The Workout Cycle is the big picture perspective. Over the course of one year. You then break down your workout into segments. Conventional wisdom is that you should break your workout pattern into 12-week periods. That allows for four workout periods during the year, which gives you one week active rest between each cycle.
Breaking down your workout cycle into four periods dovetails perfectly with training for a particular sport. When you are doing sport-specific training, you should think in terms of phases; Development phase, pre-season, in-season, and post-season.
In the developmental phase, you center your attention on developing raw strength and building lean muscle mass. The foundation for the rest of your program. In the pre-season phase, you ramp down your efforts in the strength training and start focusing on converting your strength to motion. Incorporating the performance related components of fitness. During the in-season phase, you want to concentrate on maintaining the gains you’ve made. You work on skill advancement for your sport or activity. You also work on bulletproofing your body from injury. Post-season, you will lick your wounds. Concentrate your efforts on recovering from the stresses of your sport.
continuous effort is the key to unlocking your potential
Having a long-range map of your goals is important. See Fitness Goal Setting for more information. When you want to achieve a particular goal, you start with the end in mind and work backwards. Break it down into manageable segments for your allotted period. You want to incorporate each layer of the Fitness Pyramid into your program, allowing at least 3 weeks for each aspect. There are four aspects, so 12 weeks total. Have more time? All the better.
If you look in any successful athlete, you’ll see that beyond their commitment to their sport, they also have a master plan. Success doesn’t happen by accident, you can map your course to assure you achieve maximum potential.
general fitness and weight control
Even if you’re not training for a specific sport or activity, incorporating all the elements of the Fitness Pyramid will keep overall fitness level high. It also has the benefit of keeping you workouts fresh over time because your workouts will change throughout the workout cycle.