As any sports performance coach knows, training athletes in-season is no easy task. There are a number of variables at play and an ever-changing schedule that the sport coaches, athletes, and strength coaches have to work around. This makes it challenging to plan ahead, and without adequate preparation, you run the risk of your team training sessions evolving into a pseudo-yoga class, stretching out the athletes and leading banded walks twice a week for the duration of the competitive season. If you haven’t had to fill that role in your career yet, congratulate yourself and consider yourself lucky because you have most likely worked with an awesome staff who is great at communicating.
Obviously, do your best to make sure it never reaches that point, because it is no fun (at least in my opinion) and we didn't get into the field to lead stretches, warm ups, and cool downs. We did it to train athletes and maximize their athletic qualities, so we can watch it transfer to success in their given sport.
I’m sure most of you reading this will be able to relate to the following story. When I first started training athletes as a new coach, I would design an entire training program down to the number of reps and sets at a specific percentage for the upcoming in-season competition schedule. My program was based on what was discussed with the coaches prior to the season pertaining to our “planned” practice schedule and opponents throughout the year. After these conversations, I would design a training program for the athletes to develop specific qualities I believe they needed to be prepared for competition throughout the season.
In theory, this seemed like the right thing to do because I wanted to be as prepared as possible for the long road of in-season work that was ahead. After going through my first couple years of in-season training, however, I realized that this was an overkill approach because we, as sports performance coaches, have very little control. It was very frustrating that I always had to keep redoing/rewriting all the training programs that I was spending so much time putting together leading up to the in-season. I knew my approach was broken, and I had to come up with a more efficient method of getting the job done.
SHIFTING FROM BLOCK TO VERTICAL INTEGRATION
The first step to fixing this problem was moving away from block periodization and shifting toward a vertical integration method. I personally love block periodization because it provides the strongest possible stimulus for whatever specific adaptation you are targeting. Also, it is a great fit for off-season training if you have a specific goal for certain periods of time, based on the overall training plan. I did come to realize, however, that it is not very effective for in-season training because the amount of stress you are placing on one adaptation will have too many drawbacks on all the other adaptations you want your athletes to maintain. There are too many negative effects because even though the one specific adaptation you are focusing on is getting an extreme training effect, there are many other adaptations that are either maintaining or falling off. As we all know, athletes typically need to be somewhat capable in most if not every training adaptation to succeed in sport.
This is when I began to consider an approach that was designed to address almost all training qualities each week rather than focusing on just one quality per week. In doing so, I was picking the exercises that gave the athletes the best “bang for their buck” each training session to cover all of our bases. I then shifted my in-season training to a vertically integrated approach. The goal of this approach was to always be working on every major training quality year round, so my athletes were prepared for whatever their sport may challenge them with.
To design this approach I looked at each week and phase of training as an empty bucket. From there, I would decide how much of each quality I wanted to add to the bucket until it was full. In doing this, I always err on the side of caution because I’d always rather have my athletes leaving the weight room wanting a little more, than asking if they could cut back on a few sets because they were feeling run down. I also found the biggest benefit to using vertical integration was that it made me not have to worry as much about the training residuals of the different qualities. This is because we were never going to detrain any adaptation if we were always just touching on everything week to week. The last thing you want is for your athletes to feel like they are missing something at the end of the season when competition is most important.
This led me into the concept of microdosing your training which ties directly into using a vertical integration approach I referenced above. Microdosing is the practice of performing small amounts of specific training in order to physiologically benefit from it, while minimizing the undesirable side effects. I believe this is the key to designing a successful vertically integrated program for in-season training. Going back to the bucket analogy, you decide what percentage of your total training volume you want to dedicate to each training quality and you fill your bucket up from there.
At different times of the in-season you can choose to focus on certain qualities over others. This depends on many factors including: strength of schedule, number of competitions, plans for future phases, and what was performed in previous training phases. To utilize the microdosing method, you train the other qualities with very low volumes to hopefully make small improvements on those adaptations or at the very least maintain them, so when you have the opportunity to train them with higher volumes during a period of time, you are not just bringing them back to where they were. This approach allows you to actually improve those qualities from a baseline that you have maintained due to microdosing. If you stray too far away from training a certain adaptation it is a recipe for never making any real improvement in that quality and always maintaining or regressing to the baseline you established in the off-season.
The challenging part about implementing this programming style during the in-season is that, in order for an adaptation to be made, the training stimulus must be strong enough and apply enough stress. The key is designing a program that will provide options on when you can implement certain training sessions based on the competition schedule and what the athletes need. To have this ability of “flexible” programming, I started writing a 4-day per week training program, even though quite often we’d only be training 2-3 days a week, so I’d always have options based on what I thought was the best fit.
CREATING TRAINING DAY OPTIONS: HI & LOW DAYS
Like I mentioned earlier, it is very difficult to lay out an entire in-season training plan before the year has even started, with all the possible changes that are likely to happen. What you can do though is create a training week template for your perfect scenario that provides you with options. I have found that having 4 planned training days each week, even though you will most likely only train 2-3 days, comes in handy because then you can plug in any 2 of those 4 days based on the situation you are dealing with. To create a spectrum for the high and low days, I utilized ideas from Charlie Francis, Louie Simmons, Cal Dietz and manipulated them for the population I was working with.
I categorize the 4 possible training days for each week as high, medium-high, medium-low and low (or whatever you want to call them) stress days. Some variables that may have an effect on what days you choose to use are: competition the previous and next week, practice schedule, team dynamic/morale, exams/holidays etc.
Before I get into what each of the 4 training days templates looks like I am going to go over why I chose to categorize them as I did. They are ranked from high to low based on how much stress they apply to the athletes. To be more specific since all training induces stress, the high and medium-high days apply stress that may initially lead to less optimal sport performance due to the nature of the movements chosen. On the other hand, the medium-low and low days are designed to make the athlete feel primed and fresh for the upcoming competition. The major reason for the breakdown between the 4 days is to make sure you are never losing any specific adaptation and that everything is always building or being maintained, as outlined in the training residual chart.
TRAINING DESIGN TEMPLATE
Below I will go over how I break down each training day even further, to help anyone put together this 4-day model that makes running in-season training much easier. As you’ll see, I use the main lift selection as my guidance for the rest of the session, to organize things and create the high, medium-high, medium-low, and low days.
TRAINING SPLIT: Upper and Lower
For the training splits, I keep each day as either completely upper body or lower body. I do this for a few different reasons. The main reason is that upper body training is always going to be less stressful and fatiguing than lower body training. This is because the loads used are much lighter because you don’t have to factor in your body weight and the musculature being used is of smaller mass, making it require much less recovery. This made it much easier to delineate high from low days. Also, in my opinion, athletes enjoy knowing what body parts/muscles they are specifically going to be training leading up to a game. This doesn't mean you still can’t perform a total body training day though if it is needed or if you have minimal time with your team in the gym that week. All you have to do to set that up is mix and match pieces from different upper and lower body training sessions, which I have done in many instances.
MAIN LIFT: Max effort and Dynamic Effort
I decided to keep it very simple and base it off of Louie Simmons' Westside Method. For our main lift, either we lift at very high intensities if we are trying to get stronger and improve the force end of the force velocity curve (FVC) or we lift at lower intensities if we going to try to get more powerful and improve the velocity end of the FVC.
For the max effort lifts I keep the reps between 1-5, so we are recruiting high threshold motor units. I typically only use the full range of motion movements for this category, so we are developing strength in deep ranges of motion where individuals are often the weakest.
For the dynamic effort lifts I keep the lifts between 1-3 reps for 6-12 sets, so too much fatigue doesn’t build up and output/velocity stays high across all sets. I like to have my athletes perform these sets on a clock, usually every 60 or 90 seconds, to keep intent high and to develop some alactic conditioning. As the competition season goes on, I tend to start using more partial range of motion movements, so I can control ranges of motion and keep intensities high as fatigue gradually builds.
SPEED, PLYOMETRIC, AND MED BALL TRAINING
During this piece of training the goal is to develop general athleticism by performing a variety of jumps, sprints, and throws/slams. I have found it easiest to differentiate the days by having my lower body days only consist of speed and plyometric exercises and my upper body days consist of only med ball throw and slams exercises.
On max effort days, for the speed training I will perform my highest velocity and longest duration sprints, typically some sort of fly or extended accelerations. For plyometrics I will perform loaded jumps, jumps from deeper ranges of motion, or single leg jumps, to target a more intense strength adaptation. For my med ball throws/slams on upper body max effort days I will use heavier implements to slow down the speed of the movement to make them more force oriented to build strength.
On dynamic effort lower body days, for speed work I perform shorter duration accelerations from a variety of start positions to make sure I am not overly fatiguing the athletes central nervous system and keeping them primed for competition. For plyometric on this day I have my athletes perform unloaded or assisted jumps from shallow ranges of motion to keep movement velocity high. I often include more ankle dominant jumps rather than the knee dominant ones I would use on a max effort day. Then for the med ball throws/slams on dynamic effort upper body day, I keep the implement load light, so the velocity of the movement increases from the max effort day.
ACCESSORY LIFTS: Isometric and Eccentric
As for the accessory portion of the training, it is based on the repetition method made popular by Simmons, but with a small twist because it utilizes eccentric and isometric based movement, both popularized by Cal Dietz.
For max effort days I use eccentric based movement with higher reps, the target duration for these sets is to last between 20-30 seconds. The reason why I use eccentric for these is because individuals are up to 50% stronger during the eccentric portion of a movement, so it will allow us to use heavier loads than if we were using straight reps sets. Also it helps with tissue remodeling making sure we are maintaining muscle length and range of motion. I prefer the sets to last longer because they are more stressful from a metabolic perspective than shorter sets because it taps into the lactic system, so it matches well with the higher stress of a max effort day.
For the dynamic effort days I use isometric based movements with lower rep sets, the target duration for these sets are 10-12 seconds. The reason why I like to use isometrics on this day is because we can touch on strength adaptation with lighter loads than you typically need by performing holds at the bottom range of motion where individuals are always weakest. Lastly, I keep the sets shorter to keep training strictly alactic to limit metabolite build up and delayed onset muscle soreness.
ADVANCED METHODS: Complex and French Contrast Training
With more advanced groups of athletes I like to also utilize either complex training or french contrast training when I am able to. Complex training, also known as post-activation potentiation, involves the integration of strength training and plyometrics in a training system designed to improve explosive power. An example of this is pairing a back squat with a box jump.
French Contrast training is based on a combination of complex and contrast methods, the idea is to use four exercises to induce physiological responses of the athlete and train along the entire FVC. An example of this would be performing the following series of exercises in one giant set: back squat, hurdle hop, weighted jump, and band accelerated jump.
On the max effort (higher stress days) I pair the main lift with a french contrast, to present the athlete with the strongest stimulus possible in-season. I like to pair it with the max effort method because then we are getting a large post activation potentiation effect from the high intensity lifts that are recruiting high threshold motor units. It also works better because, on this day, there are fewer working sets since the intensity of the lift is so high and the volume of jumps within a french contrast is also high.
On dynamic effort days I pair the main lift with a complex movement. I prefer it on this day because then we can get in a lot of high quality sets of both movements, since reps are kept so low for both, and the potentiation effect heightens and works both ways as the sets go on. Also you can use plyometrics that have minimal negative side effects, like a box jump, paired with a lift that leave the athlete feeling fresh.
CONDITIONING: Alactic and Lactic Energy Systems
Lastly, in regards to conditioning, I like to separate my days by the proportion of lactic and alactic work done. I build the conditioning directly into the weight room training sessions so the athletes do not have to do extra volume on top of our weight training session, practices, and games during the in-season.
The conditioning during our high and medium-high days is both alactic and lactic. The alactic conditioning takes place during the French Contrast Method if you choose to use it. The goal is improving repeat sprint ability by performing multiple low rep high output sets in a row followed by an extended period of active recovery. Then during the eccentric accessory work that follows, it is lactic conditioning due to the higher volume working sets that have minimal rest between, very similar to common bodybuilding protocol.
The conditioning during our medium-low and low days is purely alactic. During the dynamic effort days, alactic capacity is developed regardless of if the complex method is used or not, because reps for both the lift and plyometric method stay in the 1-3 rep range. It is capacity training though because when the sets are performed on a clock like mentioned above, the recovery is incomplete. Then during the isometric accessory working sets that follow, alactic capacity is again targeted with the longer duration alactic sets by never going more than 12 seconds each set.
I chose to only use alactic energy system training on the medium-low and low days hoping it would keep the athletes feeling as fresh as possible for competition with the low volume high quality sets. Additionally, most sports are based on repeat sprint ability. Therefore this system mimics the demands of a game: high effort sprint followed by short rest, and repeat. The team who can successfully do that at a higher level for longer wins.
HIGH DAY: Lower Body
Top End Speed
MEDIUM-HIGH DAY: Upper Body
Heavy Med Ball throws/slams
MEDIUM-LOW DAY: Lower Body
LOW DAY: Upper Body
I really hope this template assists you with writing in-season training in the future and provides you with useful guidelines. I purposely did not include any specifics as to number of sets, reps or percentages because I feel everyone's situation with different groups of athletes is so different that it is not applicable. Designing training programs is always a work in progress and is never set in stone with all the changes we face every year, this should be very helpful though in setting up your general framework of your program for the year.
The IssueI recently read an article about how even though we may be training at low intensities or heart rate ranges that correlate to "aerobic" work, it does not necessarily mean our muscles are using oxygen to produce ATP. This is especially true if we typically spend most of our time training for power or strength qualities.
First, when training for strength and power, the primary systems at play are the glycolytic and alactic systems, not the oxidative system. Secondly, during strength and power, the nervous system adapts to the muscle repeatedly contracting maximally throughout the workout. Each of these contractions produces large amounts of tension in the muscle. After training for strength and power on a regular basis, our muscles tend to start contracting maximally every time movement is performed. This is even the case if the movement is performed at low intensity.
For example, the intensity of jogging is very low, so during the stance phase, the quad only needs to contract submaximally for the runner to continue to move efficiently. The benefit of the muscle contracting submaximally is there is little tension created in the muscle. Small amounts of tension do not cause vasoconstriction, so deoxygenated blood can leave the muscle, and oxygenated blood can enter the muscle without resistance. The opposite is true for a muscle that has adapted to always contracting maximally in training. Maximal contractions cause vasoconstriction, which produces a lot of resistance, reducing the ability of deoxygenated blood to leave the muscle and oxygenated blood to enter the muscle.
RECENT: A Coach's Guide to General Physical Preparedness
The sum of these events typically results in muscles with lower levels of oxygen saturation than is expected when performing submaximal activity. So when you think you may be training in the aerobic zone because your heart rate falls into the correct "training zone," you are training the glycolytic system because your muscle oxygen saturation is so low. I believe this is a common occurrence with most power/strength athletes when they attempt to perform long slow distance (LSD) style training sessions.
I witnessed first-hand the vasoconstriction issue with most of my hockey players during pre-season training a few years back. After a summer of exclusively training the lifting portion of their program I had prescribed (in addition to any other "bro lifting" they added themselves), no one could sustain low-intensity exercise while maintaining an aerobic zone. This was most notable during the giant aerobic circuit prescribed during our general physical preparedness (GPP) phase. Their ability to perform the low-intensity exercises for extended periods of time was not at the level I expected it to be. However, what was most interesting was that the limiting factor was their vascular system rather than their cardiovascular system. I knew this was the case because their cadence slowed during the workout because of the pump/burn they felt in their muscles rather than being out of breath. This demonstrated their inability to pump oxygenated blood into their muscles and deoxygenated blood out of their muscles.
A primary explanation for this occurrence was that my athletes had only been training for strength and power leading up to this circuit, so their bodies were conditioned to produce high levels of tension with every contraction. This muscle tension puts so much resistance on the vascular system that low-intensity exercise becomes glycolytic rather than oxidative because there is always a metabolite build-up in the tissue.
The QuestionAfter coming to this conclusion, how do we train power athletes (such as hockey players) to continuously display high outputs like their sport demands, while also being able to fall back on their aerobic system for efficient recovery?
I had to address the athletes' vascular system to answer this question.
The ultimate goal is to decrease the "resistance" within the vascular system of my strength/power athletes. In doing so, they will be able to perform submaximal exercise aerobically when necessary without spending too much time developing the aerobic system itself.
From a time resource standpoint, too much low-intensity work will take away from the time the athletes could have otherwise spent improving their strength/power qualities. Therefore, addressing their vascular system problem helps improve their ability to recover without detracting from their ability to improve other qualities.
After speaking to Cal Dietz, I decided to start solving this problem by utilizing overcoming isometrics. He told me in the past, when his athletes had gone through supra-maximal isometric phases, he'd seen heart rates drop to 30-35 after two weeks. His theory was this happened because he would ask his athletes to hold their breath during the duration of the isometric movement.
The combination of the athlete holding their breath while producing maximal force to hold position leads to drastic increases in blood pressure. The high amounts of pressure created would make the circulatory system more elastic. A more elastic circulatory system would then pump blood more efficiently because it is more pliable. This is why the heart rates dropped so low—more blood would be pumped each beat.
Additionally, suppose the vascular system is more elastic. In that case, there will be fewer blockages within the system, and it will be less likely to pool blood in a muscle due to vasoconstriction. This is because a more elastic circulatory system has lower resistance for the blood flow to overcome. This allows oxygenated blood to flow in easier and deoxygenated blood to flow out easier.
The Answer Hopefully With all of this in mind, I decided to run a test program on myself. After performing an eight-week strength cycle that focused primarily on sets that lasted roughly 18-30 seconds (glycolytic emphasis), I ran myself through a deload/aerobic reboot week phase.
I felt the timing of the program worked well because whenever I was performing conditioning, it felt like it was always lactic, even when I attempted to keep my intensity low. This effect was very similar to what I saw with my hockey players during the aerobic circuit in our GPP phase.
Additionally, I would feel very fatigued the day after an "active recovery" day, which consists of nasal breathing only training of 40s ON/20s OFF for 30-40 minutes rotating between a few different cardio machines. The fact that I would feel very fatigued after my active recovery days instead of fresh shows that I was glycolytic instead of aerobic. Lastly, my resting heart rate was abnormally high, which I usually notice as an indicator that I am not recovering as fast as I'd like to be and that I need to do some aerobic training.
During my deload/aerobic reboot week, I decided I would first perform three sets of Overcoming Isometrics (with a breath hold) for all major multi-joint movement patterns every day (Monday-Saturday). I chose movements like these because I figured it would lead to a more global effect on the whole body, developing the vascular system as a whole.
The purpose of using the overcoming isometric was to improve the elasticity of my circulatory system. My heart would then be capable of pumping more blood every beat and limiting the amount of pooling, preventing vasoconstriction.
Below is how I performed this portion of my training at the beginning of all my sessions:
1A. Right Split Squat Deadlift Overcoming Iso: 3x10 seconds
1B. Left Split Squat Deadlift Overcoming Iso: 3x10 seconds
1C. Bench Press Overcoming Iso: 3x10 seconds
1D. Bent Over Row Overcoming Iso: 3x10 seconds
*For more examples of overcoming isometric training, click this link and scroll to Strength: Section 1
Next, I performed either 10 minutes of extensive plyometrics or med ball throws for general athleticism purposes (and to prevent myself from moving like a complete meathead). I believe this portion of my training had nothing to do with my results, but I wanted to include it for the sake of thoroughness.
Finally, I finished with 30-50 minutes of an aerobic circuit that was performed via nasal breathing only. The template I based my aerobic circuit on was the GPP Giant Circuit I created. I find this circuit to work really well because you are constantly switching the working portions of the body. This forces your vascular system to constantly pump blood back and forth across different sides of the body. Shuttling the blood in this way naturally elevates the heart rate without the athlete having to exert additional effort. The constant shuttling of blood also reduces blood pooling in the muscles and prevents the system from entering a glycolytic state by staying aerobic.
The typical prescription of this workout involved working one side of the body for 30 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, then switching to the other side of the body and doing the same. Instead of this approach, I changed the prescription to two intervals per exercise alternating back and forth between sides of the body for 15 seconds of work and five seconds of rest. Both protocols have the same work-to-rest ratio, no matter what protocol you follow. I believe, however, that performing 15/5 and switching sides would lead to a more aerobic adaptation by limiting local fatigue and preventing vasoconstriction. Also, the more the blood is shuttled, the more the heart rate gets elevated with lower levels of exertion, making it the more efficient option for aerobic training.
The ResultsFor the 14 days prior to starting this week-long test program on myself, my resting heart rate was, on average, 52 bpm. Over the course of the seven-day cycle, my heart rate dropped to 39. This is the lowest resting heart rate I have ever recorded on myself, so to say the least, I was very happy with the result. As a competitive CrossFit athlete, conditioning has been a very important component of my training for the last five years. In the past, I have committed to week-long cycles to improve my aerobic fitness, but have never had a resting heart rate lower than 47 by the end of the week.
This leads me to believe the difference was including the overcoming isometrics with breath holds which was something I had never utilized before. In the future, once I am done with my current program, I am excited to commit two weeks to this same deload/aerobic reboot cycle. It will be interesting to see if I can get into the mid/low 30s after doing it for a longer period of time.
Future ConsiderationsAs I begin the next three-week block of my strength cycle, I am excited to see how long the effect of this week-long phase lasts. The training residuals for aerobic training are said to last roughly 30 days, but I will be keeping a close eye on my RHR to see for myself.
The next time I start a phase similar to the deload/aerobic reboot, I will track my blood pressure every morning to see what effect the breath hold isometrics may have on that factor. I would assume my blood pressure would decrease if my circulatory system is more elastic. However, at the same time, if I have a lower RHR, it leads me to believe my heart would have to pump more blood every beat, which might then actually increase my blood pressure. I believe the answer to this conflict is probably simple; I need to spend more time addressing it. It most likely involves pulse wave velocity, which is the rate at which blood travels away from your heart within the circulatory system. This metric may be a factor that ties into the increase or decrease in blood pressure.
Lastly, I am excited to run a two-week phase of this program to see how low I can get my resting heart rate. If it does drop into the low 30s, I am curious to see if it will drastically affect my ability to recover and handle higher work volumes in future phases.
There will be a positive effect, but I would like to look at how my heart rate variability might be affected on a daily basis and see the difference in changes based on the volumes I am performing. I will have to perform two of the exact same phases following two different aerobic phases for this to be accurate. Another effect of having a lower resting heart rate is a reduced heart rate when training at higher intensities as compared to previous heart rates.
I am looking forward to updating this next time. I have the opportunity to run a phase similar to this one which should be in roughly three weeks.
· When warming up for the main lift of a session, I have found many positive adaptations from building up to a quick heavy single, prior to performing the working sets for the day
· POTENTIATION: induces short term excitation of neuromuscular system prior to working sets to ENHANCE PERFORMANCE
· READINESS: track bar speed/rpe of the final heavy single performed and compare it to previous sessions to get a sense for your READINESS to train that day
· ADAPTATION: track bar speed/RPE of the final heavy single performed and compare it to previous cycles to MEASURE if training is inducing the adaptations you intended
· NEURAL MAINTENANCE: for strength sport athletes whose only goal is to improve 1RM’s, retain the feel for heavy weight during volume focused phases of training
· CONFIDENCE: “Strong people are harder to kill then weak people and more useful in general" Mark Rippetoe
· LOW VOLUME: 4-5 sets and 10-15 reps total
· MINIMAL TIME: Only allot 8-10 minutes at most to complete these warm-up sets, so you do not put too much effort toward “non-working sets”
· NO EMOTION: The HS should be performed in a parasympathetic state, save getting hyped up for when it matters
· 80-90%: The final rep should fall between 80-90% of your 1RM, closer to 90% for upper body movements and closer to 80% for lower body movements
· STRICT TECHNIQUE: Keep movement technically sound, I often add a pause at bottom position to not rely on bounce
· Bench Press warm-up: 5@135, 3@185, 1@225, 1@255, 1@275-295 (1RM: 315)
· Sumo Deadlift warm-up: 5@225, 3@315, 1@365, 1@405-425, 1@455-495 (1RM: 525)
- For your average individual who performs the Olympic lifts on a semi-regular basis, their LIMITING FACTOR is quite often not their ability to display strength (ability to squat, pull, and press)
- Their LIMITING FACTOR is more often a technical flaw within the movement pattern due to its complexity or it could also be a mobility/stability issue
- To address technical flaws as the LIMITING FACTOR I periodize Olympic Lifts by position/variation versus by percentage
- Programming based on position also allows for a natural progression of INTENSITY because you prescribe the individual variations, they can gradually lift heavier with
JERK: POSITION BASED PERIODIZATION
- When programming the Jerk, I typically start with the Power Jerk then move onto the Split Jerk because the ladder involves more coordination and cueing
- During the process I will also add pauses to the movement, either in the dip or catch or both, to increase the individual’s awareness of the different positions and to add more steps to the development process
MY CURRENT JERK PROGRESSION
- Phase 1: Power Jerk + Split Jerk (LIMITING FACTOR: Power Jerk)
- Phase 2: Pause Split Jerk + Split Jerk (LIMITING FACTOR: Pause Split Jerk)
- Phase 3: Split Jerk + Split Jerk
Workout above: JERK FOCUSED STRENGTH SESSION
A. 0-20 minutes: Build to heavy Jerk Complex (Pause Split Jerk + Split Jerk)
- 10 sets (on the 2 minute)
- Set 1-3: Pause Split Jerk + Split Jerk x 3
- Set 4-6: Pause Split Jerk + Split Jerk x 2
- Set 7-10: Pause Split Jerk + Split Jerk x 1
B. 20-30 minutes: Jerk Drop Sets/Technique work
- Every 2 Minute for 5 sets performs 2 Pause Split Jerks
- Work between 80-90% of heavy in Part A
C. 30-40 minutes:
- 5x3 Push Press@70-80% of heavy in Part A
D. 40-50 minutes:
- 5x3 Box Jerks Dips + 5 sec isometric@100-120% Max Jerk
· 20-60 minutes
· Work to rest ratio b/w 2:1-4:1
· 3-6 different cyclical activities w/in circuit
· Strictly nasal breathing
· Heart rate 60-80% of max
· Exercise Efficiency: improve ability to sustain higher levels of output aerobically
· Recovery: promotes blood flow to muscles at low intensities
· CO2 Tolerance: increases amount of oxygen available to muscles to utilize
· Blood Flow Redirection: by rotating through different movements that emphasize different body parts, it forces blood to constantly be pumped to different places
· Heart Rate Awareness: focus on controlling heart rate during rest periods
· Resting Heart Rate: by increasing stroke volume and cardiac efficiency through more blood being ejected each beat
MY GO TO IMPLEMENTATION
· 40-60 minutes: 40s ON/ 20s OFF
· Exercise Rotation: A) Single Under, B) Ski Erg, C) Rowing, D) Curved Treadmill, E) Assault Bike
· Nasal Breathing & Heart Rate 140-160bpm
· I prefer the 2:1 work to rest ratio because it allows me to perform the intervals at higher outputs since I have time to partially recover during the rest.
· I also have found this to be the best way to order the exercise because
1. It prevents me from utilizing the same major muscle groups for two continuous intervals, so I’m avoiding metabolite build up in the muscle (staying aerobic) and am training my ability to redirect blood flow
2. It’s ordered from lowest to highest output (in my opinion), so by the time I finish E) my heart rate is peaking, then during A) & B) it drops back down until it builds back up again, teaching me how to use certain exercises for recovery and control my heart rate
- LOCAL MUSCULAR ENDURANCE/WORK CAPACITY: target a specific muscle group by holding one position for an extended duration
- ACIDOSIS TOLERANCE: performing an isometric in the bottom portion of a movement when the muscle is stretched, causes occlusion leading to a large build of metabolites
- LACTATE UTILIZATION: when these metabolites are built up and trapped in the muscle, it improve your ability to recycle them and use them as an immediate fuel source, since there is minimal new blood flow into the muscle
- TENDON HEALTH: increased tendon and connective tissue thickness and load tolerance
- INCORRECT COMPENSATION PATTERNS: simplifies teaching individuals how to drive through/fire the correct muscle groups to perform the movement maximally and efficiently
- MECHANICAL STRESS ON JOINTS: due to the minimal amount of movement and impact that takes place the joints experience nearly no negative effects
· COACHING CUE: when performing isometric don’t think about resisting going down agonist muscles, think about pulling self-down with antagonist muscles (IE: in Bench Press think squeezing scaps down and back to get bigger stretch in chest)
· Perform the isometrics for 3-5 MINUTES at a near maximal intensity
· Hold the isometric in the disadvantageous/bottom position of the movement where the muscle is stretched
· Choose exercises that mimic/utilize muscle groups that are important to high performance in your sport
IMPLEMENTATION DURING GPP
(Block 2: Option B)
· 1 set each exercise: 3-5 minutes work/ 3-5 minutes rest, 1-2x per week
· Start with 15-25% of max for load
· Right Split Squat, DB Bench Press, DB Chest Supported Row, Left Split Squat, DB Z Press, Glute Bridge w/ Plate Pullover
- Trains shoulder girdle/deltoid muscles to ABSORB/TRANSFER/PRODUCE force faster
- ANTI-ROTATION core training
- Overloads via VELOCITY (similar to sport)
- Teaches AWARENESS necessary to handle large impulses through upper body
- Improves COORDINATION
WHEN TO USE
- BEGINNING of training session for upper body specific power development
- COMPLEX/CONTRAST training with a heavy upper body pressing exercise
- END of training session as an accessory during a speed or power phase
UPPER BODY PUSH COMPLEX TRAINING
· x3-5 Heavy Landmine Shoulder Press —> x3-5ea Drop Catch Landmine Shoulder Press
· LACTATE RETENTION METHOD is completed by performing an isometric movement immediately following an exercise interval that produces lactate/metabolites
· The ISOMETRIC MOVEMENT that is used must utilize the same muscle groups as the previous exercise interval and be held at a long muscle length for 20-40 seconds
· The EXERCISE INTERVAL must produce lactate/metabolites (generally meaning it must occur 20-40 seconds at minimum and be performed at a high intensity)
· Improved LOCAL MUSCULAR ENDURANCE/acidosis tolerance
· Increased ability to SUSTAIN HIGH POWER OUTPUTS for longer/lactate tolerance
· Enhanced LACTATE UTILIZATION
· Increased time under tension/HYPERTROPHY
· Experience LESS MECHANICAL DAMAGE on joints when performing isometrics for extra volume instead performing more repetitions
· Train at HIGHER INTENSITIES during volume phases because a large percentage of work is made up by submaximal isometric movements
· Improve BODY AWARENESS by correcting positions and ensuring the right muscles are firing during isometric
· MINIMIZE fatigue and soreness during high volume training
· It can be done with any form of exercise that produces lactate
· For conditioning purposes, I prefer to use bike sprints, stair sprints, jumps squats, and jumping lunge
· For hypertrophy purposes, I use compound movement like squats, split squats, presses, and pulls
· When using LRM the adaptations are not global and are only applicable to the muscle group being utilized, so choose the exercises based on the needs of the individual you are working with
Click Link Below to Lactate Retention Method Article
LACTATE RETENTION METHOD
- MUSCLE ACTIVATION: highest level of motor unit recruitment
- INTRAMUSCULAR COORDINATION: turning the right muscles on/off for efficient movement
- VASCULAR SYSTEM ELASTICITY: decrease RHR, limit metaborerlex & remove blockages
- FAST TWITCH FIBER CAPACITY: increase mitochondrial density and oxygen utilization capabilities
HOW I IMPLEMENT THEM IN GPP
(Block 2: Option A)
- 3-5 sets: 5-10 sec work/ 30-60 sec rest, 1-2x per week (circuit fashion)
- Split Squat Deadlift, Bench Press, SL Hip Thrust, Chest Supported Row, Mid-Thigh Pull, Z-Press
1. Complex Limiter: MOVEMENT within complex that LIMITS/CONTROLS training intensity
• EXAMPLE: Power Jerk + Split Jerk, in this complex the POWER Jerk would be the LIMITER because the majority of people can split jerk more than they can power jerk
2. Utilizing Limiter’s: to gradually increase training intensity throughout an entire cycle prescribe different limiter movements each phase
• EXAMPLE (MY Current Jerk Cycle progression)
- PHASE 1: Power Jerk + Split Jerk
- PHASE 2: Slit Jerk (1 second pause in dip & catch) + Split Jerk
- PHASE 3: Split + Split Jerk
- As you can see above, I will be able to lift heavier each phase based on the movements prescribed, without ever having to write anything percentage based
JERK FOCUSED STRENGTH SESSION
A. 0-20 minutes: Build to heavy Jerk Complex (Power Jerk + Split Jerk)
- 10 sets (on the 2 minute)
- Set 1-3: Power Jerk + Split Jerk x 3
- Set 4-6: Power Jerk + Split Jerk x 2
- Set 7-10: Power Jerk + Split Jerk x 1
B. 20-30 minutes: Jerk Drop Sets/Technique work
- Every 2 Minute for 5 sets performs 3 Power Jerks
- Work between 80-90% of heavy in Part A
C. 30-40 minutes:
- 4x5 Push Press@70-80% of heavy in Part A
D. 40-50 minutes:
- 4x5 Jerks Dips@90-100% Max Jerk