Well, this just turned my S&C world upside down.

Is Empirical Research on Periodization Trustworthy? A Comprehensive Review of Conceptual and Methodological Issues (2017)

This comprehensive review of research (42 empirical papers have been selected) on training periodization has shown that:

  1. Predictions concerning the direction, timing, and magnitude of adaptations are not actually being tested
  2. Analyses have been mostly unidimensional, focusing almost exclusively on the ‘physical’ aspects of performance
  3. Long-term empirical papers are non-existent
  4. Confounding factors such as medication, nutrition, and supplementation are not being correctly reported and controlled
  5. Data interpretation is being compromised by persistently ignoring inter-individual variation in responsiveness to experimental protocols.

So when it comes to training periodization, there are definitely more issues than certainties – which seem to fit into the ‘withdraw’ trend in many fields of research these days. While inhaling all this new stuff popping up on every corner, this case should remind us that it is as essential to recheck the basics once in a while. I guess there are plenty more chances out there to learn to be comfy with uncertainty, don’t you think? 😉


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