Summarized content of our Periodization Workshop at Define Defense 1/18/12

Part 1of our Periodization workshop on 1/18/12:

Multilateral Physical Development

Different people have different objectives of training. Some may train for a healthier body, others may want to break their own records and become stronger and some want to compete to test themselves with others.

No matter what your objective is, every athlete should work on their 
multilateral physical development. This serves as a training base and means you increase your endurance, strength, speed, flexibility, coordination etc. Even if it does not directly affect your goal or performance, it is important to work on these things because indirectly they will greatly help you in reaching your goal (and preventing injuries).

For example: a long distance runner still needs to strengthen their core, do speed drills etc. because it will improve their performance. Or a martial artist who runs 10 miles won’t punch harder but will have better cardio and recover faster.

Once you have a base, you need to work on your sport-specific development, which means training to improve in the specific area of your sport.

Part 2 of our Periodization workshop on 1/18/12:


Everything we do in our training and our training planning is affected by supercompensation. It refers to the biological state your body is after working out and rest. When you work out, your body is fatigued in many different ways and this reduces the functional capacities of your body. After resting, your body will recover and replenish and if the training stimuli were big enough, you will achieve a higher homeostatic level. This means your body will be stronger, you will have more endurance, more glycogen stored etc.

If you do not allow your body to rest before working out again, you will land in a negative spiral and exhaust your body more. This will lead to decreased performance and overtraining.

If you rest too much, you will lose the supercompensation results and you will be right back at where you started. The right (smart) training and the right amount of rest is key!

Part 3 of our Periodization workshop on 1/18/12:

Energy Systems

Energy required for muscle contraction is released by by the conversion of ATP into ADP+P

Therefore, ATP sources need to constantly replenished by different energy systems:

Phosphagen System

Readily available in the body and can be used instantaneously for efforts up to 8-10 seconds. Very important for weight lifters, sprinters etc. No lactic acid production and no oxygen necessary.

After the effort, in the first 30 seconds, 70% of the creatinephosphate is replenished and in 3 to 5 minutes, a 100% is replenished.

Lactic Acid System

The lactic acid system provides energy for resynthesizing ATP for events up to 40 seconds (first 10 will be Phosphagen system). It breaks down glycogen stored in the muscle cells and liver and produces lactic acid (no oxygen used which creates an oxygen debt).

Restoring glycogen takes 2 hours for 40% and 24 hours for full restoration after a workout with breaks throughout. For a continuous, high intensity workout, it can take 48 hours.

95% of the lactic acid is removed after 1 hour and 15 minutes so the muscle pains you may feel for the next few days are not lactic acid but micro damage in your muscle.

Aerobic System

Fully activated after 60-80 seconds (warmup is important) to produce energy for resynthesizing ATP from AD+P. Energy sources are fats and glycogen (and protein occasionally).

Primary energy system for endurance athletes.

No lactic acid production or buildup.
However, in most cases, the aerobic system and lactic acid system work at the same time! The ratio depends on the intensity of your efforts.

The best indicator of which energy system you are actually using when exercising is measuring the level of lactic acid in the blood. The threshold (point where both energy systems are working but no build up of lactic acid) is 4 millimoles. Over that and you will get a buildup because your body is producing more than it can take away.

You can raise the threshold by training. An athlete with a good aerobic base (endurance) can work with higher intensity before crossing the threshold.

Part 4 of our Periodization workshop on 1/18/12:

Training the energy systems

Lactic acid tolerance training

This will improve your tolerance but also your body’s ability to buffer it and increase lactate removal from the muscle.

Intervals of less than 1 minute will require 4-8 repetitions with long recovery periods in between (15-30 minutes)

Longer intervals of 2-3 minutes are desirable but only if you can hold the intensity.

This is a very hard workout so don’t overdo it.

Maximum oxygen consumption training

Intervals of 3-5 minutes, max intensity. Heart rate up to 10 beats under your max.

Improve efficiency of the oxygen transport system.

Anaerobic Threshold Training

Tempo training with speed slightly above comfortable. Intensity should be 60-90% of max and you have to hold it throughout your training. Lactate levels will be above 4 millimol and will build up.

Phosphate system training

Short bursts of maximum intensity up to 10 seconds. Long recovery necessary to prevent lactate production.

Aerobic Threshold Training (Long Slow Distance Training)

More than 1 hour

No lactate production

Comfortable intensity (have to be able to talk)

Will improve endurance and recovery time

By Sander Vanacker, Define Defense’s certified personal trainer and head martial arts instructor, based in Boulder, Colorado. Take a look at, or check out our videos !

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