Sports Medicine

, Volume 40, Issue 9, pp 803–805 | Cite as

New Horizons for the Methodology and Physiology of Training Periodization

Block Periodization: New Horizon or a False Dawn?
  • John Kiely

Professor Issurin’s review[1] is to be commended on its overview of the historical evolution of periodization planning theory and the interesting general discussion. However, the central contention of the review, i.e. that block periodization represents a ‘new horizon’ in training planning, is, I suggest, premature and unsupported.

To substantiate this position, consider the two layers of evidence and rationale within Professor Issurin’s review promoting the superiority of block periodization in elite training contexts. The first layer is anecdotal, and consists of selected exemplar cases of athletes and coaches who have achieved high levels of success employing block-training designs. However, within the elite sports environment it would seem readily apparent that high honours are commonly achieved using a variety of training approaches, reflecting distinct coaching philosophies and differing planning models. Hence, while the offered examples are undoubtedly interesting and deserve...


Endurance Training Training Context Training Planning Concurrent Training Sport Training 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author has no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this letter.


  1. 1.
    Issurin VB. New horizons for the methodology and physiology of training periodization. Sports Med 2010; 40 (3): 189–206PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bondarchuk AP. Transfer of training in sports. Muskegon (MI): Ultimate Athlete Concepts, 2007Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Matveyev L. Fundamentals of sports training. Moscow: Fizkultura i Sport, 1981Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brown LE. Nonlinear versus linear periodization models. Strength Cond J 2001; 23 (1): 42–4Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brown LE, Greenwood M. Periodization essentials and innovations in resistance training protocols. J Strength Cond Res 2005; 27 (4): 80–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rhea MR, Ball SD, Phillips WT, et al. A comparison of linear and daily undulating periodized programs with equated volume and intensity. J Strength Cond Res 2002 May; 16 (2): 250–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Verkhoshansky YV. Programming and organization of training. Livonia (MI): Sportivny Press, 1988Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hickson RC. Interference of strength development by simultaneously training for strength and endurance. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1980; 45: 2–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hennessy LC, Watson WS. The interference effects of training for strength and endurance simultaneously. J Strength Cond Res 1994; 8 (1): 12–9Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dudley GA, Djamil R. Incompatibility of endurance- and strength-training modes of exercise. J Appl Physiol 1985; 59: 1446–51PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hunter G, Demment R, Miller D. Development of strength and maximum oxygen uptake during simultaneous training for strength and endurance. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1987; 27 (3): 269–75PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nelson AG, Arnall DA, Loy SF, et al. Consequences of combining strength and endurance training regimens. Phys Ther 1990 May; 70 (5): 287–94PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    McCarthy JP, Agre JC, Graf BK, et al. Compatibility of adaptive responses with combining strength and endurance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1995 Mar; 27 (3): 429–36PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Shaw BS, Shaw I, Brown GA. Comparison of resistance and concurrent resistance and endurance training regimes in the development of strength. J Strength Cond Res 2009 Dec; 23 (9): 2507–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Yamamoto LM, Klau JF, Casa DJ, et al. The effects of resistance training on road cycling performance among highly trained cyclists: a systematic review. J Strength Cond Res 2010 Feb; 24 (2): 560–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Izquierdo-Gabarren M, González de Txabarri Expósito R, García-Pallarés J, et al. Concurrent endurance and strength training not to failure optimizes performance gains. Med Sci Sports Exerc. Epub 2009 Dec 9Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Balabinis CP, Psarakis CH, Moukas M, et al. Early phase changes by concurrent endurance and strength training. J Strength Cond Res 2003 May; 17 (2): 393–401PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Davis WJ, Wood DT, Andrews RG, et al. Concurrent training enhances athletes’ strength, muscle endurance, and other measures. J Strength Cond Res 2008 Sep; 22 (5): 1487–502PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hickson RC, Dvorak BA, Gorostiaga EM, et al. Potential for strength and endurance training to amplify endurance performance. J Appl Physiol 1988 Nov; 65 (5): 2285–90PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mikkola JS, Rusko HK, Nummela AT, et al. Concurrent endurance and explosive type strength training increases activation and fast force production of leg extensormuscles in endurance athletes. J Strength Cond Res 2007 May; 21 (2): 613–20PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mikkola J, Rusko H, Nummela A, et al. Concurrent endurance and explosive type strength training improves neuromuscular and anaerobic characteristics in young distance runners. Int J Sports Med 2007 Jul; 28 (7): 602–11PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Paavolainen L, Häkkinen K, Hämälä inen, et al. Explosivestrength training improves 5-km running time by improving running economy and muscle power. J Appl Physiol 1999 May; 86 (5): 1527–33PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Millet GP, Jaouen B, Borrani F, et al. Effects of concurrent endurance and strength training on running economy and VO2 kinetics. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2002; 34: 1351–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hickson RC, Dvorak BA, Gorostiaga EM, et al. Potential for strength and endurance training to amplify endurance performance. J Appl Physiol 1988; 65: 2285–90PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rønnestad BR, Hansen EA, Raastad T. Strength training improves 5-min all-out performance following 185 min of cycling. Scand J Med Sci Sports. Epub 2009 Nov 9Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hoff J, Gran A, Helgerud J. Maximal strength training improves aerobic endurance performance. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2002; 12: 288–95PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hoff J, Helgerud J, Wisloff U. Maximal strength training improves work economy in trained female cross country skiers. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999; 31: 870–7PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Støren O, Helgerud J, Støa EM, et al. Maximal strength training improves running economy in distance runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2008; 40: 1087–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kudielka BM, Hellhammer DH, Wust S. Why do we respond so differently? Reviewing determinants of human salivary cortisol responses to challenge. Psychoneuroendochrinology 2009; 34: 2–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bouchard C, Rankinen T, Chagnon YC, et al. Genomic scan for maximal oxygen uptake and its response to training in the HERITAGE Family Study. J Appl Physiol 2000; 88 (2): 551–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Skinner JS, Jaskólski A, Jaskólska A, et al. Age, sex, race, initial fitness, and response to training: the HERITAGE Family Study. J Appl Physiol 2001 May; 90 (5): 1770–6PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Van Regenmortel M. The rational design of biological complexity: a deceptive metaphor. Proteomics 2007; 7: 965–75PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Foster RG, Kreitzman L. Rhythms of life: the biological clocks that control the daily lives of every living thing. New Haven (CT) and London: Yale University Press, 2004Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Beavan CM, Gill ND, Cook CJ. Salivary testosterone and cortisol responses in professional rugby players after four resistance exercise protocols. J Strength Cond Res 2008 Mar; 22 (2): 426–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Beavan CM, Cook CJ, Gill ND. Significant strength gains observed in rugby players after specific resistance exercise protocols based on individual salivary testosterone responses. J Strength Cond Res 2008 Mar; 22 (2): 419–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Kiely
    • 1
  1. 1.UK AthleticsSolihullUK

Personalised recommendations