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Introduction
LTAD - a critique
Demands of the game
Profile of players
Functional screening
Resistance training
Speed and agility training
Integrated game conditioning
Periodisation
Content
Questions

Introduction to periodisation

Introduction (continued)

We have described and discussed the fundamental principles underpinning the concept of periodisation in our S&C Pre-Level 1 course. We noted that the application of periodisation principles offered the S&C a template in planning appropriate developmental, maintenance and recovery phases and strategies for the player. In this module, we advance our understanding of periodisation and provide different samples of strength and power mesocycles for the rugby player.

Our assumption is that the player has now advanced from the beginner stages where Anatomical Adaptation or Integrative Training was the main strength and power method of training. In addition we used the AA phase as a learning one whereby the player was coached in the key technical points for the core or compound lifts such as the back squat, front squat, the power clean and derivatives and the power snatch and its derivatives. For a sample mesocycle of strength and power development using the core lifts and other auxiliary exercises, please reference in particular our 4th topic on resistance training where we described in some detail an 8 week linear periodised approach to general strength and power training for the Rugby player. In Pre-Level 1, we presented a typical periodised yearly plan as displayed in Table 1 below.

Month
no.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
1
2
3
4
5
Games

1
2

1
2
3

4
5
6
7

8
9
10
11

12
13
14

15
16
17
18

19
20
21
22

23
24
25
26

27
28
29
30

31
32
33
34

Period

Hols

Pre-season: 8 weeks

In-season 1: 18 weeks

In-season 2: 22 weeks

Unload week

3

7

11

14

18

22

26

30

34

Table 1. A general macrocycle depicting a full season including the holiday period, pre-season and in-season periods. Note under each month the accumulated game number is recorded. In the Unload week row the week number for a planned unload is noted.

The example in Table 1 above is a simplified model and serves to identify three key elements of a periodised plan:

  • The number of games scheduled and their spread throughout the year.
  • The main periods of the year: holidays, pre-season and in-season.
  • Regular unloading weeks where the volume of conditioning and field practice is reduced significantly so as to ensure that recovery from accumulated training, practice and match play occurs.

At all times, the S&C coach will be aware of the overall yearly plan and will work within this template. The 8-week training phase previously described in resistance training is a suitable programme for the beginner player being completed on two training units in a given weekly microcycle.