The following chart is crap,
It’s my own linear periodization plan I designed and used in 2004 when I was 18. Oh sure, I got good results from it, but I could have gotten good results without going into all that ridiculous level of detail. Since that time I’ve tried periodizing my training in other ways. And then I realized the only thing that really mattered for me out of all these periodization schemes was the occasional back off week.
What’s a back off week?
It’s just lowering the training load for a block of time. It doesn’t have to be a week. I recommend 5-9 days.
Why not just sprinkle off days here and there?
Fatigue masks fitness, and any of us who train regularly accumulate fatigue over time, it’s impossible not to accumulate fatigue, and we can’t get rid of this accumulated fatigue simply by taking the weekends off or sprinkling in an extra rest day here and there. It can take weeks for accumulated fatigue to be eliminated. If we never eliminate this accumulated fatigue we end up spinning our wheels, never realizing our true skill level. We go through a slump or we plateau; or if it accumulates too much we’re eventually forced to take time from an overuse injury or a trauma injury since fatigue increases the chances of an accident.
Our intuitive responses to these maladies are a) Sprinkle an additional day off here and there, b) Try to work through it, or c) Change the way we train without backing down. None are effective in the long run, and we get stuck. This is not what we want. We want to control this cyclic process ourselves, and the best way to do it is simply to back off.
How to back off properly
Progressively increase your training load, volume, intensity, whatever… More tricking, harder tricks, more frequent tricking, etc. Week after week for 3-7 weeks until you get stuck. When you finally realize you’re stuck because fatigue has you by the throat, push it even harder for another 4-6 days until you’re completely taxed, then back off for 5-9 days in a row.
If you want something more precise, try one of my 5 training plans for tricksters, which all implement back off periods. And if you want the real periodization experience, just change something about the way you train – or the emphasis of your training after each back off week when you start a new training cycle. This simplicity is likely all you’ll ever need from the periodization concept.
Things to do during your back off week
# When backing off, you could just sit around and do nothing the whole time and get stellar results, but I recommend doing this three day cycle instead:
Day 1) Super long warm up: Whatever easy movements and exercises you would do for a warm up, do them for an hour or so.
Day 2) Extra light tricking: Warm up and have a very brief, very light tricking session with easy tricks. Don’t push yourself.
Day 3) No activity.
Break this cycle only after at least 5 days has passed. You’ll probably notice that your first tricking session after the back off week is not spectacular. If it is, good for you! But I always seem to find my best tricking sessions after a back off week are at the end of the next week, and these are usually crazy awesome peak sessions. So don’t feel discouraged if after all this rest you don’t see the improvements immediately.
# If you’re interested in trying this for strength training, just take whatever routines you’ve been doing and slash the volume and intensity down by one third each or something and cut one session out. Call it a tapering week lololozorz.
# The back off week is a good time to catch up on your responsibilities. Clean your room! Get ahead in your school
# Re-evaluate your training patterns, your goals, etc. See if a change in your next training cycle would be a good idea.
# Have recovery sessions that you anticipate and take as seriously as your tricking sessions. Read this page and do all that stuff.
# No caffeine during your back off week.
Just progressively push yourself harder and harder for a month or two until you hit a wall, push it a few more days then take a small block of time off. Possibly consider adding some changes to your training after each cycle. Voilà, big gains without wading through all those pompous periodization science texts. I just wish someone had sat me down and told me about this back off week thing years ago, it would have saved me from many of the ankle, knee, back, and shoulder problems I had to deal with from overuse, or from any number of the accidents that wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t training with so much fatigue baggage.