Think in Seasons for Peak Performance
Besides teaching proper form and showing student athletes the strength-training exercises that will benefit them the most for their specific sports, certified athletic trainers like CHI Health’s Tom Buehler also use a process called periodization.
Periodization is broken down into a macrocycle, mesocycle and microcycle. A macrocycle is a year-round program, mesocycles are offseason, preseason, postseason and in-season and microcycle would be planning for individual weeks.
The goal is to have athletes performing at their peak level when it’s most important. Trainers consider many variables such as the age of the athlete and their experience lifting when they design programs to “load” their student athletes with heavy work or “unload” them and reduce or rest them from their weight-training programs.
“During the unload week, the athlete has the greatest potential for increases in strength as their body recovers.” Buehler said. “As I look at their season, ideally, three weeks away from their last game of the year, I want to have them lifting their heaviest amounts in the weight room that they’ve done their entire year and then begin to taper them. That’s going to put them at their peak strength when it matters the most.”