What is Undulating Periodisation?

Undulating periodisation is a type of periodisation where volume and intensity go up and down.

Undulating periodisation involves more frequent variation in training variables which can either be daily undulating periodisation (DUP) or weekly undulating periodisation (WUP), this is where volume and/or intensity is manipulated. Athletes need the ability to cognitively adapt and change depending on the situation. This is where undulating periodisation can be useful.

Undulating periodisation can happen in 3 ways:

  1. Increase/Decrease Task Intensity

  2. Increase/Decrease Task Duration

  3. Increase/Decrease Task Frequency

Increase or Decrease Task Intensity

Increase/Decrease the intensity of the cognitive tasks.

For example,

Weekly undulating periodisation (WUP)

  • Week 1 70%

  • Week 2 40%

  • Week 3 80%

  • Week 4 60%


Daily undulating periodisation (DUP)

  • Session 1 40%

  • Session 2 70%

  • Session 3 50%

  • Session 4 80%


Increase or Decrease Task Duration

Doing more or less cognitive reps by increasing/decreasing task duration and even pairing together different durations to optimise the cognitive load.

Weekly Undulating Periodisation (WUP)

Week 1 - 3 sessions

  • 3m cognitive task duration x3

  • 5m cognitive task duration x2

  • Total session duration 19 mins

Week 2 - 3 sessions

  • 10m task duration x2

  • 20m task duration x1

  • Total session duration 40 mins

Week 3 - 3 sessions

  • 5m cognitive task duration x4

  • Total session duration 20 mins

Week 4 - 3 sessions

  • 30m cognitive task duration x1

  • Total session duration 30 mins


Daily Undulating Periodisation (DUP)

Session 1

  • Cognitive task duration 10 mins x3

  • Total session duration 30 mins

Session 2

  • Cognitive task duration 5 mins x3

  • Total session duration 15 mins

Session 3

  • Cognitive task duration 30 mins x1

  • Cognitive task duration 10 mins x1

  • Total session duration 40 mins

Session 4

  • Cognitive task duration 3 mins x6

  • Total session duration 18 mins


Increase or Decrease Task Frequency

Increase/Decrease the number of cognitive training sessions than the week before.

  • Week 1 - 2 cognitive training sessions

  • Week 2 - 5 cognitive training sessions

  • Week 3 - 3 cognitive training sessions

  • Week 4 - 4 cognitive training sessions


Remember,

Under or overloading your athlete for too long will always result in the stagnation of results. Your athlete's data will guide you. No matter what, without data on your athlete's performance, you will be guessing and it can be difficult to accurately periodise when you guess. Paying attention to the data makes your job easier and keeps those performance improvements coming.

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