Periodization for GS, Part 3 (the phase potentiation between long cycle and biathlon)

There is a transference between different events. Generally, long cycle has a greater focus on conditioning, whilst biathlon has a greater focus on local muscular endurance. Many people include both long cycle and biathlon in their yearly program. When you switch focus, there may be a delayed transformation effect as you may have detrained one of the two events. However, in the long term it may provide you with greater results as you will develop a more well-rounded set of specific fitness qualities.

What I mean by this is that a phase of long cycle will maximise your conditioning. When you switch to biathlon, conditioning will not hold you back from developing your grip endurance (from the snatch), and quad and lockout endurance (from the jerk) will be maximised, or vice versa. By switching between the two events you will maximise different fitness qualities which transfer over to one another. It is worth mentioning that both events will train all qualities but the limiting factor for each exercise is usually different, and this is what will be most progressed by training that exercise.

When you are training for long cycle or biathlon you may wish to attempt to maintain the other event. From my experience this can be achieved by occasionally (once or twice a week) including cleans in a biathlon phase or jerk and snatch in a long cycle phase. You can use these exercises as accessory lifts.


My name is James Ross, I’m a qualified personal trainer, strength & conditioning coach and sports scientist. I am a founder and coach at The Richmond Gym in Melbourne and started the website

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