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It May Not Matter What You Train First

Is there a best way to organize an athlete’s training? In other words, should we do plyometrics first because they involve speed and technique? Then, should we follow that with slower strength moves that don’t require the same level of nervous system demands? Or, should we flip that to fatigue the nervous system by doing the slow strength moves first and then requiring it to perform something explosive?   Kobal et al have a really fascinating study that seeks to...

Variable Resistance Training Improves Strength and More

Variable resistance training has been around for more than 10 years now. First popularized by the powerlifting community, today they are widely used in the strength and conditioning of athletes. These tools include elastic bands or chains.   Riviere et al, in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researched whether the use of bands was more effective over six weeks than strength training without the bands. In addition to looking at strength, the authors also looked at how the...

Eccentric Training and Sports Performance: Science Fiction

Eccentric training has been a mainstay of strength and conditioning for awhile. I like to use it with track and field athletes to help them become stronger when they need to be able to maintain their posture (during levering for jumps and throws or during footstrike for sprints). However, it’s possible that this type of training may have more application than that with sports strength and conditioning.   Munger et al conducted a study to determine the impact of eccentric...

Workout Components for Track and Field: Maximal Strength

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Maximal strength is an important ability to just about every track and field athlete. Maximal strength is referring to the ability to exert force one time. It’s an all-out effort. It’s important because almost every event in track and field requires strength for success. This article is going to cover the role of maximal strength in a track and field athlete’s program, cautions associated with it, and how to train for it. The Role of Maximal Strength: Maximal strength is...

Strength and Hypertrophy: Evidence Based Or Arbitrary?

Almost every strength and conditioning textbook includes guidelines for volume/intensity of exercises when we are training for different goals. For example, the table below has some generic guidelines depending upon one’s goal:   Goal Sets Repetitions Intensity Maximal strength 3-5 1-8 80-100% Hypertrophy 3-5 8-12 70-80% Endurance 3-5 12+ <70%   We might quibble about adding/subtracting some repetitions or adjusting the intensity somewhat, but by and large most strength and conditioning professionals are going to accept the table above.  ...