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Tudor Bompa is often regarded as the father of sports periodization theory, a training system developed by the Soviets that emphasised variable loads for optimal performance throughout the year rather than maintaining a constant training focus. Bompa's training theory was a summary of periodization basics laid out by L.P. Matveev and others in his early and only English published Theory and Methodology of Training. Bompa's understanding of periodization has been passed from the Eastern Bloc to the Americas in an incomplete and sometimes inaccurate interpretation.
As a coach, Bompa trained 11 medalists in various Olympics (2 gold medals) and World championships in two sport disciplines: track and field and rowing. He was himself an Olympic rower, and he later revolutionized the training concepts in cross country skiing.