CHAPTER 7 / TIER 1
Systematic Delivery to the Practical Audience; Mesocycles
So what is the difference between APX & Poliquin? How can the same training system APX uses be applied to both an individual trainee, the same as my groups of 4-50+ trainees I work with?
Let's address the first question, Poliquin's science is the best practical training research and application system on the planet. It is responsible for the attainment the of most Performance-based, Injury-preventative achievements of any training system. APX endorses its principles and applies them wtihin its sport-specifc curriculum. There are 3 main components that differentiate APX vs Poliquin.
1.) Within APX' school, club and team program design, programming is scripted for Endurance, Function and/or Hypertrophy as the primary training phases. The main reason for this is the practical needs of athletes that are ages 12-18 years of age. The training effects from those particular phases adhere to the majority of those age ranges and populations. Rest intervals greater that :90 - :120 seconds are difficult to attain within High School 'In-Class' or 'After-School' sessions due to the high volume of trainees in those settings. Participants will lose motivation, stagnation occurs, and the overall training effect is lost due to those factors. Also, it is the programming director's experience that the majority (over 90%) of athletes aged 12-18 years benefit greater from building function. When funciton is put first in program design, all of the other strength qualities can be attained at their maximal capability. We want this training affect in this age grouping. When function can be replicated with endurance, power, strength and aerobic/anaerobic energy system capacities more than your adversary, you win. All the time, so long as the talent pools are not exceeding one side of the scale to the other too great.
Relative strength phase work is rare within these environment. High volume Accumulation creates the APX Training Culture - high intensity, team work, motivation, energized movement - we look to evoke within our programs. However, that doesn't mean that set progressions within Relative strength phases aren't utilized at times, they must be coordinated and planned effectively within each individualized program and its particular needs at the time. Summers or 'After-School' templates can exemplify greater training times; in which correct Relative strength periodization can be completed at the high rest times of :240+ per set for optimal neuromuscular recovery.
2.) Poliquin programming extends mainly towards trainees who can devote greater amounts of time and life towards their training lifestyle. At the high school or youth levels, that is not practical with all the time demands and commitments that those age ranges (12-18) manage; to be able to commit to their training program. APX makes it possible for those age ranges to receive up to 5-6 days per week of training that is applicable to their lifestyle. However, within our Pro Athlete settings, a full hybrid of APX and Poliquin systems are applied to the greatest extent of the science allowed. It's simple. They have the time, financial resources and its their job! This also goes the same for any Personal Training client that can promote that same lifestyle in their professional and family life.
3.) APX was created and designed with the benefits of 'other' training applications and modes of 'Recovery & Regeneration' practices within the actual training session. It's essential to perform a Dynamic & Ground-Base Neuromuscular warm up prior to exerting great forces onto the body - Poliquin doesn't believe in dynamic or ground-base movement for warm up; he goes straight into a working set. APX' Programming DIrector - Drew Buchkoski - has found that to have profound negative training effects in both the short and long-term training mesocycles within athlete populations, especially those trainees aged 12-18 years.
Aquatics, Yoga progressions, Pre-hab work, Post-work stretch, Sport & Position-Specificity and Plyometric/Agility/Running/Jumping traction components are defned and emphasized in each and every training phase that APX outputs. Poliquin does not encourage this within its primary training practices, his specifics accentuate the physiological strength, power and body mass ratio components. A combined tutelage from Charles Poliquin, Chad Ikei, Oregon's Head STC Jim Radcliffe and Carolina Panthers Head STC Joe Kenn have all been critical in the growth and development of where the APX roots stem within the Program Design elements of APX' Sports Performance sector under Buchkoski. Running, skipping, jumping, lifting, stretching, body mass change and improving all of the body's energy/strength systems are what defines us - as it should you as well. Eliminating weak links and disfunctions, creating synergistic balance within the trainee's we develop is and always be our #1 goal. Be optimal, not great. Always learn and allow yourself not to settle as a strength coach, that equated to 'death' - no pun intended - in the training world as a High School coach/teacher or as a career-minded STC professional.
Practical Audiences; Training Delivery Methods
Examples and illustrations of individual long-term periodization, individual short-term periodization and team/large group training populations.
Timberline High School Athletes performing Uni-Lateral Knee/Scapular Band Drives with excellent 45 degree angles throughout their bodies as part of a Lower-Power Emphasis Intensification 1.2 Training session. THS Athletics have utilized the APX Training system since 2012. 2 coaching points:
1.) Notice the use of the bleachers, gym space to create an additional training space in light of a smaller Training Room. 3 training apparatus' are used with the 2.5# plates in hands, red band around hip and the bleachers themselves to perpetuate neural kinetic proprioceptive drive.
2.) Also, training tactics like this are critical for keeping monotony from creeping into your exercise prescription for your training populations. Different space, different apparatus'.
Moses Lake High School Female Athletes executing a mirror scapular running traction circuit on an Accumulation 1.2 Progression. MLHS has utilized the APX Training system since 2012 for all of their athletic and physical education programs. Notice the alignment of these female athletes; 2 coaching points that can be effective in large groups such as this (62 to be exact).
1.) Keep line-of-sight alignment by arranging the population in this manner. More effective way to coach the kep points of this traction piece of tilt and hand-to-elbow placement.
2.) Mirror use. Always use a mirror in any training setting if possible. Arrange for exercise that can be viewed by the trainee(s). Do you want to add another helpful coach in your session? when you place them in front of a mirror - you just picked up 62 more coaches to assist you.
Summit High School Football at 1-of-5 Clinics performed from 2012-2014, APX training mehods have been utilized thoughout the development of their football program that just attained an OSHSA Football State Title in 2015.
This particular component is typically built as a weight room (in-front-of-mirror) training piece. However, in light of a sluggish start and great weather in Bend, Oregon - the decision to take the entire team outside for installation of this piece recaptured the team culture we were searching for and ignited the population for an up-tempo Clinic.
Positioning the athletes in their warm-up grid made training this piece effective and efficient with our APX coaches, and the SHS coaches that assisted on that day.
Always keep an 'outside-the-box' mentality when it comes to training any age grouping, staganation leads to monotony - monotony leads to loss of interest. As a coach at the school levdl, attendance drops and your program suffers injuries, lack of performance and losses. As an STC professional, you lose a client you lose a paycheck.
Pullman High School Athletics adopted the APX system in 2014 and broke a Clinic record of 262 participants of both the boys and girls sports programs were represented, along with the middle school athlete populations.
A huge challenge was presented to our staff that year, in which they were building the new school and their existing weight/training room could not be utilized all summer. A complete recreation of functional pieces can be seen in this picture with battling rope work, wrestling mates dragged out for ground-base/yoga function and (not shown) dumbell work off of the bleachers, kettle bell work, band attachments points from hooks drilled into walls and balancing mirror components in the connected dance studio.
There is no excuse for not supplying your trainee(s) with the proper training science in spite of smaller or non-functional weight/training rooms. It's about the application of the program. The body doesn't know amenities when it comes to physiological training. PHS took that to heart and turned out a 93% attendence rate with 200+ Summer Training participants ages 12-18.
What is a Mesocycle? It is a training phase in the annual training plan that contains usually of 3-6 microcycles. Usually mesocycle refers to the main training target for particular period (i.e. anaerobic power, muscular endurance, etc.) that should be developed.
Classification of mesocycles
1) Basic mesocycle
Used at the beginning of the preparatory period.
Training load in this cycle is relatively low;
Increases in load are only the result of the increase of training volume.
This kind of mesocycle is used also after the injury or after longer period without trainings.
2) Preparatory mesocycle
Mostly used during the preparatory period where the adaptation of the main organ systems is of high importance.
3) Shock mesocycle
Training load would be taken to the highest possible level to induce a high stress in the body to evoke maximal supercompensation after following revocery.
Such kind of mesocycles can be done only 2-3 during the preparatory period.
4) Precompetition mesocycle
Can be characterized as a loading process for the upcoming competition(s);
Within this mesocycle different microcycles can be used to further improve the sportspecific condition of the athlete.
5) Competition mesocycle
The number of those mesocycles is characterized by:
the nature of the sport discipline;
the level of the athlete;
the competition calendar.
For example, in cyclic sports the competitive period can last from 1 to 4, even to 5 months and one or two competitive mesocycles can be planned accordingly. In ball games, competitive season may even last longer, fom 6-10 months and therefore 5-6 mesocycles can be planned, that usually alternate with preparatory mesocycle.
6) Recovery mesocycle
Is used during the trainsition period;
Is characterized by a low training volume and intensity;
Main focus is on active recovery and nonspecific workouts.
Where to fit a mesocycle?
Usually there are longer mesocycles (4-6 weeks) during the preparataory phase and shorter during the competitive phase. The main criteria for considering a length of the mesocycle depends on the time necessary to develop a certain ability or technical elment. Try to fit a mesocycles into annual plan in a way that there will be a competition or special testing at the end of the cycle, so the coach can immediatedly evaluate the impact of that particular mesocycle.
Reference: Bompa T. Periodization. Theory and methodology of training. Human Kinetics, Chicago, IL. 1999
Examples of Macro, Meso & Micro Cycles of Training
Short-term periodization (1 Mesocyle)
Long-term periodization (6 mesocycles)
(1 Macrocycle + 2 Mesocycles)
Long-term periodization (2 Macrocycles)
Short-term periodization (1 Microcycle)
This concludes Chapter 7. It is the intent of this material that you walk away with an understanding of the differences of the APX system correlated with that of the Poliquin system. Also, how both merge and are implemented correctly with proper perdiodization and phase alterations that are sport-specific.
Also, take note of certain - yet simple - augmented training tactics that can be utilized to keep the 'training culture' united. Remember, you're #1 goal as a Training Professional and/or Weight Room Coach is to create an enviornment in which the trainee(s) want to consistently attend. If you create that dynamic, you will witness the physiological benefits first-hand in a 260-300 day-per-year training template.
This concludes the Tier 1 Certification study material. Please, take your time to understand and apply this information and commit it to both the mind and body equally. Remember, you are the leader of many. If you don't practice what you preach, your leadership qualities in this paradigm will only take you so far. It's those that dig deep, grind and hone their craft that demand results that remain accountable to the application of this science. Coach every rep, every set in every training as if it were your last. That's what the foundation of APX is built upon. Make it your standard to pursue perfection. Please utilize the 'APX Coach's Forum' Facebook page for contiuned dialogue of this science with all of the Tier 1 Certified coaches/trainers.
:: More examples of mesocycle/macrocycle/microcycle components can be viewed in the 'Before & After' sections of the web site. ::