CSCS Linear PeriodizationJun 13, 2022
Edited By: Danielle Abel, MSN, CSCS
Seasonality of Training
Linear periodization allows you to manipulate the training variables seasonally for athletes to reduce fatigue and maximize sport adaptations.
The primary goal of linear periodization is to be able to allocate the appropriate training volume to drive strategic adaptations for the athlete.
Strategic adaptations include:
- Endurance & hypertrophy phase (50% intensity)
- Training frequency 4-6x per week
- Sets & reps: 3x10 or 3x15
- Sometimes referred to as general preparatory phase (GPP)
- Strength phase (75-80% intensity)
- Training frequency: 3-4x per week
- Sets & reps: 3x8 or 3x10
- Reduced volume, but intensity increases with more advanced movements
- Goblet squat in the off-season to a back squat in the pre-season
- Banded row in the off-season to a machine row in the pre-season
- Romanian deadlift in the off-season to a conventional deadlift in the pre-season
The goal is for these movements to become more sport specific as you approach the season.
- Power phase (90% intensity)
- Training frequency 3-4x per week
- Sets & reps4x6 or 4x8
- Volume decreases and intensity increases further
We want to focus on power in the in-season since power only produces transient gains. Meaning the explosive power adaptions are short-lived so you want to maximize these during the in-season for carry-over into the athlete’s sport.
We also want to minimize fatigue for the athlete in-season. Since endurance-based, high-volume training produces high levels of central & peripheral fatigue we want to avoid this during the in-season.
During the in-season we want the majority of the athlete's movements to be focused on their sport with less fatigue coming from endurance and strength-based training.
Power Phase Movement Examples:
- Plyo Push-up
- Heavy trap bar deadlifts
- Rope sled row
- Med ball throws
- Swiss ball stir the pot
In summary, linear periodization gives you a straightforward approach to programming that’s organized into 3 distinct adaptation phases, driven by the seasonality of the sport.
Support & Courses Available
Ready for even more support? Our Program Design 101 Course teaches you exactly how to organize an annual training plan and provides sport-specific examples, and even includes done for you programming templates by phase. Click the link here to check it out.
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