Friday, December 2, 2011

Periodization


Okay, so who knows what periodization is? Despite the fact that I have been involved in competitive athletics for nearly two decades, I have only recently become familiar with periodization and its benefits. Over the course of the last three months, I have implemented periodization into my training regimen. And let me tell you: it was the missing link. If you are a serious athlete that strives to excel in competition, then you must consider the importance of periodization.

I have been following CrossFit methodology for nearly six years. For the most part, I have adhered to the "3-on-1-off" microcycle. As I mentioned earlier, periodization is quite new to me, so I never really considered a mesocycle, let alone a macrocycle! However, now I see the importance of really dialing in on what I am doing, how often I am doing it, and when I need to stop doing it for awhile.

Here is a snapshot of how I've adapted my training:

-Every two microcycles (~7-10 days) I take two days of complete rest. Maybe one of those two days, I will get on the C2 Rower for five minutes or so, followed by about 10-20 minutes of stretching/mobility.

-Approximately every 60 days, I will take three days of rest. During these three days, I will make a point to get out and go for a bicycle ride, take the dog for a long walk, or just chill.

- Approximately every 90 days, I will take up to five days of rest. During these five days, again, I may hop on the rower for a few minutes and work on my stretching/mobility. Perhaps the next day I'll go for a hike. The bottom line: I stay active, but I do not train!

Long story short: so far, so good. Periodization not only prepares you for your next competition, but it also helps to prevent you from "burning out" with your training. "Bonking" on a WOD is never a good feeling...it happens to us all. However, with periodization and discipline, I strongly believe that you will make more gains in the long run. Getting better at CrossFit is a process--it does not render instant gratification, nor does it reward over-reaching or over-training. Take a few days now and again; it will do your body (and your mind) good.

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