Step 6: Work-Recover – Use Periodization (Tackle Goals Like Olympic Athletes)
Back when I was racing bicycles I learned about how top athletes use “periodization” to peak for certain events. It was why Jack Nicholas and Tiger Woods and Phil Michelson would play certain events before the “Majors” in the Summer. It was why Lance Armtrong would do certain races in advance of “his race”, the Tour de France. It is why MMA fighters do certain workout routines leading up to a major fight. And it is how top runners use early races to set up their fitness for the Olympics.
So what is periodization?
It is taking your major goal and working backwards and creating mini-goals along the way to build toward your major goal.
The thinking is you would burn out due to overtraining if you were to push hard for six to nine months straight. But by pushing hard for 6-8 weeks then having a week of recovery and then going in the next phase of training, you’re building your strength and endurance up gradually and allowing the recovery periods to stabilize those gains and set you up to build from there.
You can use the same thing with your goals. Don’t set up a goal that is out at the end of the year with no intermediate progress points along the way. Or you’ll find you’ll give up because there is no positive reinforcement for the work you’re putting in along the way. No way to gauge your progress.
But when you build in steps of concentrated effort with a break at the end of each cycle, you notice your progress and you stay refreshed to tackle the next step in your journey.
And that leads us to the final and highest leverage step…➔