November 01, 2023 2 min read


Block Periodization is a training model that is heavily used in strength sports like powerlifting and weightlifting, but has also gained popularity in sports/athletic conditioning as well. It divides training cycles into distinct blocks that emphasize a sport quality, such as hypertrophy, strength, power, or sport-specific skills, while still keeping the other qualities in the plan. This differs from Western Periodization which focuses on a single training quality at a time, at the expense of the other qualities. The block structure allows athletes to concentrate on specific aspects of their fitness without completely putting the other aspects aside. 

Here are the key characteristics of block periodization:
  • Block Structure: In block periodization, training is organized into distinct training blocks, typically ranging from 4-8 weeks. Common blocks include hypertrophy, strength, power, and sport-specific skills, the length and frequency of which can vary depending on the needs of the athlete.
  • Varied Training Emphasis: Each block has its own specific training emphasis. For example, a hypertrophy block focuses on building muscle size, while a strength block emphasizes maximal strength development, without completely ignoring the other aspects of training.
  • Sport-Specific Application: Block periodization is well-suited for athletes in sports that have specific competitive seasons. The blocks can be tailored to prepare athletes for competition at specific times during the year.
  • Tailored to Individual Needs: Block periodization can be adapted to individual athletes' needs and goals. Coaches and trainers can design blocks that address an athlete's strengths, weaknesses, and competitive schedule as well as include more frequent blocks to address an athlete's needs. For example, a sequence for an underweight athlete might be a hypertrophy block followed by a strength block, followed by another hypertrophy block.

Block Periodization has gained popularity for its adaptability and potential to yield significant training gains. It allows for a more detailed and targeted approach to training, enabling athletes to focus on the qualities most relevant to their sports or goals at specific times.

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