got your attention. Classical periodization as most coaching education programs teach is history. The classic X curve of high volume work developed in a preparatory phase of training then crossing and moving to a high intensity low volume phase during competition is gone. Why is it still taught? Periodization is about the timing of the application of the training stimuli, it is not about time. What we are really doing with periodization is managing the process of continual adaptation. It is all based on sport science principles coupled with proven pedagogy. I just saw a coaching journal put out by US Swimming devoted to periodization. It was vintage Russian training porn from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s; the only thing missing was a coupon for a Jefferson Airplane vinyl album. Let’s get real we have learned a tremendous amount in the last thirty years. We need to get past Bompa, all he has done is recycle the Russian stuff of Matveyev from the 50’s. Read it, but keep it in context, that is the past, we must build on that to move forward. On this one we need to get contemporary. The competition environment and schedule at all levels of competition has significantly changed, classical periodization does not come close to addressing those changes. Ultimately periodization is planning. Dwight D. Eisenhower summed the value of planning quite nicely: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

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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