Simply defined, periodization is the systematic planning of athletic or physical training. It can be broken up into periods of micro-cycles (weeks), meso-cycles (weeks to months), and macro-cycles (months to a year plus). I’m not here to tell you this is a bad way of planning your training/programming, because I do believe that everything has it’s place it’s just a matter of context. However, I personally don’t use periodization anymore with my clients or myself, because life hardly ever goes according to plan. Now to clarify, I do plan for my clients workouts and myself, however, I always have another plan or two in place in case something changes. A plan is only sustainable if it’s adaptable, and this just isn’t the case with traditional periodization. Having a nice well drawn out plan is like having a nice house, it would make anyone of us feel good. However, when that nice house falls over when an unexpected storm comes, you’re back to square one. With that being said, here are a few simple, adaptable, and sustainable strategies you can implement in to your physical fitness routine when life brings a storm your way:
1. Simply use your time efficiently, remember it’s not how much time we all have, it’s what we do with that time that matters. Pick your big rocks that you feel are going to help you and use the time you have to practice those. I always recommend core, hip, and upper body pulling exercises.
2. “You can never go wrong with core and grip training.” Pavel Tsatsouline. Exercises like planks and variations of planks, weighted carry’s with dumbbells and kettlebells are both great ways to make your workouts more efficient and your body more optimal.
3. Grab a pair of dumbbells, pick a few of your favorite exercises, don’t forget to breath, and see what you can accomplish with the time you have. We must always remind ourselves that something is better than nothing.
4. Walking, a very underappreciated form of exercise, it’s the most natural movement pattern (next to throwing) that human beings should be able to accomplish. Not to mention, walking can improve cardiovascular and digestion efficiency, reduce chronic and acute lower back pain, and if done consistently most days of the week has been scientifically shown to increase longevity.
All in all, I’m not against having a plan with your fitness routine. Fitness should be a part of your life, but not run your life. I’m merely stating the fact that life doesn’t follow a plan or a playbook. With that being said, plan accordingly, for the expected and the unexpected.