Periodization = cyclical division of the training program into individual training phases to maximize success
Periodization means nothing more than regularly varying your training program and the individual training parameters such as repetitions, sets, pace and rest in order to enable constant progress.
Periodization as we use it today has its origins in Russian sports science in the 1960s.
There are different forms of periodization, a brief overview:
The first form, periodization, progresses evenly from high volume (total reps) and low intensity (weight versus max) to low volume with high intensity. The primary disadvantages are the focus on a specific date/competition and the detraining effect of the individual strength qualities.
Wave-like periodization alternates volume (accumulation) and intensity (intensification) as stressors. This prevents the detraining effect and is ideal for year-round training. In the fitness and personal training area she is among others. for this reason the most intelligent solution to achieve lasting progress.
With block periodization, the training program is divided into blocks lasting several weeks/months, in which the program is geared towards 1-2 goals. It is ideal for sports with short competition phases and long preparation phases. For example, the former German national weightlifting coach Frank Mantek used block periodization very successfully to lead Matthias Steiner to Olympic victory in Beijing in 2008. I myself have the block periodization, among other things. Used during my time with the Hungarian National Shorttrack Speedskating Team, which directly won 5 medals at the 2011 European Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands, the most successful season in the history of the Hungarian federation.
A system in which different strength qualities and areas such as maximum strength, explosive strength and hypertrophy are trained in the same cycle. The main feature is that the main exercises vary from each training session to the training session. This form of periodization was mainly spread by Louie Simmons and his Westside Barbell method. This form of periodization is excellent for very advanced athletes and requires very good coaching to be successful.
Literature on periodization
I am regularly asked about literature on the subject of periodization. There are some authors like Tudor Bompa, Istvan Balyi and Leo Metveyev whose publications are worth reading. However, all the publications I have read lack practical relevance. The only exception is an article on wavy periodization by Charles Poliquin in NSCA Journal from 1988. The article is available here
For anyone who wants to learn more about periodization and its detailed application in practice, I recommend the YPSI Program Design Seminar and the YPSI Advanced Program Design and Periodization