Using Periodization to Adjust Your Workouts for Greater Success

The following excerpt come from the May 2016 issue of Amplified Soccer Training Magazine. This issue features ideas on the future of soccer coaching, periodization, speed development, psychology, soccer drills and more training resources to take your game to the next level.

Content contributions come from some of the top professional training, nutrition, mental game and fitness leaders in the industry. Get it now.

By John De Witt, Head Sports Performance Coach, Houston Dynamo Academy

As an athlete, you know very well that your body responds to training. Having a proper training program is important. Many times people assume that more is better, that is, training more will produce better results. However, science says that this is not always the case.

While training hard is always critical for success, it is possible to train too hard. Sports scientists have found that when training programs vary in intensity, results are better. This variation between training sessions is called periodization.

Periodization is simply varying workouts so that the level of difficulty changes from day to day. There are many ways to periodize, and sometimes we periodize over a week (called a microcycle) or over a season (called a macrocycle). Periodization is based on the following principles:

  1. Some training is usually better than no training, but your body needs recovery in order to grow
  2. A very hard workout is usually followed by an easier workout to allow recovery

When I periodize workouts for my teams, I operate under the principle that soreness will be most intense 2 days after a hard workout. For this reason, we try not to have a hard workout 2 days or less before a match, and not to have a hard workout in the 2 days after a match. We assume that the match is a hard workout. If you played a full game, it probably was. However, if you played part of the match, it may not have been. For my teams, if players don’t get a lot of playing time, they usually complete some extra work on their own.

Gauging workout difficulty can be challenging, because what might be hard for one person could be considered medium for another. For this reason, we need to make a judgment based on individuals.

Get the rest of this article and much more in the May 2016 issue of Amplified Soccer Training Magazine. Click here for the full table of contents.