Linear Periodisation

The traditional Periodisation model developed by Matveyev is Illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Traditional Periodisation Model.

This traditional or classic model of Periodisation is also often termed Linear Periodisation. It is characterised by the concurrent development of technical, endurance and strength related abilities. It involves high volume and low intensity at the start and then as the training programme progresses the volume is gradually reduced, and the intensity is increased. This model of Periodisation involves several blocks or mesocycles of training, performed sequentially 1 after the other. In each mesocycle there is a focus on a physical quality. Each mesocycle of training provides the foundation for the next mesocycle to be built on. For example, to developing strength related qualities, the Linear Periodisation might look like the table below where strength endurance is developed in the first mesocycle, then hypertrophy, them maximal strength and then power. Each mesocycle is producing adaptations to benefit performance in the next mesocycle.

Mesocycle 1 2 3 4
Strength Related Qualities Strength Endurance / Anatomical Adaptation Hypertrophy Maximal Strength Power


One of the main characteristics of Linear Periodisation is that there is relatively little variation in volume and intensity within each mesocycle, the variation in volume and intensity occurs between mesocycles. This model of periodisation is still used extensively, and it can provide good adaptations when utilised appropriately. The sample hypertrophy and strength and power mesocycles provided earlier in this module are basic examples of a linear Periodisation structure.

The linear model has its advantages and disadvantages. Linear Periodisation is ideal for beginners or those who are lifting for the first time. It allows for the player to learn technique and for the body to adapt structurally to be able to handle heavier loads. It allows a steady and stable progression in the development of strength and power. The main disadvantage of the linear model is that when developing one block, the others can be neglected. For example, when developing structure or hypertrophy, maximal strength and power will not receive a large training stimulus.