The myth of "periodisation"

James Steele, James Fisher, Jeremy Loenneke, Samuel Buckner

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint


In this chapter we present an overview of periodisation introducing and discussing its definition and historical development. We then consider the common argument that strength and hypertrophic adaptations are optimised through the application of periodisation, and provide alternative interpretations that we think likely reflect more parsimonious explanations than appeals to periodisation ‘theory’. Lastly, we will consider its structure as a myth vs as a scientific theory in the Popperian sense. From our perspective and analysis, it does not feel unfair to label periodisation as a myth. At the very least it has strong elements of mythos about it particularly in terms of its origin and development. If periodisation is to take a step forward into the beginnings of a scientific theory, then consensus specification and definition such that it yields clear deductively testable consequences should be the next point in its journey from mythical origins.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCenter for Open Science
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2023

Publication series

PublisherCenter for Open Science

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