Step 1: stuff I want to do
As of this moment, here is the stuff I want to do this year,
- Weigh in on average around 230 lbs with 10% body fat (measure using bodpod)
- Fix my calves, shins, and ankles (they're fucked up)
- Practice and master new mobility and self massage techniques
- Find new gyms to trick in
- Learn new tricks (I have a couple moves in mind I want to learn this year)
- Peak my physique and tricks in the summer
- Become leaner than I've ever been in my life (face vascularity)
- Photoshoot photos
- Attend 2 local tricking gatherings
- NSVI? (up to Antoine Vaillant, I've been waiting)
Acrobolix website stuff,
- Finish the Acrobolix flexibility eBook
- Finish my 2nd eBook (I'm not announcing the topic just yet)
- Redesign & Reorganize Acrobolix website entirely
- Add an exercises and drills index
- Finish a new annual training compilation video
- Fix my sorry excuse for a YouTube page
- Begin providing training services online
- Continue updating the Acrobolix blog a few times per month
- Upgrade my kitchen appliances, cookware, layout, etc
- Upgrade my wife's laptop and online accounts so she can be more efficient with schoolwork
- Entertain people with new spoof videos and steady Instagram updates
- Actually train myself to use the extra PC peripherals I bought in 2013
- Level up my keyboard shortcut capabilities again
- I have about 5 books I bought but didn't read. Read the important ones
- Update my resume
Step 2: group my stuff into blocks of time
I grouped my stuff into 8 blocks, 4 training and 4 non-training, and sequenced them into an annual plan sketch,
At first glance it looks no different than an ordinary step by step plan for what I want to do for the next year. But one major feature that makes this a periodization plan and not just an ordinary plan is that I'm not only planning on what I'm going to do at certain times, I'm also planning on what I'm not going to do at those times. Most plans leave this part out, which makes most plans unrealistic and, thus, worthless.
I alternate training and non-training blocks. My non-training blocks also serve as rest breaks, deloads, tapers, back off weeks, whatever term you want to use. In a way, these blocks can serve as times for my body to super-compensate from the prior physical training, while I get staggering amounts of stuff done I can't get done when I'm occupied by, and fatigued by (burdened by) daily or twice-daily training. Inevitably I will still train during these "non-training" blocks at times, but if so it will be maintenance training loads. And vice-versa: as usual I will work on non-training projects during my training blocks, but more or less, just on the side with the scraps of energy I have.
This all may seem elementary and unremarkable in its simplicity, but this is the most effective way I've found of using periodization. Any sort of micro-planning should only be done in advance of about 10-14 days. No more than that, for human reasons.
Step 3: block duration
I recommend just doing what I did: create arbitrary blocks of time to put things into. Start by making them a little shorter than you think they need to be, then just give yourself wiggle room (I gave myself 12 weeks wiggle room total for the entire year). I'm not going to stick doggedly to the block length I planned, they are merely estimates for how long I can stay productive before I reach a point of diminishing returns. When that happens, I switch gears, and make a regard to carryover.
Step 4: regarding carryover
A major feature of periodization is carryover (aka cross reference). Qualities and accomplishments in one area benefit other areas. Here are some long term examples,
Example 1. Succeed in tricking and you will have a very real advantage in the strength training game.
Example 2. Learn a skill or a get a job that earns more money. The money can be spent on gym equipment, supplements, cameras, travel to gatherings and competitions, etc, which helps with training.
Note: for more discussion on long term budgeting and training priorities, be sure to check out Ask Jujimufu #2 – Muscle and tricks on a budget
Example 3. If I improve my kitchen equipment/layout I'll cook faster, healthier, better tasting meals. This saves me time and supports my training with improved nutrition.
Example 4. Build a bad ass, or merely fit physique and you will open up doors in nearly every social avenue in life. Beauty is powerful. Power is beautiful.
Regarding this long term carryover, recognizing how everything affects everything else, how all that we do exists together in an ecology, is what keeps you sane in any periodization plan. I constantly run all this through my mind. By identifying connections between all the disparate things that I do, I diminish the worry and guilt that comes with neglecting something in particular at the moment. I keep the big picture in mind. For example, if I'm not training for 2 weeks, I recognize that what I'm doing in my non-training time is going to benefit my training in the long run. Freeing myself of worry and guilt in this way, I'm more effective. See the 4 examples above again. Think about it, think about what you do and what it means for everything you do.
Periodization need not be complicated
I think most people shy away from periodization planning because they think it is a complicated science requiring calculators, charts, calendars, moon phases, percentages, and a new vocabulary. Most people think everything needs laid out in advance, for months and years. No!!! All Periodization plans are born simple. A periodization plan is only made complex by an arrogant person who believes they have a crystal ball. Don't worry about details and numbers months in advance, you can't predict them anyway, so just take care of them when you encounter them: leave blank spaces in your periodization plan. If you over-engineer your periodization plan from the start, trying to make it look more complete or sophisticated, you'll just be wasting your time. If the plan is too rigid from complexities it'll be hard to use. Starting simple and staying simple keeps a periodization plan flexible, fluid and easy to change: and thus, useful! Remember, it's the work you do that matters, planning is no substitute for work, it's just a supplement. Now, keep this mantra in mind to guide you during the process of doing your work in the middle of your periodization plan,
The Periodization Mantra
Do the right amount of the right kind of work,
at the right times and right circumstances,
only for the right amount of time,
and only when it matters!
Please give me feedback
Let me know what you guys think of the idea of periodizing your life. If you have questions or ideas please comment below! Also, I will report at the end of 2015 how my own plan works out for me. Thanks for reading!