Here are some of my thoughts about the use of “Block” methodology (this includes Issurin’s Accumulation, Transmutation, Realization model, Bondurachuk’s GPE, SPE, SDE and CE Exercise Taxonomy model and Verkhoshansky’s Conjugate Sequencing System or Block Training System) and why Charlie Francis’s model is much easier to implement with team sports and non-high/elite level athletes:
|Verkhoshansky Presenting his Block model|
First, I must point out that the term “block” is merely synonymous with mesocycle, phase, etc. and is merely just a period of time in training; usually 2-5 weeks. Vladimir Issurin has block defined as (I’m paraphrasing) “a period of time with concentrated loading focusing on a limited amount of abilities” but again, using the term “block” in most context is purely semantics as it lacks the key elements elucidated below (I’m guilty of this).
|Issurin's Block Periodization Model|
What’s interesting about comparing all of the individuals mentioned above models is that they all have a few key and similar elements:
-concentrated loading in the form of very high volume & intensity for one mean in one session (ergo Verkhoshansky’s 8x10 (2) barbell jump squats) or multiple sessions (workouts) in one day (ergo Bondurachuk and Issurin’s model using 10-15 sessions per week)
-emphasis on a limited amount of bio-motor/energetic/dynamic abilities
-logical sequencing/progression of means (exercises)
-high ratio of special exercises (using specific criteria/taxonomy)
-use with high/elite athletes
The elements above each pose a problem for use in the team sport setting along with those athletes that are not at the highest level of their sport and cannot sustain the stress that is placed on them by the demands of the methodology.
-Concentrated loads are not necessary for developing lower level athletes and they get by with normal loading schemes in terms of the interplay of volume, intensity, frequency and density
-Team sports require a VAST array of bio-motor/energetic/dynamic abilities
-logical sequencing/progression of means (exercises) is the only element that crosses over from the block methodology to Charlie Francis’s model
-they do not need special exercises in as high amount as a higher level athlete to improve because they have not mastered basic exercises
|Example of Anatoli Bondurachuk's Block Model|
Now what’s great about Charlie Francis’s Vertical Integration Model (which is based on a business model if I’m not mistaken?) is that you can manipulate all of the training variables from top to bottom using:
1. Bioenergetics/Biodynamics/Biomotor abilities
7. Mean (exercise)
And then finally, manipulate them to suit A) the sport and B) the individual.
A key note is to look at the interplay of all these variables as they can be manipulated to achieve many different objectives (i.e. Depth Jumps can develop maximal strength (>.7m) and reactive strength (<.3m), Back Squats can be used to improve oxidative properties (<30% 1RM, 2 sec. concentric and eccentric, no hypoxia, 40 sec. work, 60 sec. rest) or for the development of explosive strength (30-70% of 1RM, <5 reps, 3-5 minute rest period)
The way programming should be done is based on sporting demands first and then all the intricacies that make an individual athlete (or team) unique.
Charlie Francis’ model fits much better for an overall methodology as it is quasi-block and you are able to manipulate training variables more objectively to fit a concentrated sequenced structure (used for high level athletes) or use it in a concurrent structure (appropriate for lower level athletes) without causing any “lost in translation” to your athletes or other coaches.
|Basic example of Vertical Integration|
What Buddy Morris said about vertical integration mimics my sentiments exactly, it is quasi-block in that you emphasis (notice that word again) different biodynamic needs, bioenergetics, bio-motor abilities and then fluctuate volume, intensity, density, frequency, methods and means.
Vertical integration is by far the easiest model for programming to implement with team sports because of:
1. Varying abilities of athletes
2. Conflicting bioenergetic demands
3. Many biodynamic considerations
4. Many bio-motor abilities needed
5. Limited time for athletes (due to work, school, governing body guidelines, etc.)
6. Logistics of equipment, facilities, staff, etc.
Using Vertical Integration allows for much more adjustment to the individual(s); manipulating all acute training variables becomes much more simple with this model.