1. How to space the work and rest intervals.Basically….how often do I work out? 2. How to sequence exercises. Whatexercises should I use? When should I usethem?
Timing in strength training is probably theelement of strength coaching/training thatrequires the most knowledge and experience. It is also the part of coaching/strengthtraining where individualization play thelargest part. Some athletes will get burnedout….or make greater gains with certaintypes of setups. A good coach will have agood idea of what each athlete needs interms of workload.
These are very important! They make up the basic scheme of almostany training program, from powerlifting to cross country running. Training Session Training Day Microcycle Mesocycle Macrocycle Olympic Cycle/MultiyearTraining
The training session is the smallest unit oftraining. It is often referred to as a “workout” The technical definition according to thebook is: “A workout period comprising restperiods no longer than 30 minutes.” A training session does not equal one trainingday There may be many training sessions withinone training day
This lifting scheduleis a good example of thehigher work capacity ofelite athletes who havebeen training a long time
Training load of one workout RestorationTime (hr)Extreme 72Large 48-72Substantial 24-48Medium 12-24Small >12
Generally speaking, more workouts thatdistribute the workload will be more effectiveand allow more recovery than having lessworkouts but trying to put a large amount ofwork in those workouts. Division I programs will often have liftingworkouts in the mornings, and then sportpractices later on in the day. Division IIIschools often don’t have the luxury of doingthis because their sport time commitment isnot as great.
The grouping of several training days Usually a week long but can be differentdepending on the competition schedule ofthe athlete.
9:00AMWeightlifting SquatVariation (4x5 @ 77.5%T-Max) Bench PressVariation (4x5 @ 77.5%T-Max) Romanian Deadlift (Hamstrings) (4x5) PullupVariation (4x5) Body Curls (3x10) (core) 3:00 PM Conditioning 15x50 yd sprints @ 90% effort with 30” rest 4x100 yd sprints @ 85% effort with 1’ rest 1x GS circuit “Pedestal” 2x10 each
9:00AM OlyVariation #1 (Cleans from Floor) 6x3 @ 70% OlyVariation #2 (Push Jerks) 6x3 @ 70% 3:00 PM Cone Hops: 3x25 (1’ rest) Low Box to Box: 3x5 boxes (2’ rest) StandingTriple Jump x 3 (2’ rest) Medicine 10lb BallToss for Height 2x8 (2’ rest)
For an active rest day, light sport activity orlight crosstraining might be encouraged. Anexample of this would be shooting around inbasketball, or going for a 20 minute jog in thewoods with a partner.
9:00AMWeightlifting SquatVariation (3x8 @ 75%T-Max) Bench PressVariation (3x8 @ 75%T-Max) Glute-Ham Raise (Hamstrings) (3x10) PullupVariation (3x10) WindshieldWipers (3x10) (core) 3:00 PM Conditioning 10 x “suicide” sprints @ 90% effort with 45” rest 4x100 yd sprints @ 85% effort with 1’ rest 1x GS circuit “Waterloo” 2x10 each
9:00AM OlyVariation #1 (Snatch from Hang) 6x3 @ 70% OlyVariation #2 (Hang Clean and Jerk) 6x3 @ 70% 3:00 PM Heidens: 3x20 (1’ rest) Hurdle Hops: 3x5 (2’ rest) Standing 5 Jumps x 3 (2’ rest) Medicine 10lb BallToss for Distance 2x8 (2’ rest)
8x100m with 10 pushups and 30 seconds restin between.
A Mesocycle is a system of severalmicrocycles The typical duration is one month, although itcan be anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. An example of this would beWestside Barbellhaving very short mesocycles as they changetheir exercises every 2 weeks. The average mesocycle will typically be 3microcycles of increasing intensity and then a“recovery” microcycle totaling 4 weeks.
Accumulative Increasing the athletes motor potential.Increasing non-specific fitness Transmutative Turning that potential into sport specific fitness Realizational Peaking mesocycles. Used to reach the highestpossible level of sport performance
I am training a 100m dash sprinter in track andfield. At the beginning of the season I will useaccumulative mesocycles with the focus ofincreasing top end speed. I might use someoverspeed training over the course of 30 metersto accomplish this. After I have gained the non-specific gains infitness (better top end speed over a shortdistance) I will use a transmutative mesocyclefocusing on longer sprints at full effort (2x120mat 97%) to transform the speed gained intocompetition speed.
Refers to one entire competitive season A macrocycle is filled with mesocycles Mesocycles are filled with microcycles Microcycles are filled with training sessions An olympic cycle is 4 years in length In an olympic cycle, the first 3 years might be highvolume, with the last year possibly being a bitlower in volume. Florida State Example
Short term planning refers to planning microand meso cycles Medium term planning refers to planning themacrocycle Long term planning refers to planningtraining over many years….for example theRussian sport system. 90% of coaches don’t get past short termplanning….personal observation
The goal of short term planning is toeffectively manage fatigue Training sessions should be designed so thatCNS intensive work is done fairly fresh.
A general principle of short term planning is alsothe fact that fatigue effects from different typesof work are fairly specific. An example of this would be: I probably couldn’thave 2 days of ME bench press in a week, theCNS fatigue would be too great. However, I stillcan have a good RE bench pressing workout lateron in the week after my ME session, because thefatigue left over from that day is specific toheavier weight and lower reps, so I can still havea good submaximal workout.
Since the effects of a certain exercise can bespecific to that movement, it is a good idea touse different exercises over the course of theweek. For example, I might do an ME flatbench press on Monday and then an REincline dumbbell press on Friday.
If you perform two training sessionsconsecutively that train similar qualities, thetraces of fatigue from those two exercises willbe “superposed” on each other, or in simplerterms, stacked. This will lead to a very high level of fatigue. So for example, I wouldn’t want to max out insquat 2 workouts in a row, unless I wanted towalk down the stairs on my hands the nextcouple days.
Each mesocycle should have a training focus.If you try to improve too many abilities in asingle mesocycle, the body will not knowwhat to adapt to. A common saying in training: Maintain yourstrengths while you focus on yourweaknesses.
There are many motor abilities which can aim tobe increased by training. These can include: Max Strength Hypertrophy Explosive Strength Reactive Strength (plyos) Speed Alactic Conditioning Lactic Conditioning Aerobic Conditioning
In any given cycle, no more than 2 of theseabilities should be focused on. Whatever 2are being focused on should compriseabout 70 to 80% of the training in thatcycle. The other 20-30% can be used tomaintain the other qualities. Max Strength Hypertrophy Explosive Strength Reactive Strength (plyos) Speed Alactic Conditioning Lactic Conditioning Aerobic Conditioning
The general idea in planning strength trainingis to have the athlete do as much work aspossible while being as fresh as possible. Unlike training for an endurance event, instrength training, it is not necessary for theathlete to walk out of the weight roomexhausted. They actually shouldn’t beexhausted walking out of the weight room.This doesn’t mean that an individual setcannot be tiring.
The total amount of sets in the training ofweightlifters has not changed in the last 50years, but the length of the workouts haveincreased. Sport science has proven that the distributionof training volume into smaller units producesa more effective training stimulus for thenervous system.
When lifting heavy weights, rest periods areoften 4 to 5 minutes long. Even if you don’t feel tired when only resting aminute or two between heavy sets, it is betteranyways for your CNS to take a longer recovery. Lifting weights at theT-Max take around 10minutes of recovery afterwards, because of thelarge toll that is taken on the CNS.
Include main sport exercises beforeassistance exercises Don’t do arm curls and shoulder shrugs first Use dynamic, power-type drills before slowexercises, such as squats Do olympic lifts first. This is a generalstatement, there are some cases where doing asequence, such as deadlift-clean-snatch can bebeneficial due to CNS potentiation. Exercise the larger muscle groups before thesmaller ones
The heaviest sets should be early in theworkout. If you are doing max effort work (ME) youdon’t want to wait until the end of theworkout to do it. Take Joe DeFranco’s max effort day workoutfor example.
It might be a good idea to do some flexibilitywork between heavy resistance trainingsessions to help speed up recovery andprevent a loss of flexibility.
A “special strength” workout is one that isdone outside of the teams regular practicetime. (In team sports) For example, a regular strength workoutwould be one that you do right after practice. A special strength workout is one doneoutside of practice. Sports requiring highmaximal strength levels will benefit fromspecial rather than regular strength work.
The timing of heavy resistance protocols incycling workouts is dominated by two mainideas: Allowing enough recovery between exerciseperiods Finding the right balance between the steadinessof a training stimulus. (When do I changeexercises? I need to have them around longenough to cause adaptation, but need to switchenough to promote the principle of variety)
In order to allow adequate recovery intraining, exercises in consecutive trainingsessions should minimally involve the samemuscle groups. It would not be a good idea to have twoconsecutive workouts using the snatch liftexercise.
The recovery time of an exercise varies withthe size of a muscle It will take much longer for a large musclegroup such as quads and glutes to recoverthan a small muscle group, such as the calvesor forearms. These small muscle groups might only take12 hours or less to recover. A large musclegroup such as the quadriceps will take at least48 hours to recover from a tough workout.
The use of large multi joint exercises are notused very often in a training week. Squatting 3times a week would be extremely taxing on anathlete. Olympic lifters typically only squat about twice aweek in their lifting programs with about 72-96hours recovery between sessions. When working with athletes who’s sport is notjust lifting, and they actually have to go topractice as well, It might be a good idea to squateven less than this (once a week).
In many sports, squats are dropped from thetraining program 10 to 12 days beforeimportant competitions.
Sometimes experienced athletes will use“stress microcycles” to try to break through aplateau in their training. A stress microcycle is a microcycle wheremore training is put into the week than theathlete can recover from immediately. The gains from one of these microcycles willbe seen in the weeks after the stressmicrocycle.
Planning the macrocycle can also be referredto as periodization Periodization refers to the changing ofexercises, training loads, and methods duringpre-season and in-season training. This needs to be done in a training year. If thesame training is applied the whole year theathlete will likely level off early and findstaleness in their training later in the year.
2 authors of classical periodization areTudorBompa and the Russian, Matveyev. Typical periodization will have: Higher volume, low intensity exercises early in theyear. Lower volume, and higher intensity exercises laterin the training year. Some sort of conversion to power phase beforethe competitive season.
DelayedTransformation DelayedTransmutation Training Residuals The superposition of training effects
A very important training concept What delayed transformation means is thatduring periods of strenuous training, athletescannot achieve the best performance results. This occurs for two main reasons. It takes time to adapt to a training stimulus Hard work induces fatigue that will accumulateover time. A period of relatively easy exercise isneeded to realize the effect of the previoustraining sessions.
The period where the training load isreduced, and the performance begins to riseis the “period of delayed transformation” So, once again, if I train hard with weightsand sprints for a few months, I might noticemy sprint speed in the 40 yd dash decrease.Once the season nears, I decide to ease backon my training. What I will find is that myperformance in the 40 will improve as I easeback on my training.
Typically about 2-6 weeks. Average time is 4weeks, or one mesocycle. This mesocycle issometimes called the “realization” or“precompetition” mesocycle.
This is similar to the “conversion to power”phase ofTudor Bompa’s training scheme. DT refers to the use to specific exercises toturn the non-specific work done in theoffseason to specific power that can be usedin the competitive season!
I spent much of the off-season lifting weightsand doing hill work. My event is sprinting. To produce delayed transmutation, I will do alot of bounding and sprint work on the trackto transform my non-specific gains(strength/hills) to specific gains (sprint speed)
The training content (exercises) and trainingload should vary over the entire season. Training cycles need to follow one another ina certain fashion Accumulation Transmutation (transfer to sport specific) Peaking
When an athlete stops strength training, theprocess of detraining occurs. The rate that an athlete will lose strength isdependant on a few factors Duration of the immediately preceding period oftraining (accumulation period) Training experience of athletes Targeted motor abilities Amount of specific training loads duringdetraining
Generally speaking, the longer the period oftraining, the longer the training effectsgained from that period will stick aroundduring detraining loads. “Soon ripe/Soon rotten”
More mature/experienced athletes willexperience detraining at a slower rate thannovices. Mature athletes can often achieve goodresults after relatively short periods ofretraining.
Once the special training ceases, differenttraining benefits are lost at different rates. Perhaps the most applicable part of thistheory would be that of performance gainsmade because of neuromuscularefficiency, and gains made because ofmuscular hypertrophy. Structural gains last longer than CNS based gains.
Sometimes, it might be good to only putspecific training loads into a training programin amounts that will allow that quality to bemaintained, or lost at a slow rate. For example, a coach might keep a little bit ofmax strength training style training in theprogram during the competitive season (5x2@ 90% 1RM) twice a week to keep theathletes from losing max strength)
Varying training loads and content over thecourse of a year is necessary for athleticsuccess Although targeted motor abilities can reachhigh levels at the end of the trainingyear, non-targeted, or early targeted motorabilities can fall to very poor levels towardsthe end of the training year.
I am training over the course of the year toimprove my speed and explosiveness for x-team sport. Early in the year I focus mytraining on a large volume of strengthtraining, but as the season progresses, I taperoff the strength training and focus on speed. The problem here as, although my speed willincrease at the end of the year, I will haveneglected my strength for a large enoughperiod of time that it has decreasedsignificantly.
New planning is based around thecycling back and forth of differentmotor ability emphasis over the courseof the training year.Think, in this case of moving back and forth between trainingemphasis in mesocycles throughout the year, with stimulating andretaining loads (not detraining loads).
According to myself….a hybrid of the classical version and the newer version might bethe best way to go. I’ll provide an example of what I am talking about with sometraining schemes.
Lets say we are shooting for increasing ourexplosiveness and jumping ability for trackand field. Motor ability A is maximal strength (weights) Motor ability B is plyometric strength
Monday: weights Tuesday: plyometrics Wednesday: active rest Thursday: weights Friday: plyometrics Saturday: active rest Sunday: rest Let’s say this is our basic training template for thewhole year, for this example.
Let’s say that the following represents aretaining training load for each type of training: Strength (M/R) Cleans 2x5 @ 80% Squats 2x5 @ 80% Step ups 2x5 @ 80% Plyometrics (T/F) Max jumps for height: x3 Bounding: 75m total Hurdle Hops: 2x5 hurdles
Now let’s say we wanted to focus on themesocycle to be on stimulating strength, butretaining plyometric ability. Here is what thatmight look like: Strength (M/R) Cleans 4x5 @ 80% Squats 5x5 @ 80% Step ups 3x5 @ 80% Plyometrics (T/F) Max jumps for height: x3 Bounding: 75m total Hurdle Hops: 2x5 hurdles
Now let’s say we wanted to focus on themesocycle to be on stimulating plyometricability, but retaining strength. Here is what thatmight look like: Strength (M/R) Cleans 2x5 @ 80% Squats 2x5 @ 80% Step ups 2x5 @ 80% Plyometrics (T/F) Max Jumps x 8 Bounding 200m Hurdle Hops 6x5 hurdles