Periodization Theory: Confronting an Inconvenient Truth

Kiely J.

Periodization theory has emerged as the dominant paradigm for training planning over the past seven decades. Its philosophical roots can be traced back to the integration of various influences, blending coaching beliefs, historical scientific insights, and social planning models. Despite significant advancements in coaching innovation and training science, the fundamental assumptions of periodization theory have remained largely unchallenged. One key influence on periodization theory is the science of stress, particularly the work of Hans Selye, which suggests that physical stress mediates biological responses and subsequent fitness adaptations. However, the science of stress has evolved considerably since the inception of periodization theory, raising questions about the validity of its foundational assumptions. This prompts a critical re-evaluation of conventional perspectives and suggests the need to realign periodization philosophy with contemporary stress theory. By doing so, we can update training planning models to better reflect current scientific insights and coaching practices.

View this research