Understanding How To Maximize Your Training So You Can Play Your Best Comes Down to Peaking
In my last post, I shared the training concept called periodization. The idea of sectioning your training time and setting specific goals during each section of time. We reviewed the four phases to maximize periodization — your peak performance training time.
Now we dive into peaking. At what point does an athlete need to be at their peak, heading into the coming season? We’ve chosen football as our subject sport, so let’s keep with that.
Ideally, you want to peak during your playoff run of the competitive phase; the “in-season” time, or phase four. (See more about the four phases here.)
In college football, every team has a 12 game regular season, and teams that perform well earn an opportunity to play in a bowl game. The misconception is that we prepare athletes to peak at the start of the competitive phase, and let them coast or maintain throughout the rest of the season. In comparison to the business world, would a great business strive to peak profit in the middle of the third quarter and coast for the rest of the year? No way, right?
The 33 percent of the total year that lies during the competitive phase cannot be disregarded as a maintenance period. To be successful this period must be used as an opportunity to maximize potential so that we are peaking for the championships.
The early phases of the training year are used to lay a foundation to help you increase your General Physical Preparedness (GPP), technical proficiency and muscle hypertrophy.
Increasing GPP essentially means getting conditioned or in better shape while learning to control our body weight.
Technical proficiency is teaching us how to perform exercises and drills with proper form. While this is emphasized year-round, it’s especially important in the early stages of training so that we lay a strong foundation to build athletic success.
The work helps you understand basic movements before we teach advanced movements; learn to crawl before we walk.
Another important part of this phase is muscle hypertrophy also known as muscular growth. While this is an ability that will be trained year-round, it is emphasized earlier in training to prepare the body for the strength work that will be performed later in the year. We consider GPP, technical proficiency and hypertrophy to be the base or “foundation” of our program. We build our homes on a solid “foundation” of stone, not sand.
This is the same philosophy that we use to build our athletes.
During the next phase of training — the strength/speed phase, we continue to build upon our foundation. And we put an emphasis on some new training modalities.
After an appropriate foundation has been laid, we push the development of both strength and speed. This is accomplished by completing lifts with higher intensities and moderate volumes and by performing high intensity/effort runs and jumps. We mix that with lower intensity runs to continue improving GPP and promote recovery. This phase leads up to the start of the competitive phase, which we will address in our next blog post. Stay tuned!
Human Performance Director EliteAthletesTV.com