Periodization models in the research of the muscle strength in athletes, theoretical-methodological reductions or non-critical positivism in sport-scientific periodics
Marko Cosic
Faculty of Sports and Physical Education, University of Belgrade, Serbia.

indent Abstract
Periodization is a theoretical and practical construct of sports training that relates to the programming of training activities in mutually dependent periods of time in order to induce specific physiological adaptations. During training and competition processes, it is used to achieve results at the specific competition. The theoretical and practical foundations of the periodization process can also be studied from the aspect of its impact on biomotor abilities. In this context, the general position for the study of periodization include research covering the impact of different periodization models on muscle strength (the subject of this paper). Based on an analysis of the content, meaning, methodological orientation, and conclusion within a selected number of published studies/papers, it cannot be ascertained whether periodized training models, in the muscle strength area, give better results than the non-periodized model, or which periodized model gives better results at all. The above-mentioned dilemmas regarding the subject of this work have also been confirmed in several review papers and meta-analyses. However, by examining the methodological and theoretical context of these studies, a number of dilemmas are evident, primarily those related to the sample of the subjects. Namely, none of the analyzed studies focused only on the athletes as a target group, but instead, the results of the research performed on athletes were analyzed in relation to a group of recreational or non-trained subjects. Also, there is a discrepancy in the terminology of the applied periodization models, which opens up the question regarding the existence of a clear theoretical concept and methodological-organizational construct that aims to achieve a competitive result. It can be assumend that a clear analysis of the original context of the phenomenon of periodization, harmonization of methodical and methodological steps in the process of learning, clear distinction towards existing definitions and terminology, resulted in the optimization of the learning process that will lead to recognition of the periodization model, which will result in optimization of the training-competitive preparations goals. Therefore, the problem of this paper derived from the theoretical and methodological inconsistency of the researchers in areas covering the influence of different periodization models on athletes’ strength. The aim of the paper was to analyze and determine the facts of the methodological and theoretical construct of periodization, the conclusions of various studies, which can be said to - despite publication in important international journals - lead to confusion in the area of the conclusion about the influence of different periodization models on the strength of athletes. After examining more than 80 papers published in refereed journals, and by selection in relation to the theoretical-methodological context and the context of deductive conclusions, 10 studies have been selected, in which the influence of different periodization models on the strength of athletes, while performing exercises with arms and legs, were compared. The results indicate that the applied periodized models, especially the block model, showed a higher degree of sensitivity towards the development of athletes’ strength, but several important questions were also raised regarding the validity of the conclusions on this subject. However, the outcome and the purpose of this research is to present a more comprehensible definition of the periodization phenomenon and its models, as well as to identify the effects of the experimental factor in the function of the biomotor response of the subjects to the training stimuli.