Periodization

A Trabant 601 Limousine. Trabants were manufac...

A Trabant 601 Limousine. Trabants were manufactured in East Germany between 1957 and 1991, and exported throughout the Eastern Bloc (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One thing the field of sports is good at is taking perfectly good English words and giving them new, obscure meanings.  When I started considering following Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 strength training program I jumped on Wikipedia to see what “periodization” meant. It’s defined as: “the attempt to categorize Universal History or divide time into named blocks.” So in this context it means giving  names to time periods such as the “Late Middle Ages.” Thank goodness there was also definition on Wikipedia for “Sports Periodization” which is “an organized approach to training that involves progressive cycling of various aspects of a training program during a specific period.”

This monograph by Frederick Claro tells us that periodized sports training was developed in the 1960’s by the Eastern bloc countries. “Periodization of training,” says Claro  “had much to do with the superiority of eastern athletes over their western counterparts for more than two and half decades and in numerous sport activities.” (sic) It sounds pretty good to me.

It seems to me that the workout programs I’ve been doing for the past couple of years—New Rules of Lifting for Women with workout by Alwyn Cosgrove and Female Body Breakthrough by Rachel Cosgrove—take this concept into consideration in their design but don’t trouble the reader with thinking about it very much. My 5/3/1 book arrived just two days ago and I have only scratched the surface.  I like the idea that pursuing the goal of getting stronger in the four major lifts and the work that it takes to do that will address the ancillary objectives I have for my health and appearance. It’s nice to have something simple, though of course not easy, to work on.

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