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Periodization: Create a Training Plan that Works

Posted on 19-5-2021 by Mad Dogg Athletics

PLAN – a feared four-letter word to some and a breath of fresh air to others. One thing is for sure – fitness professionals rely upon careful planning to create results. Periodization – the concept of dividing the calendar year into training segments – is just that, a well-thought out plan. It’s also the most logical and sound method to train successfully and prevent injury, overtraining and burnout.

Regardless of your ability, it is crucial to allocate time to aerobic base building, strength development, anaerobic training and recovery. The Spinning® program allows you to do just that. It fits into an annual periodization schedule almost seamlessly by dividing training session into five categories called Energy Zone®: Recovery, Endurance, Strength, Interval and Race Day. In combination with heart rate and power training, these zones allow you to plan workouts and train smarter – not necessarily harder.

Aerobic Base Building Period (8-12 weeks)

Whether you are new to a sport or just trying to build a solid fitness base, it is crucial to begin with an aerobic base building period. Aerobic exercise feels like moderate effort. Since moderate means different things to different people, just make sure you can maintain a pace that allows you to carry on a conversation. Once your breathing becomes labored, you’ve hit your aerobic threshold.

All Spinning® workouts – Recovery, Endurance, Strength and even Interval Energy Zones – during this period are conducted at heart rates of 80% Max or below. You can monitor improvements in your aerobic base easily. One simple way is to measure your resting heart rate – ask your Spinning® instructor how!

Strength Period (4-6 weeks)

The strength period develops cardiovascular and muscular endurance using aerobic rides that combine heavy resistance and distance – for example, long hill climbs. During this training period, workouts are conducted at 75-80% Maximum Heart Rate.

Anaerobic Period (4-6 weeks)

Anaerobic workouts are intentionally difficult and intense. This zone forces you to perform outside of your comfort zone, or beyond the aerobic threshold. During this type of exercise, you should not be able to carry on a conversation. Interval and Race Day Energy Zones typically produce anaerobic heart rates peaking at 92% Max. During the anaerobic period, it is very important to allow the body adequate time to rest and recover. Remember to limit your anaerobic workouts to two per week.

Rest Period (8 weeks)

During this 8-week rest period, riders should take a break from all exercise for at least two weeks to rejuvenate and allow the mind and body to relax. For active people, this can be the most difficult period of all. During this period, all workouts should feel easy, with heart rates in the Recovery Zone (65% maximum or below). Whether you are a serious athlete or fitness enthusiast, always include rest in your workout schedule. That means, rest at least one day a week, periodically – e.g., every six weeks and post-season. It’s your ride – enjoy!

Here is an online course you might also wish to explore...

Periodization: Attract more participants to your class by integrating the concepts of periodization. This is the concept of dividing the calendar year into periods characterized by different forms of training—this course explains how to correctly partition the year and include applicable factors such as goal setting, Spinning Energy Zones®, anaerobic training, monitoring heart rate and training time. Review sample annual periodization schedules for both new and experienced clients, as well as competitive athletes.


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