November 08, 2023 2 min read


Concurrent Periodization

In many ways, concurrent training may be the oldest form of training, as athletes throughout all of recorded history have attempted to develop strength, power and endurance/stamina at the same time, without specializing on one quality at a time. This is where it differs from traditional periodization models like linear or block, which sequentially emphasize specific training qualities in distinct phases. Concurrent periodization emphasizes the simultaneous development of multiple physical qualities within the same training cycleConcurrent training emerged in the mid-20th century as a codified training system from its roots in the training of Olympic lifters, particularly in the former Soviet Union. It has since been adapted to powerlifting, known as the Conjugate or Westside Barbell System, and this approach has successfully been used by athletes and lifters who require a well-rounded set of skills and attributes for their sport. 

Here are the key features of Concurrent Periodization:
  • Simultaneous Development: concurrent periodization allows athletes to work on multiple training qualities, such as strength, speed, power, hypertrophy (muscle size), and skill development at the same time
  • No Distinct Phases: there are no distinct phases or blocks with exclusive training focuses. Instead, training is designed to train all qualities throughout a cycle.
  • Flexible Training Parameters: Training intensity (weight lifted), volume (sets and reps), and exercise selection are flexible and can vary from session to session based on the athlete's needs and goals.
  • Varied Workouts: Workouts are diverse and can include strength-focused sessions, speed and agility work, skill-specific drills, and hypertrophy-focused exercises, all within the same training session or week.
  • Individualization: Concurrent periodization is highly adaptable and can be tailored to the individual athlete's needs and sport-specific requirements.

Concurrent periodization is particularly well-suited for athletes in sports that demand a diverse skill set and a wide range of physical attributes. It is often used by athletes in non-strength sports such as mixed martial arts, decathlon, and team sports like rugby, where strength, speed, power, agility, and skill proficiency are all crucial for success. The program can be adjusted and customized according to an athlete's specific sport, season, and competitive schedule.

It's important to note that concurrent periodization requires careful planning and monitoring to avoid overtraining and to ensure that each training quality is progressing as intended. Athletes and coaches often employ a periodization approach that combines elements of concurrent and other periodization models to create a program that meets the athlete's needs and objectives.



  • Efficient 
  • Skill Transfer
  • Improved Physical Preparedness 
  • Mental Toughness
  • Time effective 
  • Reduced Risk of Overuse Injuries
  • More Complex Programming
  • Potential For Overtraining
  • Suboptimal Progression of All Qualities
  • Competing Goals
  • Greater Volume Requirement

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