The Science and Practice of Periodization: A Brief Review

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Abstract

SUMMARY

PERIODIZATION REPRESENTS AN OPTIMAL STRATEGY FOR ORGANIZING STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING PROGRAMS. THE SELECTED STRATEGY, HOWEVER, SHOULD BE BASED ON THE LEVEL OF THE ATHLETE AND THE CONSTRAINTS OF THE COMPETITIVE SEASON. A COMMON THEME THROUGHOUT ALL THE PERIODIZATION PROTOCOLS IS THE NEED TO MANIPULATE VOLUME LOADS, PROGRESS FROM GENERAL TO SPORT-SPECIFIC TRAINING, AND DISSIPATE FATIGUE. SIGNIFICANT TO THE LATTER, THE USE OF PRECOMPETITION TAPERS APPEARS EVIDENTLY BENEFICIAL. ALTHOUGH ENOUGH ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE EXISTS TO VALIDATE THE USE OF PERIODIZATION, FURTHER SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION IS REQUIRED TO UNDERSTAND ITS USE AND LIMITATIONS TO ELITE LEVEL ATHLETES ACROSS EXTENDED PERIODS (E.G., >4 YEARS). UNTIL SUCH TIME, HOWEVER, ITS USE IS RECOMMENDED AND ADVOCATED BY THE RESEARCH HEREIN.

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