Reaching Peak Performance in Life


“Periodization” is a great way to reach peak performance while achieving your goals in life.  When you use this method you are essentially breaking down smaller periods of time and overlapping them for a specific result.  In most cases it is to build better fitness or even compete in an event.  However, “Periodization” may also be used to improve your personal or even professional life!

Before you start any phase of “Periodization” you must choose a goal.  Once you have a specific goal in place, you want to assign a time frame to it.  Focus on a realistic time to make your goal happen.  Too little time will possibly set yourself up for failure, whereas too much time will not push you to be your best.

Next you want to create a plan of action!  Your plan starts in the Preparatory (Prep) Phase.  This is a very important part to any Periodization Program.  Consider it the warm up to an activity or exercise.  Plan out exercises mentally, physically and spiritually that will condition you for what you will be enduring in other phases.  A great example of this phase would be “Training Camps” in other sports.  These normally happen before the season begins and they prepare everyone for the challenges ahead.

As you complete your prep work you will be ready to enter the Pre Competitive (Pre Comp) Phase.  This is an important area using the tools that will be the most important for your success.  For instance, if you were going to do a Kickboxing match you will focus less on your Grappling.  You want this phase to be built around the specific tools you need.  Fundamental movements to your event or goal are huge here.  Remember a high volume of repetition is how we destroy fear and it is the key to success.

Now that you have built a strong foundation and the frame work is in place you are ready for the larger challenge.  This next phase is known as the Competitive (Comp) Phase.  This is where you will begin to develop and implement your winning combinations and/or strategies.  You will put your Prep Phase and Pre Comp Phase to work.  This phase is what you have worked so hard for!  During this time period you will find yourself questioning why you are doing this.  You will have to remind yourself of your goals and push past the midway point into the dark and deep waters.  Depending on your event, this is where you will take your times and build to three times what you need.  When you get to this point you only want to hold it for a few days.  As you reach this max out point you will experience the most fatigue.  Remember your goal(s) and stay strong so you can reach the next phase.

Now that you have build to your maximum point you can begin to Taper and Peak.  This phase is one of the most important because it helps you push faster and harder than ever.  This is where you would take your max and cut it in half for a few days.  Continue this process every few days until you are at the exact time frame for your event.  This will allow you more energy and create more explosive power for yourself.  Think of the past training phases as running long distances or even lifting less weight for a high amount of repetitions.  While you Taper and  Peak your focus shifts to sprinting or lift heavy weight only a few times.  Every thing you do here matters in a big way.  Be sure to allow yourself enough time to reach your Peak for a few days before the event.  When you do it right, you will feel like you are at the top of the world!!!

Now your event is hear.  Your moment to shine in the ring, on the course or in the board room has come.  After your event you need one very important final phase.  This is known as the Transition Phase.   This is usually around 30% of your total time training for your goal.  It allows you time to train at lower intensities and repair after your event.  It also gives you a chance to perform more with your new found skills.  Best of all, you will be able to plan and use the momentum from your previous goal.  This will help launch you into your next Prep, Pre Comp or Comp Phase.  This phase actually creates more long term growth than all of the other phases combined.

So how do you start using “Periodization”?  The first and most important task is to writing your goals down.  When your goals are tangible on a piece of paper, your plan will start to create itself.  Remember your ability to write this kind of training will only get better with experience.  Keep creating and conquering and you will find yourself leaping to new abilities and goals!!

Use this template to help plan your time for each phase and get busy!!!

Prep Phase – 25% of time
Pre Comp Phase – 25% of time
Comp Phase – 35% of time
Taper Phase – 15% of time
Your Event or Goal
Transition – 30% of total time from above

Guro Larry, Sonja, Lauren & Tori St. Clair

The Always Improving Martial Way Academy
Martial Arts Training and Fitness Education at its Best
Advocare Independent Distributor

The Prepared Mindset


Before going into any event you would probably consider getting prepared.  You would read the rules and study the course or game.  You would build your strength and endurance as well as your skills for the activities you would be participating in. This would be important for your safety as well as secure a potential win!!!

This is the same idea whether you are competing, challenging your abilities or just leaving the house.  I bring this topic up because we are trying to teach our daughters the Prepared Mindset.  This type of thinking is a way of preparing mentally for what is to come or happen.  Many people think of this as a “Dooms Day” Mindset.  Maybe that helps put it into perspective though.  Do you have everything you need to “Survive” your day?  Better yet… “Do you have everything you need to perform at your best today?”  Ah, I got it.  “Do you have everything you need to out perform yesterday?”  Now we are talking!!!

So how does this really work?  Well here are some examples.  If you forgot your gym clothes at home, you might end up just staying at home instead of going to train.  If you leave without enough water for the days travels, you will either have to purchase water or dehydrate yourself.  If you don’t have any or enough snacks and meals for the day, you will either slow your metabolism down and/or have to purchase food.

These are all examples of things that slow us down daily towards our goals.  These make a big impact on more that just our physical health.  Think about how wonderful you feel after working out.  Think about how it feels to reach certain physical goals.  The confidence and stress relief that comes with working out is priceless.   What about the gasoline and mileage if you have to make extra trips to obtain things you need for your day.  What about the extra “Convenience Fee” you pay when you purchase water or food versus making it.  All the sudden you are spending more money instead of saving more money.  Your finances take a nose dive and you are unable to take a vacation.  Now  you don’t get to unplug and relax creating more stress in your life!  This is a downward spiral and believe it or not; this is many peoples lives.

Take a step outside that storm.  Start by looking at what you will need to make tomorrow an even better day.  You can do this simply by reflecting on how today went.  You can even make some notes or journal as your day is going.  Then review these notes later and see what you can do to improve tomorrow.

Some easy examples we try to remind our daughters are:

How much water do I need for the day?

How many snacks and or meals do I need?

Will I go to the gym tomorrow?

Do I have my clothes packed?

The list can go on and it will different for each of you depending on the day.  The shining moment is when your day to day habit of practicing this becomes a weekly habit.  Once that happens you will see yourself planning your month and then later your year out.  This is where the real Prepared Mindset comes to life.  This is where your goals exist!  This is where you will find yourself not just achieving more; but also living life to its fullest!!!

Guro Larry St. Clair

The Always Improving Martial Way Academy
Martial Arts Training and Fitness Education at its Best
Advocare Independent Distributor