How program periodisation works

By Aaron Finn – Course tutor

One concept that consistently emerges as a game-changer is Training Periodisation. This methodology, rooted in sports science, holds the key to optimizing athletic performance and achieving sustainable, long-term success.

In this newsletter, let’s unravel the layers of Training Periodisation and explore how it can revolutionise your coaching approach.

Understanding Training Periodisation:

Training Periodisation is a systematic approach to organizing and structuring an athlete’s or client’s training program into distinct phases or cycles. Rather than adhering to a static, unchanging routine, periodisation recognizes the dynamic nature of physical adaptation and strategically manipulates training variables over time.

The Three Key Phases:


The big picture. Typically spanning a year or a competitive season, the macrocycle outlines the overall training plan. Coaches establish long-term goals, competition schedules, and major training themes during this phase.


The medium-term plan. Mesocycles, lasting several weeks to a few months, break down the macrocycle into focused training blocks. Each mesocycle targets specific physiological adaptations, such as strength, power, or endurance, aligning with the athlete’s goals.


The short-term plan. Microcycles detail the day-to-day or week-to-week training schedule. They specify the intensity, volume, and type of exercises. Adjustments can be made based on ongoing assessments and feedback from the athlete.

Benefits of Training Periodisation:

Optimised Performance:

By strategically varying training loads and intensity, athletes can peak at the right time, maximizing their performance during competitions.

Injury Prevention:

Periodisation allows for planned periods of reduced intensity or active recovery, reducing the risk of overtraining and injuries.

Long-Term Progress:

The systematic approach fosters consistent, incremental progress, preventing plateaus and ensuring continuous improvement.

Adaptation and Recovery:

Periodisation recognises the importance of recovery in the training process, ensuring that the body has time to adapt to the stress of exercise.

Implementing Training Periodisation in Your Coaching Practice:


Tailor periodisation plans to the unique needs, goals, and fitness levels of each client. One size does not fit all.

Regular Assessments:

Periodically evaluate your clients’ progress and adjust the training plan accordingly. Flexibility is key to accommodating individual responses to training.

Communication and Collaboration:

Maintain open communication with your clients. Educate them about the rationale behind periodisation and involve them in the decision-making process.

Stay Informed:

Stay abreast of the latest research and advancements in training methodologies. Continuous learning enhances your ability to design effective periodisation plans.


Want to learn more about Periodisation and implementing it in you coaching practice? Check out our S+C Courses below!