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

Undulating periodisation

So far we have presented a series of linear periodised routines which are effective in enhancing strength and power. We now present a range of periodised methods that can be productively used in the yearly schedule and which will allow for enhanced strength, power and speed development. In Level 1 we noted the effectiveness of the undulating periodised approach to strength and power training. Here we describe the daily undulating periodised approach in more detail. A brief overview of the literature is helpful in establishing the superior effectiveness of the daily undulating periodised approach compared to a linear approach especially for the intermediate or well-trained player.

Rhea et al 2002 compared linear and daily undulating periodised programmes with equated volume and intensity. 1RM was recorded for the bench press and leg press before, during and after the12 week programme. Training involved 3 sets (bench press and leg press) on 3 days per week. The linear periodised group performed sets of 8 RM during weeks 1-4, 6 RM during weeks 4-8, and 4 RM during weeks 9-12. The daily undulating periodization group altered training on a daily basis (Monday, 8 RM; Wednesday, 6 RM; Friday, 4 RM). The results showed significant differences favouring the daily undulating group. The authors concluded that making programme alterations on a daily basis was more effective in eliciting strength gains than doing so every 4 weeks.

Miranda et al (2011) also compared linear vs. daily undulatory periodised resistance training on maximal and submaximal strength gains. Resistance trained men were randomly assigned to 2 training groups: a linear periodization group and a daily undulating periodisation group. Tests for 1RM and 8RM loads in leg press and bench press were completed. The training programme was performed in alternated sessions for upper (session A: chest, shoulder and triceps) and lower body (session B: leg, back and biceps). The 12-week periodised training was applied only in the tested exercises, and in the other exercises, 3 sets of 6-8RM were performed. Both groups exhibited significant increases in 1RM loads, but no statistically significant difference between groups was observed. The same occurred in 8RM loads. However, the daily undulating group presented superior effect sizes in 1RM and 8RM loads for leg and bench presses when compared to the linear group. The authors concluded that, periodised resistance training can be an efficient method for increasing the strength and muscular endurance in trained individuals. Although there was no statistically significant difference between periodisation models, the daily undulating approach promoted superior gains in muscular maximal and submaximal strength. These results are in agreement with the findings of Moraes et al (2013) who compared non-periodised vs. daily nonlinear periodised weight training in adolescent males. Both training groups performed the same sequence of exercises 3 times a week for a total of 36 sessions. The non-periodised group completed 3 sets of 10-12RM throughout the training period. The daily undulating group completed 3 sets using different training intensities for each of the 3 training sessions per week. The total volume of the training programs was not significantly different. Both groups exhibited a significant increase in the 1RM for the bench press and 45 degree leg press post-training compared with that pre-training, but there were no significant differences between groups. However, the daily undulating group's 1RM changes showed greater percentage improvements and effect sizes. Training intensity for the bench press and leg press did not significantly change during the training. Jump tests between groups showed no significant change, yet the daily undulating group showed a significant increase in the sit and reach test after 8 and 12 weeks of training compared with pre-training; this did not occur with the non-periodised training group. The authors concluded that during a 12-week training period, a daily undulating programme can be used to elicit similar and possible superior maximal strength and flexibility gains compared with a nonperiodised multi-set training model.

To summarise, the S&C coach can productively use a daily undulating periodised approach with both trained and untrained groups. Superior gains can be expected over those occurring using a linear model while having similar volume and intensity of training.