Ok, so we have a basic understanding of where we might be in any given training cycle, or maybe not (for those of you that are new to the terminology used to describe these things. Keep in mind they are just labels.)
Other Fitness Professionalls may coin killer words and phrases to “lock-in” their idea, however as I have stated before and has been proven by science (more studies are coming out all the time, but unfortunately a lot of them contradict each other):
Methods are many, Principles are Few. ….(that was three periods. Period)
We break those down into the phases of training, and these can even be applied to those that dont want to compete. Al Cosgrove is a great motivator of the next “gala or event” to prepare for (fat loss, muscle gain etc for the maybe non-competitive athlete) but all human beings respond to Progressive Resistance.
In my words, Progressive Resistance means slowly adding more of each of these three throughout the training period:
Time: The amount of time work is being done
Intensity: The rate at which work is being done
Volume: How much work is being done.
Now all 3 of these apply into the Phases of training. Right now Lets talk about the Prep or Preparation Phase.
Prep phases are usually started by inactive, injured or athletes just coming down from a compete phase. In Football, after the season is done, general Strength and Conditioning is maintained or even taken down a notch to insure proper recovery between seasons. The Player cannot keep the same level of fitness all the time, and attempting to do so brings illness and injury.
Remember the steps we talked about, Prep is at the bottom left of the diagram. Usually a longer period of training, it can be determined by the next goal. Once the next goal is given, then we plan on moving from Prep to Base. Prep can also be looked at as injury recovery time or strengthening of a injured part of the body.
Example: the rotator cuff tear. We cannot just throw the athlete back into a build or peak phase without proper rehab prescribed by a kinesiologist or physician. Once that is done, we can work around the guidelines to insure the injured area is brought back up to strength.
You are only as good as your weakest link.