Practice "Periodization"

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VJOFan
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Practice "Periodization"

Post by VJOFan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:09 am

In almost every sporting environment athletes train different aspects of their conditioning and skills on different days and alter intensity over the course of several weeks.

In trombone practice or warm up books I have encountered there is usually an emphasis on covering all the bases everyday.

Is there anything or anyone out there who opts for a more atomized approach?

(Example perhaps: a day of sustained playing to work on strength and tone, a day of focus on flexibility, a day a focus on range, a day of slide speed/technique work, a day of.... maybe even a regularly planned day of no practice!!!)

Even with athletes there is always a warm up involved in any training day with many of the same elements each time but the warm up is also tailored to the day's training.
baileyman
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by baileyman » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:27 am

sabutin does something like this by use of random chance selection of what to do. With several basic areas to cover and several basic kinds of exercises to do within each area, AND with the construction of each exercise also determined by chance, his stuff never repeats, and day to day can be dramatically different.

http://samburtis.com/

But I think you're asking more along the lines of the old Russian athletics periodization routines to build peak capabilities for specific competitions. I have not seen anything like that. Though personally I can say I get decent results from focusing on one thing for an extended period, and then moving to another.
Kbiggs
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by Kbiggs » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:13 am

There’s nothing to prevent you from drawing up your own schedule with set days to focus on certain aspects of technique, e.g., on Monday set aside 15 minutes just for multiple tonguing, 15 minutes on Tuesday for lip trills, etc. If you already know your strong and weak aspects of playing, schedule more days focusing on the weaker aspects than the stronger. The difficulties are executing the plan and sticking with it.
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
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norbie2018
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by norbie2018 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:34 am

The Reinhardt Routines provides a different focus, if not daily then close to it, for a cycle of over 10 plus days.

I'm interested in your comment about the warm up being geared toward the day's activities. I've ordered and am awaiting Solo Training for Trombone, which I believe pairs the warm up and routine to a particular solo.

I've been looking at how athletes (bicyclists & tennis) train for endurance and it seems that they vary their routine from day to day. I'd be interested to hear others take on this.
VJOFan
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by VJOFan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:48 am

Kbiggs wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:13 am
There’s nothing to prevent you from drawing up your own schedule with set days to focus on certain aspects of technique.
Absolutely!

I'm asking this as more of an intellectual question rather than looking for personal advice. Maybe some have thought this through, maybe some have not and maybe some can benefit from seeing this discussion.

I am very much a weekend (once a month if lucky really) warrior at this stage of my life but I still think about the horn like I did when I was a full time player. Maybe I would still be a professional if I had had a different, more efficient approach???
VJOFan
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by VJOFan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:55 am

baileyman wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:27 am
sabutin does something like this by use of random chance selection of what to do. (snip)

But I think you're asking more along the lines of the old Russian athletics periodization routines to build peak capabilities for specific competitions. I have not seen anything like that. Though personally I can say I get decent results from focusing on one thing for an extended period, and then moving to another.
Both really. My recent (mid-life) dive into training as a runner led me to the question. I have a long run day, a speed day, a cross training and core day, a leg strength day, and several easy runs and recovery runs scattered strategically through the week. At the same time, I am building my total mileage and intensity toward a race.

I never did anything like that in music practice. I am interested if and how anyone has applied similar principals.
Doug Elliott
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by Doug Elliott » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:59 am

All of those ways to vary your routine can work well, but the best thing is to rotate between all of them so you get some consistent routine, some varied practice, and some lengthy concentration on your weak areas.

Training involves some strength building, some endurance building, and some finesse building. Each of those is best trained separately for a period of weeks, but playing in normal settings doesn't give you that, so - if you want to significantly improve - you have to structure your practice to accommodate both long term and short term goals. Most people don't do that at all.

Don't overlook "visualization practice," freebuzzing, and other things you can do without even playing the horn. Sometimes those things can be even more valuable than actual practice.

And yes, these are all things I have applied myself and still do.
baileyman
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by baileyman » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:53 pm

VJOFan wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:55 am
... My recent (mid-life) dive into training as a runner led me to the question. I have a long run day, a speed day, a cross training and core day, a leg strength day, and several easy runs and recovery runs scattered strategically through the week. At the same time, I am building my total mileage and intensity toward a race.

I never did anything like that in music practice. I am interested if and how anyone has applied similar principals.
I think there's a difference, if I can recall my days from when I actually had athletic speed.

In athletics, a peak performance is a maximal effort. After, you're done. No repeats. And the periodization is to get your system to a new level of fitness to support a new higher level of performance, but without hurting you along the way.

I'm having a hard time thinking of such a situation in trombone. Trombone is just not that kind of hard. One doesn't strength train over six weeks to cut the final 13th partial G in a big band performance. Instead, it's a gradual daily repetition scheme, getting the skill and coordination worn into a brain groove.

Now, I do think there are some direct comparables. One obvious one is doing running repeats at well under max distance for the pace. Part of what you're doing is wearing a groove in the brain for that pace, to become smooth and skillful so it happens at least effort. Some call this efficiency. This is like every fundamental trombone exercise I know of. So if you can tongue at 104bpm, tomorrow practice at 108bpm, and repeat and repeat till skill happens.

Russians put all their athletes into general conditioning over the winter, often full body type sports as basketball. It seems to me general conditioning is more like trombone than peak training.
VJOFan
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by VJOFan » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:47 am

baileyman wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:53 pm
In athletics, a peak performance is a maximal effort. After, you're done. No repeats. And the periodization is to get your system to a new level of fitness to support a new higher level of performance, but without hurting you along the way.

I'm having a hard time thinking of such a situation in trombone. Trombone is just not that kind of hard.
Yes, but perhaps in preparing for a full recital?

I know that, as a student, I often arrived at a recital date completely beaten up and a little apprehensive about getting through the program. (There were more hours to practice but also more recovery time as a pro so those recitals felt a little better.) Conversely, I have only arrived at one race in the past two years feeling depleted but that was planned because I was “training through” that race.

Otherwise, I think your right that my header of periodization is inapt. I don’t really know what to call shifting focus between different skills instead of doing everything every session. It’s just a rational training program.
Doug Elliott
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by Doug Elliott » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:20 am

Strength, speed, finesse, and endurance all require very different kinds of training and are best done separately - not cramming it all in while getting ready for a recital. That's a guaranteed way to get "completely beaten up." More practice is not always the answer.
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lowcatjb
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by lowcatjb » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:22 pm

I think David Vining's Daily Routines sort of approach this. Each routine has long tones, flexibilities, articulation exercises, et cetera, but each routine focuses on a certain fundamental.

For example, the Articulation routine works articulation exercises into the flexibilities, the range-building, etc. You're doing everything you'd do every day, but with special focus on articulation throughout. Then there are other routines that do this with other aspects of playing.
SimmonsTrombone
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by SimmonsTrombone » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:33 am

I took up tuba this past summer and did something like this. While practicing everything every day, I would concentrate on a lot of long tones one day, a lot of lip slurs a second day, a lot of Clarke studies another day, Phil Teele style long tones on the low resister and pedals on one day, and so forth.
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PaulTdot
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Re: Practice "Periodization"

Post by PaulTdot » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:40 pm

I think that athletic training periodization and training on the horn is not that different:

* In theory, covering everything all the time would be ideal.

* In practice, though, there's only so many hours in the day, and your brain and your body can only take so much.

This means that, as a part-time player or a beginner, the more you can cover everything each time you practice, the better, since you're likely not getting enough of ANYTHING. If you're out of shape, just get yourself moving, in other words.

If you're only playing 15 minutes a day, just doing any kind of playing for 20 minutes the next day will likely improve your endurance, for example. That extra 5 minutes could make a big difference, and doesn't really affect what you do for the first 15.

Once you achieve a higher level, though, improving further requires a much more intense focus. An advanced runner or weightlifter will really need to challenge a particular facet of their chosen sport/activity in order to improve, and that could take the kind of work, focus, and time that it won't leave any time or energy for your other goals.

A full-time professional trombonist isn't going to improve his or her endurance just by practicing for an extra 5 minutes, right? S/he might need a specialized routine which leaves her so fatigued that she can't practice anything else that day.

So, with advancing skill/ability, you need to get smarter about figuring that out, and often that means breaking up your practice goals over days, weeks, or months, simply because your schedule and your body can't handle doing everything optimally every day (exactly the same reason athletes will make long-term training plans).

Professional players often do run into situations where they have to train (or retrain!) a particular skill, much like athletes. For example, being hired to play a really physically demanding show you haven't done in a while might mean that you need to recreate those same challenges in the practice room for a week leading up to that show. Players talk about having "road chops" (the way your chops feel when you're touring), for example, and tricks to get that feeling back when they're not "on the road".
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