Training Cycles, Essay Example

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Essay

In plain terms, there is little more crucial to the success of an athletic training program beyond planning it well.  Given what research has revealed over the years, this translates to those regimens based on periodization, because only such an expansive frameworks allows for both a concentrated and “big picture” approach.  Periodization, in fact, relies on this sort of open duality.  The framework is in place, but there remains always the ability to adapt.  For example, in terms of microcycles lasting matters of weeks, a focus on physical development in regard to muscle groups is enabled.  Certainly, it is proven that periodized resistance training cycles results in better fitness levels (Fleck, 2011,  p. 44).   At the same time, the program must maintain an awareness of the long-term objectives of the macrocycle.  If, for example, a gymnast is gaining muscle mass very well, the trainer must evaluate how this may adversely affect flexibility and actual performance when the competition macrocycle occurs.

It is critical to remember that, whether the athlete is in the micro or macro cycle, alterations to the training may be continually made to address all individual needs and/or circumstances (Fleck, 2011,  p. 42).  This is not merely recommended, but an essential part of the entire training strategy.  The microcycle exists to both train and assess development, and this translates to adjusting the training within the process to accommodate the shifting psychological needs of the athlete, as well as the physical (Bompa, Haff, 2009,  p. 203).  Athletic competition is as mental an effort as it is a physical one, and the good trainer must assess how the athlete perceives their own development, if the objectives of the macrocycles are to be met.  The periodization process is then inherently exponential, as each phase of development, physical and mental, affects the next.  In such a scenario, then, the real benefit of the macrocycle lies in its presence as an over-arching guide, pointing to what must be attended to in the microcycles.

References

Bompa, Tudor O., & Haff, Greg.  (2009).  Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training. Champaign: Human Kinetics.

Fleck, Steven J.  (2011).  “Non‐Linear Periodization for General Fitness & Athletes.”  Journal of Human Kinetics Special Issue, 41-45.

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