Periodization: Our Cycles Explained - Pt. II

As I mentioned in Pt. I, there is a plan. The annual plan is important in that it directs and guides athletic training over a year. It is based on the concept of periodization and the principles of training. The objective of training is to reach a high level of performance (peak performance) and an athlete has to develop skills, biomotor abilities and psychological traits in a methodical manner.

The three main cycles that we us at CrossFit Wenatchee are Preparation, Competition and Transition. Each has a specific purpose in the overarching goals of our programming (which in case you were wondering is surviving the apocalypse...)

Preparation Cycle - This period focuses on general and specific skills - our building period. Performance depends on this phase, and it should be the longest of the training cycles. During the first part of this cycle, we will work on regaining previous training by working on low volume with high intensity - conditioning our energy systems through various metcons. 

During the middle of the cycle there is more focus on low volume, but with a heavy load to work on specific skills needed for performance - adding strength days and using that force to generate power in our lifts. We are constantly varied, not constantly chaos... there is a plan.

And finally, during the last part of the cycle, there is a decrease in intensity of load and focus on tactical training - working on specific skill sets that have been identified as goals for our general population, and then increasing the volume of those skill sets.

Competition Cycle -  This cycle contains both Pre Competition and Competition phases.

During the Pre-comp phase we have built up and honed our skills and now we are scaling down the volume, ramping up intensity and continuing to work on our skills and abilities, all while improving overall work capacity or our aerobic and anerobic systems.

During the Competition phase, we hit the leader board. This is the time to test limits, push the envelope, get PR's. Scale mountains, hike a hundred fucking miles... whatever comp season means to you!

Transition Cyle -  We worked our asses off, now its time to scale back and let our bodies heal and reset. Break down our movements and improve and strengthen them. This phase is used to facilitate psychological rest, relaxation and biological regeneration. It typically lasts 3-4 weeks and allows the body to fully regenerate so that it is prepared for the next cycle. There should be no competition during this cycle.