April Reading

This month we will delve into a very important and sometimes contentious topic within fitness training. Namely, the concept of Periodization. Nowadays, many Coaches use that word but are not referring to the actual meeting and it’s historical precedent. They are merely describing their idea of a training process for that group or that particular individual. As a novice coach, having a set plan you could provide an individual or group seems like a dream come true. You may think you can give this individual this plan to follow for the next 3 to 4 months, they will follow it to a T, and the results at the end will be both positive and predictable. However, if you work closely with many individuals as I do, you know in your heart that this is not true and that does not occur. The articles provided in this months edition of the Coaches Reading List delve into this in much detail.

The two primary articles provided here are from John Kiely He is a great writer. His articles are both informative and enjoyable to read. These two are no exception. However, in another article of his, not listed below, he asks a very simple question regarding the topic of “Periodization” and training practices in general. The question: “Evidence Led or Tradition Driven?” As a coach myself, asking yourself this question can be uncomfortable. For myself, there are many areas of my practice that are indeed evidence based, evidence lead and evidence driven. I can think of many examples for this. However, I can also think of many examples where this is not so and in fact my practice in some areas are more tradition driven than anything. This is something I myself need to work on, but I feel that is likely not unique to me.

Primary Articles:

Planning For Physical Performance: The Individual Perspective

In this article the author will take you through a brief history of “Periodization” literature, where it started and how it progressed. He will also introduce you to some important limitations and conflicts with both the logic and the literature on Periodization. The last section of the article explores some options on how to move forward in your planning and Coaching practice.

Periodization: Confronting An Inconvenient Truth

This article provides a great picture of the training process and how stress and the emotional/motivational state of the individual does indeed modulate the adaptive response of the individual. It is often said no two people are alike, this article will help you understand why that may indeed be true in terms of fitness and performance.

Secondary Articles:

Molecular Exercise Physiology: An Introduction

This is a textbook and is therefore extremely information dense. The main area we would like you to cover would be chapter 3, and the discussion of the signal transduction hypothesis as a replacement for the general adaptation syndrome and the super compensation idea. Having read the book its entirety, I would recommend not stopping with chapter 3. The following chapters on endurance and strength and nutrition and ageing are great. Dense, but great.

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