As fitness professionals, we are constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance the health and wellbeing of our clients. A recent study by Chikih Chikih and Angelica Anggunadi, published on April 25, 2023, sheds light on the effectiveness of exercise periodisation for obese individuals, providing us with a strategic approach to improve health-related fitness in this demographic.

Understanding the Study

The study, titled “Periodisation method of physical exercise for obese people,” explores the impact of a structured exercise regimen that combines endurance and strength training with linear periodisation. The regimen was administered three times a week and demonstrated significant improvements in the fitness of obese participants. This evidence-based case report underscores the importance of a well-organised training programme that can be adapted to the specific needs of obese clients.

Applying the Knowledge

As personal trainers, we can apply the knowledge from this study to design periodised programmes for our obese clients. Periodisation involves systematically planning the exercise programme in phases, each with a specific goal, such as building endurance, strength, or power. For obese clients, where the risk of injury and the presence of comorbidities may be higher, a linear periodisation model can be particularly beneficial.

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Example Periodised Programme

Here’s an example of a 12-week linear periodised programme for an obese client, based on the findings of the study:

Weeks 1-4: Endurance Phase

  • Focus: Increase cardiovascular endurance and prepare the body for more intense workouts.
  • Activities: Low-intensity cardio exercises like walking, cycling, or swimming.
  • Frequency: 3 times a week, 30-45 minutes per session.

Weeks 5-8: Strength-building Phase

Weeks 9-12: Power and Strength Maintenance Phase

  • Focus: Enhance muscular power while maintaining strength gains.
  • Activities: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) combined with strength exercises.
  • Frequency: 3 times a week, with HIIT sessions lasting 20-30 minutes.

The concept of periodisation is not new and has been supported by various studies over the years. For instance, a study by Strohacker et al. (2023) on Flexible Nonlinear Periodisation suggests that adapting exercise demands to individual readiness can enhance exercise adherence, which is crucial for long-term fitness success in obese clients.

Incorporating a periodised training programme for obese clients can lead to significant improvements in health-related fitness. By following a structured approach, personal trainers can help clients progress safely and effectively, reducing the risk of injury and increasing the likelihood of long-term adherence to the exercise regimen.


  1. Chikih, C., & Anggunadi, A. (2023). Periodisation method of physical exercise for obese people. Journal, 11(1). Click here to review the full research article 
  2. Strohacker, K., Sudeck, G., Keegan, R., Ibrahim, A., & Beaumont, C. T. (2023). Contextualising Flexible Nonlinear Periodisation as a Person-Adaptive Behavioural Model for Exercise Maintenance. Journal. Click here to review the full research article

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