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The drastic changes and further progress of high-performance sport highlighted inherent contradictions between traditional periodization and the successful experiences of prominent coaches and athletes. Gradually these experiences led to alternative coaching concepts and, ultimately, to a reformed training approach called block periodization (BP)(1).


1. Concept (2, 3):

2. Limitations of traditional periodization

a. Inability to provide multi peak performances in many competitions:

Traditional periodization presupposed one-, two-, and three-peak annual designs, whereas since the 1980s multi peak performances have become common in high-performance sport practice. Large numbers of extremely successful performances cannot be attained following the traditional training design.

b. Drawbacks of prolonged mixed training programs

This training insufficiency has been reported during the last two decades. There are several negative consequences of prolonged mixed training, namely:

- Excessive fatigue accumulation

- Stagnation or low improvement rate

- Intensive exhaustive training lasting three-four weeks causes a pronounced stress response when athletes approach the upper limits of their biological adaptation

- The mixed training does not provide sufficient stimuli for high-performance athletes

2. Residual Training Effects and Training Mode Compatibility

When building your annual plan, there are a few things you want to keep in mind:

- The first is residual training effects: Defined as the retention of changes in the body state and motor abilities after the cessation of training beyond a certain time period.

- This refers to how long after you stop training a certain quality you can retain the abilities.

- This is an important concept to understand, as you have to know how fast you will lose the obtained ability when you stop training it.


1. Benefits:

Consideration of training blocks as a coaching concept leads to the following conclusions:

1. Highly concentrated training workloads cannot be managed at the same time for multiple targets; thus, the number of abilities being developed simultaneously should be radically reduced.

2. Highly concentrated training leads to improvement of targeted abilities

3. Attaining morphological, organic and biochemical changes requires periods of at least 2-6 weeks, which correspond to the duration of mesocycles; hence, training blocks are mostly mesocycle-blocks.

2. Concept:

The original periodization chart was created by Bondarchuk(4) with three types of specialized blocks:

1) Developmental (Accumulation) - Workloads attain maximal level – 4 Weeks.

2) Competitive (Transmutation) - Focuses on competitive performance – 4 Weeks.

3) Restoration (Realization)- Active recovery prepare athletes for the next developmental program – 2 Weeks

These blocks depended on the individual responses of athletes and on the competition schedule.

3. Taxonomy – Block Periodization (1, 5)

4. Biology Background

a. Homeostasis – maintaining the constancy of body’s internal milieu: Basic sport abilities like cardiorespiratory fitness, general neuro-muscular coordination, and morphological and organic adjustment of the musculoskeletal system.

b. Mechanism of stress & General adaptation: The strong training stimuli elicited by workloads trigger off profound endocrine responses, i.e., the secretion of stress hormones (highly intensive anaerobic glycolytic exercises)



1.Issurin, V. Block periodization versus traditional training theory: a review. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 2008;48(65-75.

2. Matveyev, L. Problem of periodization the sport training. Moscow: Fizkultura i Sport. 1964;

3. Matveyev, L. Fundamental of sport training. Moscow: Progress Publishers. 1981;

4. Bondarchuk, A. Training of track and field athletes. Kiev: Health Publisher (Zdorovie); . 1986;

5. Issurin, V. A modern approach to high-performance training: the Block Composition concept.


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